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UK training terrorists to attack Maldives, says ruling party MP

“There’s no room now to believe that what Britain is doing now isn’t keeping a few Maldivians there and training them for a terrorist attack here,” PPM MP Riyaz Rasheed said during Monday’s sitting of parliament.



The British government is training terrorists to attack the Maldives, MP Riyaz Rasheed of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives said during Monday’s sitting of parliament.

The PPM parliamentary group’s deputy leader said the government is unfazed by the new coalition launched in London last month by opposition leaders in exile.

“There’s no space for terrorists in this country. I said it before. I called upon Britain, too: Don’t create terrorists in Britain to attack this country,” he said.

“There’s no room now to believe that what Britain is doing now isn’t keeping a few Maldivians there and training them for a terrorist attack here.”

He went on to accuse powerful nations of creating mayhem and “meddling in the internal affairs of an independent and sovereign country”.

Riyaz’s remarks follow the former UK foreign office minister telling the House of Commons that the British government is considering “exclusion orders” against top Maldives officials over the imprisonment of opposition leaders.

The UK also granted political asylum in May to former President Mohamed Nasheed. The opposition leader, who was serving a 13-year jail sentence, was authorised to travel for medical treatment.

Several other politicians are also living in exile in the UK.

Former Vice President Mohamed Jameel, the leader of the Maldives United Opposition, fled to London ahead of his impeachment in July last year.

If he returns, Jameel faces possible arrest and prosecution over an alleged coup plot.

Ali Waheed, chairman of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, and Jumhooree Party Deputy Leader Ameen Ibrahim also fled the Maldives to avoid prosecution over the mass anti-government rally on May 1 last year.

Riyaz Rasheed meanwhile has a history of stirring controversy with incendiary remarks.

During a debate in parliament last March over reserving quotas for women in local councils, he called opposition female lawmakers “screaming crows” and suggested that women are the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.

In October, Riyaz said a bill criminalising calls for tourism boycotts and sanctions against the Maldives is aimed at jailing all opposition MPs.

In May last year, he refused to apologise for tweets about prohibiting “islanders” from travelling to protest in Malé.

In March 2012, he argued that the British public funded the Maldivian Democratic Party in return for the establishment of churches in the Maldives.

He also alleged that the UK hated the Maldives for gaining its independence.

Riyaz went on to criticise Queen Elizabeth by saying: “After 50 years, the English Queen, she is physically challenged. But she is still the Queen, and if she wants she can remove the Prime Minister. Where is democracy? Where is democracy? That is not a democracy.”