Maldives Civil-Military Issues

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kit
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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby kit » 12 Feb 2018 00:15

on an off note ..an interesting proposition would be to ride out the tide .. literally !!

The Earth is currently undergoing a climate change of historic proportion, with sea levels rising noticeably from the melting of glaciers and icebergs. If the trend continues, the Maldives will be completely submerged in 30 years.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby nvishal » 12 Feb 2018 01:05

Pulikeshi wrote:Will one of the jeengovaadin please explain why US being in Diego Garcia is ok, but China being (potentially) in Maldives not ok for India?
Also, the US has no concerns with a Chinese (potential) base right next door? What no noise from the US about any of this - seems weird no?

Currently, the indian military planners take into account threats from these four spaces:
1) Pakistan
2) China
3) American bases in the IOR (diego gardia incident in 1971)
4) From the middle-eastern states. Eg: In past indo-pak wars, POTUS instructed middle-eastern states to get their f16s fleets in stand-by mode if india ever decided to invade pakistan

--------------------

Think from an american PoV for a moment. You have two states(india and china). India has deep ties with russia due to history. Back in 72, after the creation of bangladesh, nixon officially appointed china as the american counter-weight against the soviet. China double played the americans. The chinese took full advantage of the unprecedented access to industrial technology from US to china after 1972 and ended up creating more assemblies lines than anywhere else in the world. Secretly, the chinese never sided with the americans rather they simply exploited the opportunity that came their way after the creation of bangladesh. Later, the chinese would go on to cultivate ties with russia.

For the americans, this presents a situation where they have no control over either india or china. The americans already have a foe(russia) and adding india and china into the mix adds more troubles than they can handle. But the americans are pragmatists. What they want now is for india and china to engage in a conventional war with each other, just enough to spend themselves and possibly cancel each other out in the process. If this happens, the americans can concentrate on their real foe - russia.

The takeaway line here is that the americans don't care about the chinese expansion into the indian ocean because it brings them that much closer into a possible conflict with india.

For india, it present a dilemma... 1) It cannot fight a staged war 2) If it doesnt fight, the chinese are opportunists by nature and they will take this opportunity to handicap india.
Last edited by nvishal on 12 Feb 2018 01:40, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby vinod » 12 Feb 2018 01:20

Pulikeshi wrote:Also, the US has no concerns with a Chinese (potential) base right next door? What no noise from the US about any of this - seems weird no?


May be the worst case scenario for US is that they lose a base and the worst case scenario is our home land is under occupation!

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby KL Dubey » 12 Feb 2018 01:46

chetak wrote:nasheed is a self serving ahole, who expects and demands that India help him get his testimonials out of the fire.


He may be all that - like I said, this isn't about 'helping Nasheed'. There are likely many things going on that we don't know about. Let us wait and see what happens in the next few dayz.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Trikaal » 12 Feb 2018 01:58

Pulikeshi wrote:Will one of the jeengovaadin please explain why US being in Diego Garcia is ok, but China being (potentially) in Maldives not ok for India?
Also, the US has no concerns with a Chinese (potential) base right next door? What no noise from the US about any of this - seems weird no?


Do you honestly think that US concerns for Diego Garcia will be same as India's concerns for our mainland? Chinese aren't making a base a stone's throw away from florida or california. Let's see if anyone in the world can manage that. Russians tried with Cuba, the world knows what happened. Flankers out of maldives won't threaten texas, they will threaten tamil nadu. So ofc it is indians who will make noise.
US cannot object the same way because security concerns of a foreign base aren't the same as concerns for mainland. If US starts complaining about every foreign base near one of their base, then there won't be any space in the world to build a base because US bases are everywhere.

India had concerns about Diego Garcia in the past but the fact is that we couldn't do anything about it. So accepting it as fait accompli in face of a bigger power was the only option. Going by the current situation, accepting the presence of a chinese base in maldives will be fait accompli too in a couple of years. Looks like it is time we get on our knees and accept the next superpower.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby KL Dubey » 12 Feb 2018 02:03

The sea level issue is indeed significant and would likely work to our advantage.

You never know, the Chinese may have a strategy to "grab" these low-lying islands now and reclaim land on a long-term basis. I believe they are already doing this in the Spratlys. However, this would be very expensive and difficult to do in the IOR which is far away.

Assuming Maldives, Lakshadweep, Diego Garcia, and any other atolls all go under in a few decades, India does have some advantages: we are well placed in the A&N islands, Mauritius, and Seychelles which have considerably higher elevations. They are "solid" land and not atolls. Getting real estate and building infrastructure in these places will be very important and it seems we are already doing that.

At that time, the only useful "vantage points" in the IOR will be A&N islands in the northeast and Mauritius/Seychelles in the southwest.

Of course they'll have "disappearing beaches" and all that, but the population will need to adapt. Mauritius and Seychelles would be better off joining India at that point. The population is largely of Indian stock.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 05:09

KL Dubey wrote:The sea level issue is indeed significant and would likely work to our advantage.

You never know, the Chinese may have a strategy to "grab" these low-lying islands now and reclaim land on a long-term basis. I believe they are already doing this in the Spratlys. However, this would be very expensive and difficult to do in the IOR which is far away.

Assuming Maldives, Lakshadweep, Diego Garcia, and any other atolls all go under in a few decades, India does have some advantages: we are well placed in the A&N islands, Mauritius, and Seychelles which have considerably higher elevations. They are "solid" land and not atolls. Getting real estate and building infrastructure in these places will be very important and it seems we are already doing that.

At that time, the only useful "vantage points" in the IOR will be A&N islands in the northeast and Mauritius/Seychelles in the southwest.

Of course they'll have "disappearing beaches" and all that, but the population will need to adapt. Mauritius and Seychelles would be better off joining India at that point. The population is largely of Indian stock.


the hans have experience in constructing "islands" like they have done in the SCS.

If they have purchased some atolls, then they may be ones having the maximum potential for "expansion" and maybe interconnection to make one huge island for their own "peaceful" military purposes.

They could easily raise the level to delay the inevitable by many decades.

just saying onlee.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby sudarshan » 12 Feb 2018 05:27

KL Dubey wrote:The sea level issue is indeed significant and would likely work to our advantage.

You never know, the Chinese may have a strategy to "grab" these low-lying islands now and reclaim land on a long-term basis. I believe they are already doing this in the Spratlys. However, this would be very expensive and difficult to do in the IOR which is far away.

Assuming Maldives, Lakshadweep, Diego Garcia, and any other atolls all go under in a few decades, India does have some advantages: we are well placed in the A&N islands, Mauritius, and Seychelles which have considerably higher elevations. They are "solid" land and not atolls. Getting real estate and building infrastructure in these places will be very important and it seems we are already doing that.

At that time, the only useful "vantage points" in the IOR will be A&N islands in the northeast and Mauritius/Seychelles in the southwest.

Of course they'll have "disappearing beaches" and all that, but the population will need to adapt. Mauritius and Seychelles would be better off joining India at that point. The population is largely of Indian stock.


Relying on sea level rise is naive. First of all, islands in Nauru and Kiribati have been shown to rebuild and rise with the sea level, since these atolls are highly dynamic, not just pieces of rock waiting for the sea to run over them. Maldives could be no different.

