President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has urged the nation to put aside differences that would hinder progress and to put national well-being first.
Extending his warm greetings and good wishes to all Maldivians on the occasion of Unity Day, the president stated that the National Day of Unity is observed in remembrance of the spirit of national unity and solidarity shown by the people of the Maldives in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 tsunami — the most tragic and largest natural calamity faced by the Maldives in recent history.
Memories of the tragic day still evoke bitterness and sorrow, as so many of us lost loved ones to the disaster, the president said.
He also described the solidarity, love and compassion that was displayed by Maldivians during the catastrophe as remarkable, and emphasized that learning lessons from the disaster and moving ahead with solidarity is a national duty, in his statement.
The tsunami took the lives of 82 Maldivians while 26 are missing.