11:48 GMT +319 July 2019
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    Maldivian police officers detain an opposition protestor demanding the release of political prisoners during a protest in Male, Maldives, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018

    Maldives’ Opposition Wants Indian Troops on Ground to Diffuse Political Crisis

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    India responded to a similar call for intervention in 1988 when then Maldivian President Abdul Gayoom sought India's help to defeat a coup led by mercenaries. The operation was called 'Operation Cactus.' In the current scenario, India has so far only expressed its concern over the brewing crisis.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Exiled former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has called for Indian intervention in diffusing the political crisis dogging the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago after the current leadership declared an emergency. In a series of Tweets, the former President and opposition leader urged India to take swift action to save the Maldivian democracy from crumbling.

    On Tuesday, India's Ministry of External Affairs had termed the situation in the Maldives as "disturbing."

    "We are disturbed by the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Maldives…The arrest of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and political figures are also reasons for concern. The government continues to carefully monitor the situation," the Ministry of External Affairs statement read.

    However, the MEA statement did not explicitly mention whether the government was planning any kind of an intervention. Nevertheless, the Indian government has activated its standing operating procedure for the Maldives by putting military assets on standby mode to deploy at shortest time, according to sources.

    The other Asian superpower China, which has a big influence over the Maldives, has insisted that the country should resolve the problem internally.

    "We believe the Maldives government, political parties, and people have the wisdom and capabilities to cope with the current situation independently," Geng Shuang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

    China has warned that external intervention could complicate matters for the Maldives.

    "The international community should play a constructive role on the basis of respecting the Maldives sovereignty instead of taking measures that could complicate the current situation," Geng Shuang added.

    The former Maldivian President, however, argued that asking the stakeholders to resolve the matter internally would be akin to promoting the opposition to intensify the revolt.

    READ MORE: Exiled Maldives' Opposition Leader Asks India, US to Help Remove President

    The Maldives plunged into crisis last week after the country's apex court dismissed the conviction of former President Nasheed and his eight associates accused of terrorism. The crisis intensified after the current government led by Abdulla Yameen rejected the court's ruling and declared an emergency on Tuesday. This was followed by the arrest of the Chief Justice and another judge notwithstanding immense pressure from the international community that has been urging it to respect the court's verdict and release the political prisoners.

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    Tags:
    opposition parties, democracy, coup, political crisis, Abdulla Yameen, Mohamed Nasheed, India, China, Maldives
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