Maldives ex-pres Gayoom slams govt over Lanka coup claims

Deposed ruling party leader and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has hit-back at claims made by a senior government lawmaker alleging that the Sri Lanka government was helping the opposition in its ongoing efforts to overthrow the government.

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) lawmaker Riyaz Rasheed during a press conference on Wednesday alleged that the Sri Lanka government was backing the opposition to orchestrate a coup in the Maldives.

The former strongman who ruled the Maldives for three decades took to Twitter in response to the Vilufushi MP's claims insisting that Sri Lanka has always been a very close and trusted friend of the Maldives.

"No one has the right to disturb our bilateral relations," Gayoom warned.

The bilateral relations between the two friendly nations have been strained recently with Sri Lanka allowing self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed to use the neighbouring country to meet the opposition since his jailing on contentious terrorism charges last year.