ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Meddling in the Maldives

The US and India’s long-term plan seems to be unrestrained control over the Indian Ocean.

Looking at the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives, now almost a month old, one would have to be utterly politically naïve to believe that India and the United States (US) are concerned about the democratic rights of the Maldivian people. It just happens that this Indian Ocean archipelago happens to be close to the shipping lanes through which a large part of the oil destined for the Indian, Japanese, Chinese and other East and South-eastern Asian economies passes, as also much of the manufactured goods exports of these economies make their way via these sea lanes to West Asia, Africa, and Europe. Moreover, contrary to what New Delhi and Washington wanted—and India considers Maldives as part of its “backyard”—Malé decided to participate in China’s One Belt, One Road infrastructure project, and has also entered into a free trade agreement with China.

On 5 February, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency suspending democratic rights in the archipelago and also arrested two Supreme Court judges who had on 1 February ordered the release of opposition members of Parliament, including former President Mohamed Nasheed and other prominent opposition figures. The very next day, Nasheed, in exile in Sri Lanka, issued a provocative statement calling upon India to militarily intervene, and asking India and the US to remove Yameen from office. The Supreme Court’s order must have come as a shock to Yameen, for it came all of a sudden when Yameen seemed to have been assured of the Court’s backing. But, of course, there must have been intense pressure on the judges what with India, the US, and the European Union backing the political opposition. With the defectors from his party exonerated by the Court, Yameen’s government would have fallen for failure to obtain a majority, and Nasheed would have been back as one of the main candidates in the presidential election later this year. So Yameen cracked down with the state of emergency and got the remaining Supreme Court judges to reverse the earlier order.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Updated On : 7th Mar, 2018
Back to Top