Updated  
February, 13 2012 11:38:42

Commonwealth mission set for to Maldives to probe crisis

MALE – The Commonwealth said on Sunday it would send a ministerial mission to the Maldives to probe the ousting of president Mohamed Nasheed as fresh clashes broke out in the streets of the capital Male.

The nine-member Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which deals with serious violations of the 54-nation bloc's political values, took the decision after an emergency telephone conference.

"CMAG agreed to constitute a ministerial mission which will visit Maldives urgently to ascertain the facts surrounding the transfer of power, and to promote adherence to Commonwealth values and principles," the Commonwealth Secretariat said in a statement issued in London.

Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed insists he was removed in a military-backed coup and on Sunday rejected a US call for compromise and the formation of a unity government.

Nasheed told supporters overnight in the capital Male he would press for snap elections rather than recommending his party consider a coalition with his former deputy, who succeeded him.

"We want an election and we will campaign for it," Nasheed told large, cheering crowds, who later dispersed peacefully.

Nasheed said his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) did not accept the new government as legitimate.

As evening fell on Sunday hundreds of Nasheed loyalists surrounded the National Majlis, or parliament, and clashed with police as they demanded the release of an MDP legislator arrested in the southernmost atoll of Addu.

Police dressed in full riot gear used pepper-spray on protesters to lift the siege on the parliament building, where 20 MDP law makers were petitioning the authorities about the arrest of their colleagues.

Nasheed was not among the protesters outside parliament, but earlier in the day he repeated accusations that the authorities were arresting MDP supporters and people linked to his administration.

The CMAG meeting urged the Maldives to respect "the Commonwealth's fundamental political values" including the rule of law, respect for human rights and constitutional democracy, the secretariat statement said.

Recognising the "impressive gains made by the Maldives in recent years in consolidating multi-party democracy" CMAG urged a democratic resolution to the turmoil.

"CMAG stressed that the way forward must be determined by Maldivians themselves, through inclusive political dialogue in an atmosphere of non-violence, restraint and stability," the statement said. afp

Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

Tan Son Nhat Airport on verge of overloading Tan Son Nhat Airport on verge of overloading

HCM City's Tan Son Nhat Airport will be stretched beyond capacity in the next two years, making construction of the new Long Thanh airport in Dong Nai Province more urgent than ever, experts warn.

BIDV teams up with Japanese banks to facilitate investment BIDV teams up with Japanese banks to facilitate investment

The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two Japanese banks, namely Minato Bank and the Bank of Yokohama (BOY).

Capital to host biotechnology fair Capital to host biotechnology fair

A three-day fair on technology and biological equipment will take place in the capital on October 21 organised by the National Agency for Science and Information Technology.

Rhino horn demand falls after campaign Rhino horn demand falls after campaign

Vietnamese demand for rhinoceros horns decreased by 38 per cent within a year after a campaign was launched against the practice.

My Lai survivor writes book My Lai survivor writes book

Pham Thanh Cong, 57, was one of only a dozen survivors of 1968's infamous My Lai massacre. More than four decades later, he has written a book about the mass murder, in which American soldiers killed 504 unarmed civilians.