“It was just a week ago that Maldivian President Dr Mohamed Waheed was in Colombo, meeting diplomats, businesspeople and the media on a mission to strengthen the existing friendly relations between Sri Lanka and the Maldives,” writes Lasanda Kurukulasuriya for Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times.
“The visit came just days ahead of the release of a report by a commission appointed to investigate the controversial circumstances in which he, as deputy to former president Mohamed Nasheed, assumed office as President of the Maldives in February.”
“The travel destinations of the Maldivian political leaders (past and present) point to their keen awareness of the geostrategic imperatives in the region. For the small Indian Ocean archipelago these considerations dictate that the support and goodwill of its close South Asian neighbours need to be maintained, whilst simultaneously fostering good relations with China.”
“President Waheed when he visited in May sought to reassure Delhi that ‘China will not replace India.’ But the Maldives, just like others, wants to develop trade links with the economic powerhouse.”