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Maldives: Former President Abdulla Yameen returns to politics with Chinese propaganda to whip up anti-India sentiment

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Male [Maldives], March 26 (ANI): Former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen who was jailed on corruption charges in 2019 has returned to politics with a campaign against Indian influence in the country, despite the fact that Male’s food security depends a lot on imports from New Delhi.

Yameen, who is a political manager of the China-backed “India Out” campaign, was freed from house arrest recently after a top court overturned a money-laundering and embezzlement conviction, allowing him to potentially make a return to politics.

He was sentenced to five years in jail and fined USD 5 million in 2019 for embezzling USD 1 million in state funds. As President of the Maldives, Yameem had laid the foundation for the Chinese debt trap in 2015.

The Maldives’ food security somewhere depends on Indian imports. Considering this the government ministers told Parliament’s Security Committee of Maldives, how the Opposition’s programme was motivated and hurt Maldivian interests more.

“Our food security depends a lot on imports from India”, a minister quoted by Observer Research Foundation said. He also listed rice, flour, sugar, chicken, eggs, potatoes, onions, and lentils as amongst the basic foodstuffs consumed by Maldivians in substantial quantities and supplied by India.

The ‘India Out’ campaign of the Islamist news portal Dhiyares and its founder Ahmed Azaan in the Maldives relies heavily on Chinese propaganda to whip up anti-India sentiment.

However, Maldives had refuted claims of foreign forces’ presence in the archipelago. In a press release, the Maldivian defence ministry has cleared that no armed foreign military personnel are present in the country.

The statement comes amidst Maldivian Opposition’s anti-India campaign, which has been met with sharp criticism from the government, which has launched a counter ‘India First’ policy to battle the ‘false narrative’.

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).

Former President Abdulla 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.

It has been reported previously that the ‘India Out’ campaign might have to do with Yameen’s close affinity with China.

A report in the Maldives Voice had said that Yameen’s anti-India sentiment goes way back to the time when the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leader became the President in 2013.

Small media websites are today being funded to direct a political campaign that clearly will benefit China in the long run if Yameen gains power again, the report had claimed. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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