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Captain (Retired) Dr. Ali Ihusaan raises concern over establishment of Indian consulate in Addu city.

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Captain (Rtd) Dr. Ali Ihusaan has raised concern on India’s seemingly unilateral decision to establish an Indian consulate in Addu city, Maldives. In a series of tweets made today, the WestPoint graduate criticized and raised concern on the recent developments after India’s Union Cabinet’s decision to establish the consulate was made public.

He tweeted questioning India’s intentions towards the Maldives, asking why India is not investing in Addu City Hospital so that the people won’t be burdened with travelling to India for healthcare. He questioned why India is not providing MRI machines, advanced diagnostics  and super specialists to Addu city.

Captain (Rtd) Dr. Ali Ihusaan also highlighted on the strategic location of the Maldives. He tweeted that the “British chose Addu in 1941 as a Navy and air Force base not by accident. Its due to its strategic importance in projecting power to the Indian Ocean and beyond. The fact remains same today. Why are we not understanding the significance of these strategic locations in Maldives?”.  It should be noted that Addu city has long been the interest of many international powers including the Soviet Union which made a proposal to the Government of Maldives to lease strategic land from then Addu but was denied on 26th October 1977.

He also tweeted criticizing several Parliamentarians and Ministers who tweeted almost the same texts supporting the establishment of an Indian consulate in Addu city, without justifying it.

Captrain (Rtd) Dr. Ali Ihusaan is the latest high profile individuals to raise concern on this issue as the former Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon also published a video on her thought s on the issue.

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady returns to Male’ city after Eid vacations in Sri Lanka.

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady returns to Male’ after Eid vacations in Sri Lanka.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First lady departed to Sri Lanka Last Thursday on an unofficial trip for Eid Holidays. During this unofficial visit to Sri Lanka President Solih, accompanied by First Lady Fazna Ahmed, paid a courtesy call on the Sri Lankan president on Thursday, at the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka, in Colombo.

During the courtesy visit both leaders discussed about the commitment of both countries in ensuring further strengthening of the cooperation between Maldives and Sri Lanka, over the years ahead.

In Addition, discussed on the unprecedented challenges in the face of coronavirus, to the wellbeing of citizens of both countries.

the measures required to ensure Covid-19 facilities in their respective countries were discussed and highlighted that vaccination is their top priority for a “faster” and “sustainable” recovery.

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COVID-19: Racism, Blame Shifting and Politicizing a Pandemic.

Hamdhan Shakeel

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The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the global pandemic has also paved way for a new wave for Anti-Asian hatred and rhetoric’s. Due to disinformation and fake news fueled by global politics, the Asians, especially China has been blamed for the COVID-19 virus.

This accusation and following hysteria have been further exacerbated by some global powers such as the U.S. and its allies specifically blaming China and accusing that the COVID-19 virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

First promoted by then U.S. President Donald Trump as a part of his feud against China, the “Wuhan Lab-Leak Theory” was dismissed by Scientists and journalists as a conspiracy theory.

However, when China curbed the spread of the virus and initiated one of the world’s most successful and largest vaccine drives while the U.S. recorded 35 million cases with 610,000 deaths along with it, Anti-Chinese rhetoric’s once against became mainstream as the U.S. struggled to maintain its dominance over the rest of the world.

In a classic Chinese move, China gained the support of the globe by providing the much-needed aid. While the U.S. was hoarding COVID-19 vaccines enough for more than 3 times its adult population according to The Washington Post, China engaged in humanitarian work by donating and providing medical supplies and the COVID-19 vaccine to the rest of the globe.

Till date, China has provided more than 300 billion masks, 3.7 billion protective suits, 4.8 billion testing kits and over 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 200 countries.

However, instead of working on eliminating the COVID-19 pandemic which has had devastating effects on the global economy and tracing the origin of the virus in a scientific manner, some western states backed and coerced by the U.S. is attempting to shift the blame to China by distorting facts and spreading disinformation surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

An undeniable fact is that finding the origin of the COVID-19 virus is paramount to ensuring that health professionals are ready for when the next such pandemic strikes. The recently publish joint WHO-China report on the origin of the COVID-19 is the much-needed foundation and guideline on which the rest of the world should conduct their scientific studies on the origin of the COVID-19 virus.

The notion that the virus originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China is also highly unlikely as the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a highly specialized and respected institute with international standards of safety. The idea that the virus escaped due to poor security features is another aspect that one needs to analyze when looking into the accusations that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan. The age-old racism fueled viewpoint that all Chinese products and institutions are of inferior quality is undeniably a part of what is fueling the allegations that the virus leaked from an internationally accredited lab in Wuhan, China.

Even following the publication of the joint WHO-China report on the origin of the virus, a few countries have politicized the efforts to find the origin of the virus. While this has been met with criticism from the vast majority of the world, these few states continue to act in a bid to politicize and blame shift for the current situation.

In reaction to this, 48 countries around the globe have written to the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging the WHO to act according to the resolutions made by the World Health Assembly. They called for the WHO to push forward the “Global probe on traceability of the virus”.

The 48 countries stated that the virus is the common enemy of humanity and that it can only be conquered through a joint effort by the global community.

They also stated that the probe on the origin of the virus is a scientific work and that it should not be politicized.

This sentiment was backed by several academics including Professor Su Jingjing from the Peking University’s School of Health Humanities, who stated that while tracing the origin of a virus is critical to ensuring the medical professionals are better equipped to coping with future outbreaks, finding it however, is a massive scientific effort and a “great deal of luck”.

If we are to look at other similar incidents, it took scientists nearly 2 decades of global research free of political bias before they could identify the patient zero of HIV/AIDS. In case of the Ebola pandemic, scientists have been researching its origin since the 1970’s to no avail.

This in itself is proof that tracing the origin of a virus is a highly scientific work requiring multiple disciplines and years of research without political influence or disinformation.

The politicization of the tracing of the origin of the COVID-19 virus will undoubtedly interfere and obstruct the scientific effort required to successfully trace and establish proper procedures to combat the next such pandemic. If the WHO and other global powers are to successfully curb the spread of the virus and achieve normalcy, all states need to refrain from racism, blame shifting and politicizing a global pandemic.

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15 individuals attempt to protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Maldives.

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Maldives Police Service has barricaded off the area surrounding the Chinese Embassy in Maldives.

According to the Police, this was done as a precaution after they received information that a handful of individuals were planning to hold a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Maldives. Around 15 individuals were sighted participating in the protest.

It is speculated that a few members of the ruling party were behind the protest following the allegation made by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed on India’s “WION” channel that China has still not offered a moratorium on the repayment of loans.

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