“Canada with others fought to keep Maldives on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group agenda, and we are glad it remains there,” said Canadian Foreign Minister and member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), John Baird.
“We will continue to focus on anti-democratic activities in the Maldives, especially in terms of police brutality, and intimidation of opposition parliamentarians,” said Baird in a statement released by the Canadian government.
“Canada is deeply troubled by the reported September 25 travel ban of former President Nasheed in Malé,” he added.
Baird’s statement evinces a level of confusion following CMAG’s decision yesterday to revoke the Maldives’ suspension from participation in the group’s affairs, whilst retaining it under the ‘matters of interest’ on its agenda.
Local media immediately ran with the headline “CMAG removes Maldives from official agenda” whilst the Home Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed tweeted, “Congratulating Maldives, CMAG has removed Maldives from its Agenda, it proves that the current government is for Rule of Law.”
Baird, present at yesterday’s meeting alongside President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, expressed his concern at Waheed’s response when he was asked “about the persecution of 19 Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) politicians and party officials.”
“President Waheed offered no substantial defence of these questions, which is a telling response in itself,” said Baird. “Canada finds the declining state of democratic values in the Maldives alarming and deeply troubling.”
“The recently adopted Commission of National Inquiry report has raised substantial concerns about the independence of the judiciary. That too causes Canada grave concern as we strive to assure independent open elections in the Maldives,” he added.
The MDP last week documented such instances of perceived harassment in a press release titled “Immunity Watch Maldives”.
The CMAG meeting coincided with a nationwide demonstration by Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in protest against Nasheed’s travel ban which the courts have defended as standard practice.
MDP spokesman Imthiyaz Fahmy told Minivan News that the 7,000 people marched around the island yesterday afternoon what he described as “one of the biggest [protests] in recent times.”
He stated that there had been no confrontations with police, a fact confirmed by Police Spokesman Sub–Inspector Hassan Haneef who confirmed that there had been no arrests.
At the MDP’s National Executive Council, local media reported former Minister of Housing Mohamed Aslam as saying that Nasheed would not comply with the court-issued travel ban following the party’s decision to reject the authority of the courts.
“We are prepared to do the necessary to get him onboard. We are willing to sacrifice, to ensure that Nasheed does not lose his presidential candidacy. We will not give in. We are prepared follow Nasheed to prison,” Aslam is reported as saying.
Nasheed’s legal team expressed its deep concerns over the legality of the court’s procedures regarding Nasheed’s multiple trials regarding defamation of cabinet ministers and the detention of Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Nasheed was scheduled to travel to the Southern atolls as part of his campaign for the constitutionally mandated elections in 12 months time.
Imthiyaz confirmed that Nasheed would be travelling with the party on Monday although he was unsure as to whether the former president would be in court tomorrow for the first of his two defamation cases.
Nasheed had previously requested that the criminal case regarding Abdulla Mohamed be expedited and was reported as being keen to have his day in court.
Baird’s statement pledged Canada’s intention to “forcefully” raise its concerns at subsequent CMAG meetings in order to ensure the Commonwealth’s values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law are not violated.
CMAG’s power to protect these values was strengthened during a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) in Perth in 2009.
During a speech made during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) earlier this week, President Waheed made aimed a thinly veiled attack at the Commonwealth, questioning the 54-member organisation’s commitment to equity and the rule of law.
Previous expressions of concern regarding politicisation of the legal process made by Baird at the beginning of August were condemned by the Maldivian government as “one-sided” and “misleading”.
45 thoughts on “Canadian Foreign Minister “glad that Maldives remains on CMAG agenda””
We love Caneda. Thank you.
These are the pompous normative statements of a young man all too eager to embrace the revolutionary rhetoric and naive idealism of someone like Nasheed. But does he properly understand anything?
Mr. John Baird would do well to spend time under the tutelage of someone who understands the nuances of international law and concepts such as sovereignty, which are paramount to the practice of responsible diplomancy.
With more time and experience I am sure he will one day make a fine statesman.
I also want to say thank you to Canada for showing in action that they do care about democracy.
I find this man rather "awkward and comical".
Governments normally deal with governments in the course of bilateral relations. It is rare to find a foreign government openly and actively advocating on behalf of a set of specific political interests. Also, the Canadian Foreign Minister's criticism of our Constitution and the laws enacted by our Parliament and the procedures adopted by the judiciary under those laws is an encroachment on Maldivian sovereignty.
