Siyam: Independence is the greatest gift, we must protect it

MDA's leader, Dh. Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed.

The independence of the Maldives is the greatest gift the Maldivian people have received, and the protection of this independence is a great responsibility that falls upon each and every Maldivian citizen, says Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, the president of Maldives Development Alliance (MDA).

In a message sending greetings on occasion of Martyrs Day on Sunday, Siyam prayed for national heroes who sacrificed their lives is defense of Islam and country to be granted paradise.

Martyrs' Day honors Sultan Ali VI or Ali Rasgefaanu, who fought the Portuguese and died in the battlefield in the 1500s, mere months after his accension.

The Portuguese were aided by the deposed Sultan Hassan IX, who converted to Christianity.

Ali Rasgefaanu expelled repelled three Portuguese attacks, before dying a martyr’s death. The next 15 years saw the darkest period in Maldivian history, when the Portuguese tried to enforce Christianity upon the islanders.

In his message, Siyam said that the Maldivian people must learn lessons from Sultan Hassan IX’s great treachery, and the subsequent dire consequences.

“The independence we have enjoyed for ages is the greatest gift we have,” said Siyam, who serves as parliamentary representative for Dh. Meedhoo.

He said that it is the responsibility of all Maldivian citizens to defend the gift of independence, and save it from all internal and external threats to the country’s freedom.