Tuesday, March 5, 2013



India has a moral obligation to see that former President Mohammad Nasheed, who was arrested by Maldivian Commandoes on March 5,2013, in alleged response to a court order to face trial in a case pending against him, remains alive and is not shown by the Maldivian Government of President Mohammad Waheed as killed in an encounter while trying to escape from custody.

2. Even though he might have been arrested ostensibly in pursuance of a court order, his arrest is a breach of faith on the part of the Waheed Government. He left the Indian High Commission, where he had taken sanctuary, in response to assurances regarding his safety and security. India, which played a role in the negotiations that led to his leaving his safe sanctuary  in the High Commission, is a guarantor of the assurances given by the Waheed Government regarding his safety and security.

3. India should immediately make it clear to former President Abdul Gayoom, who has allegedly been playing an active behind-the-scene role in advising the Government of Waheed, that it will hold him and Waheed personally and morally responsible for the safety and security of Nasheed and that should anything untoward happen to him while in custody India would act in the appropriate manner to ensure that solemn assurances given to India by the Government are not violated with impunity.

4. To underline the seriousness of the Government of India’s concerns, some ships of our Navy should take up position near the Maldivian capital so that they can mount an economic blockade should anything happen to Nasheed . (5-3-13)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. Twitter: @SORBONNE75)