Opposition leader, former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has said that the fact that the Indian Ocean is named after India does not mean that the Ocean was their property.
The former President said this during his stop at Thulusdhoo (Kaafu Atoll) in his tour of the atoll to gain support for the "India Out" movement; a grassroots movement that called for the removal of Indian military assets and personnel, and the cancellation of classified military agreements between the Solih administration and India, which had later been adopted by the opposition. Speaking to the crowd of supporters who had gathered to greet him in Thulusdhoo, the former President said that the Indian Ocean was not India’s property even though it was named after the country.
The former President pointed out that the ruling MDP were claiming that the Maldives could not call for an exit of the Indian military as the Maldives was in the Indian Ocean. “Is the Indian Ocean their property?” he asked in response.
In addition, he said that the Maldives covered a greater area of the Indian Ocean than India did.
He said that the Indian Ocean was not the property of any single nation, it was also the Ocean of the Maldivians as well. He said that the Ocean that stretched from Minicoy to Addu City was the Ocean of the Maldivians.
The former President also remarked that the ruling MDP cared more about the Indian military than they did about the citizens.
Instead of listening to the people, the MDP have come in defence of the Indian military, he said.