Some important information about India Maldives Relations is :-
Why in news?
Recently the President of the Maldives declared a state of emergency.
- India established formal diplomatic relations with Maldives after the independence of Maldives from the British rule in 1966.
- Operation Cactus was India’s military aid of 1600 soldiers to Maldives to fight the armed attack of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supported rebel groups in 1988 for an attempted coup.
- India has provided liberal economic aid and cooperated with Maldives for improving its Infrastructure.
- India provided bottled water through its helicopters to Maldives when its only water treatment plant collapsed in December 2014.
- India shares very close military ties with Maldives by having two helicopter bases, integration of radars and Indian Coast Guard surveillance along Maldivian coast. India also aims to remain as a net security provider to Maldives.
India’s stakes in Maldives
Maldives is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, and India being a major power in the Indian Ocean region has the highest stake in the stability of Maldives for various reasons like –
- Securing sea lanes of communication, Fighting piracy and sea based terrorism,
- Countering China’s string of pearls policy,
- Making Indian ocean a conflict free zone and restoring its status as sea of tranquil,
- Exploring blue economy and Enhancing trade.
- Security of Indian expatriates working there.
- Under the current regime of Maldives, since 2013, India-Maldives relations have been deteriorating. Maldive’s closeness to China has increased as big infrastructure projects have been given to Chinese companies and Chinese naval ships were allowed to dock in Male.
- The current situation is very serious as democratic institutions are being subverted which would make it difficult for Indian Government to negotiate a better relation with Maldives, this calls for India’s intervention in Maldives.
- But unlike India’s operation Cactus, where request for intervention was from the sitting president, in the present case the demand for intervention is from opposition parties. The situation does not meet the requirements articulated by the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine, under Article 2 of the UN charter and India’s traditional policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other sovereign countries.
India should involve in political mediation between the government and Opposition, to restore order in Maldives and facilitate conditions for the upcoming elections due in next few months. A democratic Government would be in the best of interests for both Maldives as well as India. India must get considerable international support for the same.
For more information, You can check:- Current Affairs.