Govt. denies opposition accusations on ‘India Out’ banner

A group of people wearing 'India Out' t-shirts breach the opposition alliance's mass rally on June 2, 2023, (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shaathiu Abdulla)

The government has denied the opposition accusations claiming the government had been behind the ‘India Out’ banner at the mass rally held by the opposition alliance on Friday night to protest the ruling by International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) in the border dispute between Maldives and Mauritius.

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition, ‘The Democrats’, a faction formed within main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) which has now filed for registration as a new political party, and Maldives National Party (MNP) has formed an alliance in light of their mutual disagreement with how the conflicting maritime territory between the Maldives and Mauritius have been delimited.

The opposition alliance held a mass rally on Friday night during a group of people who breached the rally raised an ‘India Out’ banner.

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition, in a statement on Saturday, linked the group of people to the government, citing they were sent to sabotage the mass rally.

In their statement, the opposition coalition, described the incident as a conspiracy by the government. They also alleged the group of people as individuals who were funded by government officials.

Miuvaan Mohamed, the President’s Office’s Spokesperson, denied these allegations to Sun on Sunday. He said the government will not have a hand in conspiring such an act.

“When political people who cannot unite sabotage each either, the government is being dragged into it,” he added.

The opposition coalition, in their statement, also claimed having received information of the government planning to sabotage the mass rally through such an act. Therewith, they opposition said they were ready to stop any such event peacefully.

The group that breached the mass rally in ‘India Out’ t-shirts that tried to put up the banner were quietly removed from the location.

Furthermore, the opposition coalition stressed that any cowardly attempt by the government to break the alliance formed to reclaim the maritime area lost will not be successful.

‘India Out’ is a movement alleging the presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives initiated by the opposition PPM-PNC coalition under the guidance of their leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

The coalition held a large number of nationwide demonstrations as part of this campaign last year which was put to a stop by a resolution from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declaring the movement to be a threat to national security.

Nasheed’s ‘The Democrats’ have also accused the government of conspiring Friday night’s incident.