Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and Chair of the European Parliament South Asia Delegation, has issued the following statement on the continuing civil unrest in the Maldives:
“In the name of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with South Asia, we wish to express our deep concern at the deterioration of the situation seen in the Maldives in the last 72 hours.
“The European Union had deployed a team of experts to observe the first democratic Presidential elections held in the country in 2008; a sword of Damocles now hangs above the winner of these elections, with his arrest warrant already issued on unspecified grounds. We understand a number of MPs and local councillors have also been detained or are in hospital following continued police violence.
“The European Parliament Delegation notes with concern that several EU countries have already issued travel advisories urging our citizens to avoid non-essential travel, and that popular resentment and violence are now spreading well beyond the capital.
“We call on the security forces to refrain from political interference and stop their disproportionate use of force. We also take note of the commitment of the authorities to form a National Unity Government that would be able to safeguard the rule of law, human rights and democracy. Sadly, credible signs in this direction have yet to be witnessed.
The Maldive’s democratic transition had raised high expections for the development of the country; we urgently appeal to all political forces not to waste this promising future and work together in order to bring a pecaeful, truly inclusive solution.”