MDP seeks India's role in restoration of democracy
Expressing disappointment at India's role so far, the Opposition demanded that India stop its military aid to the Gayoom Govt.Updated: Sep 25, 2006 19:01 IST
The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), fighting against President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's "autocratic" rule, on Monday sought India's role in talks with the (Gayoom) government for ending the "period of repression" and restoring democracy in the island nation.
Expressing disappointment at India's role so far, the MDP also demanded that New Delhi stop its military assistance to the Gayoom government as it was being used only to suppress the opposition activities for restoration of democracy.
The MDP is at present involved in informal negotiations with the Gayoom government with help from the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka.
"Right now, we are happy with the British role. But in the long run, we would feel lot more comfortable if at some stage India is involved in the talks...At this stage India could ask President Gayoom to go by the principles of democracy.
We would want a role for India purely because India is important for us," MDP President Mohammad Latheef said at a press conference here.
Latheef, who is based in Colombo in exile, said they would like to initiate formal negotiations with President Gayoom in the presence of representatives of the international community.
About eight per cent of the GDP goes into defence spending and that is supplied by India, Latheef said and demanded that India stop such aid.
"We are disappointed with India's role so far. On one hand, India is saying that it does not want to interfere, on the other hand they are donating arms and ammunition to the Maldivian government," he added.
First Published: Sep 25, 2006 19:01 IST