New Dehi/Male, July 14 (PTI) – The Maldives National Party (MNP) on Wednesday expressed “unhappiness” over the Maldivian government’s decision to allow Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to travel to the country, and said it will move a motion, seeking an explanation from the Solih dispensation.
In an interview with PTI, MNP leader and former Maldives foreign minister Dunya Maumoon said it was very disappointing that the Maldivian government did not care about the sentiments of the Sri Lankan people.
Rajapaksa, the 73-year-old leader who enjoys immunity from prosecution while he is president, fled to the Maldives along with his wife and two security officials to avoid the possibility of arrest by the new government.
After protesters stormed his official residence in rage over the island nation’s worst economic crisis on Saturday, Rajapaksa had informed both Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he will resign on July 13.
Asserting that Rajapaksa also has “quite a bit of responsibility” for the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, Maumoon said there is a good number of Sri Lankans in the Maldives who feel aggrieved over the Solih government’s action. There are reports that they are planning some sort of protest in the Maldives, she added.
“My party will move a motion in parliament (People’s Majlis), seeking the government’s explanation in the matter,” said Maumoon, the daughter of former Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
She also said the Sri Lankan leader was staying in a resort in the Maldives.
Rajapaksa’s escape from the country to the Maldives was negotiated by the Maldivian Parliament Speaker and former president Mohamed Nasheed, sources said.
The Maldivian government’s argument is that Rajapaksa is still the President of Sri Lanka, and that he hasn’t resigned or handed over his powers to a successor. Therefore, if he wanted to travel to the Maldives, it could not have been denied, sources said.