21 March 2012
Senior figures from two of the main parties represented in the current government yesterday launched a scathing attack on the UK and on the Commonwealth which, they claimed, are involved in a foreign plot to destabilise the country and undermine its sovereignty.
In a televised interview, Mr. Riyaz Rasheed, MP for the DQP party which holds senior posts in the Cabinet, claimed that the Commonwealth believes it has “divine power” to meddle in Maldivian affairs, has, in fact, “lost all sanity” and has come to the Maldives to “intimidate” Maldivians. “Are they sane?” he asked in the interview, “is the Commonwealth sane? Who gave them visas to come here?” Riyaz also alleged that the Commonwealth are “MDP agents” and that they have been bribed by the MDP. “There are people in the Commonwealth who can be bribed…the people here from the Commonwealth were brought here by the MDP in that way (bribed)” he said.
Riyaz then went on to claim that the Commonwealth is in fact controlled by the English who “hate” Maldivians. “The English hate us” he said. “Why? Because Ibrahim Nasir saved us from slavery and brought us independence, since then what have the English done for us? They haven’t done anything. They may say something intelligent, they may send us an invitation, but what they really did was to topple a government here. MDP came to power through money from certain English people. Their reward was to build churches here…The problem here are the English”.
Riyaz then attacked Queen Elizabeth II, the Head of State of the United Kingdom, who is currently celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, claiming that she is “physically challenged”. “Does she have to be there? We cannot accept that. We cannot. After 50 years…she is still the Queen, and if she wants she can remove the Prime Minister. Where is democracy? That is not democracy. Among the English there are those who oppose her” he claimed.
Joining the criticism, MP Ahmed Mahloof of former President Gayoom’s PPM party, called on the Maldives to leave the Commonwealth if the body continues to call for early elections: “If the Commonwealth’s final decision is that we need to hold elections before 2013, then we will leave the Commonwealth before they suspend us! Why not?”
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs