Defence Minister Mariya Didi has claimed that the "India Out" movement should not be supported as every two out of three eggs imported to the Maldives came from India.
The Parliament Committee on National Security Services (also known as the 241 Committee) have launched a full-scale inquiry into the possible ill effects the "India Out" movement may have on the Maldives. The inquiry was launched by the request of Majlis Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Speaking at a session of the 241 Committee held on Thursday night, Defence Minister Mariya had stated that the Maldivian people were well-aware of the harms that can arise by isolating from other countries. She spoke at length about why the "India Out" movement should not be supported because of how much the Maldives depended on India for imports and healthcare.
"You would also know that every two out of three chicken-eggs imported to the Maldives come from India. 90% of all rice comes from India", she said.
She also pointed out that 80% of all onions and potatoes come from India. She said that the Maldives did not only depend on India for security purposes.
"Even if we look at healthcare, how many people go to India to seek treatment through Aasandha?" she asked.
She also mentioned that more than 15,000 medical visas had been taken out by Maldivians to visit India during the pandemic. Therefore, the public would face difficulties by isolating from a country with which the Maldives had close ties.
"The common person has no choice but to go to India for treating cancer and kidney diseaes", she pointed out.
Defence Minister Mariya said that a movement targeting a specific country or ethnicity would harm the Maldivian people.
Minister Mariya's statements echo statements that had been made by Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail during an earlier session of the 241 Committee; he had claimed that the "India Out" movemnet could strain relations between India and the Maldives and could pose a threat to food security.