3 December, 2020

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Ministry External Affairs Expresses Displeasure About Maldivian Affairs

The Foreign Ministry today expressed deep concern about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka.

The foreign ministry in a statement said that Sri Lanka was highly concerned about the recent arrest of two Sri Lankan nationals in Maldives, the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist who was in possession of a valid Sri Lankan visa, the stabbing of a Maldivian national in Sri Lanka, as well as the state of emergency that has been declared in the Maldives and the impeachment of the Vice-President.

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

The foreign ministry summoned the Maldivian envoy in Colombo on Monday to express its displeasure about the recent happenings.

The Full statement issued by the foreign ministry is published below

Statement on recent developments in the Maldives

Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest of two Sri Lankan nationals in the Maldives, the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist who was in possession of a valid Sri Lankan visa, the stabbing of a Maldivian national in Sri Lanka, as well as the state of emergency that has been declared in the Maldives and the impeachment of the Vice-President.

Sri Lanka is also concerned by the impact of the State of Emergency on the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Maldives and urges the Government of the Maldives to uphold the commitments it has made – including as a member of the Commonwealth and signatory to the Commonwealth Charter – to the universal and Commonwealth values of democracy and the rule of law.

Having endured similar challenges in its recent past, the new Sri Lankan Government is committed to the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law.  We also believe that the right to dissent is an integral part of a functioning democracy. Unlike the previous regime in Sri Lanka which silenced dissenting voices in the guise of fighting terrorism, the new administration is committed to the fundamentals of democracy.

It is in this context that the Government finds it deeply disturbing that Sri Lanka, a country which has always maintained the closest friendly relations with the Maldives is being used to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists. Sri Lanka encourages the Government of the Maldives to ensure that recent developments are not allowed to escalate into a source of regional instability.

Sri Lanka hopes that the Maldives will take steps to end the state of emergency, initiate measures to respect and protect freedom of expression and ensure that recent developments will not reverse Maldives’ hard-won democratic achievements.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Three cheers to Minister Samaraweera for this courageous statement.Had Sri Lanka kept quiet at this dark hour for the Maldives, it would have only served to endorse all those terrible things that happened in Sri Lanka in the years 2009 May to January 8 2015,when human rights, the Rule of Law, in fact all democratic values were disregarded callously by the Rajapaksa regime’s reign of absolute terror.In earlier years, I mean from 1948 onwards Sri Lanka would have taken cover under the Westphalian interpretation of state sovereignty and like many others maintained an ominous and deafening silence.This time , Sri Lanka has beaten many of the bigger countries in making its stand known.In this sense Sri Lanka is now playing the part it did under the government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandadaranake of the 1970s,when we were boxing well above our weight and rightly so.A good example was our IOPZ stand and the stand on the Sino – Indian clash of 1962 and the strong stand on permitting flights from Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.

    As for the deportation of the Maldivian activist while holding a Sri Lankan visa , the Emiigration Department has to take TOTAL responsibility.It should have consulted the Foreign Ministry before acting on the Maldivian Ambassador’s request.If the Foreign Ministry had been consulted then it is to blame.As for the Maldivian Ambassador, he has done a brilliant job!!

    Nonetheless it is well to remember that though the statement is issued under the name of the Foreign Ministry, it would NEVER have happened if not for Minister Samaraweera who is a fearless champion of freedom for which he had to sometimes pay a terrible personal price.The wording of the statement echoes his thinking.We hope he will stay around for some time so that our country’s foreign policy direction is given is given more solidity.We have only a few politicians,ney statesman of his calibre.

    Mangala should however watch out for some extremely dangerous sophisticated operators in the Foreign Ministry who under the guise of ” advice ” could mislead him.There are many who through their efficiency in a generally inefficient Foreign Sevice who are very capable of taking the Minister for a sweet ride.These are the ones who in order to get close to the MR regime! subtlety encouraged and supported all the evil that took place.These rouge elements did so mostly by carrying vicious and unsubstantiated tales , about their own colleagues in the Ministry,talking about their inefficiency etc, and in the process ingrained themselves in influential positions.However they were the first to decamp when that regime fell.They will do similarly if Mangala were to fall.Even more dangerously these rouge elements can conduct their personal agendas.The most dangerous thing for a Minister or for any one in authority is to have subordinates readily agreeing with everything the boss says without giving their own candid opinion and leaving the boss to decide.But there are a few officials who always upheld the principle of decency even though they paid a heavy price under the previous regime. The. Minister would do well to identify them so that he could take Sri. Lanka’s foreign policy possibly to a state of irreversible excellence.

