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Monday, April 15, 2024

Regimes in Sri Lanka, Maldives, forge questionable alliance

Maldivian Vice-President Dr Mohammed Waheed, meeting Mahinda Rajapaksa over the weekend at the UN General Assembly Sessions, assured the latter of the support of Male to Colombo’s stand on its human rights issues, according to Maldivian media Haveeru, Tuesday. “Early this month Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed defended Sri Lanka’s position at the UN Human Rights Council sessions held in Geneva,” Haveeru said in its feature “Maldives assures support for Sri Lanka amidst UN allegations.” The undue extra efforts taken by the present regime in Male to shield Colombo against the struggle of Tamils and Muslims in the island need careful scrutiny by the people in Maldives and peoples movements across South Asia, commented a political observer in Male.

President Nasheed came to power by toppling the three-decades rule of Mamoon Abdul Gayoom in the first-ever democratic elections held in Maldives in October 2008.

The main issues of the election campaign of Nasheed were human rights abuses and escalating drug-related situation in the country under the rule of Gayoom.

All independent observers tell that both have escalated further under Nasheed.

In his struggle to end the ‘guided democracy’ of Gayoom and to bring in ‘liberal democracy’ Nasheed was seeking the intervention of ‘International Community’.

Whatever were the domestic problems in the rule of Gayoom, for three decades Maldives was maintaining admirable neutrality in international relations and was keeping it away from military alliances.

Gayoom was also maintaining decent and measured neutrality in the war of nations in the island of Sri Lanka, despite the involvement of a Tamil militant group in a coup against him.

But in December 2008, just within two months of Nasheed coming to power, Maldives entered into a military alliance supporting the Rajapaksa regime against Eezham Tamils.

Defence Advisors/Attaches of 7 countries visit Sri Lankan SF HQ in Vanni [Photo: Sri Lankan Defence Ministry]

In December 2008, the Maldivian defence representative was in the military delegation of 7 countries, USA, UK, Japan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives that visited the war scene in Vanni, providing diplomatic and logistical boost to the genocidal operations of Sri Lanka’s military.

Maldives today is having strategic relations with Israel too.

President Nasheed, his foreign minister Mr. Ahmed Naseem and many others in the present regime of Male were getting personal protection in Colombo from the Rajapaksa brothers while struggling against the rule of Gayoom.

In the late 1970s, Mr. Nassem was accused of a coup organized by him from Colombo and he was tortured for that by the regime of Gayoom.

Personal business interests and residential interests always played a role in the relationship of the regimes in Colombo and Male.

Maldivian Vice-President Dr.Waheed, the first Ph.D. holder of the country who had his early education in Colombo, praised Rajapaksa during the meeting with him at the UN for the ‘speedy progress in development’ in Sri Lanka and discussed several issues related to trade between the two countries.

Meanwhile a Wikileaks document classified by the US Ambassador in Colombo, Ms. Butenis says that drugs traded through Sri Lanka go to Maldives, and the chief of the patrons of the drug kingpins in Sri Lanka is the Labour Minister of the Rajapaksa regime, Mervyn Silva.

Ms. Butenis was citing the arrest of a Maldivian woman and her Sri Lankan husband with 9 kilos of heroin.

Citing the capture of another bulk of 30 kilos of heroin in Mannaar that probably came from India, Ms. Butenis said in the cable “The sheer volume of the bust indicates the heroin is bound for a “big time dealer” in the country before being forwarded to other destinations, perhaps the Maldives or Europe.

Maldivian involvement is also traced in the land grab in Puththa’lam for ‘tourism purposes’ while many Sinhala corporates have holdings in the resort islands in the Maldives.

Describing the nature of State in Maldives, some years ago, a High Commissioner of Pakistan in Male said that Maldives doesn’t have a government but a Limited Company. He was called back shortly after that.

While the complex business greed of culpable characters in Colombo and Male work against upholding human values in the relationship of the peoples of both the islands, diplomatic circles tell that esoteric forces of defence interest in the USA and UK secretly influence Maldives to defend Rajapaksa regime and the genocidal State of Sri Lanka.

While one part of the Establishments in the USA and UK openly talk about war crimes accountability and international investigation, there is another section that works in opposition, diplomatic circles say.

They cite the examples of the US Asst Secretary of State Robert Blake having a lot of influence with Maldives and candidates of the Conservative Party of the UK secretly working in the foreign ministry in Male, virtually controlling it.

Talking on the dubious orientation of key figures of real strategic operations in the West the diplomats cited the example of Sir. John Sawers, who now heads UK’s intelligence service, MI6. He was the one who at the height of the Vanni war dealt with the UN Security Council on behalf of the UK. Instead of voicing for stopping the genocide his observation was that the LTTE was long ‘blighting’ Sri Lanka.


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