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Police obstructs “India Out” rally by youths – key activists claim major infringement of freedom of expression.

Hamdhan Shakeel

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Maldives Police Service has obstructed an opposition youth led motorcycle rally against the Indian military forces in the Maldives under the banner of “India Out”.

The motorcycle rally which was organized by the youth wing of the opposition alliance was scheduled for 1545 today. However, Maldives Police Service published a press release accusing the opposition youth wing of planning a riot amidst the planed “India Out” rally.

 

In their statement Maldives Police Service stated that the press release was on the subject of the motor rally organized by “PPM” and that the Maldives Police Service has received information that a riot was planned in the rally. They further stated that they believe that such riots are a “danger to a lot of people”. They affirmed in their press release that they would not allow for the motorcycle rally to proceed.

Media personality turned youth activist Abdulla Shaayan Shahid who played a key role in organizing the rally described the decision by the Maldives Police Service as an infringement on the right to freedom of expression. He stated that “This is unacceptable. We want to know what exact riot the police is saying that we have planned here. This is a peaceful rally, we want our voices to be heard, the world should know that we want Indian military in the Maldives to leave our country”.

One of the leading youth activists, Hussain Naais stated that the rally was obstructed at the advice of the new Indian High Commissioner in Maldives. “Most of us are students, this is a youth rally to voice against Indian military people in Maldives. I know why Police decided to obstruct us. New Indian high Commissioner is feeling the pressure now, the police is obstructing us following his advice. They are scared that their plans are being found out. Our voice is slowly being heard by the world. India cannot station their military here. And the police cannot continue to attack our right to freedom of expression.

Meanwhile opposition leader President Abdulla Yameen has embarked on a nationwide rally to strengthen the “India Out” campaign. As a part of the campaign a delegation led by President Abdulla Yameen has visited K.Huraa, K.Thulusdhoo and K. Guraidhoo.

 

Updated at 1709 on 17 December 2021.

Reports are coming in that Maldives Police Service has utilized use of pepper spray to disperse the rallly goers gathered in front of the oppostion party office.

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New Japanese Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presents her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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The new Japanese ambassador to the Maldives, Takeuchi Midori has presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at a special ceremony held earlier today at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the ceremony President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted on the Ambassador Takeuchi Midori’s predecessor Keiko Yanai’s work in enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed hope in continuing to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations under Ambassador Takeuchi Midori tenure.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori also spoke at the ceremony, noting that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Maldives and Japan. She expressed hope that the two nations would work together on regional and global issues.

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MMPRC & Industry Partners take part in one of the biggest Global Trade Fairs held in Spain, Fitur 2022

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives) and industry partners are marketing the destination at one of the biggest global trade fairs in Spain, FITUR 2022, held in Madrid. FITUR 2022, conducted from the 19th to the 23rd of January 2022, is the global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets globally.

FITUR brings together travel agencies, wholesalers – tour operators, hotels & accommodation, carrier companies, leisure & culture, infrastructures, Spanish official organizations and travel media. The B2B and B2C event offer excellent business opportunities, access to qualified and relevant travel buyers, influencers, and market professionals. Over 42,000 trade visitors and more than 20,000 general public visitors are expected to attend the event, while around 2,500 journalists from 33 countries will cover the event.

The Maldives is represented at the fair by MMPRC along with 13 registered industry partners: Book Me Maldives, Intour Maldives, Lets Go Maldives, Travel Connection, Sun Ocean, Perfect Voyage, Roam Maldives, Lily Hotels, Villa Hotels & Resorts, Brennia Kottefaru, the Standard Hurawalhi Maldives, Medhufushi Island Resort and Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives.

MMPRC is participating in this global trade event to market the destination as a safe haven offering unique experiences to tourists, under MMPRC’s marketing strategy which focuses on maintaining destination momentum and increasing arrival numbers from Spain and around the globe. Through this event, we will provide the latest travel guidelines, information about the unique geographical formation of the Maldives’ scattered islands, the stringent safety measures in place in our resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards and hotels.

By the end of December 2021, Spain was the 7th top source market to the Maldives in 2021. During this period a total of 1,312,706 tourists arrived in the Maldives out of which 37,186 were from Spain. This contributes to 2.8% of the total arrival for 2021. MMPRC held several activities for the Spanish market in 2021, such as TV, social and digital media marketing campaigns, familiarization trips, and participation in FITUR 2021. More such activities will be held for this market for 2022 as well.

In 2021, MMPRC carried out over 260 different activities in 22 global markets. This includes interviews given for news, magazines and TV, marketing campaigns, webinars, familiarization trips, and participation in fairs and exhibitions. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came in December, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travelers from all over the globe.

This year also celebrates an exceptional year to visit the Maldives – the Golden Jubilee celebration of tourism in the Maldives kicked off earlier last year with plans to conduct new and exciting activities throughout the year. MMPRC has planned over 60 in-person events for the year 2022, including 11 fairs, roadshows and events scheduled for just the first quarter.

Source: http://www.visitmaldives.com

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The new Japanese Ambassador presents credentials to the President

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H.E. Takeuchi Midori, the new Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Maldives, presented her credentials to H.E. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The ceremony was held at the President’s Office this morning.

Welcoming the new Ambassador and congratulating her on her new appointment, President Solih highlighted the key role played by her predecessor, H.E. Keiko Yanai, in improving bilateral relations between the two countries. He expressed hope for continuing and further strengthening existing relations during the new Ambassador’s tenure.

Speaking at the meeting, the Ambassador highlighted that this year marks the 55th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations, expressing hope to further strengthen bilateral ties and work together on regional and global issues.

President Solih expressed his appreciation for the significant contributions made by the Japanese government across various sectors of the Maldives. The President happily noted the Japanese assistance to the Maldives during the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan was the largest concessional loan received from Japan to combat the pandemic.

President Solih thanked the Japanese government for its ongoing development projects in the Maldives, mentioning the Sea Wall Renovation project, Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Project, and also thanked the Japanese Government for the assistance received for the development of Maldives Health Sector, Education, Sports, Agriculture and community development. He also noted the scholarship opportunities received under the Japanese Development Scholarship Programme to strengthen human resource capacity in the Maldives as some of the significant contributions.

The Ambassador expressed her desire to further address the Maldives’ developmental needs and strengthen cooperation in various sectors of the Maldives including fisheries, agriculture, environment, disaster prevention, countering Climate Change and enhancing governance. The President and the Ambassador further explored avenues for increasing cooperation between the two countries.

The Maldives and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1967.

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