Extension of emergency: Maldives says India's remark a 'distortion of facts'

ANI | Updated: Feb 22, 2018 21:11 IST

Male [Maldives], Feb 22 (ANI): Reacting to concerns raised by India over the extension of the State of Emergency in the Maldives, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Thursday said the assertion by the Government of India about the extension is a clear distortion of facts.

"The Government of Maldives takes note of the public statements issued by the Government of India that ignore the facts and ground realities with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives," the MoFA said in a statement.

"The assertion by the Government of India that the extension of the State of Emergency by the People's Majlis was unconstitutional is a clear distortion of facts, which ignore the Constitution and Laws of the Maldives," the statement added.

The Maldives emphasised that the country is going through a difficult period and urge the friends, allies and the international community to refrain from making such statements.

"There is no doubt that the Maldives is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in the history of the nation. It is therefore important that friends and partners in the international community, including India, refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation facing the country," the MoFA said.

"The Government of Maldives reiterates its firm commitment to work closely with the international community, including India, to address the concerns they might have," it added.

Earlier in the day, India's Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Ravish Kumar said that India did not see "any valid reason" for the extension of emergency in the Maldives.

"We continue to watch the situation and continue to urge the government of Maldives to release political prisoners, release Chief Justice, implementation Supreme Court orders and restore normal functioning of institutions of democracy," he added.

Kumar further said that it is India's sincere desire to see democracy in The Maldives is restored and situation returns to normal.

"This we feel is also the desire of the people of Maldives. We are dismayed the Maldives government has extended emergency for a further period of 30 days," he said.

On Tuesday, the Maldivian Parliament had approved the extension of the State of Emergency by 30 days, a day after President Abdulla Yameen sought the extension citing threat to national security and the constitutional crisis in the country.

However, the opposition leaders boycotted the session and called the extension illegal and unconstitutional.

The Maldives is facing political unrest since President Yameen imposed emergency after refusing to implement a Supreme Court order of freeing imprisoned opposition leaders.

On February 2, the Maldivian Supreme Court acquitted former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ordered the reinstatement of 12 other parliamentary members.

The political unrest in the country deepened further when the police used force to crack down on the Maldivian opposition leaders, who continued to hold anti-government protests. (ANI)