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Page added on March 18, 2012

Maldives may reconsider Commonwealth membership

Maldives may reconsider Commonwealth membership thumbnail
The Maldives government has said it may “consider” its membership in the Commonwealth in the future after the body’s Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) repeated calls for early elections in the country.

President Waheed’s spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza told Minivan News today that although the government was not currently looking to re-assess the country’s role as a member of the intergovernmental organisation, it was concerned over the language used in a statement by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) on Friday.

“The government is concerned at the language that has been used by the Commonwealth [in the latest statement] and we condemn it. The foreign minister has conveyed this as well,” he said. “If this language continues, we will look to consider our position [in the Commonwealth].”

Riza added that the government would also forward its concerns about the language of the CMAG statement to the Commonwealth’s Special Envoy, Sir Donald McKinnon, who arrived in the Maldives on Friday.

Commonwealth role

Debate over the role of the Commonwealth in the Maldives has intensified over the last week following the political uncertainty generated by the ongoing controversy over the transfer of power that saw Dr Waheed replace Mohamed Nasheed as president on February 7, 2012.

In Friday’s statement, CMAG said it “continued to be strongly of the view that the earliest possible expression of the will of the people was required to establish universal faith in the legitimacy of those who govern the [Maldives].”

The government has since responded that discussions, road map talks, and other constitutional amendments designed to set out plans for any early elections remained an “internal issue”. Riza therefore called on the Commonwealth to refrain from issuing further statements with “language like that”.

Speaking yesterday about the elections calls, Foreign Minister Dhunya Maumoon said that CMAG, which serves as the Commonwealth’s democracy and human rights arm, had shown some bias in its comments. However, she added that the statement had been positive about some of the government’s initiatives to try stabilise the country’s fractured political structure.

“The statement somewhat promotes the interests of a certain party or a certain individual. But I don’t want to say that exactly. Because there are many statements that are positive towards the government,” the foreign minister told reporters.

Majlis concerns

Meanwhile, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has said it will continue to try and prevent the Majlis from functioning until a date for early elections is set.

The CMAG had raised concerns regarding the obstruction of parliament by MDP MPs during the opening on March 1. It expressed regret over the disruption of parliament on March 1 and urged “all parties to engage in dialogue without delay, in earnest and in good faith with a view to achieving agreement on the date of early elections”.

MDP spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said continuing to try and block the Majlis was a “thorny issue,” but believed the party could viably continue its attempts to block parliament.

He added that from the party’s perspective, it had little choice but to continue to try and prevent parliament from holding its opening position to “protect” the integrity of the Majlis.

“The moment we allow a coup leader to address parliament, the public will begin to question the integrity of the Majlis,” he claimed.

Former President Nasheed told his supporters that he himself planned to be on the front lines of the protests outside the reconvened Majlis session tomorrow and claimed that authorities “would have to shoot him” before they could proceed with the opening.

Constitutional requirement

The government maintains the allowing the Majlis to open and Dr Waheed to speak to parliament was a constitutional requirement and not related to calls for Waheed to concede early elections.

In addressing the MDP’s comments, Abbas Adil Riza said that the Majlis operated as a separate entity from the president and therefore calls to hold fresh elections were not related to allowing parliament to function.

Riza added that the government was therefore calling on former President Nasheed to “stop advocating violence” particularly among young people, in regards to blocking the Majlis and opposing the government.

“More than 200 youths currently face charges for torching public buildings since February 8,” he added.

Though Riza said that the public would be free to gather on some of the capital’s roads to protest, he added that inside the parliament chamber, it was for the Speaker of the Majlis, Abdulla Shahid, and not the government to ensure parliament functioned correctly.

The government spokesperson added that just as under the government of Mohamed Nasheed, the speaker had control of 60 Majlis guards that had the power to remove disruptive elements from the parliamentary floor.

Despite CMAG’s criticism of efforts to block parliament from functioning, Ghafoor claimed that international calls from groups like the Commonwealth for early elections and constitutional reforms showed that there were questions to be answered over the legitimacy of the present government.

“We do not believe Dr Waheed to be a legitimate leader,” he said. “The MDP’s position is to try and find a political situation to agree on an election date and the corresponding constitutional reforms required to do this before opening parliament. This was highlighted and agreed by MDP members, but rejected by the opposition.”

