COLOMBO: The Maldives government on Sunday accused former president Mohamed Nasheed of “seeking to inflame” unrest in the island nation and said unruly protests by his supporters would no longer be tolerated.
Nasheed claimed he was forced out of power in February by a coup, but an international investigation last week concluded that he had resigned after a police and military mutiny and weeks of demonstrations against his leadership.
Since his fall, supporters of Nasheed have expressed their anger at regular protests in the island capital Male and have often clashed with police.
The new government, led by President Mohamed Waheed, said on Sunday that the protests must end after the investigation found that the transfer of power was legal and constitutional.
“Former president Nasheed whilst he has reluctantly accepted the findings of (the report) continues to call for and partake in violent demonstrations,” the government said in a statement. “(He) is seeking to inflame the situation.” It added that Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party “should cease violent demonstrations and not encourage unruly mobs” and warned that the government would “no longer condone” the protests.
Minor clashes broke out on Thursday night in Male between MDP supporters and police after the Commonwealth-backed report into the “coup” allegations was released.
Its findings were welcomed by the United Nations and the United States.
The Maldives, a string of islands set in the Indian Ocean, is famed for its luxury tourism resorts but political upheavals and dire poverty have raised tensions among its 330,000 Sunni Muslims citizens.