On 16 July, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted a framework for targeted restrictive measures against persons and entities responsible for undermining the rule of law or obstructing an inclusive political solution in the Maldives as well as persons and entities responsible for serious human rights violations. This decision makes it possible, if the situation does not improve, to impose a travel ban and an asset freeze on relevant individuals and entities.
This decision is a direct follow up to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 on the Maldives. The Council considered that the situation was not in accordance with the principles of democratic rule and separation of powers, and indicated it may consider targeted measures if the situation did not improve.
In its conclusions, the Council called on the government of the Maldives to engage with the leaders of the opposition in a genuine dialogue that paves the way for credible, transparent and inclusive Presidential elections.
Today, for yet another day, where the Constitution of the Maldives has no value for the President Abdualla Yameen. Since he had a vote, where many of the opposition Members of Parliament are still behind bars. This after the Supreme Court ruled against the President on the 1st February 2018. Therefore, the attack recent attacks on the Majlis and the Supreme Court. The President clearly doesn’t mind the constitution. If he did, he would have done today’s action differently.
That is proven with the Constitution saying this about any vote in the Majlis, In article 87 says: “Despite the provisions of Article 86 of this Constitution, voting on any matter requiring compliance by citizens shall only be undertaken when more than half of the total membership of the People’s Majlis are present at the sitting at which the matter is voted upon” (Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, 2010).
So if the state wanted the extension legally out of 85 members, they need at least 43 MPs to vote for the State of Emergency, even if it was illegally enacted. Since I have already shown that when it occurred. President Yameen did it illegally last time. So he could have used the legal ways, but he has been busy detaining opposition and silencing media who questions him.
Maldives Independent reported it like this: “Only 38 MPs were present for the vote, which took place hours before the state of emergency was due to expire, despite 43 lawmakers being needed for the vote to take place as required by the constitution. All 38 were from the ruling party and all 38 approved the extension” (Maldives Independent, 20.02.2018).
Therefore, the President and his party has again illegally put forward the State of Emergency, as he continues to a dictator, who silence opposition and detains them for any reason. The list of MPs, former Presidents and other political prisoners, who are against the President himself.
It is weird that the Official Statement of the President said this today: “Nonetheless the declaration of the State of Emergency is not included as a matter which requires compliance by citizens as per Section 38 of the Regulation of the Parliament. Hence, the sitting was preceded taking into view that the quorum needed to pass the Presidential Decree declaring the State of Emergency and the consequent amendments were that which is stipulated in Article 86 of the Constitution. The Parliament at session also decided to seek legal advice of the Supreme Court under Article 95 of the Constitution in relation to the questions raised by some of the members of Parliament with regard to the Parliament’s quorum” (The Presidency of the Republic of the Maldives – ‘Official Statement on Parliament confirmation of The President’s Proposed Extension, with amendments, to the State of Emergency’ 20.02.2018).
So, the State trying to prevent an issue as the demonstrations are still in the street. The violations of the Judiciary earlier this month, also throwing two Supreme Court judges in jail. We can certainly imagine, that ones remaining will make favors and make sure the legality, even if its all seemingly countering the law itself. Just like the weird statement from the President. Who knows he is wrong, but trying to counter with something else, as the people are not represented or had their voice. Because they are either barred from entering or detained. However, that is how it is when you act all gangster and not as a man who respects the law. Now the outlaws are ruling with impunity. Peace.
15 February, Male’: The Joint Opposition has requested the United Nations Secretary-General to initiate and act as mediator for all-party dialogue in the Maldives.
The Joint Opposition’s request follows a statement by the UN Secretary-General on 2 February, reiterating the United Nations’ offer to facilitate all-party dialogue.
In a letter sent to the Secretary-General this week, the Joint Opposition, while welcoming dialogue in principle, expressed concern that the Government’s call for talks is an attempt to ease international condemnation over its recent actions.
The Joint Opposition is also concerned that the appeal for dialogue is a cynical attempt by the President to buy time in order to consolidate his illegal grip on the State — a tactic the President has employed before.
The Joint Opposition believes that only internationally mediated and guaranteed talks are acceptable. The Joint Opposition believes that for meaningful talks to take place, the Yameen administration must halt its full-scale assault on democracy, the rule of law, and the Constitution.
In its letter, the Joint Opposition urged the UN Secretary-General to urge the Government of Maldives to create an acceptable environment for dialogue. In order to create a conducive environment, the Government of Maldives must:
● Immediately and fully implement the Supreme Court ruling of 1 February, and release the political prisoners;
● Release the Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed;
● Release President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, MP Faris Maumoon, MP Abdulla Sinan, MP Ilham Ahmed, and their families, including Mohamed Nadheem and Siyad Qasim, and all others detained following the purge on the opposition;
● withdraw the military from Parliament, and allow the opening and full functioning of the Parliament.
On 14 February, President Yameen stepped up his assault on the democratic institutions of the Maldives, by ordering the military to seal off the parliament to prevent MPs from entering.
Five opposition MPs were physically removed from the parliament compound by the armed forces, who were acting on President Yameen’s orders.
Joint Opposition appeals to the international community to use all means available to peacefully resolve the crisis and hold President Yameen accountable to Maldives commitments under international law. Past two weeks is a strong reminder of the regime’s blatant refusal to respect Maldives Constitution and international law and that the government will not relinquish power at any cost.
“Police Service has handed over 2 individuals, a British national and an Indian National to Immigration Authorities. These individuals were found to be working and reporting as journalists while on a tourist visa, in contravention to the Immigration Act and Regulations” (Maldives Police, 09.02.2018).
So the oppression in Maldives is continuing as the PPM Party are holding lavish rallies, while opposition are met with police brutality, journalists detained and more MPs behind bars. The State of Emergency is used to harass and control all parts of society. They are now even taking foreign nationals as they are covering the constitutional crisis and the implications it has. We know this has negative affect as the Republic need a positive perception as Tourism is a vital part of the economy. On the 8th February Maldives Voice reported that 40% of Guest Houses are facing cancellation because of the crisis. That is big number of tourists who will go elsewhere for their holidays and honeymoons. Which would have brought needed foreign exchange and work in general for the people. That is why Fitch Ratings, even has said the volatile could change their rating and degrade the economy.
“Received information about an Indian national, Money Sharma, working as a journalist, who has been detained by the Maldivian authorities. We have asked our Embassy to get in touch with the local authorities to ascertain more details of the case” (India TV, 09.02.2018). There is also report that two Indian Reporters working for Agence France-Presse (AFP) who is also arrested today. While a Chinese Journalist has been allowed to take pictures of the protest happening today in Male.
You know it isn’t going well, when the Ministry of Defense are coming with this sort of statement:
“Ministry of Defence and National Security has warned that action will be taken without prior warning, against those who disclose information that endangers national security. In a press release on Thursday night, the ministry said many are publishing content which endangers national security, regarding the state of emergency declared as per clause 253 of the Constitution. The ministry also stated that live programs broadcasted on various media platforms are creating discord and inciting fear in the hearts of the public” (Vnews, 2018).
And the Police Service saying this:
“Maldives Police Service has handed over two individuals, a British national and an Indian National to Immigration Authorities. These individuals were found to be working and reporting as journalists while on a tourist visa, in contravention to the Immigration Act and Regulations. We urge all foreign nationals to adhere to immigration guidelines and acquire the relevant visa that corresponds to the purpose of their visit. We note that several foreign journalists are currently working in the Maldives and welcome all those who wish to do so in the future” (Maldives Police Service, 09.02.2018).
So the Army is saying people has to be careful with spreading news and information. Meaning, the Central Government and President Yameen wants to control the news and headlines. So that the tight-grip and the assault on the Judiciary doesn’t spin-off. Secondly that the State of Emergency doesn’t get into question, even if that is not following the Constitutional Codes itself. Since the Parliament hasn’t been notified or the proper reasons for issuing it hasn’t happen. Unless, that the President was afraid in his own skin about the Supreme Court Ruling of 1st February and had to revise it to save face. That is why the chaos has happen in the first place. Therefore, he is creating a police state, because Yameen cannot manage to loose face or power.
Yesterday, the Raajje TV was closed from Broadcast, that was the biggest Television broadcaster in the Maldives. So the government are working in full speed to takeover and silence dissidents. They are not accepting anyone else. That is why the Chief Justice Saaed is in jail, while MPs and such are there too. People who was ordered freed, but was overturned on the 8th February 2018. This was intended by the President to revise the order, but only solidify his attacks on the Judiciary.
A typical sign of oppression is while the government party PPM are having grand rallies and speeches, the opposition rallies are destroyed by the Police, even as they are acting peaceful in Male. So the gatherings are allowed for PPM and Yameen, but not the rest. That is typical sign of dictatorship, where government party has advantages, while the rest has to suffer for their freedom of expression. That is now shown by the state, with the army and police stopping media from working as normal. Even spreading fear to Raajje TV. They are not defending, but opposing free media.
While also keeping MPs and Opposition leaders behind bars, while stopping believing in rule of law or respecting the Constitution. That is worrying signs and proving how neglectful Yameen is at this point. Peace.
Vnews – ‘Defence ministry warns action for disclosing information that endangers national security’ (09.02.2018) link: http://vnews.mv/95358