Mon, February 13, 2012
World > Americas > Maldives crisis - Trouble in paradise

U.S. backs independent probe in Maldives

2012-02-13 14:57:24 GMT2012-02-13 22:57:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

COLOMBO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government backs an independent mechanism to investigate the transfer of power in the Maldives, the U.S. State Department said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake told reporters at a media briefing here Monday that current Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan has agreed to such an investigation.

Waheed Hassan was appointed president after former President Mohammad Nasheed was forced to step down amidst protests over his decision to sack Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.

But Nasheed later said he was forced to resign at gun-point and urged the international community to get involved and ensure democracy in the archipelago.

Blake, who was in the Maldives last week before traveling to Sri Lanka, said that the United States welcomes the setting up of a broad coalition government in the Maldives till the next election can be held.

Violence broke out in the Maldives last week both before and after the resignation of Nasheed.

Nasheed's family was sent to Sri Lanka to seek refuge but Nasheed had told a Sri Lankan newspaper that he will remain in the Maldives and fight for democracy.

"I will continue my fight in the Maldives. I will not give up. I cannot leave. My family is in Sri Lanka but I will not leave now, " Nasheed said.

Last week UN envoy Oscar Fernandez-Taranco met Nasheed and discussed the crisis in the Maldives.

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