South Asia: Maldives on High Alert

 


Security in Maldives, a tiny island nation in South Asia which is under the perpetual threat of submersion in Indian Ocean owing to fast and dangerous climate change, has been beefed up and police have called for calm as a precautionary measure  to ease the political situation ahead of ahead of the release of a report into this year's transfer of power from ex-Maldivian Mohamed Nasheed to Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik. Several hundred supporters of Nasheed have held rallies in the capital, Male. The report is set to rule on whether Nasheed was forced from power in February in a coup or not - which seems to be irrelevant. Nasheed, the country's first democratic president, claims he was forced to quit in February under duress after soldiers and police mutinied in the capital, Male.Earlier, Nasheed's  representative quit the panel, saying the results were biased and incomplete..

The Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry was appointed to look into the circumstances that led to the crisis in the tropical resort group of islands on February 7 when Nasheed said he was asked to resign at gunpoint. Nasheed's supporters said the report would be biased against them.

Nasheed called on his supporters and the army to topple the government ahead of the release of a report today into this year's transfer of power on the Indian Ocean islands that Nasheed labelled a coup. Speaking to thousands of supporters late on Wednesday in the capital Male, where members of his former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party had gathered, Nasheed called on the public, the army and police to take to the streets.

Maldives where Islam was introduced in 12th century, had been under the Portuguese Dutch and British occupations from 16th to 19th centuries. In1978 Maumoon Abd al-Gayoom becomes president of Maldives by replacing Nasir.  In 2002 March, concern over the Maldives' vulnerability to rising sea levels prompted government to announce decision to take legal action against US for refusing to sign Kyoto Protocol. Gayoom ruled the island up to 2008 when Nasheed replaced him through polls. In October the opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed defeated President Gayoom in second round of voting, inaugurated as president in November 2008.  As President Nasheed said in March 2009 that the Maldives will become carbon-neutral within a decade by switching completely to renewable energy sources.

Nasheed, a reformist who spent years in jail or under house arrest, came to power in 2008 after beating long-time President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the country's first ever polls, but pursued the Gayoom's policies in this Island nation where tourism related  occupations bring a lot of income to the state. Nasheed's successor, Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, who had been serving as his vice-president, insists that Nasheed left of his own accord after opposition-led protests and the former president just bluffs to earn foreign sympathy. The situation not just in Male but in other parts of the Maldives, too, is tense. Police have said they will not allow any unrest and have been carrying out searches on people on the streets and those arriving on boats to Male, according to local media.

A Muslim nation has been suffering on many accounts, including lack of due attention to  follow Islamic law for the benefit of the people of the Island. Since none of the present Muslim nation is quite sincere in Islamizing  the society with full dedication, Male also perhaps thought not to "overdo" anything that would offend the enemy of Islam. Nasheed had not made any sincere effort to change the system to implement proper laws to promote genuine interests of common people as bulks of them are suffering from malnutrition and diseases.

The Maldives government has tightened security in the capital Male, fearing unrest. However, it looks Nasheed has no chances of returning to power, the protests notwithstanding.It would be beneficial to the nation if Nasheed positively contribute to the nation's Islamic progress in stead of  trying to  harm the people by any power struggle.

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