The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) issued warnings of violence and retribution against thousands of protesters who gathered tonight at the newly dubbed Victory Square (at the Eastern End of Malé the Capital of the Maldives) to express their love and adherence to Islam as their only way of life.
MDP organized a gathering at Artificial Beach, few hundreds of yards away from the Victory Square, at the same time as the Mass Protest in Defence of Islam began today evening at 4 pm. President Mohamed Nasheed participated in the MDP demonstration, and challenged the protest in defence of Islam, saying that he “would not let the Maldives to go back to the age of ignorance”.
At 10:30 pm tonight, while still the Mass Protest in defence of Islam was ongoing, MDP National Council members and leading activists gathered for another meeting at MDP Activity Centre at Ameenee Magu. MDP leaders claimed in the meeting that participants of the Mass Protest had given warnings of arson against the leaders of MDP, although no such warnings were heard at the Mass Protest.
At 10:45, MDP gathering at the Activity Centre issued a warning that a violent counter-protest would be conducted against those who were expressing their love for Islam. MDP’s Vice President Alhan Fahmy gave, at 11:08 pm, an ultimatum of 1 hour to stop the Mass Protest, warning that MDP activists would take to the roads after the ultimatum expires.
Speaking at MDP gathering, Chairman Moosa “Reeko” Manik described the Mass Protest as a rebellion, and also warned that his party would be left with no choice but to go out against the protesters. He also called upon the government to shut down media outlets that were running live coverage of the Protest. He said that DhiTV and VTV should immediately be closed.
At 11:35 pm, Dr. Didi, President of MDP said that the Mass Protest should be stopped before 12 pm tonight, saying that if not MDP would go against the protesters under the leadership of Moosa “Reeko” Manik.
MDP activists also called for immediate arrest of former President Maumoon, his brother Yameen, and Sheikh Ilyas.
Meanwhile, Haveeru Daily reported that one of its journalists saw MDP activists attacking a man who passed by the MDP Activity Centre around 12 pm, apparently because he was wearing a turban, which is a traditionally Muslim dress feature.