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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2429

Sri Lanka Welcomes Defeated Maldivian 'Strongman' To The Country

Colombo, 26 September, (Asiantribune.com):

In a fine democratic quester, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremasinghe has welcomed the Maldivian defeated President, termed as ‘Strongman of the Maldives,’ Abdull Yameen to Sri Lanka, two days after his surprise defeat in presidential elections.

In a phone call on Monday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe "informed Mr. Yameen that he is welcome in Colombo at any time," the premier’s office said.

The Prime Minister Wickremasinghe spoke to outgoing Maldivian President Abdullah Yameen and thanked him for conducting a free and fair Presidential election.
The Prime Minister also told President Yameen that he is always welcome to visit Sri Lanka, anytime he wishes.

Wickremesinghe made the call after hosting Yameen’s arch rival and former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed at a luncheon meeting on Monday.

Nasheed, the atoll nation’s first democratically elected leader, was sentenced to 13 years in jail after narrowly losing the 2013 elections to Yameen.

He fled to London where he sought refuge and now lives in Sri Lanka.

Last Sunday’s (23rd September) election which was held with all key opposition leaders behind bars or in exile, leaving the little-known Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to challenge Yameen.

In a major upset, Solih won with 58 percent of the vote.

Sri Lanka has long been a haven for dissidents from the nearby Maldives over years of political upheaval, including for hundreds of opponents of Yameen since he became president in 2013.

- Asian Tribune –

In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 photo, Maldivian president Yameen Abdul Gayoom, center, leaves a polling station after casting his vote during presidential election day in Male, Maldives.
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