About 100 protesters gathered outside the Maldives embassy in Colombo Tuesday, demanding political prisoners be freed and calling on the government to enforce a Supreme Court order.
The Maldives has been in turmoil since President Abdulla Yameen’s refusal to obey a ruling that ordered the immediate release of his opponents and the reinstatement of lawmakers.
There have been protests for weeks, demanding his resignation and arrest, and the demonstration in Colombo was the first one outside the Maldives since last month’s Supreme Court ruling and state of emergency declaration.
Protesters held banners and placards while shouting “Free parliament” and “End the state of emergency.”
But the Maldives ambassador played down the protest.
“They shouted and protested before too, they are shouting many new things today. But this has nothing to do with Sri Lanka, so there is no court order they can enforce from out here,” Mohamed ‘Mundu’ Shareef told Avas.
“Mundhu said that no court order can be enforced from here, and there is no other way for those in hiding than to hand themselves to the embassy, return to the Maldives and complete their (jail) sentence,” Avas reported.
Only a few people were taking part in the protest and if it were the ruling party protesting there would be more participants, the ambassador claimed.
He said he did not care about the protesters but that the demonstration disturbed the embassy’s work.