Cracks appear in key Maldivian commission

A member of the Maldives Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) has raised concerns over a draft report on the events which led to the transfer of power last February, just days before the commission is set to release its findings.

In a statement made public today by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), commission member Ahmed Saeed said that the draft report had significant gaps.

Nasheed had claimed that he was forced to resign in February in order to pave the way for Waheed, who was then Vice President, to be appointed President.

Following international pressure the Maldives appointed the Commission of National Inquiry to investigate some of the allegations.

Ahmed Saeed said in the statement “I accepted the membership of the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) with full appreciation of the weight of responsibility and hope that many Maldivians placed in me to ensure an independent inquiry into the events of 7 February 2012.

The people of the Maldives saw the ratification of the country’s first democratic constitution in 2008, as an opportunity to work towards reform. It was an opportunity to bring about democratic reform and to establish a people’s government.

We moved away from our past where leaders were ousted in coup d’etats and were banished afterwards. We resorted to modern systems of voting and democratic values to change our government.

7 February 2012 shocked all Maldivians. The draft report, written by Judge Selvam presented to me today invalidates all that we saw and experienced on that day.

There are significant gaps in the draft and does not include evidence and statements given to the Commission by many people. I believe remaining silent on the unfolding of events would be an injustice to this nation and to the people of the Maldives.

Out of respect to the responsibility that was entrusted to me upon my acceptance of the CoNI membership, I feel it is only right that I share these concerns with you. Today, I continue in my efforts to ensure that my concerns are included in the report”.


(By Easwaran Rutnam for the Colombo Gazette)