India Out’ campaign in Maldives intensifies with Yameen’s backing

About a fortnight since Maldives’s ex-President Abdulla Yameen walked free, after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in a money-laundering case, the ‘India Out’ campaign in the island nation has intensified, with the former strongman now leading it.

Earlier this month, Mr. Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) said the leader would travel to the atolls to step up the ongoing campaign resisting “Indian boots on the ground” in the Indian Ocean Archipelago, even as the ruling administration denies any Indian military presence. Images of Mr. Yameen and his supporters, attired in a red t-shirt with ‘India Out’ printed in bold font, are circulating on social media, along with the ‘#IndiaOut’ hashtag.

In a statement on Sunday the Government of Maldives said it was “profoundly concerned” by attempts to spread “misguided and unsubstantiated information to propagate hatred towards India”. Calling India “one of the closest bilateral partners of the Maldives”, the Government attributed the campaign to a “small group of individuals and a few political personalities”.

“Spreading hatred and making false allegations regarding bilateral ties with neighbouring countries not only tarnishes the relations with trusted allies who extends consistent support to the Maldivian people, but also affect the safety and security of their citizens in Maldives, and Maldivians living abroad,” the Government’s statement said.

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