MDP supporters target follow-up Colombo protest

Sri Lanka-based supporters of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have announced plans to protest outside the Maldives High Commission in the capital of Colombo tomorrow afternoon.

Organisers of the demonstration, which will be held between 4:00pm and 6:00pm outside the High Commission building on Melbourne Avenue, have claimed that hundreds of Maldivian expatriates and MDP supporters are expected to be in attendance.

The demonstration will focus on condemning the government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, which the party contends came to power in a “coup”, for not facilitating early elections this year, as well as drawing attention to alleged examples of brutality conducted by police and military under the present administration.

The protest will also reportedly “express solidarity with friendly nations” and organisations like the Commonwealth.

The intergovernmental organisation, along with the EU, has called for elections to be held before the end of 2012 as a means to restore political stability to the country.

The Commonwealth had also asserted pressure on the Maldives government to reconstitute the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) set up by President Waheed to probe the circumstances behind February’s controversial transfer of power.

Tomorrow’s protest comes one month on from a similar demonstration held by the MDP in Colombo.  Local media at the time reported that a “few dozen” demonstrators had been in attendance during the previous High Commission protest.


Police summon DQP over anti-government allegations

Police have summoned Deputy President of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Council member Ahmed Ibrahim “Sandhaanu Ahammaidhy” Didi for questioning over Dr. Jameel’s claims that the government is working with Christians to undermine Islamic scholars, made on DhiTV on Sunday, January 8.

The two men are being questioned between 8 and 9 pm.

Dr. Jameel told local media that police intended to clarify certain information and investigate his allegations against the state, which abides by a Shariah-based constitution.

“I am ready to face this,” Dr Jameel was quoted as saying. “When the government is pressured, when they deny the constitutional rights of the people, they come after anyone who questions their actions,” he claimed.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said action would be taken against any media who complicit in spreading false rumors that damage the government to the general public.

The President’s office has filed a case with the police against DhiTV.