But even if you accept the "settled science" that islands are going to disappear in the coming decades, the depth below sea level, 60 years from now, is going to stay at the level of several meters at best. The Chinese are perfectly capable of dumping mud and raising the level enough to carry out their schemes. Is India going to wait 60 or 100 years, so that the sea takes care of the Chinese on its own? That would be a Nehruvian policy indeed.

Plus, if you buy the theory that the rising seas are going to drown out whole islands (I don't, but let's not get into that here), then parts of India are going to face the same fate. Our ports are going to be submerged too, and we'll have quite a task just keeping up. The Chinese will by then have achieved their objectives, and will be laughing away at the naive Indians, still waiting for the sea to wash the Hans away.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Neshant » 12 Feb 2018 05:34

looks like india is going to do nothing.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby KL Dubey » 12 Feb 2018 07:18

sudarshan wrote:Relying on sea level rise is naive. First of all, islands in Nauru and Kiribati have been shown to rebuild and rise with the sea level, since these atolls are highly dynamic, not just pieces of rock waiting for the sea to run over them. Maldives could be no different.

But even if you accept the "settled science" that islands are going to disappear in the coming decades, the depth below sea level, 60 years from now, is going to stay at the level of several meters at best. The Chinese are perfectly capable of dumping mud and raising the level enough to carry out their schemes. Is India going to wait 60 or 100 years, so that the sea takes care of the Chinese on its own? That would be a Nehruvian policy indeed.

Plus, if you buy the theory that the rising seas are going to drown out whole islands (I don't, but let's not get into that here), then parts of India are going to face the same fate. Our ports are going to be submerged too, and we'll have quite a task just keeping up. The Chinese will by then have achieved their objectives, and will be laughing away at the naive Indians, still waiting for the sea to wash the Hans away.


You're perhaps over-analyzing my post.

1) I didn't say we should "rely" on climate change - how absurd that you read my post in that sense. I am just balancing the "doomsday" posts that "China is taking over". Actually it seems they are exerting themselves with a certain desperation in order to avoid being outflanked in the IOR.

2) I don't myself believe that seas will rise to the worst-case extent that is feared - but they will certainly rise and countries like the Maldives will nearly be wiped out.

3) Yes, indeed - depending on the extent of sear rise, both China and India will be spending billions to manage the mainland coastlines. That makes it less likely that either will have resources and willpower to shore up the Maldives.

4) The NDA-II sarkar has done an excellent job of putting our Mauritius and Seychelles plans back on track. There is no doubt of the focused outreach and accelerated building that has taken place since 2015.

5) Yes, the Maldives (and Sri Lanka) are still a concern. They need to be properly managed. We have done a good job in Sri Lanka to get rid of Rajapaksha without any military intervention.

So in the midst of all the doomsday posts, you do also need to realistically consider the scenario that in a few years we will be in a very strong position in the Indian Ocean - while the Chinese will be still trying to climb uphill. Climate change will likely help us in that regard, that is all.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby sudarshan » 12 Feb 2018 08:04

KL Dubey wrote:
You're perhaps over-analyzing my post.


OK, no offense intended. I've been reading up about India in Mauritius and Seychelles. This is an excellent initiative, one which has the potential of sandwiching any Chinese build-ups in the Maldives, between mainland India and the African coast. If that happens, the Chinese could end up being sitting ducks in the Maldives. More to the point, it is the Maldiveans who will take the brunt of any two-sided Indian offensive, and this needs to be driven home to any idiots there, who dream of selling themselves to the Chinese.

Mauritius is overwhelmingly Hindu. The African east coast in general is amenable to India. Good to know that the GOI has reached ahead to the point, that the Maldives will no longer encircle India.

Neither Seychelles, nor Mauritius, however, has as much of a geographical spread as the Maldives. Though in terms of overall area, they are way bigger (especially Mauritius).

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 08:05

Maldives on the “Boil”-Yameen Declares Emergency to avoid Court Orders

06-Feb-2018

By Dr. S. Chandrasekharan

A Surprise and path breaking judgement, an evasive and defiant President who is a tyrant and an enthusiastic and jubilant but angry population- these describe the current situation in Maldives.

On 30th January, President Yameen, in all solemnity, declared that the Police in Maldives is still independent and that it has been tasked only with law enforcement without room for political ideologies. He added that the Police are mandated to execute court orders without question. Should they “forget” their responsibilities, he said then the incumbent President is mandated by the Constitution to remind.

So stated Mr. Yameen who had to swallow his words within two days and order the dismissal of the Police Commissioner and later his deputy for declaring publicly that they would implement the Supreme Court orders!

Before we discuss the surprising judgement of the Supreme Court, and the crisis caused by Yameen in declaring an emergency, I would urge a reference to my paper titled “Maldives: A Tyrant next door- How does one deal with it?”in paper number 6251 dated 4th May 2017. (Given as an annexure in this paper). In concluding that paper I had said that India had made many mistakes in the past on Maldives and cited one such instance of ready of acceptance of the fall of President Nasheed who was actually thrown out in a coup!

The Supreme Court Judgement:

In the late hours of 1st February, the Supreme Court ordered the release of three convicted opposition leaders who were facing long sentences- former President Mohamed Nasheed, Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim and Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla.

In addition to these three, the Supreme Court ordered the release of former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, Member of Parliament and son of former President Gayoom Faris Maumoon, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, former Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhusin, Chief Magistrate Ahmed Nihan and local magnate Hamid Ismail.

The Supreme Court also overturned the Election Commission declaration that 12 MPs of the ruling party- the PPM disqualified after they joined the opposition. Three of the MPs are facing criminal charges of forcibly entering the parliament premises last July.

Re instatement of the MPs would effectively result in President Yameen’s party PPM losing the majority in the Parliament and had the potential to unseat the President with a two thirds majority. This perhaps was the reason for Yameen to order the closure of the Parliament indefinitely for security reasons and subsequent declaration of emergency.

The Supreme Court decision actually said as follows: “After considering the cases submitted to the Supreme Court about violations of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives and human rights treaties that the Maldives is a party to, to conduct politically motivated investigations followed by trials where the prosecutors and Judges were unduly influenced, the Supreme Court has found that these cases have to be retried according to legal standards.”

All that the Court order said was that these cases will have to be retired and till that time those convicted are to be set free.

In the same judgement the apex court ordered all State authorities to comply with the order and warned that the prosecutor General has been directed to separately investigate and indict any entities that obstruct and hinder the order’s execution.

Supreme Court Order Defied!

The orders were loud and clear. Instead of implementing the order, the Prosecutor General convened a late night Press Conference along with Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence declared that the Supreme Court orders will have to be “verified” whether the verdict is legitimate before implementation! This itself was violative of the Court orders and liable to prosecution for contempt of court.

In the same meeting, the Prosecutor General announced that the President has dismissed the Police Chief Ahmed Areef on the ground that he was not available. In actual fact his crime was that even before the press conference, he had announced that he would obey the Court orders. His deputy Ahmed Saudhy who was elevated to that post was also subsequently sacked after two days and no explanation was given.

President Yameen responded two days later that the government will approach the Supreme Court on the seriousness of releasing the convicted criminals.

The Attorney General too, instead of complying with the orders met the Chief Justice and conveyed the “concerns” of the government over the verdict the same day!

