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Page added on May 12, 2012

President Waheed meets Indian PM during official visit

President Waheed meets Indian PM during official visit thumbnail

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan continues his five-day official visit to India today upon the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Hindustan Times reports that the President has met with Prime Minister Singh, discussing the potential for early elections amongst other things. The same paper has also reported that Waheed will meet with President Pratibha Patil tonight.

Dr Waheed is travelling with a delegation that includes the Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdul Samad Adbullah, Minister of Finance Dr Abdullah Jihad, and Minister of Housing and Environment Dr Mohamed Muiz, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dhunya Maumoon, as well as the First Lady Madam Ilham Hussain.

The visit marks the first overseas trip for the President since he moved into the President’s Office on February 8. Before his departure from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport yesterday, Waheed said that the primary aim was to strengthen existing bilateral relations.

He claimed that the situation in the country was calming down after the unrest that had immediately followed the transfer of power.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), however continues to conduct regular protests challenging the legitimacy of the current government and demanding fresh presidential elections.

On Friday evening Waheed met with Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and briefed him on the current political situation in the Maldives.

Reporting on this meeting, the President’s Office said: “The Foreign Secretary said that India hopes to find a ‘Maldives solution’ for the situation. He further stated that India would always hope to see a peaceful and stable Maldives, and would provide its fullest cooperation and assistance in achieving such an environment in the Maldives.”

In an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI), reported by Daily News and Analysis, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon – and daughter of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – said that Waheed will work to dispel “untrue perceptions” given by former President Mohamed Nasheed, who visited India last month.

“Maldivian Presidents have always made their first trip abroad to India. And President Waheed is coming to India to… brief them directly about the political situation in Maldives,” Dunya is reported to have told PTI.

“I believe that India would respect our sovereignty and really does not play a role in the internal politics of the country which is why I find President’s Nasheed’s comments unacceptable”, she continued.

Former President Nasheed visited India last month, and also met with Prime Minister Singh. During his visit, Nasheed attempted to rally support amongst politicians, think tanks, and industry leaders, for early elections.

Nasheed told the Times of India: “We want more Indian assistance in bringing democracy back.”

Regarding the accusations of coup-conspiracy levelled against her father, former President Gayoom, Dunya said that Nasheed’s politics had always centred on attacking her father, claiming: “I believe he is using the same kind of argument to try and gain the support of his people”.

The presence of Finance Minister Jihad in the delegation was explained by President’s Spokesman Abbas Adil Riza, who told Minivan News that lobbying for the extension of long-term financial support through various aid mechanisms would form part of the group’s agenda.

The Finance Ministry this week revealed that the government’s budget deficit would reach 27 percent of GDP this year, following a 24 percent increase in government expenditure.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) mission chief in the Maldives, Jonathan Dunn, recently told Minivan News that, other than cutting expenditure and boosting revenue, obtaining foreign loans would be among the few options left to avoid the far more risky option of printing money.

Representatives of Waheed’s government have already travelled to India on official visits, with both Foreign Minister Dr Samad and Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim having visited in early April.

Since the unrest began, bilateral ties appear outwardly to have been unaffected. In March, India offered to replace police vehicles that flared in the unrest following the resignation of former President Mohamed Nasheed and joint naval exercises have been conducted between the two nations, alongside Sri Lanka, in April.

The Indian Foreign Secretary Mathai played a leading role in the initiation of the ‘all party roadmap’ talks which were intended to expedite the reconciliation of opposing political factions within the Maldives.

Indian brokerage of these talks, which included a commitment to early elections, came only days after India initially recognised the new government. Former President Nasheed later told Time magazine that he had been “shocked” by the speed of this decision.

The deadline set by the Commonwealth’s human rights watchdog, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), by which it hopes to see improvements in the impartiality and independence of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) passes next week.

“Further and stronger” measures against the Maldives have been threatened if the CNI, charged with investigating the events surrounding the presidential changeover, is not adequately reformed.

India is a member of the Commonwealth but does not currently sit on the eight member CMAG board of foreign ministers.

During the meeting with Nasheed last month, the MDP reported Prime Minister Singh as having great faith that the Indian-sponsored all-party talks between Maldivian political parties were the key to a resolution.

Unfortunately, these talks have continued to stall and are currently on hold while the Elections Commission investigates the recent change in leadership within the MDP.

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18 Comments on "President Waheed meets Indian PM during official visit"

  1. jameel on Sat, 12th May 2012 5:54 PM 

    A bit of selective reporting. Indian newspapers are saying that Manmohan Singh assured Waheed of strong Indian support to Maldives and the Foreign Secretary has accepted the early election dates called by Waheed.

