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Parliament’s 06th May Terror Attack Report Highlights Defence Minister Mariya Ali Didi’s Negligence.

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The Parliament’s Committee on National Security Services (241 committee) has publicized their inquiry report into the 06th May terror attack which was targeted at the Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed.

The highly anticipated report highlighted major issues surrounding interagency intelligence exchange and support systems. However, the report laid bare on the Defence Minister Mariya Ali Didi’s possible negligence in thwarting the 06th May terror attack.

According to section 10.17.8, the Hulhudhoo Constituency MP Ilyas Labeeb had informed Defence Minister Mariya Ali Didi of a possible attack against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed after he received a tipoff. Defence Minister Mariya Ali Didi stated that she did not inform any other intelligence units, within the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and the Maldives Police Service (MPS).

She justified that under Article 19-1 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, that information on an act of terrorism should be relayed to the MPS and not the Defence Minister. She also stated that there was no legal need for the Hulhudhoo Constituency MP Ilyas Labeeb to relay the tipoff to her, and insisted that she is under no obligation to pass on the information on the attack to the MPS, herself.

However, Article 19-3 (e) of the Anti-Terrorism Act states that in addition to the intelligence units, any information gathered on a possible act of terrorism by any state authority should be immediately relayed to the intelligence units mentioned in the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Defence Minister Mariya Ali Didi also stated that she did not inform the Defence Intelligence Service (DIS) of the tipoff on the attack against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed because the Speaker’s security threat level was already at critical. She stated that even if she had informed the DIS of the possible attack, the threat level would have remained critical.

The inquiry report also noted that the Maldives National Defence Force did engage in patrolling the streets of the capital city following the 06th May terror attack. When questioned on the subject, Defence Minister Mariya Ali Didi, according to the inquiry report stated that the MNDF does not have the legal powers to patrol the streets of the capital city and that the power lies with the MPS.

However, the inquiry report noted that Article 28-4 (a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act states that, in the event of a possible act of terrorism or after an act of terrorism using weaponry or explosives, the MNDF will lead the efforts in protecting the society and taking preventive measures.

The content of the report is speculated to cause major political upheaval within the ruling Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) and its coalition partners. Conditions remain fragile within the ruling party as factions loyal to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker Mohamed accuse each other undermining and sidelining each other.

Moreover, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed’s daughter and his supporters have already accused Minister Mariya Ali Didi of being involved in the attack and have called for her resignation.

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Maldives discusses strengthening cooperation with Bahrain

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa have discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The discussions took place during President Solih’s ongoing state visit to Bahrain.

Upon their arrival at the Al-Qudaibiya Palace, President Solih and First Lady Fazna were received by King Hamad. It was followed by a welcome ceremony that included the performance of the national anthems of both countries and the introduction of their respective delegations.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed ways to strengthen the close bilateral cooperation and areas of mutual interest between the two countries, including increasing connectivity, and bilateral and developmental cooperation. They expressed hope that the visit would lay the groundwork for a new era in the Maldives-Bahrain relationship while also enhancing and broadening existing ties. During the discussion, King Hamad also commended the tourism model of the Maldives. In light of the range of areas in which the two countries collaborate, both leaders expressed their gratification that the state visit, the first such visit by a Maldivian president to Bahrain, had been fruitful, with both countries agreeing to cooperate in a variety of fields.

Furthermore, President Solih highlighted the warm hospitality that had been accorded to him, First Lady Fazna, and the Maldivian delegation throughout their stay and expressed his heartfelt gratitude. Following the discussion, the president and the king met one-on-one to further discuss matters of cooperation.

Source: psmnews

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Maldives and Bahrain exchange four key agreements

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The Maldives and Bahrain have exchanged four key agreements, demonstrating a pivotal point of progress in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa presided over the agreement signing ceremony at the Qudaibiya Palace in Bahrain. The agreements include the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations exchanged between the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries and the MoU for Cooperation on Diplomatic Training and Exchange of Information and Documentation between the Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy for Diplomatic Studies and the Foreign Service Institute of the Maldives (FOSIM).

The agreements also include the MoU on Cooperation in the Area of Youth and Sports Development between the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs of Bahrain and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of the Maldives, and the MoU on Climate Change between Supreme Council for Environment of Bahrain and Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology the Government of the Maldives.

At the ceremony, two additional agreements were also announced. The first agreement concerns the Maldives as a sea-to-air partner which provides access to Bahrain’s global sea-to-air logistics hub, and the second agreement grants the Maldives sovereignty over the data of its beneficiaries in Bahrain-based data centres.

 

Source: psmnews

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New seaplane terminal at VIA inaugurated

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The new seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA0 was inaugurated on Thursday.

‘Noovilu Seaplane Terminal’ was inaugurated during a special ceremony on Thursday morning by Vice President Faisal Naseem, Maldives Airports Company Limited’s (MACL) Chairman Mohamed Umar Manik and the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin.

The ceremony was also attended by Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi and other senior government officials.

The new seaplane terminal is a USD 55 million worth project. While the terminal measures 28,000 square meters – its MRO Facility measures 8,836 square meters. The VVIP section measures 100 square meters.

Hailing as the largest seaplane terminal in the world – ‘Noovilu Seaplane Terminal’ has 42 lounges of which all except two have been leased to resorts. MACL’s ‘Vilu’ business lounge had 235 seats, whilst ‘Neeru’ lounge has 315 seats.

In addition to this new seaplane terminal, the newly developed Code F runway at VIA was also operationalized on Thursday morning with the landing of the inaugural flight. The Emirates’ aircraft had been inbound from Dubai, and upon landing was welcomed by a water salute.

Both these projects were incepted during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration under an initiative to further develop the airport. The work was carried out by China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG).

The airport development project valued at USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion) saw the establishment of a new VIP terminal at VIA. A new passenger terminal and a fuel farm are also being developed under the project.

 

Source: Sun.Mv

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