Delay in implementing the orders resulted in justifiable angry protests and clashes between the security forces and the demonstrators. The Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds in the capital. Force was used freely and arbitrary arrests were made.

Emergency Declared:

President Yameen continued to be defiant and appeared to be in no mood to comply with the Supreme Court orders.

Instead of complying with the orders, he has declared an emergency for a period of fifteen days. This has given him sweeping powers and many of the articles of the Constitution have been suspended. The reasons for declaring an emergency were for obstructing the functioning of the government due to the Supreme Court’s ruling that ordered the release of political prisoners and reinstatement of members of Parliament! A strange reason indeed though the real reason was that there was a possibility of Yameen being impeached in the Parliament.

Following the declaration of emergency, the security forces stormed the court premises and have arrested the Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed, Judge Ali Hameed and Judicial Service Administrator Hassan Saeed.

Former President Abdul Gayoom and his son-in-law Mohamed Nadeem were arrested from their home. Earlier Gayoom’s son Faris Maumoon had also been arrested. Gayoom before being arrested released a video asking Maldivians to remain steadfast and assuring the public that he has not done anything unlawful to warrant an arrest.

Former President Nasheed has urged India to “act swiftly” to resolve the crisis. He said that the declaration of emergency, banning fundamental freedoms, and suspension of the Supreme Court is tantamount to a declaration of martial law in Maldives.

It is said that India is closely following the events. Soon after the Court orders, India was one of the first to urge the Maldivian government to respect the judgement. The US, UK, Australia and later the United Nations had also taken the same position. Instead President has responded with the declaration of an emergency and even arresting the very judges who passed the orders!

India has enough leverage in Maldives and short of sending troops, everything else should be done to bring normalcy in Maldives as instability in Maldives will have an adverse impact on the security of the region as a whole!


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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 08:14

A realist Indian strategy for Maldives — and South Asia

RAJESH RAJAGOPALAN

The Maldives conundrum is an opportunity for India to craft a better policy towards India’s smaller neighbours.


MALDIVES

No one would wish to be in the shoes of India’s key foreign policy decision-makers today, as they try to grapple with what to do about Maldives. They face three unpalatable choices, with unpredictable consequences stemming from each. They could seek to talk to President Abdulla Yameen, hoping he will understand India’s security concerns. They could order a military intervention, with all its unpredictable consequences. Or they could wait in the hope that President Yameen’s intentions become unambiguous, taking the risk that New Delhi will run out of options if Chinese personnel move into Maldives.

But the Maldives conundrum is also an opportunity for India to craft a better policy towards India’s smaller neighbours. This requires India to first understand the logic that drives their behaviour and then to design a calibrated response that includes military intervention but also other options that, applied in time, could limit the prospect of India facing the kind of bad choices it faces today.

First, understand the strategic imperatives of smaller states. India, as the dominant power in the region, is a natural threat to its smaller neighbours. This is not because of India’s behaviour or its intentions. It is simply a reflection of the gross imbalance of power in the region, in which India holds more than 70 percent of the GDP, territory, population, and military power. And this is not peculiar to South Asia or India. The same phenomenon can be seen along China’s periphery: as China’s power grew, its neighbours have become increasingly alarmed, though, in China’s case, its aggressive behaviour has made the situation even worse. This can also be seen in the responses to American power in the Western Hemisphere, and to Russian power in central and eastern Europe. This is the lot of dominant regional powers. New Delhi should get used to it.

Second, expect that India’s neighbours will seek to balance India by playing the China card. None, not even Pakistan, has the capacity to balance India on their own. The natural tendency then is to seek to balance India with powers from outside the region. This is hardly new. Pakistan has sought such balancing alliances since independence. Many of our smaller neighbours have too: Nepal has periodically played footsie with China, as has Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But until now, no external power has shown any consistent desire or capacity to help India’s smaller neighbours balance India. During the Cold War, the US had little interest in allying with India’s neighbours (Pakistan excepted, of course), even blessing India’s military intervention in Sri Lanka. The Soviet Union was allied with India, making it an unlikely source of support. And China, unlike today, did not have the capacity to do much, making it an unattractive partner.

With China now having both the capacity and willingness, the temptations for India’s neighbours to play the Beijing card is both natural and understandable. Understanding, of course, is not the same as accepting, but understanding is still necessary for India to craft an appropriate and sensible response. While protecting Indian interests, which includes, most importantly, limiting the extension of China’s military power to India’s neighbourhood, Indian response should be carefully calibrated so as not to increase the insecurity of India’s neighbours, which will only drive them into China’s embrace. This is a mistake that China has foolishly made in its own neighbourhood. New Delhi should not return the favour.

With China now having both the capacity and willingness, the temptations for India’s neighbours to play the Beijing card is both natural and understandable. Understanding, of course, is not the same as accepting, but understanding is still necessary for India to craft an appropriate and sensible response.

This does not mean that India should sit on its hands either. But a calibrated response requires grading threats, with the clear understanding that the most serious threats will require a military response, while lesser challenges should be handled politically and with sympathy. Moreover, New Delhi also needs to communicate unambiguously what its red lines are for military intervention so that its neighbours, in particular, understand what India will tolerate and what it will not.

Giving China a military base should be at the top of this threat list, which should be a trip-wire to automatically trigger an Indian military intervention. (Obviously, this is possible only in the case of India’s smaller neighbours, not Pakistan, which has already given China military facilities and which will have to be handled differently.) A complication is that it may not be clear when the wire has been tripped. It is possible for states to hide their intentions and salami-slice their way around the trip-wire. Maldives has sold an island to an unidentified Chinese firm supposedly for tourism development, but if this is later converted to a military base, it will be too late for India to intervene. So a slightly broader trip-wire will be needed: India should state clearly that no long-term lease of territory or critical infrastructural facilities to hostile powers will be tolerated.

Any military intervention carries with it huge risks. Even a regime that is domestically unpopular will be able to garner support against a foreign invader and occupying foreign territory will not be easy. These risks can be mitigated by keeping the intervention as brief as possible, putting local allies in power and subsequent economic and other assistance to assuage as much as possible the ill-feelings of the intervention. But ultimately, these risks need to be weighed against the risk that will be posed by an expansion of China’s military presence in India’s neighbourhood. Moreover, once India outlines (even confidentially) its red lines, India’s neighbours will also have a responsibility to assuage India’s security concerns.

A calibrated response means that India can also justify such intervention if it had acted earlier to stave off such an outcome. India must work hard to ensure that, as far as possible, its neighbours do not feel the need to call in external powers to balance it. This means providing greater aid and responding with greater alacrity to demands from its neighbours, in essence engaging in a foreign aid competition with China. This is unfortunately unavoidable, but again, not unprecedented. During the Cold War bipolar era, much of the ‘non-aligned movement’ became a foreign aid extortion racket, in which third world countries — especially India — played off the two superpowers against each other to get as much as possible from both. In South Asia today, whether we like it or not, India and China are in a bipolar competition. New Delhi should expect to play by bipolar rules and be ready to be exploited by its smaller neighbours.

India must work hard to ensure that, as far as possible, its neighbours do not feel the need to call in external powers to balance it. This means providing greater aid and responding with greater alacrity to demands from its neighbours, in essence engaging in a foreign aid competition with China.

