Relationship between development of Addu and Indian Consulate must be justified: Prof. Ugail

Renowned scientist Professor of Visual Computing at the University of Bradford Hassan Ugail | Photo: Edition

Addu City, Maldives – Professor Hassan Ugail, Director of the Centre for Visual Computing, University of Bradford, UK has said that the relationship between the establishment of an Indian Consulate to the development of Addu City needs to be justified.

In a tweet he posted earlier this evening, Professor Ugail, who is originally from Addu City stated that if it was compulsory to establish a consulate in Addu, that there should be business prosperity which can be seen even now.

He also added that the involvement of the leaders of the city and the government in the matter that it could impact the real development of the city in the future.

Professor Ugail’s remarks come while Mayor of Addu City, Ali Nizar and several parliamentarians of Addu City have said that having an Indian Consulate would be beneficial to Addu and that it would held to prosper the business relationships between the southern region of Maldives and India.

Supporting the matter, Mayor of Addu City, Ali Nizar had stated that the establishment of a consulate or an embassy of another country in Addu City is necessary for the development of the city.

The statement from Mayor Nizar comes after India’s Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives in 2021. 

Although the government of Maldives has yet to approve the establishment of an Indian consulate in Addu City, Mayor Nizar stated that Addu City Council will provide full support in the matter as it is an important decision made regarding the development of Addu.

City Council will provide all the assistance needed in the matter. This will take the development of Addu in a new direction. 

Addu City Mayor Nizar

Mayor Nizar noted that it is important for an Indian Consulate to be established in Addu since there are projects worth USD 200 million ongoing in the atoll with the assistance of India.

The Addu City Mayor also stated that opening a consulate office of India in Addu City would be a great ease for the residents of Addu to travel internationally and for the Indian workers in Addu city to get visa as well.

While noting that a consulate office would also allow Addu City to enter the international field, Mayor Nizar said that this would be a way for foreign investors to notice Addu City and further enhance the development of the islands of Addu. 

What we want is development. In addition to Addu, establishing such a consulate would open opportunities for the development of Fuvahmulah City and the whole Huvadhoo atoll as well. 

Addu City Mayor Nizar

Mayor Nizar also responded to the people who have been criticizing the establishment of a consulate in Addu city and stated that any person who politicizes the matter is a barrier to the development of Addu.

Mayor Nizar called on to not put barriers into the development of Addu City and noted that in this matter, there should not be anything that needs to be talked about politically. 

If Addu cannot have a consulate, Malé also shouldn’t have embassies and consulates. 

Addu City Mayor Nizar

Mayor Nizar highlighted that India has been there to assist the Maldives in every major issue the island nation has faced so far and disregarded the criticism that India is attempting to assert power in Addu.

If the government accepts the offer to establish an Indian consulate in Addu City, then it will be the first time in Maldives’ history that a diplomatic mission of a foreign country will be opened in an island other than the capital Malé city.