President of Timor Leste condemns “obvious” coup d’état, “unsettling silence of big powers”

Nobel Peace Prize recipient and President of Timor Leste (East Timor), José Ramos-Horta, has issued a statement condemning “the ousting under military pressure” of President Mohamed Nasheed.

While other countries including the UK and Germany have  called for independent inquiries, Timor Leste has become first country to condemn the change of government as a coup d’état.

A former political exile and reluctant politician-turned-president who survived an a assassination attempt in 2008, Ramos-Horta visited the Maldives in early 2010.

Nasheed had the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) greet Ramos-Horta with a seven-gun salute, and introduced him at a press conference as “no ordinary head of state – he is a renowned, fearless and uncompromising champion of human rights. We can learn from [Timor’s] experiences building democracy and of transitional justice.”

Ramos-Horta at the time praised Nasheed for his “conciliatory” approach to the autocratic regime he had replaced, mirroring it with his own resistance to the “heroic bureaucrats in the United Nations and Brussels”, who “favoured an international tribunal to try everyone in Indonesia who was involved in the crimes of the past.”

“Each country has its realities; its challenges and complexities,” Ramos-Horta explained. “I prefer to be criticised for being soft on people who committed violence in the past than be criticised for being too harsh or insensitive in putting people in jail.

“Our approach fits our reality, an approach the “resident of the Maldives and I share – the need for magnanimity. Immediately after our independence in 1999, I said: ‘In victory be magnanimous. Don’t rub the wounds of those who feel they lost. Make them feel they won, also.’”

In his statement this week, Ramos-Horta recalled that during his visit, Nasheed had “alerted me to tensions in Maldivian society and the unabated activity of beneficiaries of the old political order directed at toppling the new democratically elected authorities.”

It was, he said, “now obvious that President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign by military elements and the move has the support of former Maldivian dignitaries bent on retaking privileges and political control they enjoyed during the former regime.”

“It should be of concern to the World that extremist elements abusively invoking Islam were instrumental in stirring up violent demonstrations, religious intolerance and social upheaval as the coup d’état set in motion.

“Therefore, it is all the more strange and unsettling the silence with which big powers and leading democracies respond to the undemocratic developments in the Maldives. It has been a sad day for democracy in the Maldives and beyond.”

Former Indian High Commissioner

Former Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, A. K. Banerjee, has also written in support of Nasheed, urging India “to bat for a friend”.

Writing for the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Banerjee observed that democracies “are notoriously unstable to begin with and need patience and commitment all round. “

“[Nasheed] was getting increasingly frustrated and the opposition confronted him at every step. Nasheed, long used to agitating for change and clamouring for power, did not, it seems, grow in office and his style was quite un-presidential. One could say that he was being democratic and had the zeal of a reformer. But holding office and leading street demonstrations require different hats,” Banerjee wrote.

Since his ousting, Nasheed has “repeated that he handed over power under duress and as a democrat he hopes India will see his position and, literally, rescue him. Not only that, he wants to bring forward elections to challenge the opposition and test their legitimacy.”

“Having made the point that Maldives is a major security issue for us and bearing in mind the overall international scenario prevailing now, we should bat for a friend. Knowing how slippery the democratic playfield can be and having a sense of who actually has fouled, as a sort of friendly referee, we should award a free kick to the player who has been knocked down.”

However, Banerjee said, “there are no free lunches. We should recommend that Maldivians agree to long term strengthening of democratic institutions and resolve their differences peacefully; different factions must talk to each other and work towards a modus vivendi. Above all, authorities in Maldives must be encouraged to respect human rights and avoid use of force to deal with political dissent.”

Police and protesters attack the military’s headquarters on the morning of February 7:


39 thoughts on “President of Timor Leste condemns “obvious” coup d’état, “unsettling silence of big powers””

  1. i hope Ramos does not share Anni's thinking that only his party people are Maldivians and they are superior to other Maldivians and his party comes first and country becomes after that

  2. Filthy MDP they are lobbying India to help them throw the democratically elected government of Dr.Waheed.....Maldivian history gives us the story of Sultan Hassan IX who converted to Christianity and sort refuge from India..History repeats itself..and i hope Anni also meets that same fate as those christian kings of Maldives.

  3. The President of East Timor must be garrotted on the spot!

    Please note that his semitic visage makes his claim to profession of the Roman Catholic faith entirely suspect. Though it is a heinous belief system in of itself, that was condemned by the Ayatu'llah Khomeini, may his name ever be praised - the Jew especially, have no business commenting on our sovereign affairs.

  4. Thank you Mr. President of Timor. Humanity comes first and religion is a personal matter to any individual. And for those who are trying to act god, and rape a countries democracy. Are not democratically elected. Mr. Waheed is just a wanabe. And he belongs in jail with him a bunch of other people responsible for this coup. India is a great nation and has struggled to achive its independence, so souldnt maldive be learning a thing or two from them. The whole world knows what happened in maldives on february 7th.
    I feel so sorry for the less shamless evil behind the coup. Such a beautiful country and so much wealth to distribute. Whats going on here. Is the wealthy not ginna pay tax?

  5. Dear Editors of Minivan,

    I strongly object to the constant anti-Semitic, sectarian and hate filled posts of a poster named "Dhivehi Hanguraama" on this site. After all, this poster is abusing the right of every individual to freedom of expression in this country.

    These posts violate the fundamental rules of free speach, and goes against all rules of law whether national or international. Please remove these hideous comments.

    Thank you.

  6. Aa ha. So the President of East Timor is the first one who has fallen into MDP's trap of lies.
    Wake up, President. YOu are being fooled.

  7. @ Suvadeep

    I think Dhivehi Hanguraama is always here to stir the pot. He reminds me of a class clown. He is probably high on something. I got weary of his comedy long time back. Just ignore him and I am sure you will be fine.

  8. Waheed was certainly not democratically elstectted!!! Only an idiot would try that one.

  9. Those who support the coup d’état and think that the government is legitimate believe that the resignation by the elected president Mohamed Nasheed was valid as he has pronounced it. They simply refuse to know whether it was under duress or in his free will. More surprisingly, they think it doesn't really matter whether he was forced or not.

    However, the constitutional provision that "If the president wants to resign, a letter expressing the fact is submitted to the speaker of the People's Majlis (parliament) and when it is received by the speaker, the president is dismissed from office" needs to be interpreted. Here it says if the president ‘wants to’ resign, not ‘has to’ resign.

    From the surrounding facts and circumstances, it appears that president Nasheed 'had to' rather 'wanted to' resign although he did not mention in his statement of resignation why he did so. It may be because that, under the terms of the military, the police or both, he was not to state that he resigned under pressure.

    The surrounding circumstance includes that the police and military mutinied in the face of opposition protests that called on them to join the protest in overthrowing the government. And the vice president had earlier met the opposition protest leaders at his residence and agreed to take over as president if need be.

  10. President Mohammed Nasheed was the only democratic leader in the history of Maldives. Still Majority is with him. What happaned is definitely a coup and now we demand the right to vote again. only a minority of people were involved in the coup. Majority of Maldives is still with President Mohammed Nasheed. Nd with free and fair elections i have no doubt that Anni can easily win!

  11. Look! It's my old friend Rooster talking about pots and clowns. What an adorable fellow! I had missed his inarticulate efforts to condescend to me. 🙂

    The fact remains, Addu bin Whatever, that those of non-Islamic religious persuasions cannot call themselves Maldivians. Wether I view them with disdain or amity, is irrelevant to the fact that they, as foreigners, have no business commenting on our sovereign affairs - and they should expect vitriol and derision, when they have the temerity to do so.

    My comments, incidentally, are directed at them, not at you; thus, feel free to ignore me.

    In any event, their words are meaningless rhetoric. They will bear no fruit if their intent is to apply pressure on us, and threaten the present administration to step down.

    It is a matter of international law, codified in Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter that:

    "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations." (threat of force here would also cover sanctions not authorized by the security council.)

    That principle is generally not violated unless their is some kind of forthcoming benefit for the powers that be, to do so.

    Thus, moral support from a hodge podge of irrelevant Nation-States, (East Timor among them), will not benefit your cause in the least. Do not bother celebrating it. There will be no sanctions, there will be no boycott, there certainly will be no intervention. There will only be words; empty words.

    Whereas the government, has guns; plenty of guns.

    Remember that, the next time you think about wearing a yellow shirt, oh foolish son of Addu.


  13. those who say waheed was democratically elected needs to get their heads out of their a**. dumb deaf and blind are these people who are too weak to stand up for the truth. and hats off to jose ramos horta. there are only a handful of leaders whose courageous enough to stand up for the truth.

  14. @ dhivehi hanguraama

    yes indeed they have the guns. but we the people HAVE THE NUMBERS.

    dont ever forget that

  15. Yes, Anni made mistakes- but that does not make a coup justifiable! It violates our constitution- which everyone has already been exploiting enough.

  16. East Timor president is being grateful for Nasheed's hospitality when he was entertained on holiday in Maldives.
    You are so cheap, Ramos Horta.
    And by the way we know how you got your Nobel prize. but that is another story.

  17. Timor Leste president... who cares. He was a friends of Anni and anyways your blabbering cannot do any harm to the people of Maldives. Why can't these people mind their own business.

  18. I see the islamist fanatic and resident psychopath Dhivehi Hangyourself has beaten me to this page. It is hate filled, madrasa educated morons like him.........a self appointed 'religious scholar' if you please......... that give muslims a bad name and give rise to islamophobia in the world. No other religious group has so many of these retards. Why are people like him tolerated in Maldives? They would not last two minutes in India. Why don't you round up these losers and dump them on some unihabited atoll.........or better still.............Thilafushi.
    You dumb people.........all 300,000 of you.........need a reality check. No government is remotely interested in interfering in the politics of are too small and too insignificant to be worth the it worth anybody's time interfering in Somalia for instance?
    I have said previously that islam and democracy are totally incompatible. The only islamic country that can be called a democracy is Turkey but it is a secular democracy and does not practice the intolerant deobandi sunni faith that you morons do. Do you seriously think that other countries that also subscribe to the same 'we are God's chosen people and every other faith is garbage' beliefs like saudi arabia, afghanistan, yemen and pakistan will ever be democratic?.............especially with seventh century braindead 'religious scholars' like DH above amongst you? If you do..........dream on.
    India should not waste our taxes on infrastructural projects in Maldives and offer support only if there is a serious commitment to secularism and democracy. Clearly you are yet another politically unstable islamic have just unseated a democratically elected some third rate african or central american republic.
    One last thing............look up SECULARISM and TOLERANCE in the dimwits clearly don't know the meaning of the words.

  19. Why is the moderator not removing these disgusting antisemitic comments? Is this online newspaper operated by Naziz?

  20. @Rafiqul Alam

    So you are Rooster then! Your sentence structure was similar - (grammatically correct but clumsy prose) - and he used to like talking about pots; so I ventured a guess! Good to see you again! 🙂


    "yes indeed they have the guns. but we the people HAVE THE NUMBERS.

    dont ever forget that"

    The Aztecs had numbers; the Spanish had guns. Who won?

    Our experiment with democracy has come to its inevitable conclusion. The sooner you let it go, the sooner we can move on.

  21. Kudos to Dr. Waheed for upholding the constitution. MDP is and would always remain as a party that promulgates lies, hatred, and violence. President of Timor Leste seems like another replicate of Nasheed who is a deviant within the society and President that misinformed people.

  22. Internationally this is now recognised for what it really is, A COUP.
    Forget elections, we should proceed an international tribunal for treason.

  23. if they start voting today or tomorrow ill still vote for yellow as thats the only right minded people in Maldives. all others cannot leave religion in a side ! which i dont wanna interfere

  24. My dear 'dhivehi hanguraama'
    I am a junior leader in the Maldives National Defence Force.I served the nation for more than 15 years and still serving.Do you really want me to beleive what those fools did on that day was right? Are you blind not to see the weapons they distributed to the general public that day? My dear friend a shield used to control a riot is a weapon itself by law.Have'nt u seen those shields been handed over to public that day? And to disobey a command, to what extent should it be taken? The police have gone too far my friend. MNDF joined those fools because there is nothing else to be done in a situation like that. we dont want a confrontation with our police brothers. Now i leave it to to you to figure it out for yourself if its a coup or not...Thanks

  25. @ Indira NewDelhi on Wed, 22nd Feb 2012 3:28 AM

    Zindagi se pyar karna seeklo!!!

    "You dumb people………all 300,000 of you ..."
    If my guess is correct, you are including yourself here.

  26. Believe it or not. Agree or not; it was a coup that was brought about.

    Dr. Waheed being the politician he has become, has a single opportunity left for him not to lose face with everyone concerned!

    Agree that it was coup that was being brought about and it was a mistake he made!

    There can be no pride worthy enough to agree with mistake one makes and repent!

    Dr. Waheed can never ever prove that this was not a coup. He has no possible grounds to prove he was not in the thick of it.

    Track of events according to happening, is a telling story!

  27. who the hell Ramos to speak ? How he became in power ? Watch you back before you speak ?

    Non of those guys have seen what we Maldivian have gone through in the past three years and Naheed was good for the people who is around him not otherwise.

    Nasheed had been a dictator for three years and he keep on breaking the laws and our consitution and have been ignoring them whenever he want. Nasheed himself can not be above the laws and he should also abide by them.

    Ramos have no clue of what was going on in this country and you better keep you big mouth shut and you do not had right to say anything on behalf of me and majority of Maldivians.

  28. The idealogy and the promises of MDP to the people of Maldives is a noble one, the problem hinges in execution and Anni not cleaning up the mess of MDP elite. The corrupt cases (such as HeavyLoad in Thilafushi...) should have been investigated.... it is still not late to clean up. The promises of housing and social benefits to have not's by taxing the have's is the way forward...

  29. Dhivehi hanguraama you need god son. Too much hate. You and our friend yasir :L

  30. Jose Ramos Horta can be accused of many things, but being a Jew isn't one of them. He was born and raised a Catholic, and attended a seminary. His Portuguese father came from a Catholic family.

    What is a 'semitic visage'? Arabs are Semitic as well, their language is Semitic. If you want a leader in East Timor who is Semitic, try Mari Alkatiri, descended from Hadramaut Arabs from Yemen.

    East Timor has much to learn about tourism from the Maldives, in that they haven't been overrun by trashy tourists like Bali has.


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