This means that New Delhi needs to devote more aid to its neighbourhood and be more flexible. For example, Maldives has reportedly leased out an island to a Chinese firm for 50 years for just four million dollars. India should offer Maldives a similar amount to buy out the lease. Any Maldivian refusal should provide additional indicator about its intentions and be a factor in any Indian decision to intervene militarily. By the same token, India should offer aid to allow its neighbours to pay the loans they have taken from China so that they are not forced to barter away territory or critical facilities such as ports. These will be expensive, but in the long run a lot cheaper than facing the choice of either having a Chinese military presence in the neighbourhood or having to militarily intervene to prevent it.

A calibrated response can prevent even this eventuality by providing Indian economic and other assistance to prevent Indian neighbours from even going to China in the first place. So far, India has been singularly inept in meeting the financial and other demands of its neighbours, with the possible exception of Bhutan. India has been far too stingy or slow, and usually both. In a bipolar competition with China, India cannot afford this.

Such a calibrated strategy would suggest that India is fast running out of options in Maldives. India can still seek to buy out Chinese investments, not so much because President Yameen will agree but more to rule out any possibility that India has misunderstood his intentions. India can also offer Maldives a significant financial package in return for an Indian military base and a firm commitment that Maldives will not allow any Chinese military presence, including transit or port visits. If such offers are turned down, as they are likely to be, New Delhi will have little choice but to order a military intervention. That will be expensive, but the alternatives will be even worse.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Philip » 12 Feb 2018 08:27

What I've been telling our crowd for bloody aeons! Spend a few millions now and avoid spending billions later once the Chins strike deals.Myopic pea-brained diplo-mutts of S.Block.The dawning hits them only after the enemy fait accompli has taken place.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby KL Dubey » 12 Feb 2018 08:36

chetak wrote:India can also offer Maldives a significant financial package in return for an Indian military base and a firm commitment that Maldives will not allow any Chinese military presence, including transit or port visits. If such offers are turned down, as they are likely to be, New Delhi will have little choice but to order a military intervention. That will be expensive, but the alternatives will be even worse.


This is what I have already been saying in previous posts. If Yameen does not agree to these terms peacefully, the only way is to get them done by military action and install someone who will agree. Nasheed is no paragon of virtue, but he seems very willing to play the part.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby pankajs » 12 Feb 2018 08:39

Trade not Aid.

Again one must look at China as an example. I was listening to some podcast a few weeks back were it was mentioned that up to 45% of SoKo's expors go to China. I haven't verified the number but it is instructive even if the numbers are off the mark.

Second is from something that I heard or read long back. Most of the neighbours of China enjoy a trade surplus with it.

These 2 policies implemented together will go a long way in binding the neighbourhood. It would have been a lot easier when China was inward looking or at least focussed on setting up industries inside rather than when it is now trying to export it to Sri Lanka or Maldives. BUT no matter, we still could implemented such a policy with strict local content and local ownership mandate.

The myopia of Indian policymakers of yore is nothing short of self sabotage.
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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 09:02

Brahma Chellaney‏ @Chellaney

Those clamoring for India to restore democracy in Maldives must note that it was Nasheed who opened the floodgates to Chinese entry, permitting Beijing to set up an embassy and awarding it the first contracts. China has thrived in post-Rajapaksa Sri Lanka and Nepal's "democracy."

1:31 AM - 9 Feb 2018

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby KL Dubey » 12 Feb 2018 09:06

sudarshan wrote:OK, no offense intended.


OK, no problem. I am no strategic expert, but at first glance India's overall position in the IOR seems rather enviable (and understandably frustrating to the Hans).

The trans-Indian Ocean shipping traffic mainly originates from three sources: the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea (from Suez canal), and the Cape of Good Hope. The first two account for probably about 70% and the Cape for 30%.

Nearly all the trans-IO traffic going to east Asia is channeled into a narrow 50-mile channel between the A&N islands and Indonesia - right under the nose of the Indian ANC Command assets. Similarly the traffic coming from the Cape basically passes right in front of the Agalaga islands (Mauritius). The Seychelles base is actually closer to Madagascar and east Africa than to the Seychelles main islands - ideal for anti-piracy operations and to keep an eye on the Red Sea traffic.

OK, now the Chinese have a 100 year lease on Hambantota (Sri Lanka) which sits right in front of the 70% traffic from the Gulf and Red Sea. But as of now the contract has no permission for any military facility, plus there is little economic interest in the Hambabtota port - it has turned out to be a dud.

Meanwhile it is not much discussed/known that India has bought a 40 year lease (or is in process of completing the lease) on the Rajapaksha International Airport about 7 miles from Hambantota: :)

https://www.happytrips.com/destinations/airport-purchase-india-buys-desolate-airport-in-sri-lanka-to-deal-with-china/as62049899.cms

This is a spanking new airport called the "world's emptiest" (roughly 10 passengers per day). I guess this would seriously kill the Chinese dreams.

So with all the above - plus the convergence of Indian, US, and Japanese interests in the IOR - Maldives seems the last Chinese hope in the IOR. Therefore I really hope we take care of this soon.

I also think the NDA-II government has been working pretty hard on all the above fronts. There has been a lot of action since 2015.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Singha » 12 Feb 2018 09:06

editorial in NYT - it claims gayoom still has some loyalty in the armed forces

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/11/opin ... india.html

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Pulikeshi » 12 Feb 2018 09:29

nvishal wrote:For india, it present a dilemma... 1) It cannot fight a staged war 2) If it doesnt fight, the chinese are opportunists by nature and they will take this opportunity to handicap india.


The tussle with China will exist for decades at best... peace is not the natural state between strong nation-states - it is what happens with hard work.
India will currently not do anything in Maldives until it needs to... it will not slip on wet mud, as it wins multiple bouts on the larger strategic plays.
I’ll leave it at this...

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Philip » 12 Feb 2018 09:36

Why the Maldives is exceptionally crucial to us is what is happening in SL.The village bumpkin, Sirisena, the joint candidate that CBK managed to conjure up acceptable to Ranil and the UNP , after becoming President, quietly prevented the Rajapakse clan from being found guilty for their various misdemeanours ( since they also belonged to thd SLFP) and grand larceny cleaning out Lanka's coffers.Preventing capitalist Ranil- a rather lacklustre figure, from getting the economy going, favoured by corporate Lanka,Lankans have seen the most sluggish growth ever with rising inflation .Sirisena is also guilty of nepotism letting his family enjoy some plums of posts.These have not gone down well with the Lankan people who before Jayawardene buggered up the island's electoral style and character, making himself executive president with more powers than Trump and Macron combined, used to turf out the ruling crowd at every election.So rulers and opposition alternated in govt. every 5 years.This is hugely on the cards unless Ranil can pull a rabbit out of his sarong- but then he is of the westernized elite who seldom wear sarongs!

The recent municipal polls has just seen a huge victory for the Rajapakse sponsored new party, the SLPP, led by " Donald Duck", nickname of former cabinet min., fin min, Prof.GL (Lakshman) Peiris.In fact on a recent visit, DD told me that he was very confident of his party's prospects in the coming polls and we may see in a couple of years time the " Return of the Rajapakses" which will run to a full house .The suspected deal is that Sirisena will stay on as Pres., Mahinda R as PM and Gotabhaya will be SLFP party pres.This will be accompanied by a full blown Chinese take over and invasion by Chin nationals in their lakhs of SL! Fait accompli.