Ghafoor claimed that the MDP has been working with the government and opposition politicians to try and secure an end to the current political deadlock. However, the spokesperson claimed that Parliamentary Group leader Ibrahim Mohamed ‘Ibu’ Solih, has previously expressed concern that Dr Waheed was not open to finding a potential solution on a timetable for elections.

Opposition parties including the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) have so far withdrawn from the roadmap talks aimed at finding a political solution to the current upheaval in protest at the MDP blocking parliament earlier this month.

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35 Comments on "Maldives may reconsider Commonwealth membership"

  1. Yasir on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 3:02 PM 

    We don’t need some useless Commonwealth membership. Just f**k it.

  2. peopleperson on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 3:39 PM 

    @yasir, i hope you were speaking for yourself and the voices in your head. more commonwealth scholarships!

  3. Hamyd on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 3:48 PM 

    The commonwealth fosters diversity: Aside from the UN, the Commonwealth is the only major international organization to unite a diverse range of developed and developing countries, covering nearly 30% of the world’s population: This makes it valuable in fostering dialogue on democracy and development, as well as a great deal of cultural and academic exchange. The Harare Declaration of 1991 committed the Commonwealth to principles of human rights and democratic government, and the Commonwealth has provided practical and moral support for states in transition from dictatorship or colonial rule. Nor is there a conflict between membership of the Commonwealth and of other major global organisations.Smaller, developing nations perhaps gain the most from the Commonwealth, which gives their voice greater prominence than it could achieve in the much larger, more polarised United Nations. They gain technical assistance on a range of development issues, a forum in which bilateral trade and investment deals can be negotiated in an atmosphere of goodwill, and practical help in maintaining permanent missions to the UN.
    The commonwealth is an important forum for dialogue between developed and developing (and misbehaving) nations: It may be true that the developed nations in the Commonwealth, such as Britain, are able to ignore the other members from time to time. Nonetheless, it acts as a forum for them to seriously commit attention and resources to the problems of the developing world and this in turn affects their actions in global bodies, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation. The real winners from the Commonwealth are the smallest and least developed nations, who can use its formal and informal channels to win bilateral trade deals, development assistance and support in international negotiations.

  4. Addu Dhonmaniku on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 4:13 PM 

    It is unwise to disengage from the international community whenever they point out our weaknesses or say something that we do not like to hear.This kind of kneejerk reaction is unhelpful and the deplomats at the foreign ministry need to be a bit careful in the choice of their language.Commonwealth is an organistaion not to be ignored and we are part of it.

  5. ila on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 4:19 PM 

    ofcourse dictatorial regimes do not need these institutions. heheh abaas adhil riza haha

  6. Aysha on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 4:22 PM 

    It is heart rendering to hear officials of the current regime trash democratic institutions like Commonwealth. This is typical of many a clandestine regimes that has failed in the eyes of the world – like Zimbabwe under Mugabe and Libya under late Gaddafi.
    I hope the also government realises that many of the valued tourists who actually make many of the current regime sponsors come from these countries.

  7. Hassan on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 4:41 PM 

    The government of the Coup, by the coup and for the coup don’t seem to give a s%^t about the Commonwealth because the later did not suck up to it.

  8. shafraz on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 4:48 PM 

    Mr. Riza, i can put my life on this bet that even completed you higher studies with the Aid of CW. so cut the crap bro. is the part where u dont want any one of us to study any further. well diplomatic relationships are one essential thing in a modern developing world. if CW find Maldives is unsafe to travel and high level risk involves in travelling, where would you put your bigBOSS GASIM bro. He dont own a oil refinery bro… so make sure u think twice before doing any f*****King STUPID BUSINESS WITH MY/OUR COUNTRY

  9. Fathin on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 4:59 PM 

    Sounds like MUGABE talk coming from current Regime.

