Adhaalath welcomes talks: Shaheem

Adhaalath Party chief spokesperson Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saaed today said the party would accept government requests for talks over “Defend Islam” protest planned for next Friday, December 23.

Shaheem claimed that the government’s lack interest in a dialogue has created negative tension around the protest, Haveeru reports.

“Adhaalath Party will always accept any requests made by the head of state to discuss a state affair. But the government has so far failed to hold such discussions and the failure of this forced the coalition partners of the ruling MDP [Maldivian Democratic Party] to abandon it,” Shaheem was quoted as saying.

Shaheem further said the protest aims to peacefully prevent the arrival of religions other than Islam in the Maldives, and not to invite the Shari’ah-based penalties of stoning, hand cutting and execution.

Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) this week announced plans to hold a counter-demonstration on December 23 against what appeared to be aggressive requests from Adhaalath at the time.

Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) is currently attempting a peaceful resolution of the dispute, reports Haveeru.

“We are concerned about losing the peace and harmony in the country. We are negotiating with the organisers of the religious protest and those who are planning to demonstrate against them,” commissioner Mariyam Azra told the local media.

The outcome of HRCM’s negotiations are expected to be released on Monday.