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Maldives responds to maritime boundary delimitation case – 95,828 sqkm area at stake.

Hamdhan Shakeel

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The Government of Maldives has responded to the points made by the Government of Mauritius over the maritime boundary delimitation case at the International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea.

The case was submitted by the Government of Mauritius after the International Court of Justice ordered the British Government to handover the Chagos islands to Mauritius, with the latter declaring its own Exclusive Economic Zone around the archipelago.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), a 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone can be declared by any stated around their natural inhabited land area. The area would be free for the state to exploit its natural resources without any contest or obstruction.

Currently the Maldives is set to lose a 95,828 square kilometer area of prime ocean real estate if the Maldives loses the case to Mauritius.

While the Government of Maldives initially stated that the International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea had no jurisdiction to arbitrate and pass a verdict over the case, they latter accepted the case in January 2021.  According to the Attorney General’s Office, on 25th November 2021 the Government of Maldives responded to the points made by the Government of Mauritius at the International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea.

The Attorney General’s Office also stated that the Government of Maldives responded after careful consideration, analysis and advice from the relevant state authorities including the cabinet. They stated that their response was made with consideration to uphold the sovereignty of the nation.

Local experts in hydrography and geology were also involved in developing the response by the Government of Maldives. The statement by the Attorney General’s Office stated that the experts in relevant areas were summoned to protect the interests of the Maldives, which heavily depends on marine resources as a source of income. They also estimated that the next hearing would be held in 2022.

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JP says citizen’s rule can only be maintained through presidential system

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Leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) Qasim Ibrahim has stated that citizen’s rule can only be maintained through a presidential system. The leader of the government coalition party made the statement at a time when President of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed is seeking support for his proposal to establish a parliamentary system in the Maldives.

In the tweet, Qasim highlighted the importance of maintaining a presidential system, as the president and the parliament members are elected directly by the people. He said that the prime minister, who rules in a parliamentary system, is not chosen by the electorate.

President of MDP Nasheed has said he will propose amendments to the Constitution of the Maldives at the party congress, in order to establish a parliamentary system in the country. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, along with some cabinet ministers and political leaders, has voiced opposition to establishing a parliamentary system.

Source: psmnews

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Gabon confers Distinguished Award to Maldivian Foreign Minister

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The Government of Gabon has conferred the National Order of Merit of the Gabonese Republic to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid.

The National Order of Merit of the Gabonese Republic was conferred to Minister Shahid by President Ali Bongo Ondimba at a ceremony held in Libreville, Gabon. The award was introduced in 1971 and is given to outstanding servicemen in various fields. Minister Shahid is currently in Gabon on an official visit as the UNGA president.

The Maldives established foreign relations with Gabon on March 20, 2008. This year marks the 14 years since the establishment of relations between the two countries.

Source: psmnews 

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Barge fined USD6.5 million after running aground on reef of Maagulhi

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a USD6.5 million after a barge ran aground on the reef of Maagulhi, Thaa Atoll, on May 1.

The incident occurred when the barge, AM Agam, carrying raw construction material from India to Raakeedhoo, Vaavu Atoll, ran aground on the reef of Maagulhi. The barge was travelling alongside a tugboat called, AM Alfet.

EPA stated that it had conducted a joint survey with the owner of the barge to determine the extent of the damage to the reef after the vessel was refloated. The survey showed that 6,054sqm of the area incurred huge damages worth almost USD10 million. However, the owner was levied the legally allowed maximum fine of USD6.5 million.

EPA stated that it has informed the local agent of the vessel, Mainland Shipping Private Limited, to pay the fine within 30 days. The agency is also working with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on legal matters concerning the incident.

Source: psmnews

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