The Government of Maldives has released a statement rejecting the national movement “Indian Military Out” which calls for the immediate removal of all Indian military personnel in the Maldives and for transparency in the secretive military agreements between Maldives and India.
In the statement by the Government of Maldives published by the Foreign Ministry, they state that they reject the public concerns surrounding the security and sovereignty of the country, mislabeling the “Indian Military Out” movement as “India Out” and discrediting the movement as “misinformation”.
They further reaffirmed the government’s ties with India, stating that the calls for the removal of Indian military personnel were “misguided and unsubstantiated”. The statement also raised allegations against the public, accusing those calling for the removal of Indian military personnel and transparency in the military agreements as working with the “objective of tarnishing the country’s long-standing cordial ties with India”.
The statement also inexplicably stated hinted that Indian military aid was required by the Government of Maldives in combating non-traditional threats like climate change, cyber security and human trafficking.
The statement which was released yesterday has been met with overwhelming criticism by the public. Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Tourism Minister Dr. Mariyam Zulfa stated that she was “concerned that the Government of Maldives is issuing a statement against its own citizens expressing their opinions.”. She also noted that freedom of expression was “enshrined in our constitution”.
Former Parliamentarian and Lawyer Lubna Zahir who was involved in the drafting of the current Constitution of the Maldives stated that “I believe we have the constitutional right to express our views and write about them and more . By law the Government has a duty to ensure that our rights are provided and protected. Kindly please recheck Constitution Articles 16 ,17 ,18 , 27, 28, 29 , 31 , 32 .”.
The statement which was posted on the official twitter handle of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was swamped with calls to remove Indian military personnel in the Maldives. Some tweeted calling for the government to allow the parliament to review the secretive military agreements between the Maldives and India while others tweeted calling for the immediate and unconditional removal of all Indian military personnel in the Maldives.
Disclaimer: Government of Maldives rejects “Indian Military Out” while public calls for their removal grows louder. - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view