Fisheries Minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee, one of President Abdulla Yameen’s closest confidants, has accused foreign representatives to the Maldives, of ‘misleading’ their governments regarding the situation in Maldives.
In an interview published by local news outlet ‘Maldives Independent’ on Tuesday, Shainee claimed that the reason for international concern is because ‘one or two ambassadors in Colombo are trying to create this issue’ by telling their governments that there will not be an election here.
When questioned whether those ambassadors were being misled by Maldivian parties or they were intentionally misleading their governments, Shainee said that ‘they are misleading their governments’.
Noting that he had held a discussion over the matter with British Ambassador James Dauris, the minister said that these officials are basing their statements on information provided by the opposition.
“None of them contact us before they send a message to their administration on the alleged issues. I’ve personally sat with James Dauris. I said, why did you put this statement out [during the attempts to impeach the parliamentary speaker]? Did you ever come to the government to clarify? He said, no, I got this from the opposition. I said, but you have to ask the government if this is right or wrong. He said, I read this from the newspaper. But most of the newspapers in the Maldives are against the government. This is what they do. Any responsible ambassador should talk to our ambassador in Colombo or to the foreign and find out what is the other side of the story,” said Shainee in the interview to Maldives Independent.
Shainee further said that the government is aware who these people are, adding that ‘there are some people who cried when he [former President Mohamed Nasheed] lost the elections’ in 2013.
Both the United Kingdom and United States have denied the allegations, said Maldives Independent, with the US Embassy in Colombo stating that it ‘does not favor individuals or candidates’.
“Irrespective of the outcome of the presidential election, we expect the electoral process to be free, fair, and transparent. It is up to the Maldivian people to decide whom they want to lead them in the future,” said Nancy Vanhorn from the embassy.
The British embassy noted that the ambassador is ‘in regular consultation’ with the Maldivian authorities, adding that he ‘routinely’ requests meeting with government officials.
While the British ambassador was in Malé earlier this month, he had requested meetings with several government officials including Shainee. However, RaajjeMV understands that the only government official he met during the trip was the foreign secretary.
In addition, Dauris is one of the three European Union representatives to have visited the Maldives in February this year, following an open invitation by the government to foreign representatives as the political conflict here intensified. However, the government refused to meet with them.
Maldives senior officials also refused to meet with former US Ambassador Atul Keshap during his farewell trip in July.