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Friday, September 18, 2009

Power, PoliticsThe Maldives

Maldives is a small country comprising of 1191 tiny islands in the Indian Ocean. The population of Maldives is around 300,000 excluding 100,000 workers who are not Maldivians. The Maldivian people are predominately Sunni Muslims. US interests in Maldives has brought the country in the limelight. US Ambassador to Maldives, Robert Blake who is presently doing as US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia has already submitted a report on Maldives to President Barack Hussain Obama in which a legal framework has been drafted to supply weapons and high-tech equipments in order to serve the American interests in the region. In other words, Maldives which was being secretly armed by US to bring western styled democracy would be openly provided military assistance within next couple of weeks. According to a well chalked out plan some of the American missionaries have been encouraged to settle down in Maldives to attain Maldivian nationalities. US businessmen and social workers are being granted special privileges to settle down in Maldives. It has been targeted that the strength of Americans holding Maldivian nationalities should make around 1,000 persons by the end of this decade. A long term plan includes construction of US marine bases and shelters on at least two Maldivian islands. In fact US is also concerned about Chinese interest in Maldives as both countries enjoy good diplomatic relations and China has also support from Maldives on the issues related to Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and human rights. US is also concerned about last week's visit of Zhang Gaoli, who was leading a delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on a three-day visit to this Island as he met Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and delivered special message of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

US President Barack Obama has signed a presidential determination on September 7, 2009 for his Secretary of State to transmit it to the Congress, saying "the furnishing of defence articles and defence services to the Maldives will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace." Soon after the commitment announced by US President, Robert Blake said that occasionally terrorists try to make use of the Maldivian territory, and thus there is need for the US to help Maldives to monitor its territories. He categorically said that "Maldives faces a number of challenges. First of all there are terrorists that come through the Maldives, transit through the Maldives." These developments are not without the warrant. Interestingly, US think tanks and security experts are airing a lot of propaganda for their fear that that island resorts could be taken China, which according to some reports is keen to establish a naval base at one of its islands by 2010. It is interesting to note that in the end of August 2009, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony visited Maldives and concluded an understanding for greater level of cooperation between the two countries. New Delhi plans to help Maldives set up a network of ground radars in all its 26 coral islands and link them with the Indian military surveillance systems, the project jointly funded by US and Israel. India has also agreed to provide helicopters to Maldives. In another development Maldives Interior Minister Muhammad Shoaib visited Pakistan and concluded a number of understandings and agreements. The important outcome of the visit was that Maldives requested Islamabad to train its Police which was hounored by Pakistan.

Maldives is a Non-aligned developing country, which needs food, shelter and health services and not arms and ammunition. The so called democratic government of President Nasheed is increasing the prices of commodities to import weapon. If this is democracy, one might fear that dictatorship in Maldives was better than this democracy. US is projecting its presence in Maldives on the grounds that Maldives faces a number of challenges, the prime being that there are terrorists that come through and transit through the Maldives but so far Washington has neither identified these terrorists nor has disclosed the nature of threat US faces from terrorist in Maldives. US claims that Maldives must maintain an ability to monitor what is going on in their seas as one of the major sea lanes in the world passes through them. US, China and India are competing for bases in the Indian Ocean. India recently gave Maldives additional economic and military aid. India is increasing its military and intelligence collaboration with Sri Lanka, where China is seeking to obtain basing rights for warships. Both Maldives and Sri Lanka are located off the southern tip of India and posses serious threat to India if these countries provide Chinese ships with bases in the middle of the Indian Ocean. US is backing India to have firm grip in these two countries so that China is isolated. In this power politics the looser would be no one but Maldives. Maldives should stay neutral and needs not to link itself with any power. In case it forgoes its Non-aligned status, very soon it will loose its identity, integrity and sovereignty.

You can find same article on Kasmir Watch: By Afshain Afzal.


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3 comments:

Ziyaa said...

..In deed something that we need to take seriously!

stamp said...

http://jefferson-stamp.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

C'mon guys ! dont you see the Red threat to Freedom !! the chinese dont even care for the rights of chinese, think what they'll do if they get gretaer influence...we must work to support freedom , democracy and all thats good in this world...not bow down to the dirty games the chinese are playing. India still stands strong to protect all these values and we should side with whats right...non-alignment is a good but not so benefitting concept for us...we could gain vastly from this new 'cold war'...and india is our best,even morally. if the chinese gain greater influence in the region they'll surely bully us...they dont even spare their own people! india's been our neighbour always and has helped us so much...we should be their friends as they want to be ours.