Sri Lanka says Yameen 'welcome' in Colombo
Sep 27, 2018
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has said that defeated Maldivian strongman Abdulla Yameen is welcome in Colombo.
Sri Lanka has long been a haven for dissidents from the nearby Maldives over the years of political upheaval, including for former President Mohamed Nasheed.
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.
Wickremesinghe made the call after hosting Yameen's arch rival 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 later was living in Sri Lanka.
In Sunday’s election, little-known opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeated Yameen. Solih won with 58 per cent of the vote.
Under intense international pressure, Yameen conceded defeat and pledged to allow a peaceful transition when he formally steps down on November 17.
Rights group Amnesty International called Tuesday on Solih to "break with the repression and human rights violations of the past and chart a fresh course where human rights are at the heart" of government policy.
The European Union, which had earlier threatened sanctions, said Monday that it would "continue to closely review the situation".