Parliament Speaker former President Mohamed Nasheed has returned back to Sri Lanka on the invitation of the country’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Wickremesinghe, fresh into his role after his predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse resigned, had appointed Nasheed to coordinate international relief efforts for the embattled country.
In May 2022, Nasheed had volunteered to assist in coordinating international relief efforts. Speaker Nasheed, the Prime Minister’s Office reported, had generously offered to assist Sri Lanka in securing relief from foreign nations.
Nasheed is yet to claim any success in this endeavor. This month, Sri Lanka’s opposition Member of Parliament Harsha de Silva took to media to highlight was being done to address the precarious financial situation in the country. De Silva said that the Government is unable to obtain necessary financial assistance, as they had burned all bridges with nations pledging aid.
De Silva revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman had questioned whether Sri Lanka had a concrete plan to address the current situation.
He said that Speaker Nasheed had contacted Crown Prince Mohamed as well. The Crown Prince had asked Nasheed not to bring up the matter until the country has a concrete plan to resolve the crisis.
A similar response also came from the ruler of United Arab Emirates (UAE) His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Makhthoum. Sheikh Makhthoum had ruled out assistance unless Sri Lanka provides a list of assets that can be sold off.
Nasheed has denied all claims made by De Silva, to which De Silva said that he stood by his statements.
This is the first time Nasheed had tackled the debt of any country – including his own. During his presidency, Nasheed, after multiple travels abroad would boast of securing millions. However, those millions are yet to be seen. His Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is ruling the country right now and faces similar problems in sourcing funding.