Addu City, Maldives – Former President and Parliament Speaker Mohammed Nasheed’s office, Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar’s house and the outer wall of the city council office in Hithadhoo have been graffitied with “India-Out”.
The “India Out” campaign is led by opposition leader and former President Abdullah Yameen calling for the withdrawal of Indian troops from Maldives.
This is the second time ”India-Out” has been graffitied on Addu Mayor’s house. “India Out” was graffitied on Addu Mayor Ali Nizar’s car ahead of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s visit to Addu City in March of this year.
The graffiti-cation of the location comes a day after former President Yameen departed from Addu City following a four day visit to the city.
The India-Out campaign began in 2020, when protests led by the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) erupted on the streets of the Maldivian capital, Malé, and in social media against the alleged presence of Indian military personnel on Maldivian soil.
In April 2022, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih gazetted a decree outlawing the “India Out” campaign after the opposition lead campaign to remove the Indian military from the Maldives was deemed a threat to national security by the National Security Council.
Following the special resolution declaring the campaign a threat to national security following with the opposition had announced that they had paused the campaign.
The campaign intensified and gained momentum after Former President Yameen took over the campaign after being freed from imprisonment on charges of corruption in November 2021. Yameen is regarded by many in the Maldives and India as a pro-China leader.
The decree titled Banning movements under various slogans to incite hatred against specific nations (Decree no: 5/2022) stated that while the incumbent government strives to provide free speech and other democratic values to the highest extent, now some are taking undue advantage of this.
The decree read that the “India Out” campaign is a deliberate attack against the civil peace of the Maldives and a threat to the historic relationship between India and the Maldives.
The “India Out” campaign is a threat to the development of Maldives and regional peace.President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
The President further detailed that the Maldives is a signee of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963)under which the host nation must ensure the safety of foreign diplomatic missions and their staff.
The Maldives is also a signee of International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination(1966) which prohibits discrimination based on ethnicity and race.