News / Middle East

Maldives President Says His Country's Democracy Can Be Guide for Mideast

Maldives' President Mohammad Nasheed (File Photo)
Maldives' President Mohammad Nasheed (File Photo)

As India and its neighbors scramble to evacuate their citizens from Libya's turmoil, the president of the Maldives says he is optimistic about the long-term democratic future of the region, and says his country can help provide a model for emerging from autocracy.  

India's government says it has chartered a passenger ferry to begin helping its citizens exit the country's domestic strife. The "Scotia Prince," with a 1,200 passenger capacity, is expected to set sail soon from Egypt to Libya's eastern port of Benghazi. India then plans to fly citizens home from Alexandria.

Indian officials say air evacuation from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, will begin as soon as the government receives clearance for aircraft on standby to begin landing there. About 18,000 Indian workers are in Libya. It is not known how many intend to return to their homeland as violence by supporters of leader Moammar Gadhafi intensifies against anti-government protesters.

Meanwhile, in the Indian capital, Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed offered his resounding support to pro-democracy activists in the Middle East. He told a group of scholars, following a path to democracy has served his country well.

"After two and half years of democratic government, the Maldives is strong, stable, and successful," he said. "Just as I am sure many Arab countries will become."

The Maldives, a chain of tropical islands southwest of India, experienced its own violent anti-government protests in 2004 and 2005. Nasheed became the first democratically elected president in 2008, replacing a president who held office for 30 years.

President Nasheed dismissed the notion held by some that giving the power of the vote to Arabs or Muslims could lead to chaos.

"Coming from a 100-percent Muslim nation that has peaceful, stable, and successful transition to democracy, I totally reject this line of thinking," he said.

Nasheed says his country has rapidly liberalized its economy, established a free press,  built out its civic society, and welcomed the arrival of dozens of international nongovernmental organizations in recent years. Such pillars of liberal democracy, he says, act as a "pressure valve" against the rise of extremist factions, and are the only long-term guarantees of stability in the world.

President Nasheed is in New Delhi until Friday for top level meetings on anti-piracy efforts, climate change, and increased two-way trade and investment.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid