Sunday 21st Apr 2024
Dhivehi Edition
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Opposition Coalition

Govt Has No Legal Right To Stop India Out Movement: Opposition

The opposition Progressive National Coalition has said that, despite all of its threats, the government had no legal grounds to stop the nation-wide “India Military Out” campaign.
Opposition leader, former President Abdullah Yameen had assumed leadership of the grassroots “India Out” movement, which began on social media. The former President has taken a tour of the islands to raise awareness and support for the movement. He is currently at Nilandhoo (Faafu Atoll).
Speaking while on tour in Guraidhoo (Kaafu Atoll) this past week, the former President had said that the Maldives would always maintain the historic close ties with India. He had said that those ties would grow even stronger in future. However, he had said that the presence of Indian military troops in different parts of the country; having neither been invited by the Maldives nor there to defend the Maldives from a military attack; was “unwanted”. He had said that such a presence begged the question if they were here with conquest in mind.
In response, the Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Mohamed Nasheed, had held a meeting with other MDP parliamentarians of the Male constituency and had stated that “India Out” should not be said and that the police should put a stop to it. The expression of thoughts and beliefs that do not contravene tenets of Islam is a constitutionally-protected right in the Maldives.
While many parliamentarians at that meeting spoke out in support of Speaker Nasheed’s comments, one of the parliamentarians had described the “India Out” campaign as a crime.
MP Ahmed Shiyam (PPM-Naifaru) had responded to these sentiments by stating that the government’s belligerent opponents of the “India Out” movement are solely motivated by their desire to defend the government’s power. MP Shiyam said that they should understand that a government could only exist if there was a country to govern. He said that the Solih administration should know how to maintain bilateral ties with foreign countries without sacrificing national sovereignty; if they did not, they were not eligible to remain in power.
MP Adam Shareef Umar (PPM-Maduvarre) had said that the “India Out” campaign was not run against teachers, nurses, doctors, and other professionals from India who were working in the Maldives, but it was a movement to oppose the presence of the Indian military in the Maldives in such a way that it posed a threat to the Maldives’ sovereignty. He said that there was absolutely no need to station Indian soldiers in the Maldives, and that they were only here because the Indian government had wanted it that way.