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MP Mohamed Saeed: History shows that weak leaders content with the poor conditions dealt by foreign powers are the same leaders receiving tributes in “white envelopes”.

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MP Mohamed Saeed of Maavashu Constituency, and former minister of Economic Development of President Yameen’s cabinet has said that the Maldivian citizens deserve better than falling under foreign occupation and that history has shown that weak leaders without foresight receive tribute in “white envelopes” from foreign powers.

In a post published to his official Facebook account, MP Mohamed Saeed began his 8 paragraph long post, by stating that subsistence comes from the Creator. In his post MP Saeed stated that President Abdulla Yameen raised and doubled the GDP per capita of Maldives within a span of 5 short years, with his unshakable determination to free the people of Maldives. He described President Yameen as a leader who did not rely on any other power or country for subsistence except for the Creator.

In his post MP Mohamed Saeed recollected that, Maldives was always painted as a small and powerless country with limited resources. And back in the day, he stated, that Maldives had little to no say in matters as simple as staple food and medicine. He stated that the nation was heavily dependent on neighboring countries for the simplest of matters and that the people of Maldives were taught, back then, to accept it without question as these were matters of sovereignty.

Talking about the present, he highlighted the GMR issue and the privatization of telecommunication and utility companies stating that the ruling party has the tendency to sell the assets of the company by justifying it as a necessary means to run the country, which in turn puts the country further in debt. He heavily criticized the ruling party saying that the party has put the country in heavy debt without any actual development whatsoever. He emphasized on the foreign military presence in and around regional airports of Maldives, government’s refusal and inability to disclose the UTF agreement and the opening of questionable offices in parts of Maldives.

He continued to state that the people of Maldives have the right and means to live a dignified life and  should not have to  live off scraps given by  bigger nations, or wait outside the embassies of said countries begging for visas. And that history has shown that the weak leaders who are content with the poor conditions dealt by the foreign powers are the very same leaders who receive tributes in “white envelopes”.

In his post he drew parallels stating that President Abdulla Yameen was a leader who freed the country and the people from the clutches of other such nations by drawing boundaries and not bending to every will and whim of those nations. And that President Abdulla Yameen had the intention and capacity to bring about major development to the country without jeopardizing the sovereignty and independence of the country. MP Mohamed Saeed stated that that the former president showed the world that Maldives is not a helpless or resource less country, on the contrary, a sovereign nation with the highest GDP per capita among the SAARC countries with the potential to grow even more.

Ending his post he stated that the course of a country can only be determined by the actions of its leaders and that the Maldives is in dire need of a leader like President Yameen to overcome today’s state of affairs.  His post was published amid major public outcry in relation to the decision to establish an Indian consulate in Addu city. Former Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon and Captain (Rtd) Dr. Ali Ihusaan are among the high profile individuals to raise concern on this issue.

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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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MPL accused of terminating employment over social media posts against current administration.

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The Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has been accused of terminating the employment of one of its employees for allegedly expressing sentiments against the current administration  and its leaders on social media.

According to local “Vaguthu news”, Ismail Rasheed, a supervisor for MPL working in Addu city was removed from his job for expressing anti-government sentiments. They stated that he was first contacted through phone to inform him of his removal from his job. He was allegedly told that it was due to his posts on social media which were against the current administration and its leaders.

According to a the document provided to him as proof of his termination of his employment, it states that he was terminated due to conducting himself against the Code of Conduct of the company.

According to “Vaguthu news”, Ismail Rasheed had been suspended for 14 days last Ramadan for talking about politics issues in the country.

Maldives Ports Limited is a 100% government owned corporation and is the sole port authority in the Maldives.

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Bank of Maldives relaunches their Mobile Banking with a new look.

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Bank of Maldives (BML) announced it has relaunched its Mobile Banking App with a new look and extra features to provide customers with a safe, secure, and seamless banking experience. BML is regarded as the biggest retail bank in the Maldives, with a presence on every island.

BML introduced their first mobile banking app to the Maldives in 2015, allowing customers to bank conveniently anywhere, anytime. With this new upgrade the following features were added;

  • Quick Pay, to make transfers without adding a contact
  • Verifying account name before making transfers and adding contacts
  • Generating receipts for past transactions at any time
  • Switching between personal, joint or business profiles
  • Applying for banking services, managing cards and updating personal information
  • Sending messages to the Bank and receiving notifications for replies

 

Bank of Maldives, CEO Tim Sawyer Photo: BML/Twitter

In a press release BML’s CEO and Managing Director, Tim Sawyer commented, “We are delighted to launch our new Mobile App today as part of our digital roadmap to enhance customer experience. It is also an important milestone as we continue to invest in technology to deliver a better banking experience for our customers across the country. The updated app now includes services that have previously only been available on our Internet Banking platform. Over the coming weeks, we will also be introducing additional features to the App, including our digital wallet and payment functions.”

BML also mentioned in their press release that over 90% of their customers registered for online banking and more than 73 million transactions were made through their digital channels last year.

BML Mobile Banking App is now available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play for their customers to download.

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