COLOMBO – Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed insisted on Wednesday on the need for Indian military intervention in the archipelago country, saying that seeking an internal solution to the ongoing crisis could lead to chaos.
Nasheed recalled that India intervened when it sent a military detachment to the archipelago in 1988 to avoid a coup d’etat.
“Saying ‘resolve things internally’ is akin to asking us to escalate the revolt, which can lead to chaos,” Nasheed, exiled in the United Kingdom and currently in Colombo, wrote on Twitter.
“Maldivians see India’s role positively: in ‘88 they came, resolved the crisis, and left. They were not occupiers but liberators. This is why Maldivians look to India now,” he added.
He also requested of India “a physical presence” and to “send envoy, backed by its military” for the release of judges and political detainees including former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President Abdulla Yameen’s half-brother, who had been arrested Monday night.
President Yameen declared a state of emergency after the Supreme Court, on Feb. 1, passed a ruling reinstating 12 lawmakers and dropping the charges against nine opposition politicians, including Nasheed.
The court decision triggered a crisis when Yameen decided to defy the order and declared the emergency, while arresting the president and a Supreme Court judge.
In an address to the nation, Yameen accused the Supreme Court of “conspiracy” and “coup,” and late in the afternoon, three Supreme Court judges – who were not arrested – passed a ruling that allegedly revokes the Supreme Court’s decision last week.
Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader, was jailed over charges related to ordering the arrest of a judge during his term, in a high-profile and controversial process that his party has always said to be plagued with irregularities.
Gayoom, who ruled Maldives from 1978-2008, was in power when on Nov. 3, 1988 a group of armed men, called mercenaries by the government, attempted to carry out a coup d’etat.
The coup failed due to the intervention of the Indian Army, after President Gayoom made a distress call to the Indian government, which acted within a few hours by sending 1,600 commandos of airborne elite Indian troops to Male.