The Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), the alliance of the Maldives’ opposition parties, yesterday (14) accused its ruling party of meddling in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
MDA also demanded that the Maldives Government should extend an apology to Sri Lankans, investigate the incident and take measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future.
MDA was referring to the Maldives Government allowing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee Sri Lanka and seek refuge in Male.
“We strongly condemn the decision in which the Government intervened in the internal affairs of a neighbouring country, which is in no way acceptable and may have long-term consequences.”
Also, a motion to clarify how the Maldivian Government behaved in bringing President Rajapaksa to the Maldives will also be submitted to the Majelis by the Maldives National Party’s parliamentary group yesterday.
Dunya Maumoon, former Foreign Minister of the Maldives, expressed concern about the state of affairs in Sri Lanka, “We believe the Maldives should respect the wishes of the Sri Lankan people as they want a change in government. As we all know, Sri Lanka is experiencing an economic and political crisis. People are surviving without jobs, food and fuel. In this, we must exercise caution. We also think that in any nation, leaders should be held accountable for their deeds, and the Sri Lankan people are expressing their wishes in this regard.”
MDA added the fact that Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed facilitating Rajapaksa’s arrival in the Maldives on a Sri Lankan Air Force plane on 13 July was a blow to the people of Sri Lanka, who are in an economic abyss and desperately seeking stability.
President Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka in the early hours of Wednesday (13) after attempts to travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates were thwarted. He arrived in the Maldives just hours before he was scheduled to resign over the civil unrest brought on by the island nation’s severe economic crisis.
“We believe that it is essential that all parties involved in this matter shall take action to prevent such actions from happening again in the future. At the same time, we call on the Government of the Republic of Maldives to publicly apologise to the Sri Lankan people. Since the Maldivian Government has always pursued a neutral foreign policy, we should not under any circumstances violate this policy by getting involved in the internal affairs of countries.”
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan