Maldives Minister Dunya Maumoon Resigns After Father’s Arrest

Along with Gayoom, the administration arrested two others on allegations of attempting to overthrow the government.

2 min read
Maldives State Health Minister Dunya Maumoon (left) resigned after  her father, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (right), was arrested earlier this month. 

Maldives State Health Minister Dunya Maumoon has resigned, she said in a letter on Tuesday, grieved by the arrest of her father, the island nation’s longest-serving leader, after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency.

The Maldives’ top court last week validated a 30-day extension of the state of emergency sought by Yameen over what he has called a national security threat and constitutional crisis.

Today, at this time of pain and crisis for both my family and my country, it is my sincere hope to see my father home at the earliest.
Dunya Maumoon, as reported by Reuters

She is the second minister to resign from Yameen’s ruling party since the crisis began on 1 February.

“I therefore call upon the international community to support the Maldivian people to help us overcome this crisis and to build a stronger democratic system,” she said in a letter, as reported by Reuters.

Her father, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, is Yameen’s half-brother and ruled the country for 30 years until 2008. He was arrested at his residence early this month, along with his son-in-law.

He is not just my father, but the father of the nation, who has built this country and has earned the respect and love of the people.
Dunya Maumoon, as reported by Reuters

After declaring the emergency, Yameen’s administration arrested the chief justice, another Supreme Court judge and Gayoom on allegations of attempting to overthrow the government.

Earlier, Maldives had declined India’s invitation asking them to participate in ‘Milan’, a naval exercise which is being organised at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and will witness the participation of other nations such as Australia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, and Cambodia.

According to PTI, Maldives’ decision to decline the invitation could be considered a snub to New Delhi, even though the Maldivian envoy to India said that the reason behind it was the emergency situation back at home. It adds to the perception that relations between the two nations nose-dived after the emergency was declared.

Maldives was also in the news recently for having refused entry and later detaining a high-level delegation of Law Association of Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA), that comprised of President of LAWASIA and President of Malaysian Bar Christopher Leong, the current President-Elect of Bar Association of India Prashant Kumar, and two other members.

LAWASIA’s visit to Maldives had been scheduled following the suspension of 54 Maldivian lawyers on 10 September 2017.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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