Maldives foreign minister lashes out at opposition for ‘IndiaOut’ campaigns

Maldives Home Minister Abdullah Shahid has come down heavily on “IndiaOut” protesters, calling them ‘hatemongers.’

Oct 27, 2020

Maldives Home Minister Abdullah Shahid has come down heavily on “IndiaOut” protesters, calling them ‘hatemongers.’ Speaking to Sun News of Maldives, the minister said the campaign is backed by those political parties which lack the political ability and confidence to defend national “interests and sovereignty.”

In the last few months, some groups and political activists have been protesting against, what they call the excessive presence of the Indian military in the country citing the two helicopters that the Indian army operates there. These groups have been planning social media campaigns and protest rallies displaying the “IndiaOut” slogan. 

Opposition in Maldives has been fueling ‘IndiaOut’ protests which gained pace in recent months. Calling it a "desperate attempt" of opposition leaders for domestic political purposes, Shahid said such campaigns may have a damaging impact on the country’s foreign relations. For a long time high ranking politicians and officials from foreign ministry maintained a steady silence on the topic.

Reminding the people that no foreign country has ever established a military base in the Maldives since the British left the country, he said, Maldives enjoys diplomatic and military relations with all important countries in the region to safeguard its national interests and sovereignty.

On the question of relation with China, the minister said, the current administration has no dispute with the Chinese government, and both countries enjoy mutually beneficial bilateral relations.  Whatever disputes exist regarding the loans taken from China are between the current administration and the former administration of President Yameen, he added.

Shahid said that being in the opposition at the time these loans were taken from China we had warned the government. The present ruling party called the loans taken from China a "debt trap’ when they were in opposition.


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