SRI LANKA CONCERNED

Published : 8:50 am  November 11, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (620) reads | 

over Maldivaian state of affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement on the recent developments in the Maldives — some of which have impacted on Sri Lanka – has expressed deep concern over Sri Lankan soil ‘being used to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists’.

“Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest of two Sri Lankans in the Maldives, the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist, who was in possession of a valid Sri Lankan visa, the stabbing of a Maldivian in Sri Lanka, and the state of emergency declared in the Maldives and the impeachment of the Vice-President,” the MFA said in its statement. The Sri Lankan Government has also expressed concern over the impact on the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Maldivian Constitution.Untitled-2

While urging the Maldivian Government to uphold the commitments it had made, the SL Government has emphasized the importance for the Maldivian Government to recognize that dissent is an integral part to the effective functioning of a democracy. “It is in this context that the Government finds it deeply disturbing that Sri Lanka, a country which has always maintained the closest friendly relations with the Maldives is being used to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists,” the MFA statement said.

The SL Government has encouraged the Maldivian Government to ensure that the recent developments were not allowed to escalate into a source of regional instability. “Having endured similar challenges in its recent past, the new Sri Lankan Government is committed to the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. . . Unlike the previous regime in Sri Lanka which silenced dissenting voices in the guise of fighting terrorism, the new administration is committed to the fundamentals of democracy,” the statement reads while adding that Sri Lanka hoped the Maldives would take steps to end the state of emergency, initiate measures to respect and protect freedom of expression and ensure that the recent developments would not reverse Maldives’ hard-won democratic achievement.