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Maldives Civic Protest continues into the night ... what next?

Male', Maldives. 8.00 pm.

Hundreds of Maldivian civilians continue their peaceful protest against President Nasheed and his corrupt government, in Victory Square, in the capital Male'. The Civic Coalition which began at 4pm this afternoon continues to gain in strength and numbers as more and more civilians continue to join the gathering.

President Nasheed's attempt to counter the gathering with a gathering of MDP hardliners and family members failed miserably as it failed to draw enough numbers to the meeting point, Artificial Beach. The meeting petered out after Nasheed's address to his followers in which he lambasted the civil leaders and participants at the Civic Coalition Protest.

Nasheed quickly dispersed his faithful and disappeared amidst heavy military security. Speculation is rife in the capital that the military will come out in strength if the protest should continue late into the night.

In a joint press conference with Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh yesterday, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moosa Jaleel repeatedly stressed that the military would take joint action with the police if there was any suspicion that the civic gathering may go out of hand.

News media also reported last night that MDP leaders had held an urgent meeting with Lt. Gen Moosa Jaleel and requested him to take military action to stop the civil gathering within 15 minutes after it started.

Earlier this evening, news media channels reported that police personnel had entered the peaceful gathering and were using heavy handed tactic in an attempt to rile the people. Police and military in riot gear amassed in strength at Victory Square earlier this afternoon and continue to keep silent vigil at the edge of the gathering.

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