CMAG divided: Two hours of fighting before agreement on Maldives’ fate

A source close to the recent Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in New York has told Minivan News that severe divisions within the group regarding the Maldives’ status resulted in two hours of fierce debate before the wording of the final statement was agreed upon.

After discussing the meeting with three of the group’s delegations, the source revealed that it was the final paragraph regarding the Maldives’ situation which resulted what was described as prolonged “fighting”.

Paragraph 19 detailed the decision to “move consideration of Maldives in future to its agenda item ‘Matters of Interest to CMAG’”.

The reported divisions within the group shed further light upon the confusion which followed the release of the CMAG statement last week – five members were described as being “vehemently opposed” to removing the Maldives from its agenda.

“It was basically the Bangladeshi Chair versus the rest,” said the source.

After senior government figures as well as local media in the Maldives announced that the country had been removed from the agenda, CMAG member and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird released a statement declaring his satisfaction that the Maldives remained on the agenda.

Earlier this week, Commonwealth Spokesman Richard Uku, told Minivan News that the Maldives was off the formal agenda and would resume its seat at the next meeting which is scheduled for April.

One of eight members in CMAG, the Maldives was suspended from the group in February after being placed on its investigative agenda.

“Being under the ‘Matters of Interest’ category simply reflects CMAG’s wishes to remain positively engaged. It should not be considered as a negative or punitive measure, because it is not,” said Uku.

“CMAG recognised the outcome of the Commission of National Inquiry report, reflecting the Government’s legitimacy,” he continued. “It recognised that there is more work to be done to follow up the CONI report recommendations to strengthen institutions.”

The source gave their own opinion of the outcome based their discussions with those present.

“The Maldives has been moved from one part of the agenda to another,” said the source. “The key wording in paragraph 19 was that the Maldives will resume its seat in April ‘in the absence of any serious concerns’.”

The source was told that this caveat alludes to Waheed’s agreement to pardon all politicians currently under investigation after allowing legal proceedings against them to be quickly concluded – Waheed reportedly told the group he could not stop legal proceedings.

The paragraph also hints at an alleged commitment made by Waheed to follow through with the CNI’s recommendations including prosecutions in relation to well-documented police brutality.

It is alleged that two of the group’s ministers have promised to walk out of April’s meeting should Maldivian Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Samad Abdulla resume his seat without these agreements having been adhered to.

Insulting CMAG

The meeting had been preceded by intense lobbying from both government and opposition groups regarding the Maldives’ inclusion on CMAG’s investigative agenda, reserved for those suspected of violating the Commonwealth’s core values of human rights and democracy.

Prominent figures in the government had suggested that, after having its legitimacy seemingly validated by the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report, the country should walk away from the Commonwealth should it not be removed from the agenda.

President Waheed echoed these sentiments in a speech given before a meeting during the United Nations General Assembly days before the CMAG meeting.

During the speech, Waheed took aim at the certain “powerful international actors”, describing them as serving “small justice to small states”.

Conversely, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) argued that CMAG’s revised mandate provided it with a remit to look beyond questionable changes of government to persistent violations of core Commonwealth principles.

Last week Foreign Minister and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Dr Ahmed Shaheed had predicted that CMAG would only remove the Maldives from its agenda if guarantees of free and fair elections were given.

The informed told Minivan News that Waheed was “grilled” by the panel for around 75 minutes, at one point being told that he was insulting CMAG with his seemingly contradictory answers.

The frustration of the Canadian representative when asking Waheed about persecution of opposition politicians was made clear in the press release the following day.

“President Waheed offered no substantial defence of these questions, which is a telling response in itself,” he said.

The source reported that some in the panel had felt the government’s argument for removal from the agenda due to the negative publicity it generated was “stupid”.

Regarding the reported agreement to pardon those politicians convicted in order for them to participate in next year’s elections, the source expressed concern that CMAG ministers may still have been “duped”.

“Ministers are not aware of constitutional clauses saying one year must pass after the pardon [before being eligible for elected office],” said the source.

The President’s Office had hinted previously that Waheed may consider clemency in the case of former President Mohamed Nasheed who currently faces charges of illegally detaining a judge and defaming senior members of the current government.

Nasheed failed to appear at the start of his criminal court trial yesterday, defying a travel ban to sail to the southern atolls for electioneering purposes.

Last week Nasheed’s MDP announced it would refuse to observe the authority of the courts until the judiciary is reformed as recommended in the final CNI report.

President’s Office spokesman Masood Imad was asked to give a government reaction to these allegations but had not responded at time of press.


18 thoughts on “CMAG divided: Two hours of fighting before agreement on Maldives’ fate”

  1. i as a maldivian donot accept any law that was pass by the current parliment as well then.

    i donot have to answer to any court. i donot accept any law or court.

    can we justify these barberic statements? this is so funny MDP..

  2. Those Maldivians who love their country will not navel gaze in denial and insult others who express concern for what is going on in their country. Its far too easy to finger point at MDP for CMAG's legitimate need to stay true to its values. This organization is there to protect people like us, isn't it obvious. We need to stop calling others names and take a good hard look at ourselves first and then live with it if we can't do more.Enough is enough.

  3. Mr John Baird who you are to address about Maldives. you can't tell any thing about Maldives we are free and independent nation we have consitution to follow up everyone do something for your nation not us.keep quiet.

  4. My god, some of Nasheed's puppet-masters are all hot and bothered by the mire he dug himself into.

    Well go ahead and bully all you want. This country will elect who they want to the Presidency not Nasheed or any other person handpicked by dubious interests.

    All deal-making aside, everyone who lives in the tiny 2.5 sq. ft. landmass that is Male' knows Nasheed broke the law by arresting a judge outside the Constitution and established procedures.

    So there you have it.

    No amount of washing Nasheed white will make him a leader in this country any longer.

    Good luck.

    Apologize for the tone, but I am sincerely appalled at the behavior of some foreign interests who seem to be dead set on imposing Nasheed upon us.

  5. Actually the news is wrong. It was not Bangladesh vs the rest. It was Canada vs the rest if the sources are right.
    How can Bangladesh fight such powerful countries like Australia and Canada?
    Australia by all means supported Bangladesh to move Maldives and it was only Canada's insistence that the wording moved was used.
    Waheed never has the authority to stop any judiciary inquiries or sentences and if anyone thinks he has the power to do so is delusional. No President has that power in Maldives anymore.

    By the way why would Waheed have to pardon anyone since no one in the MDP recognises the courts in Male anymore?
    So there has to be a sentence for him to pardon.

  6. We the majority of Maldivian do not want the idiots like Nasheed to be our leader ever again and no foreigner can asked us to pick him.

    We have seen how this idiot rule this country and how he had drag us 50 years back wards.

  7. Same old sponsored commentators on his page protecting the corrupt old boy network!!!

  8. @hassanbe: you do not have a constitution in Maldives but a pile of dung that imitates prehistoric babble posing and as a constitution. Despite the foreign goods, foreign hotels and cell phones, Maldives is a backward sand spit floating in the Indian Ocean and ready to be washed away in future storms. When that happens and Maldivians eventually get to live in a democratically governed society then you will know what a constitution really is and how it works. As for John Baird - leave him alone. he is more righteous than any of the baghees now running Maldives.

  9. let us hope we don't have idiots like you leading us.

  10. @tsk tsk

    President Nasheed did not break the law in detaining the judge. He acted within the constitution, to protect the nations security.if he was tried in any court that was not controlled by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his mafia goons this would be the verdict.

    tsk tsk, tell me, how many more murderers, and other criminals have walked free from judge Abdullas court since he went back to the bench?

  11. Ppl in this small island nation are grossly covred in a magical illusion by these corrupt politicians. Be it PPM, MDP, DRP, JP, GP. Among them some varies on there tast and apparence, it's the same corruptive digestion procces for our people. We all need a permanent cure for this political illness.

  12. Rasheed, You think that the court that you opened in Tsunami Binaa is the correct court and Reeco is the best judge in this country.

    If abdulla Gaazee arrest was within the legal foundry , then whey did not Anni made a claim against him them.

    Anni is a Saint and he will never be able to make any mistake and we all need to pray him and bow our heads.

    We are not in a stone age and we know how arrogant this guy is and how keep on breaking the laws.

    Any out come from the court which are in favor of Anni is good anything which are not in favor of MDP or Anni is not acceptable.

    I have seen many times when court ruling came out in favor of MDP, Anni and MDP people had praised the outcome .

    I guess in this country, only the people to live has to be the supporters of Anni and rest should not be considered as Maldivian .

  13. I find the foreign minister of canada to be an arragont and dubious person. He said maldives was persecuting politicians. I want to ask him if he actually know where Maldives is located. I know he is been funded and fueled by the Jewish lobby to support their golden child nasheed who wanted the Eye of Gulhifalhu done for the Israelli firms

  14. @Rasheed:

    Go back to school - preferably one which teaches a basic crash course in fundamental freedoms and human rights.

    President Nasheed would have been justified in keeping a Maldivian citizen under detention for 22 days without a trial or a court warrant if this was North Korea.

    Justice Abdulla Mohamed is not a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his chest. He is a State Official. The charges against him was for statements he made to a radio station about the failure of government officials in producing suspects before court. The statements bordered on the political according to the JSC's interpretation. A formal hearing had never been held into these allegations.

    So that justifies Nasheed ordering the military to keep the man in isolation after dragging him out of his home in the dead of night?

    Screw your head back on right.

  15. tsk tsk is a psycho who is been paid by the Gang leader Yameen to incite propaganda within MDP. We the majority of Maldives wants our beloved president Anni back.

  16. I would rather be called man than be accused of hero worship and cultism.


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