  10. Richard on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 5:18 PM 

    Is that the cost we have to pay for the scholarship? if yes we don’t need it. Its an independent country and that means we take independent decisions. MDP=LTTE. Please go and form your Jaffna in an island

  11. Reform MDP NOW on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 5:24 PM 

    CW ALSO NEEDS TO BE AWARE OF THE FACT NON OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES INCLUDING MDP HAS INTERNAL DEMOCRACIES. ALL PARTIES INCLUDING MDP FLOWS A SO CALLED SUPREME LEADER (INCASE OF PPM ITS GAYOOM, MDP ITS NASHEED, DRP ITS THASMEEN) WHO CANNOT BE QUESTION OR HAS TO FOLLOW THE INTERNAL RULES AND REGULATIONS. WHEN THESE LEADERS SAY’S IT HAS TO HAPPEN EVEN IF ITS BREACHING THE VERY CONSTITUTION OF PARTY OR THE COUNTRY!! DR.WAHEED AND OTHER SMALL TIME PARTIES ARE EVEN WORSE..SO FIRST CW NEEDS TO WORK ON IT BEFORE ANY SUSTAINABLE REFORM IS TO TAKE A LASTING CHANGE!

  12. Indira NewDelhi on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 5:25 PM 

    After the criticism of the UN HR Commissioner Navi Pillay the commonwealth is now nagging you for early elections.
    Oh dear…..the decision to quit the commonwealth is going to absolutely devastate the organisation…..please, please, please Maldivians do reconsider your decision to leave…..the commonwealth really need big, strategically important, powerful, influential countries like the Maldives to survive.
    I am absolutely gutted.

  13. dhon kamana on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 5:28 PM 

    this is what happens in a disorganized regime where Dr. waheed as the puppet has to listen to varieties of advices and opinions. In the end something of this nature comes out from the spokesperson who in this context chose to ignore to take a diplomatic front. Who’s words is Adhil Riza voicing? in this case it is hard to tell but it can be concluded that this opinion from adhil riza might not be what the majority of the regime might want to voice. After all it is not Adhil riza who will be meeting the foreign delegates but the likes of Dr. Waheed or Dhunya. A huge mistake form adhil riza i bet. and more to come from this coup regime.

  14. desi on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 5:47 PM 

    this is what will happen even if there were trade sanctions. Dr waheed will say i dont care and would think that gasim, crown saleem, champaa, dim solih and Apollo drug dealer aahtey wil help this nation. wahyd dont you know they were behind this because they had to give a small percentage of their profit as tax. nothing else.

  15. Fact on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 6:25 PM 

    Abbas Adil is a clown! I am sure tht wasn’t his intention to say that… neither the position of the government. Maldives cannot afford to distance itself from international organizations and ‘foreign’ countries. It is too dependent on others!

  16. Baaru baarah ais ... on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 7:35 PM 

    MDP is going to stop tomorow’s parliamentray session. Is the Commonwealth going to say anything about it?

  17. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 8:31 PM 

    The Maldives will be the next Zimbabwe. I just couldn’t help laughing my head off when I read about Waheed’s spokesman threatening to withdraw the country from the Commonwealth. I had to re-read it just to sink the thought that the Maldives is threatening the Commonwealth!

    Go on, withdraw your membership! I dare you lot. What an idiotic statement from Mr Riza. Power must be a hedonistic drug. Being a tin pot, little podgy dictator of a banana republic must be the opium that Waheed needed. The buggers can’t see the wood for the trees!

  18. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 8:34 PM 

    The morons within MDP have decided to hijack the Parliament yet again. This is a huge miscalculation that will backfire on them very badly. Some idiots within MDP are hell bent on destroying the image of the party that a lot of people tried hard to bring about.

    My advice is this. Damaging your reputation will be very easy. Repairing that damage will be almost impossible. So decide which way you want to go. Disrespecting the Majlis is NOT upholding democracy; it shows the face of a party that wants to ram down its way, and ONLY its way. That can NEVER happen in a democracy.

  19. Joe of Burge on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 8:53 PM 

    I wish for peace in Maldives. May there be consensus to usher in a golden age for the archipelago.