  2. haifa on Sat, 12th May 2012 6:17 PM 

    Is she a total loon? She being Dunya Maumoon. Does she really think the leader of a country remains popular for 30 years. No democratic country has had the same leader for 30 years, nowhere near. She of course isn’t a loon, she’s just a liar.

  3. mode on Sat, 12th May 2012 6:41 PM 

    we are now having a democracy after removing Anni the dictator from the power.

    India is a regional power and does not need to obey the instruction from the dictators and they are much more advance in democracy and they are fully aware of what had happened prior 7th Feb. and after 7th Feb.

    India is not stupid to believe what Anni tells and it was not helping the country because of “Nasheed” and they were helping and they will help and assist to the nations and not for any particular person. India will and always will listen to the story from both side and will make a wise decision. Remember that India huge country and does not need to beg to Maldives and they will be able to make their own decision regardless of Anni actions.

    When you are in power , do not undermine the country like Anni , the dictator did.

  4. Maikaaloa on Sat, 12th May 2012 7:26 PM 

    Bye Bye Bodu Hulhu President, early election. India had agreed now for the early election date ie July 2013. NO EARLY ELECTIONS. Now start begging from CMAG for some assistance. They are the only people who listen to your crap. Nobody with a sane mind will believe your crap. Your version of resignation will change like the direction of wind. People of Maldives are not going to ever select you

  5. Mariyam on Sat, 12th May 2012 8:39 PM 

    “When you are in power , do not undermine the country like Anni , the dictator did.”

    Mode, how about the way Maumoon undermined the country for atleast 20 of his 30 years, if not all 30? And how about the way Dunya Maumoon’s presence in this trip is undermining the presence of the Foreign Minister? Why is her presence required when the Minister himself is present? As a spy for her old dad? I thought Dr Samad was someone like Dr Waheed whom we could all respect and who with his international experience would make great contributions to this country, but both these Drs with international experience have turned into traitors and puppets without any backbone. How pathetic!

  6. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Sat, 12th May 2012 10:42 PM 

    What an infuritating show of obesiance to our regional inferiors.

    Besides, the Indians are too busy devestating Kashmir and worshipping their four-armed Oogah-Boogah elelphant-Gods to be of any benefit to us.

  7. Gaand e rasool on Sat, 12th May 2012 11:29 PM 

    Why Dunya in cabinet at all. We don’t want Gayoom’s dynasty and shadow in this country. Any govt that accepts her is automatically corrupt.

  8. Ian on Sun, 13th May 2012 10:05 AM 

    Article taken from THE HINDU…

    President Waheed says he is committed to holding elections

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday expressed the hope that all shades of political opinion in Maldives would get together to find a way forward as President Mohamed Waheed expressed his deep commitment to democracy and conduct of elections.

    Mr. Waheed, who is on his first foreign visit since assuming power in a tumultuous political transition in February, held wide-ranging talks with Dr. Singh during which he briefed him on the current political situation in his country, official sources said here.

    The President also briefed Dr. Singh on the issues related to the National Commission of Inquiry set up by the Maldives government to look into what had transpired on February 7, 2012, when Mr. Waheed took over following Mohamed Nasheed’s resignation. Mr. Nasheed had later claimed that he was forced to quit the post.

    During the meeting, Dr. Singh assured Mr. Waheed of continued “strong Indian support” for the development of Maldives and said “peace and stability” in Maldives was important to India, the sources said.

    Reiterating commitment to long-standing friendship with India, Mr. Waheed emphasised continued adherence to all agreements, the sources said. He also thanked India for its support.

    Mr. Waheed said Maldives looked to India in learning democratic governance.

    President Waheed is expected to meet businessmen during his five-day visit to seek Indian investments in his country.

    Earlier, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna called on Mr. Waheed and discussed various aspects of bilateral relations.

    Mr. Waheed’s visit comes barely three weeks after his political rival and predecessor Mr. Nasheed came here to drum up support for his call for early presidential polls.

  9. mode on Sun, 13th May 2012 10:13 AM 

    Mariyam, I am not saying Maumoon was great and his 30 years never had problems. I am saying both the dictators need to be punished and need to put in jail if we can and then we will have a peace and stability in the country.

    During Maumoon era, many Maldivian believe that it is a sin to criticize Maumoon and we thought that he is inly the one who will know what is good for the country but we all were wrong .

    Same goes with Anni and we took him to a level we thought that Anni is only man who will know what is right and wrong and Allah, almighty have given supernatural power to him.

