'I require protection as I wish to live': Nasheed

Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has apologized to the public for any inconveniences that may be caused due to the security being provided to him by the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

During the 'Ask the Speaker' program aired live on Tuesday night, a member of the public raised the issue of roads leading to Nasheed's childhood home being cordoned off every time he visited the home. He said the roads remained closed for three to four hours at a time, due to which inconveniences are caused to the public, and asked whether Nasheed intended to cause difficulty to the public.

In his response, Nasheed referred to the May 6 terror attack that targeted his life and said he requires security and protection. Nasheed said he barely survived the attack and asked if the country's citizens wished to put the country's powers in harm's way. Nasheed said as he wishes to live, he, too, needs security and protection.

'Even I wish for safety. But I also do not wish to cause difficulties to others. What I have to ask is - let's leave me out of this - would the country's citizens wish to leave the Parliament's Speaker, or the president, or the chief justice unprotected against terrorist attacks? Is that what is best, most beneficial for the country? The way I see it, the citizens wish for the state to function with its honourability. I do apologize, but as I wish to live, I need security and protection,' Nasheed said.

Nasheed's security was strengthened following the May 6 attack, and he was transferred to an official residence, Muraidhooge, last month. Before the move, he was housed at Hotel Jen, with the state paying MVR 33,000 per day for his accommodation. Nasheed continues to visit his parent's home, Kenereege, located near where the May 6 attack took place.