Male’, Maldives – Member of Bilehdhoo constituency, Ahmed Haleem (Dhonbileiy) has accused that some of the top military officials were hiding with the then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom during the attack of November 3, 1988.
While debating on the emergency motion submitted to the parliament regarding the vandalism of the taxi operated by the only female driver Aminath Waheedha (Ainth) in Male’ City, MP Haleem said that the opposition was planning to hold a rally calling to free Maldives from the grips of India. MP Haleem said that it was India which protected Maldives from this attack and that he personally saw the things which India did during that day.
He also added that six military personnel had given their lives in order to protect this country and that they deserve the honor of having served their country. He went on to add that even though some officers sacrificed themselves, others had gone in to hiding over fears of being caught by the enemy. He also said that some of the top ranking officers had removed their badges and medals from their uniforms.
“Those generals who were taking the highest salaries from the state were hiding inside empty tea leaf boxes. Some were hiding inside empty washing machine boxes. Those with high ranks had removed their badges to prevent themselves from being tortured since they were top officials. This was the situation of the military personnel in the country” MP Haleem said. He went on to repeat that Maldives was saved by India on that day from the militants.
In retaliation to MP Haleem’s comments on the military personnel, the opposition members said that his remarks were demeaning to those who had given their lives to the nation on that day. As the topic heated up in the parliament floor, the Speaker of Parliament, Former President Mohamed Nasheed told not to speak about those who were hiding in the empty tea leave boxes and washing machine boxes unless it could be proven.
MP Haleem said that this was how things went down on that day and that no one can make him believe otherwise. He also said that no one had gone out to the roads and called ‘India Out’ and that Indian military left Maldives after saving the country on their own accord.
November 3, is celebrated as Victory Day in Maldives after attempted coup d’état by a group of Maldivians led by businessman Abdullah Luthufi and assisted by armed mercenaries of a Tamil secessionist organisation from Sri Lanka, the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), to overthrow the government in the island republic of Maldives was foiled. During the attack nineteen locals lost their lives including eight military officers and eleven people from the public. By the time Indian military reached the Maldives, the attackers were on their way to flee the country after their leaders were killed.