London, 30 August 2012 - Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today welcomed the release of the Report of the Commission of National Inquiry in Maldives.
Recalling that the Commission had been reconstituted through the good offices of his Special Envoy, Sir Donald McKinnon, to make it a more widely representative and generally acceptable body, the Secretary-General expressed appreciation to the Commission members for their efforts to conduct an objective and credible inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power in Maldives on 7 February 2012.
Referring to the resignation of one member of the Commission, Mr Ahmed Saeed, on the eve of the Report’s release, the Secretary-General said it was unfortunate that Mr Saeed felt he must dissociate himself from the findings of the Commission.
Mr Sharma said: “I commend the members of the Commission for the intensive work they did to produce the report. I urge all concerned to respect the findings of the Commission so that, moving forward, all actions and reactions reflect the sense of responsibility and restraint necessary in the best national interest. I also note the report identifies a number of important issues that need to be addressed regarding the basic institutions of democratic governance, notably the rule of law and administration of justice, the People’s Majlis (Parliament), and the media. This report provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to reflect calmly and carefully, and find a way forward based on dialogue, consensus and reconciliation. The task ahead for all Maldivians must be to strengthen democracy in the Maldives. An atmosphere of peace and public order is essential for that to happen.
The Secretary-General added: “Nation-building and institution-building are complex and long-term processes. I am convinced that through genuine dialogue and commitment, Maldives can build a foundation on which to advance both democracy and development. The Commonwealth will remain a willing partner in that quest. To this end, I have requested Sir Donald to visit Maldives again in the coming days to explore how the Commonwealth can assist Maldives to move forward in a peaceful and consensual manner, and how democratic institutions can be further strengthened.”
Mr Sharma welcomed President Waheed’s initiative to convene political party talks commencing on 30 August. He said the Commonwealth will continue to remain in regular contact with President Waheed, former President Nasheed and other stakeholders to support constructive dialogue, as well as provide Commonwealth partnership in the strengthening of democratic processes and institutions in Maldives.