Should not matter to gov't if 'India Out' is written on walls: Yameen

Former President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has said it should not be a concern for the government if the country's people wrote 'India Out' on the walls of their private properties. He made the statement while speaking at an event held Friday night at R. Dhuvaafaru, calling to send back Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives.

President Yameen had earlier called on his supporters to write 'India Out' on their walls to express their sentiments on Indian military officers staying in the Maldives. Since then, the slogan has appeared on the walls of some private buildings, and even some schools, causing friction with the government. The Education Ministry has issued a statement condemning the act.

At Friday's event, President Yameen said while his supporters wrote the statement on their private buildings' wall, it should not concern the government. Even if the government disliked their efforts, the opposition would not stop their attempts to send back the foreign military personnel in the Maldives, said Yameen.

Yameen said the current administration seems to be having a hard time letting go of the 'devil's hands'. Although some describe him donning a t-shirt with 'India Out' written across the front as him being 'ill-mannered', he said it is questionable to him the behavioral standards of the people who make the claim.

Addressing the people of Dhuvaafaru, President Yameen said there is currently no opportunity to create more jobs in the Maldives, stating that the administration had sold off companies, land, and resorts.

'What I am saying is, we should have cordial friendship with other countries, we must be respectful. However, no country can mess with the internal affairs of another country. It is not India that we have a problem with; we have a problem with their military personnel being stationed here,' said Yameen.

Ending his speech, the former president prayed that the Maldives remained free, independent, and peaceful.