Malé, Maldives – Locals of HA. Filladhoo and Filladhoo Council together have submitted a petition urging the authorities to reconsider the decision to remove Dhapparu from Filladhoo’s jurisdiction.
The petition under the #SaveDhapparu campaign, signed by 457 people has been submitted at the Parliament of the Maldives and the President’s Office. In addition to the petition, the hashtag is being widely used on social media.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s released a 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 1 September 2021 to request Dhapparu to be added back to Filladhoo’s jurisdiction.
Speaking to local news Mihaaru, one of the organizers of the campaign said that the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Eva Abdulla and the Petition Committee have promised to support the petition.
The Filladhoo Council President is also reportedly in talks with the President’s office.
The MP for Filladhoo constituency Ibrahim Shareef on Saturday said that he has listened to the concerns of Filladhoo locals and will request President Solih to return Dhapparu to Filladhoo constituency.
While President Solih released a decree on 29 August 2021 to remove Dhapparu from Filladhoo’s jurisdiction, on September 1, the Spokesperson of the 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.
Dhapparu was removed while Filladhoo Council has created land-use plans that included Dhapparu in its jurisdiction.
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.
In addition, independent NGO 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.