Male, February 8 (newsin.asia): The Maldivian government has sent three cabinet ministers as Special Envoys to three “friendly” countries, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, “to provide updates on the current situation” in the Maldives.
The Minister of Economic Development, Mohamed Saeed, left for China and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohamed Asim, left for Pakistan on Wednesday. The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. Mohamed Shainee, would leave for Saudi Arabia on Thursday, the Maldivian Presidential website said.
The Maldivian government had declared a 15-day State of Emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court on February 1, passed an order for the immediate release and retrial of nine top opposition leaders including former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The court had also reinstated 12 lawmakers who had been unseated earlier for crossing the floor.
The court said that the trials of the top opposition leaders were not fair, and that the government had not put into place a proper anti-defection law.
The government tried in vain to explain to Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed that the court’s order was illegal as the due procedure had not been followed and the Attorney General had not been given a hearing. The court had usurped the Executive’ powers, especially its regulatory powers, thus brazenly violating the constitution, the government pointed out.
The government also said that the court should have considered the consequences of immediately releasing the opposition leaders who had been sentenced for grave crimes like terrorism, murder, bribery and fraud.
In his defense, the Chief Justice said that the court only wanted release prior to a re-trial, which did not cut ice with the government.
In fact, government smelt a rat in the timing and the selection of prisoners for release, and the lifting of the disqualification of 12 MPs. It saw a brewing conspiracy to oust President Yameen and thought it fit to nip it in the bud.
Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed was arrested along with former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who was charged with a bid to overthrow the legitimately established government.
Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed was arrested for an allegedly shady property deal in which Maumoon Abdul Gayoom might also have been involved.
The State of Emergency took away most of the rights under the constitution but it was amended later to restore to the Supreme Court and other courts, supremacy in matters of the constitution and the law.
In the meanwhile, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Mohamed Nasheed ,who is currently in self exile in the UK, publicly sought a military-backed diplomatic intervention by India and financial sanctions from the US.
The US, other Western powers sought the immediate restoration of democracy in the Maldives. But India and China treaded more cautiously, and expressed the hope that the various parties in the conflict would settle the issue through dialogue.
China said that foreign governments can play a “constructive role” in restoring normalcy in the Maldives, but insisted that the sovereignty of the country should not be violated.
Meanwhile President Yameen appreciated the impeccable loyalty and efficiency of the Maldivian police and army.
(The featured image at the top shows Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen)