CMAG will not remove Maldives from agenda without guarantees: Dr Shaheed

“If the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) agrees to remove the Maldives from its agenda – and it’s a big ‘if’ – it will be based on guarantees of free and fair elections next year in which Nasheed could participate,“ said former Foreign Minister and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Dr Ahmed Shaheed.

Shaheed explained that he had been in contact with a number of ministerial delegations from the group, receiving assurances that the Maldives would not be removed from the agenda without “very good assurances” that human rights norms would be adhered to.

Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has today said that any direct conditions set by CMAG could infringe upon the sovereignty of the Maldives, telling Minivan News that nothing along these lines had been conveyed to the government by CMAG.

After the release of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) ruled that February’s transfer of power was constitutional, prominent members of the government have argued that the country be removed from CMAG’s investigative agenda.

Conversely, members of the now-opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have been lobbying for the Maldives to stay on the group’s agenda, arguing that questions still remain over the country’s ability to adequately observe the values of the Commonwealth.

This campaigning has taken former President – and current MDP presidential nominee – Mohamed Nasheed, to the UK this week, where he met with Foreign Secretary William Hague and asked him to back calls to ensure continued Commonwealth oversight of the Maldives.

“We want to be on someone’s agenda until the elections are through. That’s what we’re trying to do now. I have known William Hague for some time. I know they have difficulties as a government. They have to take on board everything and give proper consideration to the regional sensibilities of British intervention in the Maldives,” the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported Nasheed as saying.

“But we feel now that they have an avenue to help the Maldives through the Commonwealth. What we are asking for is not the sun, the moon and the stars. What we are asking for is very natural and it can be done.”

Nasheed also spoke at the Royal Commonwealth Society on Wednesday, where he pushed for the Maldives to remain on the CMAG agenda, despite the CNI report’s findings.

“I am not for one second suggesting the transfer [of power] was legal… but we don’t have to go there to keep us on the CMAG agenda,” he continued, arguing that the persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s values was ample grounds to keep the country on the CMAG agenda, according to its revised mandate.

Jameel remained confident, however, that CMAG’s role in the this year’s political crisis ended with the CNI’s legitimisation of the current government: “We do not believe that CMAG will take any steps to exceed its mandate as it exercises a defined function.”

Shaheed’s comments regarding Nasheed’s ability to run in next year’s elections come as the government continues to pursue him through the courts, with prominent politicians stating a desire to see the former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience back behind bars.

On Wednesday evening, Nasheed acknowledged his fears of returning to prison.

“I don’t want to be there but we have to face reality of consequences and I don’t see the international community as robust enough to stop that happening – this is very sad… I might not be with you for the next few years but, rest assured, we will come back and democracy will reign in the Maldives again.”

Jameel today argued CMAG could not override domestic legal proceedings.

“The people have decided the criminal justice system of the Maldives. So no foreign party has the authority to dictate or ask to revise that process,” he told Haveeru, referring to charges against Nasheed in relation to the detention of Judge Abdullah Mohamed in January this year.

During his time in London, Nasheed also met with Richard Ottaway MP – Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Alistair Burt MP – Parliamentary under-secretary of state at the FCO as well as MPs John Glen MP, Mark Menzies, and Karen Lumley.

A Spokesperson from John Glen’s office said that discussions had included the Commonwealth’s procedures in such cases as well as Britain’s role in dealing with the CNI report.

Dr. Shaheed spoke to Minivan News from London just before boarding a plane to New York, where he will be lecturing on human rights.

He has recently accepted a position at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom as visiting professor of human rights practice for the coming academic year. He will continue his work for the United Nations.

President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan also left for the United States yesterday morning, where he will reportedly be attending the next meeting of CMAG on September 28, at which a decision on the removal of the country from the agenda is expected to be made.

Waheed will also be attending the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which opened last Tuesday.

Despite the Commonwealth Secretariat being based in London, for logistical reasons CMAG also meets annually in New York alongside the UNGA.

The previous teleconference meeting, earlier this month, was expected to produce a decision on whether to remove the Maldives from the agenda.

After an inquiry as to why no decision was made at the teleconference, following local media reporting technical problems, the MDP was informed that the CMAG ministers preferred to conclude such discussions face to face.

Shaheed suggested that Waheed’s attendance at the meeting could be taken advantage of by CMAG members to “wrest concessions” from the president.

He added that sending the president himself was a far better idea than sending other members of his cabinet who had “waged war” on CMAG.

No spokesperson from the President’s Office was responding to calls at time of press.


23 thoughts on “CMAG will not remove Maldives from agenda without guarantees: Dr Shaheed”

  1. I think CMAG should keep Maldives on their agenda.
    I do not want them to dictate what we should do and what we should not do.
    I also do not want them them to dictate who can be tried and who cannot be tried under Maldivian law.
    CMAG can do what they want.
    We should not budge to satisfy someone else's need.

  2. Maldives is not a colony anymore. We don't need to listen to this hyprocritic foreigners. Human Rights ?? Tell that to the UK - I think the people in Iraq and the daily drone killing victims in Afganistan will have a very different view of these rights. Let's resign from the Commonwealth and keep our dignity. The power is shifting, my friend, from west to east - China and India will rule this century. Change, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

  3. All arrested detainees in Dhoonidhoo are going to contest in the upcoming presidential election. Therefor, all those people shall be released, because gov should not intervene them from contesting in election.

  4. If CMAG want to keep Maldives in thier agenda , this show how biased they are and their credibility will be questioned.

    This will also proves that CMAG only wants to protect the rights of Anni and not the majority of Maldives.

  5. Change is blowing in the wind.

    But from where is it blowing from Dr. Shaheed? Not from his mouth, when he belives that Commonwealth has the legitimacy to violate the Maldives laws.

    Besides, why would Commonwealth seek exemption from law to one individual not everyone imprisoned.

    Is the CMAG the alternative judiciary of Maldives - under the control of Anni

  6. Yes CMAG should then intervene to prevent to the State from taking action against any member of the security forces who used excessive force to control riots between January and March this year.

    CMAG should also pressure the Maldivian State not to conduct trials against any debtor in the Maldives. We would all like that as well won't we?

    I also promise to contest the 2013 and 2018 Presidential elections if CMAG can get me immunity from all civil and criminal proceedings for the next 6 years?

    Can CMAG do that for me? Can Shaheed have that arranged? Do let us know.

  7. The transfer of power is illegal,your may listen to Dr.Coup leader,s first press conference,He gave after taking office

    He meant about the lower command been given. I my self was there when 4 officers got down from jeep and ask the police to leave the place go and sit down at Republican square.

    They will be paid and the rest will be settle letter and this command come from Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik and the constitution does not allow for Vice President to give any command,Its "Unconstitutional.

    " Dr. Waheed has to step-down from office and give Malidiven en election.

    WE don't want a police state or en unelected government. Saying that this democracy,All I know is democracy,s Chapter 1.(A)En elected government.

  8. @Patriot

    You really know sweet FA about the CMAG or your history. The UK is only 1 voice amongst 54 member states of the CMAG.

    Maldives was never a colony, it was a protectorate of the Commomwealth, 2 different things altogether.

    India is part of the CMAG.

    Not only is the change of wind blowing, it's also whistling through the place where your brain should be.

  9. "Not only is the change of wind blowing, it’s also whistling through the place where your brain should be".

    Could not say it better, good to know there is people in the Maldives that still have a brain !

  10. who cares about CMAG, why dont you guys give protection to the traitor and his zombies, we don't need them any more as we have given enough chances to them. one more thing.. i wonder who gave all those authorities to Dr. shaheed to publish statements about CMAG. whether they want or not Nasheed will be taken to the court of law and will be punished if he has done something against the law of Maldives. this is very sure..

  11. Gayoom is going to be pissed when Dunya tells him the foreigners are still interfering in Maldivian affairs. They already said they would quit the commonwealth if they are not removed from the agenda.

    Disgusting we must allow allow the criminal baghee Waheed into America.

    Love to see him debate Anni at the UN.

  12. Anni is a traitor and he need to be put behind the bar now.

    This idiot is spearing his lies across the word thinking he can come back to power again.

    I doubt that majority will ever consider him to be a president of this nation and he can be the president of kenereege not Maldives.

    Go to hell and be the president there .

  13. Patriot on Sat, 22nd Sep 2012 6:53 PM!
    That was cheap and you seem to have been rewarded for your ignorance of common facts!

    Probably, Maldives may or may not be removed from the CMAG agenda! Who knows?
    But my belief is, CMAG should not be removing Maldives from their agenda if they are true to what the Commonwealth of Nations believe!

  14. CMAG.. the dictator imperialised and protected nations, common wealth. if hitler did not bombard the UK, these colonies still and will be under the dictator queen elizabath. She has blood on hand of millions. England did not willingly give independence to nations, the nations fought. British army was incapable to fight many wars when their nation was fighting in the front line with Hitler. Hitler showed how brutal the imperialization was to dictator elizabath.

  15. CMAG only reinforces the anti patriot view of MDP.

    If MDP wants to win hearts and minds of Maldivians, it has a big problem of clearing the traitor image. And Shaheed is certainly undermining MDPs credibility.

    He is well known for this kind of work.

  16. Maldivian Patroit on Sun, 23rd Sep 2012 3:50 PM

    Queen Elizabeth did not come to the throne until 1952. Quiet a few years after countries broke away from the Commonwealth. India 1947 for instance. Secondly many countries have joined the commonwealth since the days of the Empire so how do you quantify your statement of blood on her hands?

  17. Mody, you are "a traitor and" you "need to be put behind the bar now”.
    For all the lies you speak, the hatred you hope to spawn with your lies against the only leader who stood for the common citizen.
    I cannot believe that you can claim to be a Muslim and write what you write. Look at the venom that comes out of your hand. Have you no fear of Allah? You are "spearing your lies across the word thinking you can" bring back your master(s) to power again.
    I have full confidence that the majority of our people will vote for a leader who had the courage to bypass an incompetent and corrupt Judicial Services Commission, and a corrupt justice system to detain a judge who was so out of control he was a danger to every citizen in the country.
    In the short 7 months we have seen what it will be like to live in a country led by your masters. We are indeed very grateful for the leaders of the coup for reminding us what it was like to live at the mercy of Gayoom &CO and our corrupt police force.
    Gayoom can be President of Kaamineege, Dr Waheed the President of the Claim the Maldives for the USA Society, Dr Hassan Saeed the President of the Sosun-Villa Group Incorporated , Gasim the President of Villa Enterprises Ltd and Umar Naseer President of Backbone Breakers Pvt. Ltd. I could go on but why waste my time with an idiot like you or someone who has benefitted quite a bit it seems from his masters, the coup leaders.
    Go to hell yourself, Mody; I am sure there is a job for you on the team of Spin masters Hell Incorporated. President there.

  18. this is the kind of deducation Maldivians have received under the Gayoom regime. By keeping the masses ignorant, democracy can be impeded and Dunya can be installed as dictator for the next 30 years. This is the plan of the bearded ones.

  19. LOL!

    Is this what the MDP and their supporters as been reduced to now? When I was a member of the democratic reform movement, we talked sense.

    We mostly ignored Divehi Observer as a cheap rag that printed feel-good material for failed businessmen and angry rural-folk.

    Now the entire party and its leadership apparatus spews conspiracy theories and hate-speech on a daily basis as if it were official MDP policy. I feel sorry for the MDP but it is certainly not going to win a Presidential election held any time soon. I suggest you supporters push your party for internal reforms, new leadership and a sound plan to make a political comeback in the parliamentary elections.

  20. So apparently tsk tsk thinks the fight for independence from the Endhimaage Maumoon gang's colonialism is 'stupid' and for 'failed businessmen' and 'angry rurals'.

    I'm glad he's not part of the MDP, or any part of 'democratic reform'.

  21. @tsk tsk

    wonder why a highheeled articulate intellectual like you come to this forum, where angry rural folks and failed businessmen share their opinions.

    Why do you come here, you are obsessed to spread the propaganda of maumoon. like you did on Dhivehi Observer.


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