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Maldives Wire

Maldives Wire

International

EU Lawmakers correct their mistake in supporting Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader. Will they learn the same in Maldives?

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will no longer be invited to events of the European Parliament’s human rights prize, which she won in 1990, EU lawmakers said on Thursday, a protest over accusations of genocide in her country.

Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner of Myanmar’s then ruling military junta in the 1990s who now rules as state counselor, was awarded the parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 1990.

As part of that honor, she is also invited to gatherings of prize laureates, EU lawmakers and rights organizations to campaign on rights issues internationally.

EU lawmakers said in a statement that her suspension from Sakharov Prize events was “a response to her failure to act and her acceptance of the ongoing crimes against the Rohingya community in Myanmar”.

Suu Kyi, who came to power after a landslide election victory in 2015 that ended half a century of army rule, is accused internationally of failing to denounce a military campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Her stance on the Rohingyas has seen her stripped of other awards, calls for the Nobel committee to revoke the Nobel Peace Prize that she won in 1991 and criticism from former supporters.

Suu Kyi denies genocide and has defended her country against the charges in the U.N. court in The Hague.

Similarly, in the Maldives, the European Union has invested heavily in creating a pro-democracy leader of the former President Mohamed Nasheed. With the EU support, Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party had successfully won the elections in the Maldives with the hope that democracy will prevail in the tiny paradise.

Unfortunately for the EU, after coming to power, just as what happened in Myanmar, now in the Maldives we have the pro-democracy leader, as well as his foreign minister and others all has failed to stand up for democracy.

Just as Suu Kyi, now we find the Maldivian Democratic Party’s top Ministers with the highest influential positions ignoring the killing of journalist Khashoggi, as well as failing to bring to justice those involved in the killing of journalist in the Maldives.

Mohamed Nasheed is the Parliament Speaker with his party having a super majority to make any laws they want to support democracy. Instead they and their Ministers in government have spent more time supporting the foreign policy of Saudi prince MBS which the CIA has blamed on the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.

Past months they have now shifted away from the EU and their pro-democracy agenda to support Indian foreign policy to control the Maldives through classified military agreements between both countries.

These unhealthy relations with countries known for abusing human rights against journalists as well as minorities in occupied Kashmir rings alarm bells to human rights NGOs and EU lawmakers who had supported the Maldivian Democratic Party in many of its political challenges.

While the Maldivian Embassy in UK seeks to calm the worries of their British and EU colleagues with a rosy picture and an extremist enemy as a distraction, in the Maldives the hope of democracy is fast fading.

At a time where women rights can be brought into law within a week if needed, the Maldivian Democratic Party has spent two years without any concrete progress for women rights.

Over spending by Ministers in their travel expenses, the countless numbers of political appointees in various foreign diplomatic posts with big salaries, cars and properties have angered many Maldivians who have been going through economic hardship even before the covid-19 hit their tourist dependent economy hard.

As more Maldivians lose their jobs anger only grows against the Maldivian Democratic Party and it’s leaders who had promised change. The EU is finding out once again another bunch of Asian politicians from the Maldives, who were desperate for power and positions has now been corrupted black oil money and military power from undemocratic countries.

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