  20. Rabe on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 8:59 PM 

    It seems the so called illegitimate government is digging deep to hold on the power, issuing empty threats which bears no weight for common wealth. Common wealth can trash Maldives, it is simple for them. We are stakeholder being a partner with common wealth. Qayoom’s daughter is in confusion to define reality separating illusion. She is living in the fourth dimension dreaming. Probably Qayoom has totally corrupted the minds of his children to a degree there is no come back to real world. If Common wealth has to engage with Maldives, their voice has to be of democratic principles, if they side with the current government supporting no election, wouldn’t it be siding with you? What is more legitimate is to call for election to legitimize the government, it not being biased it is the universal rule. Having the support of opposition does not legitimize current regime, isn’t not the fact the change of the government legitimacy is in question? And this Waheed is not holding his seat out of public approval by an election is not obvious? And what civil war is this lady talking, is it a new propaganda devised by qayoom leaving behind religion and peace slogan. Are you going to engage in a civil war in Maldives between Qayoom faction and Anni faction? We have no faction here in Maldives, may be Qayoom faction only. The rest are people of Maldives who are calling return to democracy.

  21. Ayya on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 10:01 PM 

    Abbas Adil Riza – “The government is concerned at the language that has been used by the Commonwealth [in the latest statement] and we condemn it. The foreign minister has conveyed this as well. If this language continues, we will look to consider our position [in the Commonwealth].”

    And I thought Juha was bad. This chap is a thousand times worse. No clue about how international community works. What a plonker.

  22. bryam on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 10:02 PM 

    While considering leaving the Commonwealth, maybe Maldives can also consider leaving the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the IMF and firmly relegate the country and people to a life of permanent poverty and ignorance. Oh yes, they can also join up with Boko Haram and reject western education since it is haram

  23. Ali on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 10:33 PM 

    Election means the end of Waheed. There is no way this man can ever be an elected President. So his only option is to remain and cling to his seat and be a puppet president. Waheed and his partners in coup are small people talking big.

  24. MS on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 11:15 PM 

    I am so convinced now that we are regressing instead of developing. How can we even think of discontinuing membership from the CW? Does this coup government think that CW will be scared of them for saying that? For sure that’s how they control the Maldivians but not everyone is helpless. Us Maldivian are but not the CW!

  25. Aisha on Sun, 18th Mar 2012 11:29 PM 

    They sure would lose in the election and if MDP gets to power, the coup would be investigated and many of them would end up in jail big time. so they r wiling to hold onto it no matter what.. ‘faividdhafa nethas’
    so stupid of them think dat ppl wud watch n wait an illegitimate governmnet

  26. Michael Fahmy on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 12:06 AM 

    I strogly believe that the Maldives has got to be expelled from the Commonwealth. The coup leaders are working against the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in the Maldives.

    The Commonwealth is the second largest international organisation in the world, second only to the United Nations.

    The origins of these two organisations, and their structures are very different.

    The Commonwealth is a more democratic organisation than the United Nations.

    The Commonwealth is also a more coherent organisation than the United Nations.

    Maldives will not be expelled from the UNO. But there is a good chance it will be expelled from the Commonwealth. A dictatorial regime like the one we have now may not care, and may even enjoy being thrown out of the Commonwealth.

    The Commonwealth stands for some basic values in the running of government. If these basic values of the Commonwealth are not acceptable to the current tourist-resort owner driven government, it will be better for both the Maldives and the Commonwealth to divorce. Say bye byeto each other.

  27. Jaiz Maathoda on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 1:33 AM 

    What if commonwealth 53 countries cuts Visa ?

  28. Fiza on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 2:09 AM 

    Commonwealth is relic of British Colonial Slavery and controlled by elite Zionist Neocons. The organization will try hard in favor of their globalist puppet Nasheed.

  29. ToxicT on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 2:43 AM 

    Yes, the following confirmed yet again: We have an illegitimate government using inept spokespeople, clinging to the illusion of importance. These confused folk are speaking for themselves, the usual banana republic tale of the rotten minority trying to control the rest. Hope they wake up soon before we join the list of international pariahs like Haiti, Zimbabwe etc (plus we would be a minute, mini pariah, of that there’s no doubt). Only the interested few buy the myth that this is a legitimate government. The only thing this regime is competent at, even remotely, is holding onto power (just as they were for those 30 wasted years).That is what they did and that is what they will do. The rest if just talk. If anyone thinks otherwise,they are fooling themselves.

  30. Shaneez on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 6:44 AM 

    Corruption and cronyism loves isolation. Corrupt regimes also loves extreme radical religion. The same formulae in the worst parts of Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan = keep 95% of the population in the dark and isolated and those in power can then help yourself to the economy, just like the bad old days again!in the Maldives!!

