Malé, Maldives — The former Foreign Minister of Maldives, Dhunya Maumoon has stated that the actions of the ruling party MDP do not meet with their words.
The statement from Dhunya comes after alleged Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) naval base harbor draft agreement between Maldives and India was leaked. MNDF has denied the documents legitimacy and declared it a fake.
Dhunya spoke regarding this and stated that she requests the government to reveal the agreement they have signed with India and that it is a right of the citizens of Maldives to know about all the projects and aids that Maldives has been receiving from India, along with finding out the reason for giving residence to armed personnel’s if they actually are residing in Maldives.
While noting that the current ruling party is MDP, Dhunya has stated that MDP is a party that talks a lot about expressing opinions, the rights of people and about things that the citizens must know, however, when it’s time for the party to show these by actions, their actions do not match with their words.
Along with this, Dhunya has stated that Maldives has been carrying out armed personnel lessons in partnership with the foreign countries and that such lessons must be carried out after explaining the citizens in detail about how long and what it is.
According to the leaked fake Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) draft agreement, armed Indian forces would be stationed at the Uthuru Thilafalhu area, which 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.
Leaked alleged unsigned draft agreement between the Maldivian and Indian governments to develop a harbour and dockyard for the purposes of Coast Guard has revealed that all Indian personnel, contractors and services to be exempted from duties and taxes and also that all official Indian documents would be exempted from Customs inspection.
The draft agreement also gives immunity to Indian personnel from any suits or proceedings for implementation of the agreement in Maldives except if those personnel are found guilty of gross negligence or willful misconduct. In addition to this, the Maldivian government is to give full immunity to the personnel deputed by the Indian government and their papers and premises from legal and judicial process as to other diplomatic personnel in Maldives.
Addressing concerns over the agreement during the time the agreement was signed, MNDF had reassured the public that no armed personnel would be stationed at the site.
Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) had denied any such allegations before and had reassured that no military force will be based at the harbour, detailing that it would only be used to dock and repair Coast Guard vessels.
While Indian Military presence in Maldives has been a great cause of distress to the current opposition, who have even launched an “#IndiaOut” campaign, the development of this harbour and dockyard in Uthuru Thila Falhu was included under the Defence Action Plan signed between India and Maldives in 2016 – when the opposition was in power and the country was led by former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom who favoured relations with China.
The project will be carried out in two phases, with the construction of the harbour and dockyard expected to be completed within the first three years. The site will also have a naval harbour with communication equipment and resources, radar services, along with training facilities.