Opposition leader, former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayyoom said that there was no reason why the military agreements signed between the Indian and Maldivian governments be hidden from the Maldivian people.
The former President said this while speaking to Dhiyares, the sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, during the first exclusive interview he has given since the Supreme Court acquittal of his five-year prison sentence.
He noted that the Solih administration’s excuse for keeping the agreements classified has been that disclosing them posed a threat to national security. He said that by that admission, in of itself, the government has admitted that the agreements are related to national security.
“By their own admission, they have stated that these agreements contain articles and covenants that are linked to national security threats”, he said.
When asked if such knowledge of the agreement containing national security threats should be made by the military alone, he responded that the decisions should be made by the people, and there was no reason to deny the people from seeing the agreements.
All agreements on which the people have a right to decide must be submitted to the Majlis for their evaluation, as per the Constitution. If ruling-MDP parliamentarians do not wish to see such agreements, he said, they should change that article in the Constitution.
He said that even though the MDP parliamentarians were entitled to their decisions to not wish to look at the agreements, the opposition’s parliamentarians did wish to evaluate them.
The agreements should be made available for their analysis, he said.
The Parliament Committee on National Security Services had summoned officials from the Ministry of Defence regarding these agreements. The Ministry had shown them a PowerPoint presentation with selected screenshots from the agreements. Copies of the agreements had not been made available to any of the committee-members.