بِسْمِ ٱللّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Beloved citizens of the Maldives.
السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه
As we celebrate the auspicious occasion of the Independence Day of the Maldives today, it gives me great pleasure to convey heartfelt greetings and warm wishes to the beloved citizens of the Maldives.
On this anniversary of independence, commemorating our honourable martyrs who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the Maldives is a national duty of every Maldivian born on this soil.
The 57th Independence Day of the Maldives that we are celebrating today marks 56 years of independence from Britain. It was Summuvul Ameer the late Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefaan, recipient of The Most Honourable Order of the Distinguished Rule of Ghaazee, who spearheaded our independence with his wisdom and decisiveness. We must also commemorate the heroes who liberated our nation from the Portuguese rule, Sultan Al-Ghaazee Mohamed Thakurufaanul Auzam and his companions.
The national heroes and martyrs Sultan Ali VI, Dhon Bandaarain of Huraa, and Hussain Adam also made priceless sacrifices to safeguard the independence of our nation. May Almighty Allah grant them all the eternal blessing of paradise.
In every country, Independence Day is celebrated at the highest level as a national event for a number of important reasons. It is because absolute independence is necessary to ensure basic rights on civil and diplomatic fronts. It is because of the human dimension of independence.
In that vein, today we are celebrating the occasion on which we began to fully enjoy our basic human rights. We are today commemorating the assurance that these rights are protected. This historic occasion calls upon us to aim towards preserving our independence and sovereignty at all times.
It was the tenacity of Maldivians to safeguard their independence that dictated the victories of our national heroes in their sacrifices for the independence of the Maldives. The staunch refusal in actions and words to all possible threats to independence. Each time we lost our independence and was caught in the shackles of foreign intervention was due to internal discord.
Maintaining harmonious ties with foreign countries is crucial to preserving our independence. Our policies to preserve the independence of the Maldives and sustaining diplomatic relations while honouring the independence of other nations played an instrumental role in the recent election of one of our own to the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, thus elevating our leverage on the international stage.
The foundation of our national and social solidarity is without a doubt our firm belief in Islam. Our religious solidarity can only be strengthened by eliminating sectarian divides. Our victorious fights for independence in the past were based on this principle.
There are some among us who erroneously believe in and propagandize bloodshed in the name of Islam – a religion that in truth laid out the principles of independence, peace and unity. Every one of us who wish to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the Maldives must readily rise against this dangerous movement.
Looking at the international community, those countries, particularly a number of Islamic countries embattled by war and unrest have been swept by this very extremist ideology. It was reciprocal murder and destruction of private property that signified the origin of the state of conflict we see today in these countries, followed by the influence of external forces. Today, there is no independence, peace or harmony in those countries.
Extremist ideologies and actions that are being propagated in our community in the name of Islam have no relation to Islam and are firmly refuted in its teachings. These ideologies categorically contradict the disciplinary standards and principles of Islam. Indeed, human logic and common sense compel countering the spread of these ideologies within the community.
At the same time, religious slurs and hateful conduct against Islam are harmful acts conducive to societal discord and unrest. Therefore, to ensure our national independence we must all be mindful of actions that spur hate between us and are blasphemous to Islam. Neither of these grave societal issues must be allowed in our community.
Legal actions alone will not solve these two issues. The lasting solution to these two issues is instilling Islamic faith in our children. These two issues will keep recurring if we fail to raise our children through the teachings of Islam. The Government is therefore exploring options within the education system to resolve this matter.
As long as such dividing forces exist in our society, our peace and harmony will be at persistent risk of disruption. Our position to manage other major crises will be consequently weakened if we allow our national affairs to spiral to that extent.
Our current situation calls upon us to unite our nation and offer our full support. The Government requires the help and cooperation of all citizens in our efforts to protect Maldivians from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Next week, with the grace of Almighty Allah, we will embark on an ambitious programme to vaccinate everyone residing in the Maldives. The Government’s foremost aim is to complete the vaccination of 90 percent of the eligible population by August, and from there, complete vaccination of all Maldivians. This is a privilege currently enjoyed by only a handful of countries around the world.
With the will of Almighty Allah, we now have enough stocks to administer two doses to all those who have not yet been fully vaccinated in the Maldives. I advise all Maldivian citizens to make use of this opportunity and complete your vaccine dosage.
On this auspicious occasion, I wish to convey in my own name, and in the name of all Maldivian citizens, our thanks and appreciation to the medical personnel, Maldives Police Service, Maldives National Defence Force as well as all volunteers, for their hard work to tackle Covid-19.
In light of our efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic in the past year and a half, we must now focus on getting on with our daily routines with precautionary measures in place. We must at the same time work wisely to boost our national economy.
Despite the hindrances posed by the measures put in place to protect the people from Covid-19, the Government is steadfastly working on continuing development initiatives closely tied to our basic rights without pause. Amongst them, God willing, we will ensure continuity of those initiatives related to human development including the student loan scheme and free first degree programme that fall under the education sector, support schemes to sustain businesses, establishing potable water systems and sewerage systems, development of health services as well as housing schemes.
As I close my remarks, I wish to once again convey my heartfelt greetings of our Independence Day to the beloved citizens of the Maldives. May Almighty Allah bestow upon us the strength to safeguard the independence of the Maldives and the Maldivian people for posterity.
May Almighty Allah bestow upon us the strength and resolve to defend our political autonomy, economic independence and our right to self-determination. Amen.
وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه