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Statement by the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Maldives

2 March 2013

The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Maldives, Sir Donald McKinnon, today expressed concern at the rising political tension in the Maldives.

Sir Donald said he had been in contact with both President Waheed and former President Nasheed today to discuss the current situation, including the public protests by the Maldivian Democratic Party and the response by the security forces, and reports about charges being filed against former President Nasheed.

“What is very much needed in Maldives right now is for all concerned to show restraint and restore calm. Any actions that create or exacerbate political instability cannot be helpful to the national interest, including in the difficult economic circumstances at the moment in the country and the global context.”

Recalling the efforts to strengthen Maldives’ Commission of National Inquiry, Sir Donald said: “We have all invested a huge amount of time, energy and resources in reconstituting the Commission of National Inquiry, to establish the truth about the events of 7 February 2012 and help Maldives move forward. The international community has been supportive of these efforts. It is absolutely essential that all relevant actors in Maldives refrain from any actions that could jeopardise the stable environment necessary to allow the Commission of National Inquiry to complete its work and produce an outcome within the stipulated time-frame.

“Ultimately, any resolution of contentious political issues in Maldives can only come about through inclusive political dialogue. I therefore urge the leaders of Maldives to engage in genuine dialogue, with the interest of the people of Maldives in mind.”