'India played key role in Maldives gaining its independence': Nasheed

Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has said the Maldives gained independence from the British rule due to India.

During Wednesday's Parliament sitting, Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir submitted an emergency motion to stop an event organized by the opposition for this Friday under its 'India Out' campaign.

While the debate on the motion was ongoing, Nasheed said the Maldives was under Ceylon's colonial administration. India gained their freedom in 1947, while Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, gained its independence the following year.

Nasheed said there was a reason why the Maldives did not gain independence with India and Sri Lanka.

'To my knowledge, Ibrahim Shihab met with India's then Prime Minister Nehru. As far as I know, the Maldives became an independent state in 1968, with India playing a key role [in the Maldives gaining its independence],' Nasheed said.

Although Nasheed said the Maldives gained independence in 1968, the Maldives became an independent state in 1965.

Spearheaded by opposition leader and former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, the India Out campaign seeks to drive out Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives. The movement has gained momentum in recent months, especially in the atolls. Although both the government and Parliament are attempting to stop the campaign, the opposition has said they would not stop the movement at any cost.

During Wednesday's debate, some members from the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) criticized the government for not stopping the movement.