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The President calls for a renewed commitment to democracy and building a better future

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih called on the international community on Wednesday to renew their commitment to democracy, adding that democracy requires constant renewal, adaptation, and innovation and demands the active participation and commitment of everyone. Delivering his national statement at the 2nd “Summit for Democracy,” hosted by H.E. Joseph R. Biden, the President of the United States of America, President Solih urged the international community to join forces to create a better future for both the present and future generations.

Highlighting the significant progress made by the Maldives since the first summit in 2021, President Solih described fiscal accountability and transparency as essential requisites to the effective functioning of a democracy. The President stated that his administration had proposed two amendments to legislation to ensure greater independence for local councils and strengthen public procurement policies and audit mechanisms. He added that the administration is working towards moving to performance-based budgeting.

In his statement, President Solih also noted that judicial reform is one of the priorities of his administration. The President said that public perception of the Maldives’ judiciary has significantly improved over the past four years, with more swift and transparent court proceedings now in place. He added that an amendment to the Judicature Act had been proposed to parliament, which would enable the establishment of district courts and the circuit system, which would ensure greater efficiency and accessibility.

President Solih also highlighted his efforts to promote gender equality and ensure the inclusion of women in decision-making roles, describing it as one area in which his administration excelled. Over the past four years, the administration has appointed female justices to the Supreme Court, achieved parity in the Maldives’ diplomatic representation abroad, and increased the number of women councillors in local government. The President noted that the administration’s Gender Equality Action Plan of 2022 is a step towards increasing the representation of women in local government, corporate governance, the parliament, and the judiciary.

In his statement, President Solih also stressed the importance of a free and independent civil society for a properly functioning participatory democracy. Noting that threats to civil society organisations’ safety are considered detrimental to an open society in the Maldives, the President stated that the administration-led Associations Act aims to empower civil society organisations financially by allocating more significant financial resources from the state. He added that with the introduction of an NGO portal, civil society organisations will have access to information and resources to increase their collective capacity.

Source(s): President Office

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Malaysian company expresses interest to manage drug rehab centre

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Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusaan has revealed a Malaysian company has expressed interest to establish and operate a drug rehabilitation centre in the Maldives.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to PSM News, Minister Ihusaan stated the Malaysian company which expressed interest to establish and manage a drug rehabilitation centre in Maldives is a multinational company which operates several rehabilitation facilities worldwide. The minister disclosed the company had submitted a proposal expressing interest in the development and operation of a rehabilitation centre, adding that the proposal was submitted at a substantial expense. He revealed that efforts are underway to hold discussions on the proposal and to review other options that ensure the provision of rehabilitation services.

The government opened opportunities for private firms to establish and operate rehabilitation centres for drug addicts in January. The opportunity was in accordance to the Drug Act. Minister Ihusaan expressed confidence that the opportunities given to private firms would increase competitiveness in providing efficient and quality services, therefore providing mutual benefits. The minister hopes that private enterprises will commence offering services in the nation in the near future.

Rehabilitation centres established under the opportunity given by the National Drug Agency (NDA) are to provide a wide range of services to provide treatment to drug addicts. This includes outpatient detoxification services, psychiatric evaluation, counselling services, psychosocial therapy, drug testing and psychological assessments.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Met Maldives predicts heavy rain through Monday

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The Maldives Meteorological Service (MMS) has forecasted heavy rain showers across most parts of the Maldives through June 24. Central and northern atolls are expected to experience significant rainfall and rough seas, while islands in the southern atolls will mostly enjoy fine weather with scattered showers and generally slight seas.

In response to the adverse weather conditions, MMS has issued several alerts, including a recent one for heavy rain and thunderstorms from Haa Alifu Atoll to Baa Atoll. The forecast predicts strong winds ranging from 19-24 miles per hour, with gusts reaching up to 50 miles per hour, resulting in rough sea conditions.

Over the past 24 hours, the Maldives has seen heavy rainfall, with Gaafaru Island in Kaafu Atoll recording the highest amount at 67.6 millimeters. Goidhoo Island in Baa Atoll also experienced significant rainfall, recording 49.4 millimeters.

MMS advises seafarers in the central and northern atolls to exercise caution due to the severe weather conditions. For the next three days, strong winds of 12-22 miles per hour, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour, are predicted across the country. The showers are expected to subside by Monday, but strong winds are likely to continue into Tuesday and Wednesday.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Tourism minister announces development plans for abandoned resorts

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Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal has announced strategic decisions to expedite the development of abandoned islands leased for resort development.

In an exclusive interview with PSM News, Minister Faisal revealed that the Economic Council has approved two key measures from a proposal aimed at accelerating the development of these islands.

One approved measure involves reclaiming the islands that have seen no development activity, returning them to the state without any conditions. The tourism ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Finance and the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) to negotiate concessions on the substantial fees owed by lessees to the state.

The second measure focuses on finding solutions for islands where development has stalled due to various issues. The tourism ministry will assist in securing the necessary funds or facilitate the sale of these islands to new developers.

The tourism minister emphasised that accelerating the development of these islands will require legal adjustments. He noted that the state incurs significant financial losses when leased islands remain undeveloped.

According to the ministry’s statistics, there are 63 islands leased for resort development that have yet to be developed. Some of these islands have been leased for over 30 years.

The minister also highlighted that more islands will be developed and opened as resorts during this tenure. He projected that 12 to 15 new resorts will be opened over the next five years.

Source(s): PsmNews

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