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 ?
The Cambodian Prime Minister arrives in the Maldives on an official visit
The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, arrived Sunday morning on an official visit to the Maldives at the invitation of H.E. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. It is Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen’s first visit to the Maldives.
The Cambodian Prime Minister and accompanying delegation were received at Velana International Airport (VIA) by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid (ODRI). The government will hold a ceremony on Monday to officially welcome the Cambodian Prime Minister to the Maldives.
During the visit, President Solih would meet with Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and hold official talks on strengthening bilateral cooperation, followed by the exchange of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries. President Solih and the Cambodian Prime Minister would also deliver a joint statement on the outcomes of their discussions.
The Maldives and Cambodia established diplomatic relations on September 21, 1995.
Source(s): President Office.
Hinnavar port and outer wall construction is completed.
The contractor for the Hinnavaru Port Development Project, Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), has announced that the land and outside wall have been finished. On November 10, 2020, the Ministry of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure tasked MTCC with expanding and modernizing Hinnavaru Port.
Hinnavaru is a significant island in the atoll that is linked to the economic growth of Fadhipolhu. Lack of consultation is a hindrance to transforming the atoll’s island area into a commercial power. A dam was formerly utilized to be designed by everybody in the north of Hinnavaru. After a piece of the port collapsed and the port was rendered unusable, efforts are being made to extend and improve the port in conjunction with the port.
Work on the damaged segment of the harbour and the building of the embankment were completed as part of the project. The exterior wall and groining have also been finished. According to the overall project status, 66% of the work has been accomplished. Hinnavaru’s new port will be 162 meters long and 47 meters broad. The dam work will fill an area of 65,170.76 cubic metres. It will also comprise the building of a 421-metre subterranean tunnel, a 123.9-metre outer wall, and a 140.55-metre revetment.
Fishing boats are constantly present in Hinnavar. Hinnavaru Council also recognized the island’s abundance of private launches and boats. According to the Hinnavaru council, traders and ordinary people suffered greatly as a result of the port’s failure.
According to the Hinnavaru Council, the port development project will alleviate the present challenges in implementing the suggestions, and no more economic growth will be brought to the island.
Security heightened at Indian High Commission in Maldives over arson threat
Security measures at the Indian High Commission in the Maldives have been heightened following arson threats.
Security measures at Indian High Commission in the Maldives were heightened in connection case under investigation by the police. No further details were disclosed.
Security measures were heightened at the Indian High Commission over a tweet by former State Minister for Finance Abbas Adil Riza, encouraging an arson attack on the building.
Abbas, in a tweet, alleged that arson was committed at Addu City during the unrest by members of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on February 8, 2012 after then-President Mohamed Nasheed’s government was overthrown, was on the orders of India. Noting that revenge has yet to be taken over the matter, Abbas called to set ablaze the Indian High Commission in the Maldives.
Foreign Ministry has also expressed concerns over Abbas’ tweet.
In a statement, the Ministry, said that the government was investigating the case as a serious matter whereas security forces have administered the necessary security measures over the threat.
Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed has described Abbas’ tweet as an act of terrorism. On this note, he said that encouragement of terrorism will be investigated as very serious matters.
Political parties including MDP, Adhaalath Party and MRM have condemned the tweet as well.
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