Maldives seeks support of Sri Lanka, India

The Maldives on Monday sought the support of Sri Lanka and India as the country faced international criticism over the imprisonment of former president Mohamed Nasheed.

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015, 21:50 PM IST

Colombo: The Maldives on Monday sought the support of Sri Lanka and India as the country faced international criticism over the imprisonment of former president Mohamed Nasheed.

Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon said the Maldives was being unfairly judged by some counties but her government would still engage with the international community over the issue, Xionhua reported.

"We expect support from Sri Lanka like we have supported Sri Lanka in the international fora. We are communicating with Sri Lanka. The change of government (in Sri Lanka) has not affected our relationship with Sri Lanka," she said here.

The minister also said that India respected the sovereignty of the Maldives and she did not expect India or any other country to attempt to give directions to the Maldives.

Nasheed was last week sentenced to 13 years in jail over the alleged abduction and imprisonment of a former chief justice while he was president.

The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), led by Nasheed, accused the government of Abdulla Yameen of trying to prevent Nasheed from coming back to power in the presidential election scheduled in 2018.

Dunya Maumoon, however, insisted that the arrest and imprisonment of Nasheed was a judicial matter and was not influenced by the government.

She said the alleged abduction of a chief justice by the former president was a serious crime and even a former president needed to be accountable for such actions.

"We will not accept double standards," Maumoon added.

Meanwhile, Maldives Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb said that tourism in the country had not been affected by the latest developments.

He said the MDP had been allowed to stage protests against Nasheed`s arrests in order to ensure freedom of speech and expression.