The “India Out” protests in the Maldives, which took place from December till April, was based on “misinformation and propaganda”, a senior Indian diplomat said on Tuesday.
The campaign, spearheaded by former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen, alleged that the Maldives had become a “puppet of New Delhi”, and allowed India to station its military in the country.
However, Munu Mahawar, the high commissioner of India to the Maldives, said that the protests did not reflect the views of the citizens of the archipelago.
On April 22, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree banning protests against India. The decree, “Stopping Campaigns that Incite Hatred Against Various Countries Under Different Slogans”, called the “India Out” protests an organised drive aimed to disrupt relations between the Maldives and India by inciting unrest.
Mahawar on Tuesday said that the Maldives had also taken action against a mob that disrupted Yoga Day celebrations in the country’s capital city of Male on June 21. “They [Maldivian government] have committed at the highest level that those responsible will be brought before the law,” he said, while speaking at a media briefing by the Ministry of External Affairs.
The diplomat said that the Maldives has been holding events related to the International Day of Yoga since 2015. The country had also co-sponsored a United Nations resolution that recognised the occasion, he noted.
Meanwhile, Maldivian President Solih is in India for a four-day visit that will end on August 4. On Tuesday, he held a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The prime minister said that the two leaders “reviewed all the dimensions of our bilateral cooperation, and also exchanged views on important regional and global issues”. Modi also announced that India will provide an additional $100 million (Rs 7.88 billion) line of credit to the Maldives to support infrastructure and housing projects.