    Meanwhile well done Mangala Samaraweera!

  • 4
    2

    Hang on,

    There are two things that are not right here.

    Can the Hon Minister explain how the Sri Lankan authorities deported a Maldivian social media activist when he was legitimately in Sri Lanka on a Sri Lankan government issued visa and now blame the Malidivian Government for such deportation. Does’nt make sense.

    A Maldivian national is stabbed in Sri Lanka that should be investigated by the Sri Lankan police and the offender arrested and charged by the Sri Lankan authorities. How come the Hon Misinster is blaming the Maldivian Government for this. Does’nt make sense.

    Another point is, did the Sri Lankan government really find out the reasons behind the Sri Lankan nationals being arrested in Maldives. The allegation is that they are hired guns to assasinate the President of the Maldives. We do have many jobless assasins since the fall of the MARA regime. It is but natural that the white van operatives are looking for jobs outside. Maldives has every right to arrest conspirators to crime no matter what country they come from. Mangala needs to provide consuler services to the arrested Sri Lankans as per the usual protocol and find if the arrests can be substantiated. He should start pointing fingers only when he is sure of the facts.

    Answers please Mangala, the ball is in your court.

  • 0
    1

    “A good example was our IOPZ stand and the stand on the Sino – Indian clash of 1962 and the strong stand on permitting flights from Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971…” states the reader going as Old Hand. The suspect spelling mistakes, language etc. of this reader is as
    weak as his analysis.

    Mrs. B and her advisors (notably FDB) messed up during the Indo-Pak war in allowing Pakistani planes to re-fuel at Katunayake. The Indian side claimed this was offering succour to the Pak war machinery against India. On the other two issues also Sri Lanka unwisely fell foul of India. All 3 were sheer but avoidable diplomatic blunders. It was for these – and many other policy debacles the Indians did not honour Mrs. B despatching an Indian VIP as courtesy during her funeral – say many close Indo-Lankan political watchers.

    Backlash

  • 0
    0

    @Backlash

    After having pointed out some lapses in reader Old Hand’s comments ,you go to make some super howlers of your own !!!For example you say. ” the Indians did not honour Mrs B. dispatching an Indian VIP as courtesy during her funeral”You have left out the all important the word ” by” that should have been placed after ” Mrs B ” Not only is this assertion grammatically wrong, it is factually wrong too for the Government of India was represented by the Vice President at the funeral.He not only came and paid his respects at Rosmead Place but was present at the Horagolla Samadhi as well.

    India appreciated our foreign policy compulsions that required Sri Lanka to permit flights via Colombo for Pakistani planes,so much so when the JVP insurgency broke out in the same year India rushed half a dozen of its helicopters to Sri Lanka for counter insurgency operations following a request by Mrs. B to her friend Mrs Gandhi . It must be also remembered that Mrs B kept Mrs Gandhi informed in advance of the decision to permit the flights of the Pakistan Air Force .All this helped in the SLFP government of that time having by far the best relations with India in our post independence history.

    On the IOPZ issue too backlash is dead wrong.Mrs B presented it at the CHOGM/Singapore and subsequently at the UNGA after having consulted India and having made certain changes to the proposal at India’s behest.

    On SL’s role in trying to mitigate the damage arising from the Sino-Indian war of 1962, Backlash is in a factual confusion.Both India and China were appreciative of Mrs B’s efforts.Such efforts only failed due to the insurmountable nature of the conflict,which persists to this day.

    As for your assertion of Felix playing a role in SL’s India policy, that too is horribly wrong.Felix only played a nominal role in representing Mrs B at conferences.The India policy of the 1970 – 1977 government was planned and executed by Vernon. Mendis,Stanley Jayaweera and at the tail end of that period by Jayanath Rajapakse ,all veteran India hands at the then Ministry of External Affairs.

    Backlash better check his/ her facts and grammar too before hammering away at the key board !!!

  • 0
    1

    Mangala needs to clean the shit he has under his doorstep before interfering in other peoples politics. The SL pimped all these years for the Maldivian dick-tators and now they are pretending to be Human rights champions.
    Two of the crimes here were done in SL, so what is he asking and blaming the Maldivians for it.

  • 0
    3

    Mangala was sleeping with his boy friend when the Maldivian High Commissioner personally spoke to the Immigration head and whisked off a minor out of the country. In any other country the Foreign Ministry would have been requested to extradite the person. This is a highly laughable matter.

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