Committee proposes to amend laws to stop 'India Out' campaign

Opposition coalition's 'India Out' protest in Male' City on May 18, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Naail Hussain)

The Parliament’s Committee on National Security (214 Committee) on Thursday proposed for authorities to submit to the Parliament to amend the laws if they are facing legal obstacles in bringing a stop to the ‘India Out’ campaign.

The ‘India Out’ movement is a political campaign led by the opposition to protest against the Indian military presence in Maldives.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree banning the ‘India Out’ movement on April 21, deeming it a threat to national security.

All state institutions have been instructed to enforce the decree.

Moreover, Speaker of Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed had submitted the case to the 214 Committee for investigation as the campaign poses a threat to national security.

After investigation, the committee made two proposals, which were for all relevant state bodies to work towards ending the campaign and to submit any legal amendments needed to proceed with this.

In order to investigate the case, the committee met with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives Police Services, and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

In the report submitted by the committee to the Parliament on Wednesday, it noted that the Home Ministry had highlighted that the campaign would negatively impact Maldivians visiting India for medical and other purposes, as well as those residing in the country.

Moreover, it referred to the comments from Police that they face incorporation from those participating in the campaign activities.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry stated that the ‘India Out’ campaign impacts the internal peace of the country as well as hinders the relationships Maldivives has with other neighbouring countries.