So dear blinkered, mentally crippled mandarins of our MEA.The Chin tsunami is coming! They might as well start learning mandarin! I' m going to the nearest bookshop to look for one.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Pulikeshi » 12 Feb 2018 09:59

Trikaal wrote:India had concerns about Diego Garcia in the past but the fact is that we couldn't do anything about it. So accepting it as fait accompli in face of a bigger power was the only option. Going by the current situation, accepting the presence of a chinese base in maldives will be fait accompli too in a couple of years. Looks like it is time we get on our knees and accept the next superpower.


What is this haatosmi (woe is me) attitude thusly! :mrgreen:
A base by definition is the territory of the country that owns it. If one country is free to own bases anywhere, it is only intent and capabilities that limit if another can be present close by or not. A potential Chinese base in Maldives is a threat therefore not only to India but also to the US.

Trikaal wrote:Flankers out of maldives won’t threaten Texas, they will threaten Tamil Nadu.


They do threaten real soldiers from the US based there, some of whom could be from Texas onlee no? Also, India would have calculated the security measures required to defend Tamil Nadu if not all of South India. One’s response to questions on strategy cannot be based on emoptional reactive desires to protect just Texas or Tamil Nadu no matter how much one loves those places :-) The Chinese already have a defacto bases in Gwadar and Hambantota amongs other IOR ports. AFAIK Tamil Nadu is even more closer from Sri Lanka no? I am sure India has thought through what it can accept given the tussle with China will be decades long. Thankful no one in GOI irrespective of dispensation need to listen to anyone on this forum for foreign policy and geo-stategy advice. Which brings me back to why strategy is counter intuitive and seems completely missing in those wanting some action from an armchair!

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Pulikeshi » 12 Feb 2018 10:07

KL Dubey wrote:OK, no problem. I am no strategic expert, but at first glance India's overall position in the IOR seems rather enviable (and understandably frustrating to the Hans).


You seem on top of things! :mrgreen:
My two naya paisa - elections in Maldives and international pressure to get the righ candidate the right support to have
free and fair elections — All with Indian Navy on standby. Let me see if my call is right again after my call on Doklam :P
:twisted:

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 10:18

The strategic dimensions are emerging now.

Why China is hell bent on doing what it is doing in the maldives.



How 'India First' turned into 'China First' for Maldives


How 'India First' turned into 'China First' for Maldives

Indrani Bagchi Feb 10, 2018,

HIGHLIGHTS
President Yameen did not bring China into the Maldives. It was former president Mohamed Nasheed who allowed the Chinese to open their embassy in Male

From India’s point of view, the biggest “red line” was breached after Yameen signed a free-trade agreement with China in December 2017


NEW DELHI: It was only a few weeks ago that Maldives foreign minister Mohamed Asim arrived in India as a special envoy for President Abdulla Yameen, swearing by his ostensible "India First" policy. Little known was the fact that India-Maldives relations would soon plunge to an all-time low with the Yameen government refusing to address any of India's concerns.

By then, nobody in the Indian system set much store by these words, because it had become clear for some time that for President Yameen, "India First" has been replaced by "China First". How did that happen?

Miffed by power grab, India snubs Maldives special envoy

It must be remembered that President Yameen did not bring China into the Maldives. That credit goes to former president Mohamed Nasheed, who, in 2011, allowed the Chinese to open their embassy in Male, and opened the doors to Chinese economic presence in the Maldives, despite Indian reservations.

However, Yameen took the China relationship to new levels, even as his profound distrust of India deepened. From India's point of view, the biggest "red line" was breached after Yameen signed a free-trade agreement+ (FTA) with China in December 2017, rushing it through the Majlis late at night, when members were given less than 15 minutes to read and approve the deal.

India had signed a preferential trade pact with Maldives way back in 1981, according to which, India supplies all essential commodities, aggregates and river-sand to Maldives, while the Maldives could sell anything it manufactured to India, without restrictions. Since the Maldives had tuna to export, that worked out just fine.

But New Delhi feels that the FTA with China is aimed at India, particularly after Yameen announced he would seek a similar pact with the Modi government. The FTA opened the floodgates to cheap Chinese goods into the Maldives. The 1981 pact allowed Maldives unfettered access to India but had no space for third country re-exports. Indian trade officials realised that the FTA was China's way of accessing the Indian market through its neighbours. (In Sri Lanka too, the new SEZ in Hambantota is actually aimed at the Indian market.)

Not only did India squash any thought of a new FTA, the Maldives envoy was called in to reaffirm India's concerns. This happened after a series of missteps in 2017, especially Maldives sudden announcement that it would allow Chinese warships to visit the archipelago. India sent an urgent message to Male saying this would seriously impact Indian security. Yameen replied the warships were on a goodwill visit and he would not refuse them.

India, which had studiously snubbed Yameen's political opponents, in retaliation, allowed Nasheed to make his first visit to the country in August, coinciding with the visit of the Chinese warships. This may have been Yameen's trigger to go hell for leather to China. India's actions came after the first visits by MoS MJ Akbar and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar.

India also began facing other stumbling blocks in Maldives that were connected to China. For instance, Male began a 'go-slow' on the Indian radar installation project. Second, Yameen's government began to push Indian entities and presence away from its southern atolls — this is where China has the bulk of its investments — the friendship bridge between Male and Hulhule, real estate projects in Hulhumale and a potential Chinese military base in Laamu Atoll. This is because China wants unfettered access to the 1.5-degree channel, which is very important for its Indian Ocean coverage.

India had already given a project plan for iHavan, on the condition that China should not be part of it. India has offered to open it to other 'friendly' countries like Japan. But, here too, Yameen played a strange game. On the one hand, he asked India to give him the money, on the other, he was found to be courting China. Again, the iHavan project is on an atoll very close to India and controls the 8-degree channel which China has its eye on.


In 2016, India welcomed Yameen with a defence cooperation pact and a host of other agreements, hoping to wean him away from China. An India-Maldives Action Plan for defence would build an institutional mechanism of defence secretaries and include port development, training and capacity building, equipment and maritime surveillance. Yet, a year later, the Maldives-China FTA opened the door to much of this from China.

On Thursday, the Maldives special envoy to China, Mohamed Saeed, even asked China to provide "security" to protect Chinese investments in the Maldives. China refused, which is just as well, because that, more than anything else would have triggered Indian action. But it signals growing desperation by Yameen.


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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Deans » 12 Feb 2018 10:21

kit wrote:
that port if it comes will route the massive Indian cargo traffic away from Colombo .. and the bigger it becomes Colombo will get smaller .. SL doesnt like it ..China doesn't for obvious reasons


Because Indian ports have become larger and more efficient over the years, transshipment traffic to Dubai and Colombo has been reduced. Colombo port's volume has been growing at around 1% (lower than Sri Lanka's GDP or trade growth) 70% of Colombo's cargo is trans-shipment, which depend on the weakness of Indian, Bangladeshi and African ports to sustain. Ironically the biggest investor in Colombo port is China, which has also built its biggest rival Hambantota. If the same volume of cargo is split between the 2, both turn unviable.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 10:29

twitter

China has 17 islands in Maldives and we don't really know what it's doing there...need an international convention to deal with this land grab, former president Nasheed tells TOI in a no-holds-barred interview in Colombo


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/nasheed-calls-for-international-convention-to-deal-with-chinese-land-grab-in-maldives-says-ex-is-fighters-embedded-in-army/articleshow/62856893.cms?from=mdr

Q: By land grab you obviously mean China...
A: I don't think this is a bilateral problem. We should deal with it multilaterally. I think it's an international issue and and international human rights issue. It has to do with separation, colonialism and the act of grabbing land. In land grab concepts, you have internal and external drivers. He has facilitated through legislation avenues to grab land, whether it is the SEZs or the land reforms to the Constitution. Also the manner in which he has suppressed the media. No other country (other than China) is engaged in it. I am only talking about what's happening in the Maldives but China is very much in the Maldives. No other country is driving that kind of process. We know that they have 17 islands now where they talking about investing $ 40 million but we don't really know what is the purpose for that.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 10:38

Deans wrote:
kit wrote:
that port if it comes will route the massive Indian cargo traffic away from Colombo .. and the bigger it becomes Colombo will get smaller .. SL doesnt like it ..China doesn't for obvious reasons


Because Indian ports have become larger and more efficient over the years, transshipment traffic to Dubai and Colombo has been reduced. Colombo port's volume has been growing at around 1% (lower than Sri Lanka's GDP or trade growth) 70% of Colombo's cargo is trans-shipment, which depend on the weakness of Indian, Bangladeshi and African ports to sustain. Ironically the biggest investor in Colombo port is China, which has also built its biggest rival Hambantota. If the same volume of cargo is split between the 2, both turn unviable.


the biggest drivers for colombo port transhipment business are still the ports in KER, with their militant labour and unionized wages, extortionary overtime and rampant trade union culture.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Deans » 12 Feb 2018 10:53

The Cochin container terminal is actually operated by Dubai ports and despite the rampant trade unionism that has killed business in Kerala, it operates reasonably well. Ship turnaround time is roughly the same as India's average (2 days).
The bulk terminal is largely crude imported for the BPCL refinery.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Singha » 12 Feb 2018 11:02

KER has relatively long and windy road/rail links to rest of india.

the biggest driver could be inability of chennai and mumbai to take the largest container ships and turn them around quickly?

ships have become so large the island has been moved to the middle to give the bridge a better handle on the bow.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby pankajs » 12 Feb 2018 11:03

chetak wrote:The strategic dimensions are emerging now.

Why China is hell bent on doing what it is doing in the maldives.

How 'India First' turned into 'China First' for Maldives


How 'India First' turned into 'China First' for Maldives

<snip>

From India’s point of view, the biggest “red line” was breached after Yameen signed a free-trade agreement with China in December 2017

<snip>

On Thursday, the Maldives special envoy to China, Mohamed Saeed, even asked China to provide "security" to protect Chinese investments in the Maldives. China refused, which is just as well, because that, more than anything else would have triggered Indian action. But it signals growing desperation by Yameen.


Here is another chanikyan way of looking at the sequence of events ...

1. FTA between Maldives and China in December 2017. India sees red/last straw that broke the Camels back.
2. Civil conflict within Maldives escalates. U don't need me to recount all that happened and I am not linking it to "India sees red".
3. As the pressure on Yameen piles up state of emergency is imposed.
4. Request for a meeting with India. Does anyone not wonder why with India first per the Maldevians themselves?
5. Turned down. Why would an India *desperate* to turn the tide in Maldives in its favor turn such a request down? Look at it this way. It had everything to gain but nothing to loose from hearing out Mladives even if it were to ignore its explanations/pleas in toto. Either we have folks who don't understand geopolitics/threat from a Chinese base in Maldives/Maldives importance to Indian security/etc, etc .. or OR they are too dumb. BTW, I buy neither of the two. There is a 3rd explanation IMHO.
6. Maldives send its envoys to Bakistan, China and Saudi Arabia. This is deliberately pushing India's buttons but why antagonize you immediate neighbor. It is not that Mladives doesn't care for Indian view else it wouldn't have request a meeting with Delhi first. I think the refusal to even hear was a message to Yameen that he was on the way out as far as India was concerned. This is borne out by Maldives last gambit.
7. Bakistan refused to send a *task force* to defend Maldives. It still makes me smile when I recall the Baki *task force* heading for Maldives.
8. Saudi Arabia, after meeting the Maldevian envoy, issues a travel advisory. Does anyone need me to deconstruct the signal implicit in that act.
9. As the last gambit the Maldevian regime makes an explicit appeal to China to "to provide security to protect Chinese investments in the Maldives". But protect from whom if one is allowed to ask? Is rebuffed by China.

The above all lead to one conclusion i.e. the current Maldevian government is on its way out one way or another and no one is going out of its way to prevent that Not even China.

If India is able to oust Yameen and China does nothing to defend its man in Maldives what message does it send across the IOR region? And specifically to our neighbors the ones who don't have a death wish?

Now the last bit i.e. Yameen making an explicit appeal for Chinese protection and China having to turn it down, believe you me was a manna from heaven. Even Modi couldn't have asked for a better gift from Yameen. And if China is unable to prevent his regime from being removed where will that leave countries in India's immediate neighborhood who have hitched their bandwagon to China politically? OR are trying to play India against China? Not is a very good place IMHO.
Last edited by pankajs on 12 Feb 2018 11:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Singha » 12 Feb 2018 11:05

but isnt the above logic apparent to the "go" and "mahjong" players in the dragon hall in peking?
they can provide the financial backing and food supplies for yameen to shrug off domestic oppn and slowly that will be the new reality. cheen already sends the most tourists there.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby pankajs » 12 Feb 2018 11:12

Not really ... Chinese investments/bases are not safe in Maldives till this turmoil is not resolved one way or the other. What if the turmoil hits the Chinese projects underway. What if a bomb explodes that kills 20 Chinese workers in one project? Will China still stand by and ask Yameen to quell the conflict himself? Will that make China look strong or weak?

And till the turmoil is there India will always have the right to intervene. In fact the longer the turmoil continues the stronger the case for intervention grows especially in a country with the highest per capita contribution to ISIS.

In fact after Yameen direct appeal China has only 2 options. Either watch Yameen's downfall or rush in to reinforce him. Financial or material supply will not help Yameen against India once it decides to act.
Last edited by pankajs on 12 Feb 2018 11:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 11:20

Singha wrote:but isnt the above logic apparent to the "go" and "mahjong" players in the dragon hall in peking?
they can provide the financial backing and food supplies for yameen to shrug off domestic oppn and slowly that will be the new reality. cheen already sends the most tourists there.


If the maldivians are desperate enough, they may sabotage vital installations like fuel tanks, power generators and water purification plants.

The last time around, when their water desal plant went kaput, it was India, via the IN, that helped out with fresh water & bottled water supplies to sustain the populace and until the spares reached them.

The hans are a really long way off, in case of such disasters.

