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Commissioner of Prisons warns action against jailed opposition leader following nationwide demonstrations.

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Today’s demonstrations held nationwide by the opposition alliance, the Progressive Congress Coalition has made its mark on the current political landscape. The demonstrators called for the immediate release of the former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, which has been the subject of allegations of rampant corruption and political influence.

Near the end of the demonstration n in the capital city, the demonstrators gathered in front of the opposition leader, former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s residence where he is currently kept under house arrest after having being transferred from jail following the COVID-19 outbreak.

The opposition’s Presidential Candidate, former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom appeared from the second-floor window of his residence and waved the national flag along with the flag of the main opposition party PPM. This was met with thundering applause from the demonstrators who were calling for his immediate release.

However, this has not been met well by the current administration as Commissioner of Prisons, Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu has stated that the former President had acted in contravention to an “agreement” by partaking in the demonstration. He also warned that he would launch an investigation and take necessary actions against the former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu’s warnings was met with criticism from both the public and the opposition as many have pointed out that the current Home Minister Sheikh Imran Abdulla also partook in political events while under house arrest. Moreover, many also pointed to former President Mohamed Nasheed who fled the country under pretense on medical treatment, and was actively involved in political campaigning.

Many have also pointed to former Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb, who while under house arrest, formed a political party under the current administration.

The opposition coalition has also released a statement, affirming that there is no existing law which prohibits the former President form waving the national and party flag from within his residence and that no such agreements were made between the former President and the state which prohibits it. They also expressed concern on the Commissioner of Prison’s tweet, warning on taking action against the jailed opposition leader.

The protest come following the leaked audio tapes from the Maldives judiciary, involving three out of the five judges who passed the guilty verdict on the former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. According to the leaked audio tapes, the judges where “held hostage” and passed the guilty verdict under duress. They affirmed that threats and inducements were offered by key members of the current administration including the President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir allegedly at the behest of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

COVID 19

The Chinese Ambassador is hopeful for the second shipment of the vaccine gifted from China to arrive in the Maldives soon.

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Chinese Ambassador in the Maldives, Wang Lixin has said that she expects the second shipment of Covid vaccines from China to arrive in the Maldives soon. Her Excellency Wang Lixin said this in a tweet last week Tuesday after a meeting with Maldives Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

In this meeting with the health minister, it was discussed to strengthen the relationship between the 2 countries and work together as per the agreement between President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the President of China, Xi Jinping. Discussions have been made to improve the health benefits between the 2 countries as well. On this note, the Chinese Ambassador has said that 4 there are 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm Vaccine on its way to the Maldives.

The first batch of vaccines donated by China was received at the beginning of this year with 2 lakh vaccine doses. After which, it was announced two months ago that 4 lakh doses were donated again by China. China is the one country that has donated the highest number of vaccine doses to the Maldives with a sum of 6 lakh vaccine doses to fight against Covid-19.

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SAFF championship’s amended timetable with changes has been announced.

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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), football tournament SAFF championship’s first match between Maldives and Nepal has been rescheduled to go on at night time, after the opening ceremony.

The schedule for the championship has been changed twice before as well. When the schedule has first released the dates given were from 1st-13th. But after review, the schedule was changed to abide by FIFA match day policies, giving enough days in between for the players to rest.

The government’s senior employees will be attending the opening ceremony event. The Maldives has previously won twice in this competition, which was in 2008 playing in Sri Lanka and in 2018 playing in Bangladesh. Both tournaments were won playing against India. The Maldives remains to be the competition defending champions, so the slogan for this year’s championship is “Thinvanah faharu miee ey faharu” which translates to “Third time is our chance”, aiming to win the championship cup for the third time.

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A Bangladesh Airline to start flights from Bangladesh to Maldives.

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Bangladesh’s biggest private airline the US- Bangla Airlines to has scheduled direct flights from Bangladesh to the Maldives.

US-Bangla Airlines flights will commence in November of this year. The airline will be traveling straight from the capital city of Bangladesh Dhaka city to Male’ city. It is reported that the scheduled flights will start in the middle of November with 4 flights per week. Bangladesh’s Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported that the flights used for this will be Boeing 737-800 flights.  That flight has a capacity of 164 persons.

US-Bangla Airline stated that it is an aim for the airline to have an easy way for persons who wish to travel to Bangladesh from the Maldives. And that this decision will help workers who are employed in the Maldives as well.

US-Bangla Airlines is working on having scheduled flights to Bangladesh from Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia as well. As of now, the airline has direct flights to Bangladesh from Dubai, Oman’s capital city Muskat, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Chennai, China, and Doha.

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