Anti-gov't protest continues for 3rd night in Maldives

10:44, May 04, 2011      

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The Maldivian government condemned the Z-faction of main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (Z-DRP) on Tuesday for organizing a third night of violent protest in the capital Male.

Protesters led by opposition legislators gathered on Monday at around 9 p.m. and scuffles broke out between anti and pro- government supporters before police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and made a number of arrests, the President's Office said in a statement.

The opposition said protesters took to the street over the escalating price of commodities due to the government's failed economic policy.

Mohamed Shareef, a spokesman for the opposition party said the police arrested 55 people during Monday night's demonstration and they haven't been released yet.

The President's Office said former President Gayoom, after months of bitter in-fighting within the opposition DRP, announced on April 30 that he was leading a new faction called the Z-DRP and the next day the party organized the first of the three violent protests witnessed this week.

"The government understands that many people are concerned about the economy and recent price rises and we are doing everything possible to ease the situation," said President's Office Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair.

"Peaceful protest is legal and welcomed in the Maldives' new democracy. But former President Gayoom is taking advantage of the economic situation to cause violence on the streets. These protests are more to do with Gayoom trying to shore up his position in the opposition, than the state of the economy," said Zuhair.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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