Opposition People’s National Congress (PNC) Deputy Leader Mohamed Saeed has stated that the public needs to go for direct action to defend the nation.
Saeed, who also serves as Member of Parliament for Maavashu Constituency, said this in response to the Presidential decree issued on Thursday criminalizing the India Out movement. The movement is championed by the opposition and calls for the ouster of Indian military personnel stationed in the country.
With the decree to criminalize the movement, the Government had begun removing banners, even the misspelled ones, and has, so far, suspended one teacher who had expressed support for the movement.
Saeed had previously said that this action spoke volumes and is a “symptom of a dying regime”.
In a tweet posted in Dhivehi, MP Saeed had shared a video clip of an interview the incumbent president had given during the campaign of 2018. Based on the interview given then, Saeed said that it was evident that the public needed to start taking direct action.
In the 2016 interview President Salih, then the Parliamentarian for Hinnavaru Constituency, said that freedom of expression was a right enshrined in the constitution and Maldivians had used it for years.
“Even when Maldives was a kingdom, Maldivians had reserved and used the right of expression. In those times, they would gather in public places and raise their voices against what the rulers were doing,” Solih said in the interview.
The Presidential decree issued on Thursday criminalized the India Out movement. The decree cites that the movement represented imminent threats to national security and hampered bilateral relations, adding that this was an abuse of freedom of speech and assembly.