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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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President and First Lady depart to Bahrain on an official visit

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed have departed for Bahrain on an official visit.

The Spokesperson at the President’s Office Miuvaan Mohamed said President Solih will be visiting Bahrain from October 5-8 at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

During the visit, President Solih is scheduled to sign a number of high-level agreements with Bahrain, which will further strengthen the friendly relations between the two countries.

President Solih last travelled abroad to the United Kingdom (UK) last month to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Source: psmnews

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Education sector essential for building nation’s workforce: President

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated the education sector is essential for building the nation’s workforce and human resources. He made the statement in a written address to the nation on World Teachers’ Day 2022.

In the address, President Solih reflected on the changes in the education sector over the years, noting the unprecedented advances in science and technology. He emphasised the importance of teachers familiarising with the new technology and modern teaching techniques and said the goal of the education sector should be to raise children who are knowledgeable enough to adapt to these advances.

Additionally, President Solih said anyone who wants to bring positive changes to society should begin their work in the education sector since societal reform is closely linked to the education sector. He went on to say the education sector is essential for building the nation’s workforce and human resources. He conveyed his best wishes to all teachers and educators in the Maldives on the occasion of Teachers’ Day and expressed his heartfelt gratitude for their invaluable service to the nation.

In an earlier tweet, President Solih conveyed his gratitude and deep appreciation to teachers across the Maldives by highlighting the positive impression that teachers leave on students. He said individuals owe much to their selfless hard work to educate children and to guide and prepare them for life.

The theme of World Teachers’ Day 2022 is The Transformation of Education Begins with Teachers.

 

Source: psmnews

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President says next top priority will be to improve health sector

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that the primary focus of the administration next year will be to improve the healthcare sector. He made the remark at a meeting held at the President’s Office with senior officials from healthcare providers across the Maldives.

At the meeting, President Solih stated that the administration will prioritise the development of healthcare services in the coming year and that some transformative changes in the sector have already been achieved. However, he noted that there was still room for improvement in healthcare services.

At the meeting, the managers of health centres from across the country highlighted the recent notable achievements in the sector. They also discussed with the president the need for the standardisation of healthcare centres, staff shortages, mobile laboratory management, the steady supply of prescription drugs, and mechanisms for managing public health services.

Furthermore, President Solih briefed participants on the plans of the administration to improve the healthcare sector further and provided updates on the status of ongoing initiatives. He also assured them that the health sector would soon see some progressive changes.

Vice President Faisal Naseem also attended the meeting. He stated the administration had surpassed all previous governments in reforming healthcare services in the atolls across the country.

Source: psmnews

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