241 Committee Decides To Launch Inquiry Into India Out Movement


The Parliament Committee on National Security Services (also known as the 241 Committee) has decided to launch an inquiry into the India Out movement. The India Out campaign is a grassroots movement adopted by the political opposition; it calls for the removal of Indian military assets and personnel from the Maldives and for an end to India's exertion of undue influence over the Maldives.

The session of the 241 Committee convened after a motion was submitted by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed to inquire into the nature of the "India Out" campaign; Speaker Nasheed said that it was important to review the ill-effects of acting against countries with which the Maldives had established diplomatic relations.

The 241 Committee's session concluded with the decision that a full inquiry into the campaign be launched.

MP Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon (PPM-Guraidhoo) said that the constitution granted citizens freedom to express their views and that the India Out campaign was being run within the scope of those freedoms. He pointed out that the 241 Committee did not have the jurisdiction over such issues. MP Ghassan proposed that the 241 Committee reject Speaker Nasheed's motion.

MP Ahmed Usham (MNP-Vilimale) supported MP Ghassan's stance. MP Usham said that the 241 Committee had a special mandate, and therefore looking into matters which involved freedom of expression was not part of the Committee's mandate. MP Ali Hussain (JP-Kendhoo) also supported MP Ghassan's stance.

They were opposed by the MDP-aligned members of the Committee; who comprised the majority of it; and by MP Saud Hussain (IND-Vilin'gili).

The MDP's members called for government institutions to be summoned and questioned about the ill effects the India Out movement would have on the country. MP Hisan Hussain (MDP-Thulhaadhoo) proposed that the Ministry of Defence, the Maldives National Defence Force, the Maldives Police Service, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and members of the Parliament Committee on Foreign Relations be summoned and questioned.

MP Ali Niyaz (MDP-Hulhumale), President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's relative, had called for an investigation into who was funding the India Out campaign to be included in the inquiry; another matter which was not part of the 241 Committee's mandate.

MP Hassan Latheef (MDP-Henveiru West) had mentioned that if the inquiry showed that the India Out campaign had the potential to harm the Maldives, it would then be necessary to look into the actions that may be taken against people who participated in the campaign.