The main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has announced it will hold a special gathering tonight to celebrate ‘Victory Day’, a public holiday held in remembrance of those who died in the November 3 coup attempt in 1988.
The Maldives was attacked by 80 armed mercenaries linked to the Sri Lankan terrorist group, the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE). Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom requested Indian intervention and 1600 paratroopers were deployed to the Maldives. 19 people were killed in the fighting, including several hostages taken by the mercenaries.
The escaping mercenary vessel was intercepted by the Indian Navy frigates INS Godavari and INS Betwa.
“We will gather and march in the main roads of Male’, said DRP MP Ahmed Nihan. “People who are attending are requested to wear black clothing because it was a dark and saddening day for the Maldives.”
Nihan criticised the government for not commemorating the day “as they should be”, accused several senior members of the government of collaborating with the mercenaries, and further claimed that the Maldives secured its own independence before the intervention of the Indian government.
“Anyone is welcome to join our gathering tonight, it is remembrance of the martyrs who passed away in the attack, and the black clothing resembles the sadness and darkness Maldivians were in back then,’’ he added.
Nihan said the gathering would begin at 8:45pm at the Artificial Beach and continue for an hour.