Of course, we do not have the strength to protest too loudly about it. Yet the world will stand witness to the fact that an elected government in Canada has bypassed all the norms followed in international law in order to protect a political ally in another country.
Baird also seems to either be ill-informed or willfully ignorant of the facts as they stand.
- Nasheed was implicated in the crime of unlawfully arresting a Maldivian citizen serving as a Judge by the Human Rights Commission of Maldives which is a statutory institution independent of the government.
- Nasheed was charged under s 81 of our Penal Code by the independent Prosecutor -General based on the findings of the independent HRCM.
- The PG's case was accepted by the judiciary which is once again independent of the Executive.
- The judiciary then issued an order restricting Nasheed's freedom of movement within the capital city of Male until the court reaches a verdict in the case against him.
In one fell swoop the Canadian Foreign Minister has either deliberately or rather, ignorantly;
- Accused the HRCM, PG and judiciary of not being independent of the government.
- Failed to provide any evidence for this assertion.
- Questioned the legal basis of a court order issued under the Maldivian laws.
Hats off to Canadian FM!
That image of the Canadian foreign was take on August 7th 2010 and has nothing to do with the Maldives. I have since found it on 35 other websites to describe over 25 separate incidents. It just goes to show that EVERY THING is fake in the Maldives.
I am not at all dis agreeing that the Maldivian people have been ripped off by this fake current Gov, if you want credibility as a news source, get it right please.
Hon. John Baird has given hope to us that the international community has not abandoned us totally. Hats off to Canada.
Gayoom and Nasheed must be sent behind bars. Nasheed cant govern a Nation,cause he could not manage Maysthiree Work Shop as well.
Thank you Canada
On behalf of the people who are fighting for democracy in the maldives I thank the countries who fought to keep Maldives in CMAG agenda,
thank you for the countries and the ministers who fought to keep us in the CMAG agenda.
GO Canada. No to Ugly Dictators. Ure just simply Ugly Mr.Waheed.
tsk tsk, I always read your comments with interest and you often make sensible points but do you honestly believe these institutions are independent from the executive? If so, you are one of the very few.
It would appear that Foreign Minister Baird has not done himself justice. He is reported to have said …. “We will continue to focus on anti-democratic activities in the Maldives, especially in terms of police brutality, and intimidation of opposition parliamentarians,”
It would appear his interests in Democracy in the Maldivian are skewed. Where were the concerns of the minister when under President Nasheed, Political leaders who were MP’s were arrested without due process? Where were the concerns for democracy in Maldives expressed by this foreign minister when President Nasheed sent the military to drag a sitting judge from his home in the middle of the night before his frightened wife and terrified children? Where was the Ministers concern for democracy in Maldives when President Nasheed ignored all the higher courts including the supreme courts?
Where was this foreign ministers concern when President Nasheed resorted to bribery and corruption to get his way in Parliament? Where oh where was this night in shining armour of democracy when President let loose his party’s thugs on the opposition? Where was the foreign ministers concern when President Nasheed tried to suppress opposition demonstrations?
John Baird does not realize that the people of this country would appreciate any lessons, any help rendered to them to enable them to live under the rule of law, in a democracy. This was so much in evidence in the sittings and workings of the CoNI report. Can you blame Maldivians that the least that they expect from people who choose to advice them is that they at least inform themselves of what they are talking about?
In this case isn’t the good teacher exposing himself to his eager & willing students saying to him? …..
“SIR! PLEASE PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH”.
It would appear that Maldivians now mean business now that Democracy is here to stay. President Nasheed tried to roll back the democratic reforms introduced by President Gayoom and paid the prize for it.
Great.. Thank you Canada...
Thank you, John Baird; Thank you Canada. Now if only you would do something more concrete - like cutting off aid to Maldives, or delaying internationally-funded loans that serve to prop up this illegal and brutally incompetent bunch of bhagees in Maldives.
Tsk tsk, the fact is that those statutory independent institutions you claim are not independent. These institutions are controlled by former dictator Gayyoom and his allies. You may be very happy and try to hide the facts behind the so called 'independent' institutions. In the past Gayyoom was successful in hiding the truth but not any more. The international community is well aware of what is happening in Maldives. During last 15 years of Gayyoom presidency it was Nasheed who opposed him and challenged him. Wonder any one knows how many times Nasheed was jailed during this time. No one can hide the truth.
Baird is duped... sorry for the man.
Thank you so much, FM John Baired for your concern over the critical and dangerous situations that a small island nation, the Maldivian people are victimized by a leader who they believe working for his own benefits - remaining silent for the sake of sitting on the Presidential chair which he was thirsty for since he became the Vice President in 2008
Charges of violation of the Constitution must be pressed against Dr Manik as well for his part in the conspiracy to stage the coup that brought the elected government down and for taking over the elected office by force without an election.
The Constitution under Article 20 on Equality says, "Every individual is equal before and under the law, and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law".
Thanks Canada, bagees think they can spin everything and anything.
thank you for the Canada. once again, for Canada lol
When you read the statment issued by CMAG after its meeting it is very clear that Maldives is still on its agenda. Agenda is defined in simple english as "A list or program of things to be done or considered" According to the statement Maldives will still be considered by CMAG. How you say when Maldives is removed from its agenda when it is being continued to by considered and monitored by CMAG. May be Baaghee waheed was as Anni would say in one his "moments" when he delivered that victory speech.
"Ministers noted the Report’s conclusion that the change of President in the Republic of Maldives on 7 February 2012 was LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL".
"Ministers looked forward to Maldives’ resumption of FULL participation at CMAG’s next meeting, in the absence of any serious concern"
For clarification on this matter please refer to this article on local online daily Haveeru.
Maldives is now off CMAG's official agenda and only remains as a "Matter of Interest" which means that CMAG will be engaging with the government in a positive manner to implement actions recommended in the CoNI report.
The important thing is that the Maldives' suspension from CMAG has now been revoked and that the Maldives will sit at the next meeting of CMAG.
What this means is that the Waheed administration is clearly off the hook with regards to the serious accusations which led to Maldives inclusion on CMAG's agenda. Also now the Maldivian Foreign Minister will be able to work with CMAG.
Another tremendous change is that following CMAG's decision to accept the findings in the CoNI report and take back their support for Nasheed's accusations of a coup, foreign lending institutions and governments will no longer be reluctant to deal with the current government.
As for questions directed to me about whether I believe independent institutions in the Maldives are completely independent, my answer is that in law they are.
In all countries and in all jurisdictions, independence in law is the vital foundation based on which the democratic credentials of a country are measured. What remains is for State institutions to ensure that this independence in law is ensured by practice. In all countries there are instances when the independence of institutions are threatened.
For example, in the Maldives the judiciary was threatened by government intrusion when the Nasheed regime used military force to seize the Supreme Court and place the judiciary under the control of a Commission formed under Presidential decree. Ex-President Mohamed Nasheed now stands accused of ordering the Nasheed-regime's arrest of a senior judge.
However these attempts were thwarted through local and international pressure.
As for allegations based upon personal relationships and personalities, these are of an anecdotal nature and unless and until a case of undue influence is supported with substantial evidence, then yes those institutions are more or less independent. We must support them in order to uphold and strengthen that independence.
For clarity's sake, the following are examples of what cannot be considered evidence of influence in a civilized society:
- Reeko Moosa said the courts are not independent.
- Anni said the judges are all douchebags.
- This judge is related to Maumoon's wife's counsin's mother-in-law.
- That judge was appointed by Qayyoom.
- This judge and that politician are both from Thuraakunu.
Tsk tsk, a lecture from you about fairness and civilisation is a bit rich!! atter all, you are part of this regimehat used bullets to gain office and not the ballot box.
Thank you Canada and Baird.. "when good men do nothing, evil flourishes"
Thank you Baird for saving democracy on our little nation. You are a strong, good man.
The Zionist regime of Stephen Harper, and his minister John Baird, follows a foreign policy which is identical in almost all respects to that of Bibi Netanyahu and his right wing Likud party.
Whatever the Canadian regime thinks about Maldives should be ignored by any intelligent people.
Tsk tsk the spin doctor for a non-elected government.
In order to sit on as a valid member of a judicary you first have to be qualified in that field at the highest level, not f***ing related to the people who appear before your court.
It's called a conflict of interests or in the Maldives acceptable corruption.