    Then again we are wrong and we all can think and will have ideas and consultation and exchanging ideas are the best for the community to flourish

  10. nazim on Sun, 13th May 2012 11:04 AM 

    Waheed is a bagee, laer, they will not hold an election during 2012 because they all knew people are not supporting them

  11. RespectDaFacts on Sun, 13th May 2012 12:46 PM 

    @ Dhivehi Hanguraama:

    Indians believe in giving mutual dignity and respect to others.

    Sadly, your behaviour and comments have become representative of your country.

    Your government is facing major losses, India is helping out.

    In major development initiatives over the last few years, including Tata buses for Maldivian citizens, vehicles for police, not to mention the thousands of Indians who work here and contribute their labour to the development.

    The right to respect and dignity has been earned through sweat and hard work many times over.

    It is the small mindedness and intolerance of your ilk that makes you incapable of gratitude.

    You are like a blindfolded madman with an axe in each hand, swinging it and intent on chopping of your own hands and legs and hurt anyone who may come close.

    Grow up, have some shame and conduct yourself like a human being.

    Sad disgusting way to live life, without contributing a single meaningful thing.

    You do nothing but evoke disgust and pity.

    Congratulations, prominent citizens of your country are behaving the same as you, and being treated as you deserve.

    You are nothing more than annoying buzzing fly to be waved away and ignored. It is an insult to even flies to use this analogy, even they are more intelligent than you.

    Luckily you are so prone to self destruction, no one has to do anything but watch you drown in your hate-filled garbage and filth.

    Good riddance.

  12. True Maldivian on Sun, 13th May 2012 3:41 PM 

    ‘Dhivehi Hanguraama’ is an extremist Athiest Who had collaborated with Minivan News in order to tarnish the image of Maldivians and Islam. Is it a responsible journalism to publish such a hate mongaring massages? I had read Minivan News’s guidlines for comments it also not allow such a hate mongaring comments. So Why are You posting this paticular person’s comments frequently which are completely absurd , offensive , racist and hate mongaring? However I have noticed you are very quick to remove any comments which are offensive to MDP or it’s inner circle which is a good thing you do, I agree it. But When it is islam or Maldivians your showing your double standard.

  13. Gaand e rasool on Sun, 13th May 2012 4:05 PM 

    There is something called freedom and expression and freedom of thought. That comes with true democracy. I commend Maldivian to publish all opinions how unpalatable they may be. No other Maldivian paper is publishing viewer comments to the extent like this one.

  14. Rationale on Sun, 13th May 2012 5:37 PM 

    Our non-Islamic Hindhu brothers …. Are we okay Imran ….

  15. Beyond the Grave on Sun, 13th May 2012 5:40 PM 

    Usually maiden voyage by the presidents of Maldives to India are ‘state visits’ a term that has grandeur(वैभव) meaning but pitfully Dr Waheed’s India visit is accorded the state of an ”official visit’.One could assume in reality
    Dr Whaeed has on this occasion been ‘summoned’ to answer some questions the government of Bhārata(भारत) has.

  16. True Maldivian on Sun, 13th May 2012 6:45 PM 

    @ gaade rasool. ‘ Freedom of expression’ should not be your Whims and evil desires and it should not be one sided. Even in what you called ‘True democracy ‘ it is not like What you said. For example in America and Europe , anti semetisms and anti semetic articles are not tolerated and are punished by goverment and law enforcement agencies which I think is a right thing they do. Just because you have big evil mouth you should not go on spreading lies, evil mischieves and disharmorney in the society and world , fueling ethnic and religious tensions. If you are a self respecting persion it you should observe some boundaries. Otherwise it will leads to an animalistic soceity. I never know any country with such a freedoms. ‘ Live and Let others live’.

  17. Ishvara Vibishana on Mon, 14th May 2012 1:50 AM 

    Dhivehi Hanguraama and your ilk, you will pay the price for harboring such attitudes.

    We are a generous nation and wish you well, but we are also a proud one, and would rather help countries that show more gratitude for our assistance.

    I know you Maldivians find this a difficult task but please refrain from insulting the Hindu culture and religion.

  18. Siyana Saleem on Sat, 19th May 2012 8:35 AM 

    @ True Maldivian

    I agree with you completely. All my comments addressed to Dhivehi Hanguraama and Indira NewDelhi who have nothing good to say about Maldives and Islam in general have all been deleted by Minivan News. I find that strange, unless these people are paid by Minivan News to write what they write to anger Maldivians and invoking hatred all over.


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