President Mohamed Nasheed has congratulated party leaders of both the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) for putting national interest ahead of political differences.
Speaking during his weekly radio address, Nasheed said talks between the government and DRP to determine inhabited islands were going “very smoothly”. The review of the islands is necessary to comply with local elections law.
Nasheed also promised the Maldives would use its seat on the UN Human Rights Council – which is assumes on Sept 13 – to promote human rights in other countries and consolidate democracy and human rights in the Maldives.
The Maldives faces numerous domestic challenges to human rights, including what the government has previously described as a ‘culture of torture’ that persists in certain institutions, while the US State Department recently put the Maldives on a watch list for human trafficking.
Minivan News recently reported that the exploitation of Bangladeshi labourers rivals fishing as the Maldives’ second greatest export earner after tourism.
“[Human rights] were denied to Maldivians until recently. We will use the seat to consolidate democracy in the Maldives, and protect human rights in the Maldives,” Nasheed said.