President Mohamed Nasheed, in his address at the reception held to celebrate India’s 60th republic day anniversary, has said that the Maldives could “learn from India’s embrace of democracy, freedom and the rule of law”.

“It is only when we examine the past critically, that we are able to learn from others’ experience,” said the President.

Stating that India took bold decision to found a republic based on the principles of democracy and freedom, President said that today India was a “shining beacon of freedom and hope around the world”.

Drawing parallels between India’s transition to democracy and that of the Maldives’, President Nasheed said that just as Just as India faced “growing pains after Independence, so the Maldives has teething problems of its own”.

“And just as we can learn from India’s dedication to a free society, I believe we can also learn from India’s commitment to a free economy,” he added.

He also said that as a result of the Maldives economy being “centrally planned and heavily regulated” in the past, it had “prevented growth, repelled investment and thwarted people’s aspirations”.

He said that by opening our economy to the world the Maldives also could enjoy economic success.

President Nasheed added and that we must “entrench democracy and liberate the economy” for a “brighter, happier and more prosperous tomorrow”.

In his address, President extended greetings to the President, the Prime Minister, and the people of India, on the occasion of the country’s Republic Day. President Nasheed also said that he was confident that the longstanding ties of friendship and understanding between the Maldives and India would deepen in the future.

First Lady Madam Laila Ali and Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed also attended the function.