Nasheed’s family in Sri Lanka

The family of former Maldivian President Mohammad Nasheed arrived in Sri Lanka last night and sought refuge following the unrest in the Maldives.

Sources at the President’s office told The Hub that Nasheed’s wife Laila Ali had spoken to President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the telephone after arriving in the country.

President Rajapaksa had then telephoned the newly appointed Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan and urged him to ensure the safety of Nasheed who was arrested after he staged a protest in the Maldivian capital Male yesterday.

President Waheed has then assured President Rajapaksa that no harm will come to Nasheed, the President’s office said.

President Rajapaksa had also telephoned Nasheed to inquire about his safety, the President’s office added.

Nasheed was injured on Tuesday and briefly hospitalised after he was beaten by police during a rally of his supporters in the capital.

Sri Lanka had called for a peaceful end to the issue in the Maldives after protests led to the resignation of former Nasheed.

Nasheed had claimed that he was forced to resign under duress and wants an election at which he will contest for the Presidency again.

The Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry had said in a statement on Wednesday that the developments are internal matters of the Maldives and hopes that all issues pertaining to this transition be resolved in a peaceful manner.

“As the closest neighbor, Sri Lanka enjoys a cordial relationship with the government and people of the Maldives, and wishes to assure its fullest support and co-operation to the Government of the Maldives in its efforts to bring peace and stability to the country and prosperity to the Maldivian people,” the External Affairs Ministry had said.

Nasheed was forced to relinquish power on Tuesday following days of protests over his decision to sack the criminal court judge Abdullah Mohamed.


(Report by Easwaran Rutnam)