Filladhoo locals petition against President’s decree to remove Dhapparu from jurisdiction

Render of proposed development in Dhapparu in 2015 | Photo: Maldives Property

Haa Alif Atoll, Maldives – Locals of HA. Filladhoo are signing a petition following President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s decree on 29 August 2021 to remove Dhapparu from Filladhoo’s jurisdiction without any prior discussion with the islanders.

The islanders of Filladhoo started signing the petition on Wednesday to request Dhapparu to be added back to Filladhoo’s jurisdiction. Local news Adhadhu reports that 85 percent of the islanders have signed the petition. While the petition originated in the island of Filladhoo, the organizers are planning to extend the opportunity to Filladhoo non-residents living in the capital city Malé.

The naturally connected islands of Filladhoo and Dhapparu

Filladhoo Island Council President Fathuhulla Hassan said that none of the islanders of Filladhoo consents to the removal of Dhapparu which is a connected half of Filladhoo to be removed from their island. He added that regardless of how the islanders use the other half of the island, every island wants to be land rich.

Our ancestor’s graves are at a cemerary on Dhapparu.

Filladhoo Island Council President Fathuhulla Hassan

Prior to this, on September 1, the Spokesperson of President’s Office Mabrook Azeez acknowledged the lack of consultation with the council regarding the project and elaborated that the proposed Dhapparu project is to develop the island for real-estate tourism, the goal is to create a new tourist product in the Maldives.

Spokesperson Mabrook stated that the President’s Office is in communication with the council and that the project will not continue before reaching an agreeable solution.

Meanwhile, Transparency Maldives has released a statement saying that the arbitrary decision to remove Dhapparu from Filladhoo’s jurisdiction without any public consultation with neither the council nor the people of the island goes against key principles of decentralisation and good governance. The NGO urged the President to reconsider his decision taking into account the people of Filladhoo.