After Mahinda, UN offers to mediate in Male

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday offered UN assistance to resolve the continuing Maldivian political crisis hardly ten days after President Mahinda Rajapaksa went to Male on a peace mission.

The UN Chief has expressed concern over the Maldives’ rising political tension, which culminated in some violent demonstrations against incumbent President Mohamed Nasheed earlier this week.
He called upon all political parties to restrain those who promote violence and confrontation, and to resolve their differences through dialogue.

It was only last week President Mahinda Rajapaksa travelled to the Maldives to play the role of a peace broker. The political crisis there has taken a serious turn despite the visit with President Nasheed ordering the midnight arrest of one of the opposition leaders and his continued detention in an island close to the capital, Male.

Mr. Ban said, “Political rivalries should not be allowed to jeopardize the significant gains the country has registered in democratic reform.” He also urged “all parties to ensure that the rule of law is maintained, and to safeguard the rights and protections enshrined in the constitution”.

The United States has also expressed concern over the developments. A statement from its Embassy in Colombo said, “The United States is deeply concerned about rising tension resulting from the ongoing impasse between the government and the opposition parties in the Maldives.”

It called on all sides to “refrain from violence and to come together to resolve disagreements through dialogue and compromise.” The US asked the Maldivian Government to accept “international offers of mediation.”

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