    Yasir – do you realise that when we see your name we know that your narrow minded, selfish and corrupt opinion will follow? You never disappoint!

  31. Radhun on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 8:59 AM 

    Real root of the problem is Nasheed and his followers. Nasheed has become a cult leader. He has become a maniac to our country may god show him mercy and rehabilitate him.

  32. Hussain Manik on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 10:44 AM 

    Mr.Riza and likes of Dhunya,Yaamin,Gaasim and Mauloof are correct. We dont need fxxxing CW or UN and bxxxxy intimidating Indians to interfere in our internal affairs even if we have to jail all the members od MDP as we in Maldives can survive without their assistance. The Adhalath Sheiks will secure a load of Camels from Middle esat and our Islanders will bring them to Maldives on sailing vessels. We shall go fishing with sailing boats and we shall grow bambukeyo and ala for our staple foods. Clothes may not be all that important as we can manage with only a loin cloth which will not be difficult to find with the yarns dished out by likes of VTV and DHI TV. As for perfume camel excreta is a perfect ingradient. We shall live happily ever after without much ambitions or desire for worldly material goodies and we shall show the world haw happy we can be if we return back to stone age.

  33. Ben Plewright on Mon, 19th Mar 2012 2:37 PM 

    @Michael Fahmy I really love the thoroughly reflective, deep nature of your comments, and I learn alot from reading all your comments, thankyou so much.

  34. Mohamed Rasheed on Wed, 21st Mar 2012 7:34 AM 

    Abbas Adhil Riza and the administration he represents does not represent me! They do not have a mandate from the people they claim to represent. They should realize that the Commonwealth will not just walk away when criticized by a questionable Government. I want Maldives to engage with the Commonwealth not to threaten it. Maldives need the support of International Organizations.

  35. Joh on Sat, 24th Mar 2012 4:14 PM 

    JUST CHANGE THE NAMES into maldives islands OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT< THIS IS WHATS HAPPENING IN MALDIVES.. ANNI & HIS FAMILY are well known terrorists in Maldives. he is a terrorist, his father is terrorist, his uncle is terrorist, his grand father is a terrorist. this are well documented cases here in Maldives. go and check all this bye urself;

    Between 6 and 10 August 2011, several London boroughs and districts of cities and towns across England suffered widespread rioting, looting and arson.

    The first night of rioting took place on 6 August 2011 after a peaceful protest in Tottenham, following the death of Mark Duggan, a local man from the area, who was shot dead by police on 4 August 2011.[12] Police failed to notify Duggan's family of his death and no senior police officer was available to meet the protest, creating anger at perceived disrespect. The immediate spark for violence was when large numbers of police arrived to disperse the demonstration and a 16-year old girl, who police claim was brandishing a bottle, was pushed and allegedly punched by several officers. Several clashes with police, along with the damage of police vehicles, magistrates' court, a double-decker bus, homes and businesses, began gaining attention from the media. Overnight, looting took place in Tottenham Hale Retail Park and nearby Wood Green.

    The following days saw similar scenes in other parts of London with the worst violence taking place in Hackney, Brixton, Chingford, Peckham, Enfield, Croydon, Ealing and East Ham. The city centre in Oxford Circus was also attacked.

    From 8 till 10 August, other cities in England including Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, along with several towns, saw what was described by the media as 'copycat violence'.

    The riots were characterised by rampant looting and arson attacks of unprecedented levels. As a result, British Prime Minister David Cameron returned early from his holiday in Italy and other government and opposition leaders also ended their holidays to attend to the matter. All police leave was cancelled and Parliament was recalled on 11 August to debate the situation.

    As of 15 August, about 3,100 people had been arrested, of whom more than 1,000 had been charged.[13] Arrests, charges and court proceedings continue. Initially, courts sat for extended hours. There were a total 3,443 crimes across London linked to the disorder.[14]

    Along with the five deaths, at least 16 others were injured as a direct result of related violent acts. An estimated £200 million worth of property damage was incurred, and local economic activity was significantly compromised.

    Police action was blamed for the initial riot, and the subsequent police reaction was criticised as being neither appropriate nor sufficiently effective. The riots have generated significant ongoing debate among political, social and academic figures about the causes and context in which they happened


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