Protests after speaker refuses to table Gaza motion

People protesting outside People's Majlis calling to ban Israeli citizens from entering Maldives on November 15, 2023. (Sun Photo)

The Parliament has faced discontentment of the public after Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Aslam refused to agenda a resolution condemning Israel’s horrific attacks on Palestinians saying they need to prepare the chamber for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

The resolution on the Palestinian issue was moved by MDP's Villingili MP Saud Hussain on 14th last month. 

Some MPs asked for the resolution to be put on the agenda today. Members also protested in the parliament holding posters calling for a ban on Israelis entering Maldives.

Thimarafushi MP Abdulla Riyaz said that there is no issue more important to be put on the agenda in the sitting as many people are being killed in the Israeli offensive attacks in Gaza.

Speaker Mohamed Aslam chairs a parliamentary sitting on November 14, 2023.

"I think this is a huge problem. Maldives is a 100 percent Muslim country. Therefore, it is not right for our elected officials not to say anything when Muslims are being attacked in such horrific ways,” he said.

Riyaz asked that the resolution moved by MP Saud be put on the agenda even if for tonight.

Responding to the question, Aslam, who presided over the sitting, said that while the Parliament had passed the debate on the supplementary budget for today, no member had asked for anything else to be included in the agenda.

"And there was no such talk at the time the agenda was announced. Therefore, I said, when convening the sitting, that the work on the resolution will be carried out very soon,” Aslam said.

Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

Aslam said the parliament chamber should also be ready to prepare for the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect and so it would not be possible to hold a sitting tonight.

Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem said an emergency motion was introduced on the day the issue came up but it was not on the agenda that day.

“I also understand that you [Aslam] were not the Speaker on that day. However, I have come today from the Foreign Affairs Committee. We have come to a very important decision in this matter,” Saleem said.

Saleem said all members of the committee unanimously decided to recommend to the President to ban Israeli tourists from coming to Maldives as per a letter received by the parliament.


Vilingili MP Saud Hussain. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

A protest has been launched outside the parliament following this.

The resolution, moved by Villingili MP Saud Hussain, said the Israeli attacks are a crime against humanity to destroy the Palestinian Muslim people without regard to the civilian population.

The resolution noted that Israel continues to use several weapons banned by international treaties and laws in its attacks and has closed down Gaza, cut off water, sewerage and electricity supplies and prevented the entry of food.

The resolution calls on the Maldivian government to take all necessary measures to ban Israeli citizens from entering Maldives in protest against Israel's inhuman atrocities.