The Maldives government has put the bill that seeks to criminalize the ‘India Out’ campaign led by former president Abdullah Yameen on hold amid some “concerns” within the ruling coalition
The Maldives government has put the bill that seeks to criminalize the ‘India Out’ campaign led by former president Abdullah Yameen on hold amid some “concerns” within the ruling coalition. The bill was drafted to safeguard the country’s diplomatic relations with friendly countries that could be harmed through hate campaigns like the “India Out.”
Former parliamentary group leader of the ruling party, MDP, Ali Azim said on Monday that pro-government parliamentarians harbored some “concerns” regarding the bill drafted by the main ruling party to counter the opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign, reported Sun News.
“There’s some major difference in opinion regarding this bill. We saw some major trepidation, some disenchantment, some disagreement, especially from parliamentarians who need the government’s support or need various things from the government,” Azim was quoted as saying by Sun news.
Azim, who was the MDP parliamentary group leader until recently, was involved in the drafting of the bill that seeks to criminalize any activities that disrupt the archipelago’s diplomatic ties with friendly countries.
The bill was drafted after the politically motivated anti-India protests, under the banner of the “India Out” campaign, led by former President Yameen, started threatening thousands of Indians working in the service sectors in the Maldives. Under the protests, opposition leaders demand an end to perceived Indian Military presence in the Maldives.
A Parliamentary Committee on National Security is also conducting an inquiry into the threat the hate campaign poses to the national security and the Maldivians living in India.
China-leaning Yameen, who was out of power since 2018, has been trying to undermine President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih’s government, which openly endorsed the India-first foreign policy, through these protests.
Under Yameen’s tenure between 2013-2018, the Maldives' ties with New Delhi touched rock bottom as he tried to get closer to China. After coming to power, President Solih in 2019 reversed the trend and sided with New Delhi as the closest partner of the Maldives.
Yameen was reportedly also miffed with India as the latter made no attempt to secure his release from prison where he spent almost two years after being convicted in a money laundering case in 2019. In December, the country’s apex court had turned down his conviction in the case.