Male [Maldives], March 11 (ANI): The ‘India Out’ campaign in the Maldives being led by former President Abdulla Yameen and his supporters might have to do with Yameen’s affinity with China, a media report said.
India and Maldives signed an agreement in February 2021 under which India was to develop the harbour of the Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard at Sifvaru-Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF).
Yameen and his supporters dubbed the agreement as a way through which Indian troops would be stationed in the Maldives and in the months to come launched the ‘India Out’ campaign on social media accusing the Solih regime of compromising the sovereignty of the country.
The report in the Maldives Voice said that when the UTF agreement was signed, a handful of Yameen led online news portals released very controversial articles on their sites.
Despite the government’s declaration that the agreement holds no national threat as being alleged by these news sites, they continue to frame charges to gain the public’s attention, the report said.
Reports also date the activities relating to anti-India sentiment way back to when Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party (PPM) became President in 2013, the report further said.
China and Maldives established good relations when Yameen was in power. The Yameen regime saw the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) funding numerous scholarships, seminars and exchange programs in the country.
In fact, the Yameen regime saw Xi Jinping become the first-ever Chinese president to visit the Maldives in 2014.
An estimated 1.3 billion dollars of loans were taken during Yameen’s tenure from China that was used in building the island country’s airport and the ‘Sinmale Friendship Bridge,’ the report said, adding that, the loans taken during his regime were estimated to be more than a quarter of Maldives GDP.
Yameen was ousted from power in 2018, with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih becoming the new President.
Small media websites are today being funded to direct a political campaign which clearly will benefit China in the long run if Yameen gains power again, the report claimed.
The Solih regime has gone all out to nullify the anti-India campaign. A bill termed as ‘Bill on combating actions affecting diplomatic ties established between the Maldives and Foreign countries’ was recently submitted to the People’s Majlis to stop actions that may adversely affect relations between New Delhi and Male.
The Foreign Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives Abdul Gafoor Mohamed has said that it was not only India that was expressing concerns but other countries that have set up embassies in the Maldives have also raised concerns regarding the matter and have requested strengthened security. (ANI)
This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.