Speaker Nasheed: India played key role in securing Maldives’ independence from British rule

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed presides over a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed said that India had assisted Maldives gain its independence from the control and protection of the British.

The Parliament had engaged in a debate on Wednesday morning in response to an emergency motion submitted by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir urging the government to stop a mass rally planned in Male’ City as part of the opposition’s ‘India Out’ campaign.

Taking part in the debate, opposition PPM’s deputy leader, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam said that the opposition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom himself had enforced the ‘India First’ policy during his administration.

Shiyam said that the current administration, unlike Yameen’s administration, was refusing to disclose agreements made with India, creating fear and uncertainty among the Maldivian people.

“We are talking about this because the personal freedom of the people themselves is at risk. This is the reason for our ‘India Out’ calls,” he said.

After Shiyam concluded his statement, Nasheed said that when India gained its independence from British rule in 1947, Maldives had been under the administration of the colonial government in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Nasheed said that there was a reason why Maldives did not gain its independence when India and Pakistan did.

He said that Maldives eventually gained its independence from British rule with India’s assistance.

“As far as I know, Ibrahim Shihab met Prime Minister Nehru. And I have to say, India played a key role in Maldives becoming an independent state after 1968,” he said.

Maldives signed the agreement securing its independence on July 26, 1965.

Then-Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir and other Maldivian leaders had played a crucial role in securing Maldives’ independence. Abdul Sattar Moosa Didi had led the negotiations on behalf of the Maldivian government.