UTF agreement need not be forwarded to Parliament: Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – The Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) agreement need not be forwarded to the Parliament, said Speaker Nasheed today.

The statement was made following an emergency motion filed to the Parliament regarding the leak of the supposed draft agreement of UTF, which the Ministry of Defense has since refuted. During the debate of the emergency motion, MP of Naifaru constituency Ahmed Shiyam requested the agreement be submitted to the Parliament.

However, Nasheed responded saying that if the UTF agreement has to be sent to the Parliament, the government would have done so already and reminded that it is the responsibility of the government.

As long as the agreement is not here, I will take that it need not be sent here.

Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives

He added context referring to the Maldives Floating City project, saying that while the government has not shared the agreement made with Dutch Docklands to develop a floating city in the 200 hectre lagoon near Aarah island, there is not need for the government to share the UTF agreement with the parliament either.

The constitution of Maldives clearly dictates the type of agreements that need to be sent to the Parliament, and the Attoney General advises the President on the matter. According to the regulations, everything becomes revealed after a certain period of time. When we receive it here, we can deem it as such.

Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives

According to the leaked draft agreement, armed Indian forces would be stationed at the Uthuru Thilafalhu area, which is will be developed as a harbor and dock yard for the purposes of Coast Guard. The agreement period was dated for 30 years, with an additional 30 years to be added by default given no objections from either party.

According to the constitution of Maldives, the military presence of another country can only happen with the majority approval of the Parliament.