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Leaked documents show India refused to withdraw military personnel and helicopters from the Maldives even after their Visa’s expired.

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Allegations that Indian influence in the Maldives has been one of the most debated topics in the Maldives. Accusation that India has influenced the last Presidential Election and the current administration is a common topic for political debates. However, a series of documents has been leaked by a local news showing communication between the Maldives Foreign Ministry and the Indian High Commission during the previous administration. The documents show the Government of Maldives requesting the Indian High Commission to withdraw their Helicopter stationed in the Maldives. The documents cement the allegations by the public that India has been increasingly overstepping on the sovereignty of the Maldives.

Below is a timeline of the events, first published in Dhivehi language on “Dhiyares News”.

In a letter dated 22nd April 2018, the Government of Maldives informed the Indian High commission on its decision to return the Helicopter being operated from Addu city by the end of June 2018.  While the letter maintain diplomatic composure, based on the events that took place, it is evident that there was tension between the two parties.

A second letter was sent on 06th May 2018. In the second letter, the Government of Maldives informed the Indian High Commission that the agreement for the helicopter operated out of Laamu atoll had expired on 01st may 2018, and requested its withdrawal by the end of June 2018.

And on 10th June, an additional letter was sent to Indian High Commission. This letter acted as a reminder on the order to withdraw the Indian helicopters and their military personnel by the end of June 2018. It also requested the Indian High Commission to provide a schedule of withdrawal.

The Indian high Commission in Maldives replied with their own letter on 25th June 2018. In their letter, the Indian high Commission stated that Indian government would require “more time” to examine the order to withdraw by the Government of Maldives.

It also noted that the Visa for the Indian military personnel in the Maldives would expire on 30th June 2018, and requested their renewal.

The Government of Maldives replied to this with a  letter dated 27th June 2018, reiterating on the order to withdrawal and to provide a schedule of withdrawal.

Sovereignty at stake?

Based on what happened next, it is clear that the Indian High Commission did not withdraw their helicopters nor their military personnel. It is now a verified fact that the Indian military personnel illegally stationed themselves, against the wishes of then government without even a legal visa. However, with the change of administration, their visa’s and the helicopter agreements were promptly renewed.

The current administration and its President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih which has been marked by its close ties to India, acting as its “yes-man” since his election.

It is clear that India does not seem to view the Maldives as a sovereign nation, and is willing to go against the laws and constitutions of the Maldives and international conventions, to impose their people and influence in the Maldives.

This leak comes following weeks of online protest by locals against the growing Indian influence in the Maldives. Many have accused India of meddling with domestic elections and other issues, to increase their influence in the Maldives.  India’s seemingly unilateral decision to establish a consulate in the southernmost city of Addu has further fueled the allegations. The Hanimaadhoo, military planes, radar systems, helicopters, Police academy and military base near the capital has only exacerbated the situation.

This begs us the question, is our independence and sovereignty at stake?. Does the Maldives need to appeal to the International community that India just won’t remove their military personnel from the Maldives? Are we becoming the next Sikkim ?

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Gov’t spends USD 298 million on PSIP so far in 2022

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The President’s Office has revealed the administration spent USD298 million on Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) so far in 2022. The Spokesperson at the President’s Office Miuvaan Mohamed made the remarks during a press conference that focused on sharing information on projects under the PSIP initiated by the administration.

Speaking at the press conference, Spokesperson Miuvaan highlighted the administration had spent USD298 million on PSIP projects by the end of August and that it accounted for 76% of the total budget allocated for PSIP projects from the state budget. He conveyed statistical updates and detailed the progress of the projects in various developmental stages including the development of essential services such as electricity, water, and supply networks as well as housing projects. He said changes might be made to the timeline of the projects, depending on changes to global prices and the availability of resources but that all projects will resume without halt, adding that no island has been neglected in terms of developmental initiatives.

Furthermore, Spokesperson Miuvaan also shared insight into the notable events of the past week and elaborated on some of the upcoming events. He highlighted President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s recent visit to four islands of Haa Alifu Atoll and Haa Dhaalu Atoll, during which he met with the island councils and Women’s Development Committee (WDC) members. He noted that the representatives of the islands expressed their appreciation to the president for bringing development to the islands without bias. He also said, previously, the primary concern of council representatives was the delays in providing essential services but that it was no longer the case as the administration has been adamant about developing infrastructure in the islands.

 

Source: psmnews

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President renames Maldivian Embassy in the US

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has renamed the Embassy of the Maldives in Washington to the Embassy of the Republic of the Maldives to the United States of America (US).

The announcement was made public through a directive released by the President’s Office. He made the decision under the discretion vested in the President by Section 116(a) of the Constitution of the Maldives. The directive also specifies that the number 488 should be used in all official documents sent to the Maldivian embassy in the US.

Recently, President Solih appointed Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed as the Ambassador to the United States (US).

 

Source: psmnews

 

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President makes first official trip on RTL ferry

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has travelled from Utheemu to Dhidhdhoo in Haa Alifu Atoll on a Raajje Transport Link (RTL) ferry.

President Solih concluded the National Day celebrations in Utheemu and received a warm welcome from the residents in Dhidhdhoo upon his arrival. He travelled to the island to officially inaugurate the commencement of the RTL high-speed ferry service in Zone 1 of the National Public Ferry Network. He is accompanied by Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) Adam Azim.

The RTL ferry service was established in Zone 1 of the National Public Ferry Network, which consists of Haa Alifu Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, and Shaviyani Atoll. Over 50,000 passengers used the service in the first three months and MTCC plans to sign a contract to manufacture 65 ferries to expand the service.

The National Public Ferry Network is a large-scale project that introduces efficient, affordable, and convenient passenger and cargo ferry services to all administrative islands of the country. In line with the Decentralisation Act, it aims to facilitate inclusive regional development by connecting people and services, accelerating social and economic growth, improving efficiency in the delivery of public services, and improving mobility and accessibility for all citizens in all areas of the nation. The government aims to connect all Maldivian islands using the ferry network by the end of 2023.

 

Source: psmnews

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