Yameen: The government is scared while India continues to bully

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom speaks at 'India Out' event held. (Photo/PPM)

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, on Tuesday night, remarked that senior officials of the incumbent administration are now ashamed and scared to call “India Out’ while India bullies the administration.

At a gathering held on Tuesday night to campaign for the parliamentary candidates endorsed by the People’s National Front (PNF) – a new party founded by Yameen that has yet to be officially registered – Yameen targeted questions at individuals who spoke at the podium.

In this regard, he said the individuals who ran the “India Out” campaign while they were the opposition are now ashamed and scared to advocate for the cause.

“Today, they are ashamed and scared to talk about it. That it is not an issue today,” he added.

“Candidates endorsed by the government or [President Dr. Mohamed] Muizzu are claiming there are no Indian soldiers. But Indian soldiers are there, in the public. Even now. They do not wish to state the number either,” he stressed.

The former president then went onto express enragement over the fact that the presidential decree issued by former president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – banning the “India Out” campaign – has not been revoked to date. He added that the previous ban has been exacerbated at present.

Top officials from PPM-PNC lead an 'India Out' protest in Male' City. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Hayyan)

“If the current administration is so frightened over it; so frightened to make a decision regarding it – I wonder why they are not undertaking efforts to expedite the case filed with the Civil Court,” he said.

Referring to President Muizzu’s remark that Maldives being small in size does not amount to the license for neighboring nations “to bully us”, Yameen questioned as to whether Indian soldiers’ storming of Maldivian vessels in Maldivian waters did not constitute to bullying.

Yameen said India has “significantly bullied” Maldives as he sees it.

“The defense minister did not describe this as bullying. [The government] is unaware of why it had been done. But we have been bullied this much, right?” he questioned.

He further said the Maldivian government and some senior officials appointed to represent the Maldivian government have also bullied India, referring to derogatory terms used by some deputy ministers against India and its prime minister Narendra Modi.

“The Maldivian government and senior-level appointees to represent the Maldivian government have also done some things to bully India,” he said.

Yameen claimed that the Indian government proposed two offers to the Maldivian government; issuing an official apology or the dismissal of the officials in question. He emphasized that the current administration has not done either of this.

Nevertheless, Yameen emphasized that the public is owed an explanation as to why Indian soldiers had stormed a Maldivian vessel in Maldivian waters. He added that the strain formed between the two nations should be resolved during the high-level discussions being held between them.

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom speaks during a PNF campaign event on February 11, 2024. (Sun Photo/Aman Latheef)

Yameen, who served as Maldivian leader from 2013-2018, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for money laundering and bribery charges in connection to the sale of V. Aarah on December 26, 2022.

He was transferred to home confinement a day after PPM-PNC coalition’s triumph in September’s presidential election. The terms of his home confinement were significantly eased later on.

He left PPM-PNC coalition a week after the administration took office following internal conflicts.

Since then, he has launched efforts to form a new political party, PNF, which has yet to file for registration.

Prior to this, Corrections has threatened to revoke existing easements if he continues to violate the terms of his home confinement. However, no action has been taken against the former president to date despite his continuous engagement in political activities following the warning.