News / Asia

    Maldives Protests Spread After Leader Ousted

    A Maldivian army soldier, left, and policeman take cover as a supporter of Mohamed Nasheed, who resigned Tuesday from his post as Maldivian President, hurls back a tear gas canister thrown during a protest in Male, Maldives, February 8, 2012.
    A Maldivian army soldier, left, and policeman take cover as a supporter of Mohamed Nasheed, who resigned Tuesday from his post as Maldivian President, hurls back a tear gas canister thrown during a protest in Male, Maldives, February 8, 2012.

    Clashes between police and supporters of the Maldives' former president, Mohamed Nasheed, have spread beyond the capital of Male to several outlying islands, a day after an alleged coup forced his resignation.

    Residents of the islands told media outlets that protesters seized several police stations on smaller islands late Wednesday following unconfirmed reports that police had beaten up the former president during an earlier protest in the capital.

    At the time, he was leading supporters in a demonstration that erupted into violence when police responded with tear gas and baton charges.

    Coup allegations

    Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected president, says he was forced from office in a coup and that the new President Mohammed Waheed Hassan, his former second-in-command, should immediately step down.  

    In an interview with the French news agency, Nasheed said he feared that his successor was involved in the coup attempt and had seized the chance to take over. He is urging the country's judiciary to investigate those responsible for his ouster.

    President Hassan has denied the allegations, saying he was unprepared to take control of the country. He also announced he plans to appoint a unity cabinet in the next few days.

    Mohamed Nasheed, center, who resigned Tuesday from his post as Maldivian president, marches along with his supporters during a rally in Male, Maldives, February 8, 2012.
    Mohamed Nasheed, center, who resigned Tuesday from his post as Maldivian president, marches along with his supporters during a rally in Male, Maldives, February 8, 2012.

    Unity cabinet

    Hassan was sworn in Tuesday after Nasheed resigned following weeks of anti-government protests that were joined by police. The former president told the country in a televised speech on Tuesday that he was stepping down because he had no desire to use force to maintain his rule.

    Nasheed's resignation announcement came after mutinous police took over the state television headquarters in the capital, Male, and broadcast calls for him to step down.  Earlier, a group of police had joined an opposition protest and attacked a nearby demonstration led by members of the ruling party, prompting soldiers to use tear gas.

    Police protests

    The government had faced three weeks of mounting protests after Mr. Nasheed ordered the arrest of a senior judge on charges of misconduct and favoring opposition figures.

    Waheed, the Supreme Court and the United Nations Human Rights Commission all called for the judge to be released.

    Nasheed became president in 2008, replacing Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who held office for 30 years under a one-party system.

    Maldives

    The Republic of Maldives is a Muslim-majority nation made up of about 1,200 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. It is famous for its beach resorts and hotels that cater to newly married couples and high-end travellers. There was no immediate indication that the political unrest has affected the country's tourism industry.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora