From Mr Masood Imad.

Sir, I am writing in response to your article “Tourists urged to boycott Maldives” (July 2), which stated that former president Mohamed Nasheed has called for tourists to boycott the Maldives.

The government of the Maldives strongly condemns this move by Mr Nasheed. It is hugely irresponsible and deeply concerning that a former head of state and current presidential candidate for the elections taking place in 2013 is attempting to destroy the heart of the Maldivian economy – tourism. The Maldivian people make their living through the success of the tourism industry and Mr Nasheed is seeking to devastate their livelihood.

The article incorrectly refers to a “military coup”. Mr Nasheed resigned on February 7, 2012 of his own free will. As per the Constitution of the Maldives, President Mohamed Waheed (vice president at the time) assumed responsibility. President Waheed, committed to providing factual and legal clarity around the events that led to the resignation of Mr Nasheed, established the Commission of National Inquiry to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the developments that culminated in the resignation of former president Nasheed. The findings will be published at the end of July.

Mr Nasheed’s claims of “Talibanisation” are in their entirety completely false, inflammatory and offensive. Such accusations accentuate his misunderstanding of Islam, the Maldives and the Maldives people. The national unity government upholds the rule of law in the Maldives and is focusing on strengthening human rights, the independence of the judicial system and ensuring that the elections taking place in July 2013 (brought forward from November 2013) are fair, free and meaningful.

In response to your correspondent’s comments that the Islamist Adhaalath Party have acquired more power, it is important to note that Mr Nasheed invited the Adhaalath Party to join the coalition during his presidency.

The government of Maldives is extremely disappointed that Mr Nasheed has decided to tour the US propounding these allegations. We will continue with the business of running the country and clearing up the serious mess he left in the Maldives.

The Maldives remains a safe place for tourists for holidays and honeymoons. It is one of the most beautiful, friendly and welcoming places on earth and is one of the leading tourism destinations in the world.

Masood Imad, Office of the President of the Maldives

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