Does it really matter if Maldives is on an agenda or not? The fact of the matter is, organizations like the Commonwealth choose realpolitik over truth and justice. It does not matter really what is right, as long as they don't have another Somalia on their hands. Can't blame them though.
these MDP thugs will only want to hear and believe what is in favor of them . Anything against them will be biased and fake.
Like Anni said when he was in power, he will show his evil side to those who does not believe and agree with him and those who are not member of MDP will be left alone.
I am not surprised that some MDP members comments here and it is obvious that they do not have the ability digest anythings against him like thier cult leader Anni.
Guy, majority of Maldivian do not want Anni any longer and it is showing all the election that we had since 7th Feb. and 80% of the elections were won by others not MDP. This speaks the truth and this shows that people do not want Anni.
minister Baird seems to be really concerned...hope word would translate to actions. BAIRD A FRIEND OF THE MALDIVIAN PEOPLE!
Infortunately Maldives still remail on "Giyaamaiy dhvahuge Agenda". Dr. Imran better explain it to the 23rd coalition.
Well it seems that Baird has got egg on his face now.
Commonwealth has come out officially through their Director of Communications and said that Maldives is off the Formal Agenda. I guess he should know more since he speaks on behalf of the Commonwealth.
As for Baird, he only speaks for Canada.
But do all of the MDP want the right to practice other religions in Maldives? If so yes go with these kind of foreign supporters.
Baird ? His pictures speaks itself and show how intolerant he can be?
Baird, where were you when Anni was ruling this country as a dictator ?
Where was you when Anni locked the supreme court ?
Where the hell you were when he arrested the senior politician without any legal ground ?
Where were you when Anni order to take water cannon and use them at the civilian without any defense at the stelco ?
These are few things that need to remember and why these idiot never concerned at that time.
Baird, no matter how hard thou tried and you will never succeed in changing our constitution to give a way for secular state.
Baird, you are losing your credibility in the vary people of this world in telling lies . I wonder what benefit you are going to get.
Baird you should know that majority prevails in a democracy and majority of Maldivian do not want idiots like Anni to be our leader again.
A mad man on the loose
No wonder for someone who said that he is going to replace "Accountability with corruption" woops! Watch the video www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBFBp0VyEB4
Thank you Canada. We the ordinary Maldivians appreciate your effort to make Maldives a safe place for us to live. The corruption and bullying in this country is unbearable. It's hard to understand what is law and order in this country. The country is in total chaos governed by power hungry bunch of idiots. They are abusing this country's little resources and the ordinary people are suffering. We hope that your efforts will get us out of this misery.
yeah MDP Ali Waheed's clone
Tsk tsk, Maldives can attend next CMAG meeting only 'in the absence of serious concerns'. A tough condition for Waheed's government. Meaning politically motivated charges to be droped. If Waheed want to attend he shall abide these conditions.
We have this abhorrent idea that all white people have higher intelligence, knows everything better, should be treated first...etc.
This proves that there are idiots among the whites too.
why does he act so aggressive?
John Baird is a great man! His love of the Maldives is almost unbelievable! But the more I read about him the more I see he is afraid of nothing. As Canada's Foreign Minister he has made the rest of the world fear and respect his country, like a true superpower!
It is like the other many strong positions this man takes in his work, mastering and dominating all his rivals. He will come out on top in any situation, I am quite sure.
I am sure that Mrs Baird must be very proud of her husband! Mr and Mrs Baird, you must come visit here once Waheed is gone, and bring your beautiful children, you will all be welcome!
baird even if he visit this country now no one is going to stop him and usual Maldivian hospitality will be extended.
But he will also be remembered as a supporter of the traitor Anni and as a person who had been trying very hard to bring religious freedom in this country without considering majority of our people.
He will be known for your year as a person who had no ethical ground when come in lying to the public.
He is a big lier.
The movements of no leader of the opposition should be restricted by appointed judges in a true democracy. I think tsk tsk talks like a representative of the judiciary. He uses legal arguments against the government that has been ousted but if the judiciary is tainted. as it clearly is, these arguments are merely circular, nothing more than a fallacy. It's all smokescreens and mirrors. The Maldives is not a democracy if it restricts the opposition - by whatever means it can -(an untainted judiciary would refuse to do this). The Maldives is a dictatorship and judges are being used as tools to support this dictatorship - pure and simple - even if it's trying to pretend otherwise. My guess is tsk tsk knows this but he is making so much money from the government that he doesn't care.
This guy is gay..
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