Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s deputy leader and Villifushi MP Abdullah Riyaz has made some strong indictments against neighbouring Sri Lanka, alleging that the country’s government is aiding the Maldives’ opposition in its attempts to overthrow the ruling government.
Giving the details of a statement he had made at the PPM press conference held on Tuesday, MP Riyaz told Mihaaru that he is gravely concerned that Sri Lankan authorities are aiding the Maldives’ opposition in bringing about a coup.
At the PPM press conference on Tuesday, MP Riyaz had said that throughout the Maldives’ history, it had seen traitors who attempted to seize power from leaders and that the opposition’s actions are reminiscent of the people who had rebelled in the past.
He had then gone on to say that the Sri Lankan government knows what the opposition has planned and that they are also an instrumental part of the opposition’s plans.
Speaking to Mihaaru, MP Riyaz highlighted how there was a civil unrest in Sri Lanka for years, and said that it had affected the country’s average citizens the most. He said he did not want to see the Maldives plummet in that manner, and asked whether that is the fate that the Maldives’ historic ally Sri Lanka wanted for it.
“They know very well the tribulations of a civil unrest – they were in conflict for years. Why would they want that for anybody else? But sadly, I think that’s what we’re seeing now – the Sri Lankan government backing potential plans to overthrow a democratically elected government,” the ruling party’s deputy leader said.
MP Riyaz, at the press conference on Tuesday, had even claimed that a lot of the Maldives’ neighbouring countries are “jealous” of its recent successes and said that the only reason it is still a sovereign nation is because the will of the people is strong.
“We now know the individuals who had tried to impeach former presidents Mohamed Ameen and Ibrahim Nasir. We even know who had tried to overthrow Maumoon Abdul Gayoom,” MP Riyaz said. “And a particular family has been masterminding these treacheries throughout our history,” MP Riyaz said, hinting at former president Mohamed Nasheed’s family.
Since Nasheed’s exile, he frequently visits Sri Lanka for political discussions. The country, which hosts a large population of Maldivian citizens, is also now home to a few of Nasheed’s loyalists who live there in self-exile as many of them have “politically motivated” charges levied against them. The ruling party supporters have dubbed Sri Lanka as the Maldives opposition's stronghold; however, the new ambassador to Sri Lanka from the Maldives, Mohamed Hussain “Mundhu” Shareef, was quick to refute the claim and said that the majority of Maldivians living in Sri Lanka are ruling party supporters.
MP Riyaz had not specified the source of his information or the evidence he has to prove the wild allegations he had made against the Sri Lankan government.