President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Monday said Maldives cannot fully enjoy independence if the country remains dependent on others and stressed on the importance of the nation's economic freedom.
In his address to mark the 51st Anniversary of independence, the President called for continuous efforts in advancing the economy, including increasing investments and other commercial activities.
He also noted the significance of increasing employment opportunities, and that of Maldivians being at the helm of the country’s economy.
The President called upon all young people and all those in the nation’s workforce to “roll up their sleeves” towards reaching our mutual economic goals.
"Independence and freedom does not translate to recklessness of individual actions; and that when a nation’s laws and societal harmony is disrupted it would soon face economic challenges, regardless of previous advances," president added.
"In such cases a small nation such as the Maldives will likely see greater negative impact."
President Yameen also noted the many difficulties being faced by the Maldives as a 100% Islamic nation saying that his administration faced continuous reprisals and pressure calling for freedom of religion in the Maldives and that the Government continues to overcome disruptors of peace and harmony.
"... as a nation that respects the sovereignty of other nations, we too must be afforded the same respect," he stressed.
He also said that by allowing external forces to interfere with domestic affairs we were unwittingly allowing them unwarranted influence in our internal affairs.
President Yameen further said that his agenda during the presidential election of 2013 was shaped mainly to rebuild the nation, and reiterated that his administration was not engaged in a political rivalry.
Highlighting the many achievements of this administration, in the areas of urban, economic and social development, the President said that his main concern was to overcome the challenges facing the nation, and that as the Head of State his aim was to facilitate, for the Maldivian people, joy, prosperity, peace and independence.
The President also touched upon the threat terrorism poses towards destabilising the nation’s sovereign independence and the administration’s strenuous efforts towards prevention.
Underlining that the true benefit of economic progress can be enjoyed only by treating social ailments, and building a community on mutual respect, the President noted that his administration sees every individual as equal in the eyes of the law, and said that the judiciary was now a fully separate and independent institution which needed further development to keep pace with the socio-economic developments of the nation.