Opposition to go to Supreme Court to annul agreements which hinder Maldivian sovereignty, including UTF

Opposition coalition of PPM and PNC members. | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives —The opposition coalition has decided to go to the Supreme Court to request the annulment of agreements made by the Maldivian government, which hinder the sovereignty of the country, including the Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) agreement.

During the meeting that was held between the opposition parties, PPM and PNC, the leaders of the two parties decided to appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the agreements that may possibly hinder the freedom of the country.

The Chief Spokesperson of PPM/PNC coalition, Heena Waleed stated that the legal team of their coalition is currently searching for agreements made by the incumbent government which allows the possibility of losing the freedom of Maldives. She further said that those agreements will be soon presented to the Supreme Court along with the UTF agreement.

We have decided to present it to the Supreme Court and investigate the agreements to see if they affect the freedom of the country.

Heena Waleed, Spokesperson, Opposition Coalition

In addition to this, the opposition leaders has also presented a decree to the council and passed it to take away the position of the President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

The Indian government and the Maldivian administration signed an agreement on February 21st to build a special harbor and dock yard for the purposes of Coast Guard. 

While the incumbent government had revealed no additional details relating to the UTF project, a leaked draft agreement states that armed Indian forces would be stationed at the Uthuru Thilafalhu area, which will be developed for 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.

The leaked document also stated 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.

It 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. 

However, this agreement has been declared to be a fake, by the Ministry of Defense of 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, even then.

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.