The Maldives has launched a campaign at the United Nations in New York for a two year non-permanent seat in the Security Council but its government deployed troops this week to seize its Parliament – the Majlis — preventing MPs from taking their seats.
Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen’s military operation was to thwart a vote of no confidence against Majlis Speaker Abdullah Maseeh Mohamed by the increasingly vociferous opposition.
This is the first time in its 51-year post-Independence history that Maldives is seeking a place in the 15 member Security Council, the most powerful UN body. Only 20 percent of the UN membership is made up of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In the past 25 years, only six such countries have served in the Security Council.
The deployment of troops has been condemned by many countries. British High Commission officials who convened a meeting of the diplomatic community in Colombo this week failed in their efforts to have a joint statement issued expressing concern over the political developments in the archipelago. Thereafter, they condemned the move in the Maldives separately.
Ousted President Mohamed Nasheed who was arrested by the present Government in Male and permitted to go to Britain for medical attention has remained there without returning to serve a jail term. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry has been silent over recent events in the Maldives. There has been no statement articulating the Government’s position. A ministry spokesperson told the Sunday Times it has no view on the closure of the Maldivian Parliament. Yet, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday, within 24 hours of North Korea firing an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. The Government condemned the move.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake has called off a planned visit to the Maldives. His lawyers had asked for time from the Commission of Inquiry going into the Central Bank bond issue of 2015 and 2016, saying he was due to visit the Maldives. He is, however, expected to testify before the Commission on Wednesday.
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