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.

PTI



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

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