Maldives says it has decided to leave the Commonwealth

132895285_31nThe Government of the Maldives has decided to leave the Commonwealth, the Maldives Foreign Ministry announced today.

The Maldives says the decision to leave the Commonwealth was difficult, but inevitable. The Maldives joined the Commonwealth in 1982 with high hopes and expectations, convinced that the organisation will be an arena for coordinating critical issues that the member States, in particular, the smallest members of the organisation face.

Since 2012, the government of Maldives has been giving maximum cooperation to the Commonwealth, shown maximum transparency, and engaged with the Commonwealth at the highest levels.

However the Maldives says the Commonwealth has sought to take punitive actions against the Maldives since 2012 after the then President of Maldives resigned, and transfer of power took place as per the procedures set out in the Constitution.

“The Commonwealth’s decision to penalise the Maldives was unjustified especially given that the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), established with the help of the Commonwealth, found that the transfer of power in the Maldives was consistent with the constitutional provisions,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry added.

The Maldives says the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the Commonwealth Secretariat have treated the Maldives unjustly and unfairly.

“The Commonwealth has sought to become an active participant in the domestic political discourse in the Maldives, which is contrary to the principles of the Charters of the UN and the Commonwealth. The CMAG and the Commonwealth Secretariat seem to be convinced that the Maldives, because of the high and favourable reputation that the country enjoys internationally, and also perhaps because it is a small State that lacks material power, would be an easy object that can be used, especially in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the organisation’s own relevance and leverage in international politics,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry said.

The Maldives reassured that its international engagement will continue both bilaterally and multilaterally. (Colombo Gazette)