A group of Addu City youth have banded together and created a petition against the establishment of an Indian Consulate, as well as the presence of Indian military personnel in the city.
This petition – which has been signed by more than 700 people so far – is planned to be submitted to Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The petition points out that the Indian Cabinet made the decision to establish a consulate in Addu City without seeking the opinion or permission of the citizens of the city, further noting that such a decision must only taken after the approval of the people has been sought and given. Thus, the petition calls for this plan to be shelved pending the opinion and approval of the citizens of Addu City.
Further, the petition also states that the presence of Indian military personnel in Addu City is greatly concerning to its citizens, and calls on India to remove its soldiers from Addu, and other Maldivian regions posthaste.
The decision to establish an Indian Consulate in Addu City was taken by the Indian Cabinet last Tuesday, in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi. Before an Embassy or diplomatic mission is established anywhere, the host nation’s cabinet or government must approve its establishment. Interestingly, the Maldivian government has not made or announced a decision on the matter thus far.
This was confirmed by the Spokesperson of the President’s Office, Mabrouk Azeez, who stated during the last PO press conference that the Maldivian government had not made a decision regarding the establishment of a consulate in Addu City. However, many members of ruling party MDP have come out publicly in support of such a decision.
Most parliamentary representatives of Addu City have also expressed their support of such a move, opining that the establishment of a consulate in their city would bring about more development and prosperity to the city and its peoples. However, the people of Addu City, by and large, seem to be against such a decision.