Ambassador of the United States to the Maldives and Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis yesterday while highlighting the difficulties in instilling democracy in a nation, has called on all interlocutors of the Maldives to remain steadfast in the endeavor despite the challenges and barriers.
Speaking during the reception held at Traders Hotel in Male yesterday to mark the 236th Independence day of the US, Ambassador Butenis stressed that the Maldives must be unrelenting in the efforts to establish democracy in the face of adversity and pledged that “we (US) would always be with the Maldivian people.”
Patricia admitted the arduous task of establishing a democracy and noted the several challenges faced by the US in its similar endeavor.
She further added that unremitting efforts were required to protect, sustain and develop democracy in a nation.
“The whole community is needed for this task. All political leaders must work towards that goal and an independent active media is also a must,” US Ambassador said in the function participated by Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen, Ministers and prominent officials of the government.
Ambassador all noted that the US presses for the continuation of the work of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) set up to probe the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power on February 7 and the All Party Roadmap Talks initiated to resolve the present political strife in the Maldives. On that note, she stressed that the result of both the initiatives would solve the ongoing political conflict in the Maldives.
The US Ambassador also expressed concern for the alleged use of excessive force by Police in breaking up protesters and the several acts of violence against media personnel. She noted that special emphasis is given to raise the importance of human rights in the various training programs conducted for the Maldives security forces. To that end, Patricia stressed on the significance of restoring confidence and trust of the people in the Police institution.
She further highlighted the collaboration she had extended to the Maldives during her three year tenure as Ambassador.
Underlining the many areas of partnership between the two countries, Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen noted the Maldives-USA defense cooperation, which has been vital in enhancing the national defense capabilities of the Maldives.