Nasheed not to seek asylum amid political crisis
Last Updated: Sunday, February 12, 2012, 23:56
Colombo: Ousted Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has dismissed all speculation of seeking asylum in Sri Lanka, underlining that he will continue his fight for democracy in his country.

The family of 44-year-old Nasheed has moved to Sri Lanka since he was forced to quit last Wednesday, sparking a political crisis in the country.

"I will continue my fight in the Maldives. I will not give up. I cannot leave. My family is in Sri Lanka but I will not leave now," Nasheed was quoted as saying by The Sunday Leader.

Maldives' first democratically-elected president had said that he was forced to resign as gun-wielding military men threatened that they would resort to using arms if he did not.

Nasheed has called for fresh elections and demanded President Mohammed Waheed Hassan to step down and hand power to the speaker of the parliament for two months, until elections can be held though the next presidential poll is due only in November 2013.

Nasheed, who came to power in 2008, accused his successor of being part of the conspiracy to topple him.

"It was a coup. I was forced out of office. The police were outside and the military inside. I was deposed at gunpoint? Nasheed had told reporters last week.

He has led several rallies in Male demanding snap polls to determine the genuine wishes of the people. "We want an election and we will campaign for it," Nasheed told a large gathering of his supporters in Male.

Nasheed, who is also known as 'Anni Zindabad', appealed to the international community to act before it is too late.

"President Rajapaksa and I are very close friends and he has been making inquires about my safety and I am very grateful for that," Nasheed said.

Nasheed also made a fervent appeal to the Sri Lankan community to support him and his struggle to establish democracy in the country.

"I was raised and lived most of my life in Sri Lanka. I would like to appeal to all my Sri Lankan friends, not just the Maldivians in Sri Lanka, to support me at this time," he said.

Nasheed also alleged that the police and military were detaining supporters of his Maldivian Democratic Party and called for an independent investigation into what he insists was a coup.

Maldives, which is known for its deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees attracting several lakh tourists every year, has plunged into a political crisis after Nasheed was forced to quit following weeks of protests against his decision to sack top judge Abdulla Mohamed.


First Published: Sunday, February 12, 2012, 23:56

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