Fighting broke out between police and protesters in the Maldives after ousted president Mohamed Nasheed claimed he had been forced to give up his office at gunpoint.
His supporters clashed with officers in the capital, Male, after a protest against his removal on Tuesday, which he suggested was a coup by military and police. A mass meeting of members of his Maldivian Democratic party marched as a group to the capital's Republican Square where violence began.
There were conflicting accounts of the confrontation. Some reports suggested that protesters threw petrol bombs at police, and attacked a private television station that had been critical of the deposed government. But earlier, Nasheed's party said he had been attacked and beaten when riot police fired teargas and made baton charges against hundreds of his supporters.
Acting police commissioner Abdulla Fairooz said "around 40" people had been arrested, including the party's former chairwoman Mariya Ahmed Didi.
Nasheed told reporters that he had been forced out of office: "There were guns all around me, and they told me they wouldn't hesitate to use them if I didn't resign." But his replacement, Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, the former vice-president, said the transfer of power had been peaceful and constitutional.
"Do I look like someone who will bring about a coup d'etat?" Waheed asked reporters. "There was no plan. I was not prepared at all." He called for a government of national unity.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said he hoped the "handover of power, which has been announced as a constitutional step to avoid further violence and instability, will lead to the peaceful resolution of the political crisis that has polarised the country".
The confrontation was the culmination of weeks of protests following Nasheed's order to the military to arrest a judge, whom he accused of blocking multimillion-dollar corruption cases against members of the former government.
Hours before his resignation, there had been a mutiny in police ranks which saw a few dozen officers side with protesters and then clash with soldiers in the streets. The officers took control of the state broadcaster in Male and began playing messages in support of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled for more than 30 years.
According to the Minivian News, the Maldives high commissioner in the UK, Farahanaz Faizal, has resigned in protest at the new government: "My conscience wouldn't allow me to serve a government which had overthrown a democratically elected government in a coup d'etat."
British, US and Australian diplomats have flown in from neighbouring Sri Lanka to provide consular assistance, if needed, to tourists holidaying in the Maldives. (Source: The Guardian)
You don't worry about the UN let them do their job
salim Thursday, 09 February 2012 02:27 AM
good by war crime supporter .
sudhu Thursday, 09 February 2012 11:58 AM
our politicians should learn from you to be politically cultured
steve Thursday, 09 February 2012 11:59 AM
shouldn't SL pick a leaf out of our neighbors book!
Aisha Thursday, 09 February 2012 05:04 AM
Mohamed Nasheed Come Back soon. Your the true hero. You just inspired me when you resigned. This is a democratic county. Not a military one. Majority of the nation regrets your resignation. Photos and videos are the proofs!!
- die heart fan of anni since 07.02.12 -
Justin Thursday, 09 February 2012 12:35 PM
Nasheed is a disgrace to this region. He did not stand for Human Rights of the victims of genocide in SL in the last UNHRC session.
Samosa Thursday, 09 February 2012 05:09 AM
Gun pointed.... no different from SL politics.
Wickrama Thursday, 09 February 2012 05:06 AM
Anyhow you are a great man and shown your quality to the world unlike our Rueling and oposition fellows. They always greedy for the seat even if anything happen cruicially in the coutnry
Chandra Thursday, 09 February 2012 05:50 AM
wernie Thursday, 09 February 2012 01:28 PM
Something hidden there ?,gun point ?NOTemocratic.UN ,Banki moon?
Nodrog Thursday, 09 February 2012 01:33 PM
Genocide in Sri Lanka??? You can stop batting for the LTTE now, they're dead and gone. Why don't you talk about the Tamils killed by the terrorist?
Nodrog Thursday, 09 February 2012 01:49 PM
Justin are you hallucinating? Topic is about the Maldives coup.
Lanka Thursday, 09 February 2012 06:42 AM
This is something the international west countries should investigate than wasting time in SL affairs.
Sri Lankan Thursday, 09 February 2012 02:32 PM
Justin, Nasheed is a true patriot.
Aristotle Thursday, 09 February 2012 02:39 PM
Soon more to follow. Your guess is good as mine.
Wara Thursday, 09 February 2012 06:55 AM
What would be the UN respond for this !!!!
Thomas Thursday, 09 February 2012 03:08 PM
Is there a a possibility in Sri Lanka?
Ameer Thursday, 09 February 2012 04:17 PM
Justin, what are you talking about here??? We defeated terrorists and killed terrorist not Tamils, Sri Lankan Tamils are citizens of our country. But anyways hope Nasheed gets his power back. International community should act against this
refugee Thursday, 09 February 2012 11:33 PM
don't waste time pointing , use it
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