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Maldives Civic Protest warns President Nasheed of possible new direction

Male', Maldives. 10.20 pm

Maldives Civic Protest demands that President Nasheed remove SAARC statues in Addu within one hour or face the consequences of a change in the direction of the protest. Statues erected by the Nasheed regime ahead of the November SAARC summit sparked riots in the country, as images of demi-gods of other religions were publicly displayed in Maldives for the first time in history. Removal of these statues is one of three demands made by Civic Protest earlier this evening.

Hundreds of civilians continue their vigil well into the night as the Maldives Civic Protest continues without abatement. Civic leaders and leading figures and MPs of major opposition parties continue to address the civic gathering, to vocal cheering and support.

Gasim Ibrahim, Leader of Jumhooree Party and MP, called on the gathering to maintain peace and to withstand provocation by unruly MDP elements. He stated that peaceful protest is a right.

Deputy Leader of Progressive Party of Maldives, Umar Naseer, announced that he wanted to speak at a protest that was on the move, not stationary. He announced that within 10 minutes of the "command", he would be at the "gate", obliquely referring to an earlier statement by him that he would climb the gate of the presidential palace Muleeaage.

Abdulla Yaameen, Council member of the Progressive Party of Maldives and MP, stated that the Nasheed regime was systematically attacking the core values of the 100% Muslim society.

Leader of Qaumee Party, Dr. Hassan Saeed, noted that the issues to be debated were economy and livelihoods, not whether Maldives should have Islam or other religions.

The civic gathering at Victory Square is estimated to be over 12,000 strong, the largest such gathering in Maldivian history.

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