Maldives should not be enslaved to India, says ex-pres

The Maldives should not be enslaved to India just because the Maldives purchases food from India, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has said.

President Yameen, who has announced that he will be contesting the upcoming 2023 Presidential Election, is currently visiting some islands of Haa Alif atoll. Speaking at a rally held at Haa Alif Kelaa on Sunday night, Yameen said the Maldives would not have to kneel down in front of India because it gets onions and potatoes from India.

President Yameen said it was repulsive for the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s ministers and MPs to attribute the availability of potatoes and onion to the sovereignty of the people. Imports from India can be obtained from other parts of the world, and the people of Maldives are not incapable of doing so, he said.

"We are not in a position where we cannot explore other options," he said.

President Yameen said the current administration was purposefully neglecting the fishing sector and heavily criticized the government. He claimed that the Fisheries Minister is not aware if an ice plant on an island is damaged or whether an ice plant is being installed on an island, he said.