The Maldivian government is yet to respond to an incident that had reportedly taken place four days ago at the side event during the UN Human Rights Council sessions, involving the Maldives president and exiled Sri Lankan journalist Sunanda Deshapriya.
Mr. Deshapriya has said, that government and pro-government media in Colombo had reported that president Mohamed Nasheed had accused him of being a disgrace to the country.
The Maldivian president was answering to a question by the former convener of the Free Media Movement after the screening of the film ‘Lies Agreed Upon’ in Geneva, according to these media.
The state run radio SLBC has quoted Mr. Nasheed as having told the Lankan journalist that it was a disgrace to work against one’s own country.
“I never asked any question and President Nasheed didn’t say anything like what the Colombo media reports,” Mr. Deshapriya has said.
Attempts by ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ to obtain a comment from the Maldivian High Commission were unsuccessful as today being a Friday, the mission remains closed.
Mr. Deshapriya has also said that he recorded the complete meeting, and that, “He (Mr. Nasheed) actually had a very friendly chat with us on how to re-establish democracy in Sri Lanka after the meeting.”
The journalist has added that he was planning to write a letter to the Maldivian president regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Networking for Rights said in a statement that the Colombo media’s reporting was an attempt to intimidate the Sri Lankan press freedom and human rights campaigner.
Mr. Deshapriya himself is a founder member and a steering committee member of the NfR.