A day after Mohamed Nasheed took to Twitter to urge India to end the ongoing crisis in the Maldives, the former exiled President wrote a strong editorial in The Indian Express reiterating his plea for India’s intervention.
He wrote that China had immense vested interests in the success of the present Maldivian government led by President Abdulla Yameen.
Appealing for India’s help, he wrote that it was essential that the country “leads the international community” in putting an end to the political crisis. He raised India's relationship with the Maldives, reminding the country that just weeks ago India received a special envoy from President Yameen.
In the editorial piece, titled ‘A Villain in Paradise,’ the first democratically elected President of the Maldives delves into the changes that have taken place under President Abdulla Yameen’s tenure.
Nasheed attacks Yameen on a range of issues, including increased restrictions on fundamental rights, media freedom, and the implementation of foreign trade and investment policy, which Nasheed says only allows “regime cronies to line their pockets while future generations of Maldivians are saddled with gigantic debts.”
Nasheed adds that President Abdulla Yameen has displayed a repeated disregard for India’s own democratic code, highlighting the fact that the people of the Maldives only earned the right to free and fair elections in 2008.
Nasheed was convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Maldives in 2015 for arresting a criminal court judge and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. In 2016, the UK granted asylum to Nasheed.
Nasheed goes on to allege, in his piece for The Indian Express, that President Yameen has compromised the Maldives’ sovereignty in the quest to “enrich himself.”
He goes on to give examples to back his allegations in the article. The exiled former president adds that the real victims of Yameen’s alleged activities are the citizens of the Maldives.
Nasheed concludes with yet another appeal to India to “lead the international community” in forcing Yameen’s compliance with the rule of law. In 1988, under codename Operation Cactus, India had responded to an SOS call from the then Maldivian President Abdul Gayoom in a matter of hours and put an end to an attempted coup in the archipelago.
(This article takes several excerpts from an opinion piece written by exiled Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed for The Indian Express)