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Updated: February 12, 2012 09:49 IST

After India's groundwork, U.S. presses for Maldives coalition

R. K. Radhakrishnan
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Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, right, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake laugh during a meeting in Male on Saturday. Photo:AP
Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, right, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake laugh during a meeting in Male on Saturday. Photo:AP

Mohammed Nasheed is likely to talk to the new regime

After India did the groundwork of talking long hours to all parties to the conflict in the Maldives, the United States has stepped in to ensure that the new government sticks to its professed mandate of forming a unity government.

Both M. Ganapathi, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert O' Blake held meetings with the former President, Mohammed Nasheed, the new President, Waheed Hassan, and other players. They stressed that the formation of a truly rainbow coalition was in the best interests of the people. The Maldivian Democratic Party of Mr. Nasheed will also talk to the new regime on joining the government.

A sense of uncertainty has gripped the Maldives since Mr. Nasheed resigned as President on February 7.

As mandated by the Constitution, his Vice-President, Dr. Waheed, was sworn in. Mr. Nasheed kept quiet for a day, but his supporters clashed with the police next day, and he claimed that he was ousted in a coup.

On Friday, he demanded fresh elections. After meeting Mr. Blake on Saturday, Mr. Nasheed was in a contemplative mood, saying everything happens for the good.

Dr. Waheed, a relatively weaker politician but with vast administrative experience, said he expected a Cabinet to be in place over the next few days. He has promised that Mr. Nasheed would be protected and hoped that “the police would not show enthusiasm in carrying out the [arrest] warrant.”

Finally, the international community started toeing the same line on the events leading to Mr. Nasheed's resignation. The United Kingdom has already pressed for an investigation. Asked whether the Maldives incidents could be termed a coup, Mr. Ganapathi said this was to be determined by the political leadership. “I think we will go by the political leadership's decision and the Constitution of the Maldives,” he said.

And Mr. Blake said the U.S. wanted an independent investigation.

Dr. Waheed said he was ready for an independent inquiry into the incidents that led to Mr. Nasheed's resignation.Asked whether “independent” meant interna tional, he said he did not want to pre-empt any kind of probe. Making any comment would prejudice the issue, he said, calling for broader discussions.

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There is ample evidence that it was a coup.... some civilians were giving orders to security forces..see videos on youtube...Ofcourse, Nasheed was worried about what was going that time in his country as one video reveals...I hope the democratic nations will not support a coup which halted our democratic process at its infant stage...The involvement of the previous dictatorship regime is evident... We want our voted president back...He had several good policies which were almost implemented...Please help the Maldivian people attain democracy....As I type this I fear they might trace and arrest me...I do not favor any political party...I support democracy...Needles to say they have selectively abused almost all MPs of the Maldives Democratic Party...I believe minimal force has to be used during protests...Sadly, some people are still arrested unlawfully and are being severely beaten...a serious violation of human rights.

from:  Ilham
Posted on: Feb 14, 2012 at 01:43 IST

The news of govt change appears like a coup but our news network looks very weak as it has not reported any reason/interest group connected with this development.

from:  Arvind
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 21:09 IST

As a citizen few questions I hope the probe will answer.
1- When he announced his resignation, except his bodyguard no armed personnel in the room. Why didn't he reveal he was resigning under duress.
2- He said he did not want foreign influence, but India confirms he asked for assistance and was denied. Did he lie?
3- He said he never wanted to remain in power by using force and to remain in power extreme force will have to be used with injuries to lots of people. Leaked video just inside military HQ makes it clear he demanded "bullets" to be used. The belief is military refused.
4- Why did he announce that he was forced to resign at gun point in a party conference 24hrs later, in front of over 5000 agitated people? This led to the violence on the streets.

from:  MLathyf
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 12:19 IST

It is pathetic that India can't take charge even in a minor regional
crisis like this one and the Americans need to step in.

from:  Puneet Singh
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 04:04 IST

your article is a very balanced one.i have seen many international media backing Mr.Nasheed not knowing him well. What brought down is this way: "He repeatedly breached the constitution.How this started is when he asked military to snatch the Chief Judge of Criminal Court saying he is corrupt. If he was corrupt there are ways to investigate and bring about justice . its mentioned in Maldivian constitution. and people started protesting calling for the release of the judge. finally, after repeated unconstitutional orders police when on a strike saying "to guarantee Mr.Nasheed would not issue an unconstitutional order here afterwards" Mr.Nasheed did not want to talk to them. He asked military to use rubber bullets. when they used it did not work. by 12 in the noon people rounded the military head quarters. it was a popular uprising. off course when Mr.Nasheed asked for a suggestion from military officers for the best option, they suggested for resignation.

from:  Mohamed Rasheed
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 00:48 IST

India is now a total puppet of USA. Very weak to make own foreign policy decisions and very dependent on USA.

from:  Abhijit
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 00:16 IST

It definitely is a coup. No president is fool enough to resign one day and then ask for free elections the next day. Demand of independent investigation by U.S. and U.K. is a great move. I wonder when would India come forward in situations like these and take measures by itself rather than following big nations.

from:  Anuj Arora
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 00:05 IST

Since Maldives is in our backyard, we should follow Munro doctrine i.e. The Monroe Doctrine is a policy of the United States introduced on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention. We too should declare that no other power should meddle in our sphere of influence.We should act fast to get democratically elected Mr. Nasheed reinstated to reestablish our credibility as champion of rule of law n democracy.

from:  prakash
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 00:04 IST
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