Thu, February 09, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > Maldives crisis - Trouble in paradise

Former Maldivian president's family seeks refuge in Sri Lanka

2012-02-09 08:12:06 GMT2012-02-09 16:12:06(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

COLOMBO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua)-- The family of former Maldivian President Mohammad Nasheed have sought refuge in Sri Lanka following the unrest in the Maldives.

Sources at Sri Lankan President's Office told Xinhua on Thursday that Nasheed's wife Laila Ali had spoken to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the telephone after arriving in the country.

President Rajapaksa had then telephoned the newly appointed Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan and urged him to ensure the safety of Nasheed who was arrested after Thursday's protest in capital Male.

President Waheed has then assured President Rajapaksa that no harm will come to Nasheed, the President's Office said.

Nasheed was injured on Tuesday and briefly hospitalized after being beaten by police during a rally of his supporters in the capital.

Sri Lanka had called for a peaceful end to the unrest in the Maldives after protests led to the resignation of Nasheed.

Nasheed had claimed that he was forced to resign under duress and wanted to run for the presidency again in an election.

The Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the developments are internal matters of the Maldives and hopes that all issues pertaining to this transition be resolved in a peaceful manner. "As the closest neighbor, Sri Lanka enjoys a cordial relationship with the government and people of the Maldives, and wishes to assure its fullest support and cooperation to the government of the Maldives in its efforts to bring peace and stability to the country and prosperity to the Maldivian people," the External Affairs Ministry said.

Nasheed was forced to relinquish power on Tuesday following days of protests over his decision to sack criminal court judge Abdullah Mohamed.

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