Maldives Development Allience (MDA) on Wednesday said that Maldives has inserted itself into internal issues of neighbouring Sri Lanka, and hence the government should apologise to Sri Lankans.
The statement came after the President of Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's arrival in the Maldives on an AN32 troop transport plane from the Sri Lanka Air Force in the early hours of Wednesday was reported international media.
In the statement released regarding the issue, MDA strongly condemed Maldives' decision to allow Rajapaksa into the country at a time his countrymen were voicing their concerns againt him.
"It is extremely distressing that Maldives has involved itself in the internal issues of another country. The consequnces of this decision will be felt by many generations to come."
The statement further accused Speaker of Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed leading the government's efforts to facilitate Rajapaksa's arrival to Maldives, and added that this was a 'kick in the feelings' of Sri Lanka, that is deep in economical crisis.
"We also call on the Maldivian government to apologise to the beloved citizens of Sri Lanka."
Furthermore, MDA called on the government and other authorities to refrain from such actions in the future.
MDA noted that Maldives has remained steadfast in its neutral diplomatic policies for years, and that it was unacceptable of the government to break away from this and have a say in the internal issues of nations.
The party also called to investigate how this happened and to clarify the incidents that led to this to the citizens of Maldives.
Following foiled attempts to depart to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates - President Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka in the early hours of Wednesday, arriving in the neighboring Maldives, mere hours before he was due to step down from his post over the civilian uprising prompted by the island nation’s devastating economic crisis.
He was accompanied by his wife and two security personnel.
No Maldivian authorities have issued official statements regarding President Rajapaksa’s arrival in the country.
Sri Lankan presidents are protected from arrest while in power, and it is likely Rajapaksa planned his escape while he still had constitutional immunity. He was scheduled to announce his official resignation on Wednesday evening.
Reports state that President Rajapaksa had arrived in the Maldives at a time Sri Lanka’s Attorney General had requested its Supreme Court to issue a travel ban against him.
The president’s departure followed months of demonstrations that culminated Saturday in protesters storming his home and office and the official residence of his prime minister. The protests have all but dismantled his family’s political dynasty, which ruled Sri Lanka for most of the past two decades.
Civilian protestors accuse the president and his relatives of siphoning money from government coffers for years and Rajapaksa’s administration of hastening the country’s collapse by mismanaging the economy. Although the family denies the corruption allegations, President Rajapaksa acknowledged some of his policies contributed to the turmoil.
Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that Rajapaksa appointed the current prime minister to serve as acting president in the interim — an arrangement that further enraged protesters who want Wickremesinghe out immediately.
However, he stressed that President Rajapaksa assured he would render his resignation later today.