Economic minister claims other countries are “jealous” of Maldives

President Abdulla Yameen with his cabinet at the PPM 6th anniversary meeting held in H. Dh. Kulhudhuffushi on November 12, 2017. PHOTO / PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

President Abdulla Yameen with his cabinet at the PPM 6th anniversary meeting held in H. Dh. Kulhudhuffushi on November 12, 2017. PHOTO / PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed on Sunday night claimed that some of the Maldives’ oldest allies are now “jealous” of its recent developments and progress.

Speaking at the ceremony held in Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaalu atoll, to mark ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s sixth anniversary, the economic minister said that the Maldives faces a lot of challenges as it is a 100 percent Muslim country, and that the citizens must be wary of prying eyes on the nation.

“We can see that some of our allies – allies that were once very close to us – are now jealous of our recent progress. We can sense that there is some animosity there now,” Saeed said vaguely, without mentioning the specifics of who he was talking about.

He said that the Maldives became a “victim” of the alleged hostility because it overcame its previous “poor” economic status and is now a flourishing country, and was quick to give President Abdulla Yamen Abdul Gayoom credit for the alleged economic developments.

While economic minister Saeed claimed that foreign countries are jealous of the Maldives’ development, PPM’s parliamentary group’s deputy leader and Villufushi MP Abdullah Riyaz Rasheed had shared similar sentiments last week when he claimed that the Maldives’ neighbour Sri Lanka is aiding the opposition to bring about a coup.

Although MP Riyaz did not reveal the source of his information, he had claimed that the Sri Lankan government is an instrumental part of the Maldives’ opposition’s plan to topple the government, and alleged that the Sri Lankan government knows what the opposition has planned.

As of recently, many ruling party members have begun dubbing Sri Lanka and India as strongholds of the Maldives’ opposition. Sri Lanka hosts a number of opposition leaders who are in self-exile as they have “politically motivated” charges against them, and former president Mohamed Nasheed frequently visits the country to hold political discussions.

During his speech on Sunday night, Saeed also warned of plans to create civil unrest in the Maldives, and said that now is the time to put away political differences and work towards a unified nation.

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