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Maldives: Will India act for those stranded in volatile quagmire?

By Vicky

India has been closely watching the developments in Maldives. While India said that it was disturbed by the events in Maldives, sources tell OneIndia that there would however be no knee jerk reaction.

A Maldives policeman charges with baton towards protesters after the government declared a 15-day state of emergency in Male, Maldives

"We are disturbed by the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the Government to abide by the unanimous ruling of the full bench of the Supreme Court on 1 February, and also by the suspension of Constitutional rights of the people of Maldives," the Ministry for External Affairs said in a brief statement.

Former president Mohammad Nasheed requested India to send an envoy backed by the military to release judges and other political detainees. India is however clear that as of now the question of sending in the military does not arise.

Top officials in Delhi said that the situation is being monitored closely. There has been a request to send in an envoy. No decision on that has been taken as yet, but in all probability that is unlikely to take place, the source also added. We are not sure if President Abdulla Yameen would engage with the envoy, the source also said.

The source however added that India would not let the crisis boil over. Our concern is the people of Maldives and it is the government there which needs to be told to restore normalcy. Moreover for India there are other concerns as well. The proximity to India and also peace in the Indian Ocean are among the other major concerns.

The source said that India would work with the US and Saudi Arabia to find a solution to the problem. The US has been in consultation with India since the past 48 hours to understand the situation. These efforts by India would continue until normalcy is restored, the official also added.

Animesh Roul, Executive Director of Research at the New Delhi-based Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict says India should act fast for its citizens including tourists and expatriates (health care professionals and educators) stranded in that volatile quagmire.'

Having said that, India is not in a position to carry out an Operation Cactus (Nov. 1988) type intervention as those times were different. Now bigger players are involved in Maldives affairs (read China) and India should be more cautious in its approach. We are not expecting to make another Nepal in Maldives, as far as our neighbourhood diplomatic ties are concern, Roul adds.

Roul adds that India should utilise its good office in Male and influence President Yameen to find middle path while keeping the option of a stronger response open to break the stalemate.

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