May 25, 2022

Controversial news of former PM’s attempt to flee to Maldives!

Former Maldives President and Speaker of the MaldivesParliament Mohamed Nasheed is reportedly preparing safe passage for formerPrime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family to visit the Maldives, TheMaldives Journal reports.

The reports state that Nasheed is currently in SriLanka, meeting heads of political parties.It is stated that Nasheed came toSri Lanka last week, and volunteered to coordinate international relief effortsfor Sri Lanka, despite lacking any experience in that field. The Maldives Journal further notes that in the last fewdays, Nasheed has held several meetings with high-level political figures andlobbied to grant the Rajapaksa family a safe passage to the Maldives.

The reports states that a senior Maldivian governmentofficial reported to TMJ that after he had resigned, Mahinda Rajapaksa hadcalled Nasheed. In this call, Rajapaksa requested Nasheed to make arrangementsso that his family can stay in the Maldives until the situation in Sri Lankacalms down.

The TMJ report states that Mahindainitially had the plan to settle his family in a property of Maldivian tourismtycoon, Champa Muhammad Moosa (Uhchu). Moosa is known to have close ties withthe Rajapaksas. However, the official had told TMJ that Nasheed had shotdown the idea, citing that Moosa was an untrustworthy figure. As an alternative, Nasheed hadproposed that Rajapaksas purchase a private residence in Soneva Fushi, aproperty owned by India’s Sonu Shivdasani.

Sonu is a close associate ofNasheed. The report suggests that Shivdasani has close ties toIndia’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The TMJ also reported that  Sonu Shivdasani had agreed to sell a privatevilla to the Rajapaksa family – at a cool US$ 12 million. An additional villa,priced at US$ 3 million, is also included in the deal, and will be used ashousing for the family’s staff and security.

TMJ has been able to confirm thatthe family plans to purchase a six-room villa, measuring 24,000 square feet. Itcan comfortably house 12 adults and six children. A private pool, gym, sauna,and other facilities are available in the villa as well.

The complete report by The Maldives Journal can beaccessed here…

However, in a Twitter post the formerMaldivian President and Speaker ofthe Maldives Parliament Mohamed Nasheed had saidthat the TMJ report was completely fabricated. He had said that through their liesgreat damage was done to the media profession.

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Maldivian Parliamentary Secretariat has also deniedthe report, saying Nasheed's role was "limited to providing assistance andnothing else."


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Sports Minister NamalRajapaksa had also posted a comment on Twitter regarding this report. He had said that his father has no intention of leavingthe country and that the report about them having plans of purchasing a housein the Maldives is a complete lie.  He had said that these claims weremade with the aim of attracting Sri Lankan and Maldivian readers.

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“I never gave a copy of my passport to a Maldivianofficial. My passport is in the custody of the Fort Magistrate's Court. I havebeen banned from traveling abroad. If I wanted to leave the country, I wouldneed the help of the Sri Lankan authorities, not the Maldivian authorities,”Namal Rajapaksa said.

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Asan then posted a copy of Namal Rajapaksa's wife'spassport and asked why copies of her and Namal Rajapaksa's son's passports werein the possession of Maldivian Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

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Sonu Shivdasani has also released a Twitter message in this regard, saying that the TMJ report is completely false.

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calling them irresponsible and undemocratic.

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