Maybe, some maldivian twitter accounts may give the true situation on the islands.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby abhik » 12 Feb 2018 11:22

Lol, giving climate change as an excuse for inaction is like not asking out a PYT because in 30 years her face is going to get wrinkley and t1ts are going to get saggy. Looks like we will come up with more and more creative excuses until the fire starts singing our behind.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 11:31

abhik wrote:Lol, giving climate change as an excuse for inaction is like not asking out a PYT because in 30 years her face is going to get wrinkley and t1ts are going to get saggy. Looks like we will come up with more and more creative excuses until the fire starts singing our behind.


It may be a mexican standoff of sorts with many world powers interested in the situation.

No one country has made a move yet, except for the hans who seem to be nervously backing their maldivian investment merely by growling at India from a distance.

Even they have not moved any of their naval assets into the region but are undoubtedly the best informed on the current situation by their own locally present chappies either using sat phones or whatever.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby pankajs » 12 Feb 2018 11:52

Singha wrote:but isnt the above logic apparent to the "go" and "mahjong" players in the dragon hall in peking?
they can provide the financial backing and food supplies for yameen to shrug off domestic oppn and slowly that will be the new reality. cheen already sends the most tourists there.

My last post was a bit of a tangent to your question. So let me try again.

Dlagon lards of the Peking must surely understand the implication of refusing to come to aid of their protege on an explicit request. But they have to weigh their options.

1. Would a Chinese warning serve to deter India? Doklam lesson is exactly the reverse. So why push India into a position where it will be forced to act decisively against the Chinese interest in Maldives before China is ready?
2. What if India is adamant on a confrontation with Maldives? Would China want a direct conflict with India for Maldives? Wouldn't that play directly into the American hand?
3. What if India is able to have its will in Maldives despite the Chinese overt and aggressive play? Where will that leave Chinese? AND not only in the Indian backyard but also Chinese backyard.
4. Will a aggressive play by the Chinese in India's sphere lead to a hardening of Indian position and lead it to align itself more with China's competitors? WIll that not be against the Chinese interest?

There are but some of the questions that the Chinese will need to game before they can help Maldives. OR perhaps this is just a ploy to buy time as has been suggested on this forum before. Perhaps China is not ready yet to take India on in the IOR.

BTW, Financial and material help will not keep Maldives safe for the Chinese if India decides to act.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby chetak » 12 Feb 2018 12:02

Tread softly on Maldives: India’s response to Yameen’s seizure of power must rely on smarts, not brawn



Tread softly on Maldives: India’s response to Yameen’s seizure of power must rely on smarts, not brawn

February 7, 2018, Indrani Bagchi in Globespotting

Maldives is back in the grip of another internal crisis. President Abdulla Yameen, a thinly veiled autocrat, has thrown a blanket of emergency on the island nation after the Supreme Court ordered the release and retrial of 12 high profile political prisoners including a former president and veep. The Chief Justice is behind bars as is Yameen’s half-brother and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Others will likely follow, as Yameen seems hell bent on populating his prisons with his opponents.

There are calls for India to “act”. Why should we not be a big power and show muscle in the shape of warships and fighters to cut panda-hugging Yameen down to size? A reprise of Op Cactus? Or sanctions? Something, anything!

India would be monumentally stupid to take any of these actions at present. Maldives has been in a state of low level instability for some time, affecting its economy and polity. Maldives’s internal problems only hurt itself for the time being – with international tourism as its economic mainstay and a growing problem of Islamist jihadist cadres, Yameen’s manoeuvrability is not great and he knows it. In fact, as Maldives approaches general elections later this year Yameen will run out of space, literally and politically.


Mohamed Nasheed, former president and an equally opportunistic politician, is calling for an “Indian envoy, backed by its military” to help remove Yameen. However, it would be in India’s interest to tread softly and allow the internal crisis to play itself out – albeit, with some help.

An outside power attempting regime change by force is no longer an option this century; it is likely to have the opposite effect. It could consolidate public opinion behind Yameen and ramp up nationalist fervour, giving his actions greater acceptability. Yameen’s profound distrust of India would do the rest, and we would have truly lost Maldives.

We can jump into another country to save it from itself. But if the US war in Iraq and Syria – and India’s own misadventure in Sri Lanka – has taught us anything, it is that when we embark on gunboat diplomacy, two things generally happen – we lose control of our fate because we get tangled in their internal dynamics; secondly, all their troubles and vices become ours.

Instead, this is the time to adopt the Deng Xiaoping method of statecraft – tread softly and carry a big stick. India has many big sticks in its arsenal, it would do well to play them smartly not muscularly.

The Chief Justice’s ‘lawfare’ against Yameen did not happen out of the blue – we would do well to remember that Abdulla Saeed and Yameen had bonded on their common dislike for Nasheed in the first place. Now he is the poster boy for Yameen’s dictatorial craziness, as is 80-year-old Gayoom, a quasi-autocrat himself for over 30 years. This means even among the few who are not in jail there exists the possibility of Maldives beyond Yameen. These forces would wilt under Indian glare – much better to create an enabling environment for them to flourish.

Yameen is under international fire from the US and UK – even the mild-mannered UN has seen fit to call him out. That should continue. Germany, Saudi Arabia and France should add their voice. We need more travel advisories and cautionary notes from around the world – a hit on tourism should be the first international thumbs down on Yameen’s actions, not stopping medical visas to Maldivians. The political point we make with Pakistan is unnecessary here.

It would be an equal mistake to view events in South Asia as a zero-sum proxy war between India and China. China’s presence in South Asia is a reality – deal with it. But China put out its travel advisory (Chinese tourists form over 20% of Maldives’ arrivals) even before India’s. China likes dictators, especially corrupt ones, but it did not take the one step that would have shown its unconditional support of Yameen.

In Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, North Korea and Myanmar, China is learning the hard way that while countries welcome Chinese money and assistance, which gives them wiggle room against powers like India, they are shirty about too deep a presence. KP Oli, who has just returned to power on an anti-India platform in Nepal, is busy burning up phone lines with “stakeholders” in India to say how and why he is not a Chinese agent.

New Delhi and Oli may not like each other, but foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit showed India is learning. For good reasons and bad, Oli and India will find that modus vivendi.

Part of the belief that India should fly in a C-130 filled with soldiers into Male is an institutional arrogance that has not served it well in the neighbourhood, witness the disastrous 2015 blockade in Nepal. There is equal danger of making a strategic error if we lock ourselves into a binary reaction because of China, and fail to use our own tools to exercise power, our way.

Mahinda Rajapakse was a Chinese agent, Maithripala Sirisena was good – today, Sirisena has given Hambantota to China. That makes him, what? Myanmar’s junta opened up because they did not want to be a Chinese colony, today, the Rohingya crisis has brought China right back. Bangladesh was heading towards becoming a Chinese colony, today, smart Indian diplomacy is working wonders. The exercise of external power works only when it fits in with domestic aspirations. In Maldives, we’re not there yet.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Chandragupta » 12 Feb 2018 12:09

Pulikeshi wrote:Will one of the jeengovaadin please explain why US being in Diego Garcia is ok, but China being (potentially) in Maldives not ok for India?
Also, the US has no concerns with a Chinese (potential) base right next door? What no noise from the US about any of this - seems weird no?


What kind of dhimmi post is this?

We can't throw the US out of Diego Garcia so its okay for every tom dick & harry to come and squat in India's vicinity and threaten us?

Philip
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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby Philip » 12 Feb 2018 12:57

DG i a diff. issue.After WW2 Britain blackmailed Mauritius (Ramgolam) into handing over the atoll as the price for independence.Iit then handed it over to the US which wanted it desperately as a strat. base in the IOR,which it has used effectively in all Gulf Wars,Afghan War,etc.Pre-positioned vessels carrying all manner of weapon systems munitions,spars, supplies,etc. support US warfare in the region.In addition,B-52,B-1 and B-2 strat. bombers operate out of it. However,the displaced Chagos Archip. islanders are still fighting and winning their cases in the courts to return there.It is an intl. issue.

Now imagine the Chins sitting in the Maldives,not on leased territory but atolls/islands which they've "bought" from the country! hey presto! They have a piece of china sitting in our very own backwaters.This is unacceptable and we've mollycoddled the Maldivian sprat too much and should've acted long ago.barring the outraged squawks from Beijing and Slamabad, no one gives a damn about Yameen as everyone knows that he has invited the Chins there to squat permanently and has provided much manpower for ISIS.

Our myopic mentally crippled MEA mandarins cannot see beyond their noses and must start learning mandarin if we don't act fast. A god idea to pick up a book on mandarin myself as one has little hope that Lutyens Bagh is capable of doing the biz. The MEA hasn't even rapped pak on the knuckles for oits perfidious attcaks happening almost every day,as ell as countering China's stapled visas for our nationals residing in Ar.Pradesh and J&K. At the ery least we should've repaid the Chins the same way with stapled visas for all residing in Tibet-COT (Chin Occupied Tibet) and the rest of China,which belongs to Taiwan.

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Re: Maldives Civil-Military Issues

Postby SSridhar » 12 Feb 2018 13:34

Maldives Needs Help Now and India Alone Can Provide it - Brig. Rumel Dahiya, IDSA
Instability in Maldives is a matter of concern not only for that country but for the region as a whole. India has the highest stakes in maintaining stability in Maldives. The country’s democratic structure has been torn asunder by the present regime, which can be best described as a ‘limpet’. Over the last about four years, the Yameen government has made the Maldivian Parliament irrelevant and has chosen to obey judicial orders only when convenient. It had convicted the former President Nasheed under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Maldives and sentenced him to a 13-year jail term for arresting the Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed. Now, however, Mr. Yameen has sacked the Chief Justice and anther judge of the Supreme Court, and his Attorney General has stated unambiguously that the Court’s decision to overturn the sentences of the opposition leaders, including that of Mr. Nasheed, and ordering their immediate release will not be obeyed. The Court had also removed the disqualification of the 12 parliamentarians who had defected from the Progressive Party of Maldives to which Yameen belongs. After altering the composition of the Supreme Court and obvious arm twisting, Mr. Yameen has obtained a reversal of the earlier order of the full bench of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s authority was not challenged when it had annulled the results of the 2013 Presidential elections and ordered a run-off vote between the two contestants following complaints of irregularities. The role of the Maldivian security forces has been questionable at best, all throughout. The polity is deeply fractured and fundamentalism is expanding its roots in society. Mr. Yameen has fallen out with most of his supporters, including Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his half-brother and a former President, and his party ranks stand depleted. That speaks of his unpopularity. His desperation to cling to power has engendered instability that can only be harmful for the country.

No country has defended Mr. Yameen’s dictatorial and unlawful actions since these are so blatant and beyond justification on any ground. Many countries, including India, have advised Mr. Yameen to abide by the Maldivian Constitution but to no avail. Instead, he has taken brinkmanship to a different level by sending special envoys to his benefactors, to seek endorsement of his decisions, diplomatic support and, perhaps, to lobby for military assistance to ward off an external intervention. China has supported Mr. Yameen in return for favours such as rushing the China-Maldives Free Trade Agreement (FTA) through Parliament in an unconstitutional manner and the promise of lease of an island.
It has expectedly warned against any external intervention.

Some commentators have drawn attention to India’s intervention in Maldives in 1988 to thwart a coup by mercenaries while at the same time pointing out the differences in the situation that existed then and the current one created by Mr. Yameen’s turn towards dictatorship. Further, they have opined that India also has to take care of its self-image as a votary of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. However, Maldives is just not any other country. For India, the internal stability of Maldives and preventing a hostile power from acquiring predominant influence in that country is of great importance since these directly impinge on its own security. Besides, the people of Maldives look up to India for support whenever faced with a crisis. Even the present regime has always had to maintain the façade of an ‘India First’ policy for reasons of geography, indivisible security and economic compact. Not intervening at this stage would be viewed by the people of Maldives as an abdication of responsibility by India. The international community has limited stakes in Maldives but would be keenly watching India’s response to the developments in its immediate neighbourhood. If India cannot even safeguard its primary interests so close to its mainland, then it can hardly be trusted to become a net security provider for the wider region.

Mr. Yameen’s continuation as President is now manifestly unconstitutional. His legitimacy stands totally eroded after the declaration of emergency, arrest of judges, refusal to abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court, employing the armed forces to discipline Members of Parliament and deliberately obstructing the proper functioning of Parliament. He is an illegitimate occupant of high office since he would stand impeached if Parliament were permitted to function. At the same time, after having travelled the distance, it is also difficult to imagine that he will back down and resign. The situation in Maldives is heading towards a point where outside intervention is becoming unavoidable. A diplomatic and military stability operation would not tantamount to overthrowing a democratically elected government.

But the situation in Maldives is likely to remain below the threshold of direct intervention by the UN and Western powers. China and Pakistan are also expected to try and prevent diplomatic pressure being exerted on Mr. Yameen for obvious reasons. But one may also expect military advisers from these countries to help the Maldivian security forces to organise defences against any military intervention. It is a different matter that this would only cause some delay and result in avoidable casualties. The stakes are the highest for India and it is but obvious that no country other than India will have to intervene decisively. The question before the policy makers is, when?


India can wait for the situation to deteriorate further. But that may result in avoidable losses in men and material. It may also afford an opportunity for India’s adversaries to stir the boiling pot further and strengthen anti-India sentiment amongst the Maldivian security forces personnel. To expect the Maldivian people at large to continue with their agitation in the face of brutal reprisals would be a mistake. Permitting the loss of lives in order to create a justification for intervention would be a wrong choice. Enough time has elapsed for consultation with important stakeholders such as Sri Lanka and other neighbours as well as the UN, EU, USA and Russia. The time to act has arrived. It would be better to read the riot act to Mr. Yameen to restore the situation as it existed on 31 January and obey the directions of the Supreme Court as mandated by the Constitution of Maldives, within the next 96 hours, or face consequences.

Decisive action will put paid to mischief being played in India’s backyard by its adversaries and will usher in stability in Maldives, so essential for India’s own security. If left unaddressed now, the situation may degenerate into a major crisis. An idealistic foreign policy is desirable but not at the cost of primary security and geopolitical interests. A nation’s will to act to safeguard its interests, even in the face of criticism in the short term, is the hall mark of a confident and dependable power.

But what after an intervention? This is a legitimate question to ask. India will find the correct answer just like it did during past interventions when it left not a day too late from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. An intervention in Maldives, which appears unavoidable, will have some similarities with the intervention in Bangladesh. The time to act is now. Diplomacy without the ability and willingness to enforce one's will is a fruitless endeavour.


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