Maldives Emergency update: Indian Army on alert; voice from China says New Delhi must stop intervening

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New Delhi | Published: February 7, 2018 2:06:00 PM

Maldives Emergency: Crisis continues in the island nation after the declaration of the "state of emergency" by President Abdulla Yameen.

maldives emergency crisis picMaldivian Police officers stand guard near the MDP (Maldives Democratic Party) opposition party headquarters after Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency for 15 days, in Male, Maldives February 6, 2018. REUTERS

Maldives Emergency: Crisis continues in the island nation after the declaration of the “state of emergency” by President Abdulla Yameen. Reacting to the situation in the Island nation, India on Tuesday said it was “disturbed” over the developments and the Indian troops would be kept on standby for any contingency. However, India has maintained that sending the army to the Maldives is not an option. The reaction came after former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the leader of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and presently based in Sri Lanka, sent a “humble” request to India for help. “On behalf of Maldivian people, we humbly request: 1. India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees inc. Prez. Gayoom. We request a physical presence. 2. The US to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks.”

Abdulla Yameen’s 15-day emergency declaration came after the country’s Supreme Court on Thursday last ordered the release of nine political prisoners. Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency after he failed to persuade the top court to revoke the order.

India is closely watching the developments in the Maldives. This is not the first time when the Maldives is staring at uncertainties. During a crisis in the country in 1988, India had helped in bringing the situation to normal and then returned as Nasheed noted in another tweet: “Saying ‘resolve things internally’ is akin to asking us to escalate the revolt, which can lead to chaos. Maldivians see India’s role positively: in ‘88 they came, resolved the crisis, and left. They were not occupiers but liberators. This is why Maldivians look to India now.”

However, Chinese media has warned India to stop “interfering” in the Maldives. In an editorial titled, “India must stop intervening in Malé”, Chinese state daily Global Times on Tuesday alleged that for a “long time, the Maldives has had to choose between being manipulated by India or its independence as a sovereign state.”

“India has a strong desire to control South Asian countries. It regards the region as its backyard. New Delhi is particularly sensitive to any endeavour by small South Asian states toward independence and autonomy, especially ties with other major powers. New Delhi takes it for granted that it can openly intervene in their domestic affairs,” the Chinese daily further alleged.

Abdulla Yameen government has signed a free trade agreement with China and joined the Belt and Road initiative. The Chinese daily advised India to stay away from the Maldives, saying, “Political struggles are supposed to be internal affairs, and New Delhi has no justification to intervene in Malé’s affairs. The Maldives must be under huge pressure from India.”

Earlier, India’s Minister of Affairs had said, “It is imperative for all organs of the government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court.”

Meanwhile, the United States and the United Nations have urged the Maldives to respect laws of the country and democratic institutions.

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