Former Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed has lashed out and compared China to the East India Company. He has accused Bejing of grabbing more land than the East India Company ever did without firing a bullet. In his address to the Indian Ocean Conference in Male, the former President accused his previous Government, under former President Abdulla Nasheen, of putting the country in deep debt in collusion with China.
“Get a hold of the government, buy up a parliament, change the laws, get unsolicited contracts then inflate the price of the contract to the level due to which business plans failed here. Give commercial loans and then, off course, they will not be able to pay it back. When you can’t pay it back, they ask for equity; and with equity, you relinquish sovereignty, including the peace of the Indian Ocean. I am referring to China,” Nasheed said decribing China's modus operandi.
Nasheed served as the fourth president of Maldives from 2008 to 2012. He was the country’s first democratically elected president, ending the three decades rule of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Nasheed was unanimously chosen to head the country’s Parliament or People’s Majlis, in May, by his Maldivian Democratic Party after it won a near three-quarter majority in the 87-member assembly in April. Until November, the former president was in exile. He returned after the Supreme Court cleared him of Terrorism charges imposed by the previous regime.
"In recent times there has been an amazing rush to land grab. Although land grabs are occurring worldwide, they are common where protection of human rights is poor. It has a combination of practice, international, and domestic drivers. The Maldives up until the recent presidential election in 2018 was a flourishing land grab paradise," Nasheed added.
"If I were to take this contract to commercial arbitration, it will be the same as somebody in Kolkata taking the East India Company for arbitration," the speaker added.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday and assured him of India’s “fullest commitment” in the Island nation’s development. Jaishankar is in the Maldives to attend the 4th edition of the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC).
India's External Affairs Minister took to Twitter to thank the Maldivian President for receiving him.
Thank President @ibusolih for receiving me. Conveyed PM’s greetings and appreciation for implementing ‘India First’. Assured him of our fullest commitment. Congratulated Maldives on the outstanding organization of #IOC2019 pic.twitter.com/RMAihRctzb— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 4, 2019