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Old October 17th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #21
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Commonwealth Secretary General visits Maldives
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MALE, October 16 (HNS) – Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma started his first ever official visit to the Maldives on Saturday.

During his visit from October 16-18, Sharma will call on President Mohamed Nasheed and is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Health and Family Minister Dr Aminath Jameel, and the Minister of Human Resources, Youth and Sport Hassan Latheef.

The Secretary General is also scheduled for talks with Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid, ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi, opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain.

A statement issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat quoted Sharma as saying that the Commonwealth has a long-standing engagement with Maldives and has been closely associated with the transition to multi-party democracy.

According to the Secretariat, discussions are also expected to focus on capacity-building for socio-economic growth, climate change and other issues faced by small island developing states like Maldives.

A news conference will be held on October 17 at the end of the Secretary General’s series of meetings with the Maldives leadership and key officials.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32876

Maldives first ever Hay Festival attracts enthusiastic youth
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AARAH, October 16 (HNS) – Official activities of the Maldives first ever Hay Festival of literature and arts concluded Saturday evening at presidential retreat island, Aarah.

The festival kicked off Thursday evening in capital Male with an inauguration music concert and was moved to Aarah for the official activities which featured both local and international luminaries in literature and arts. The festival, described as “the Woodstock of mind by former United States President Bill Clinton will close officially on Sunday with workshops aimed at developing the artists of the future.

Among the events of Saturday’s session, international novelist Ian McEwan, listed among Britain’s 50 best novelists by the Times, discussed about his latest work, Solar giving an insight into climate change and its impacts on vulnerable nations like the Maldives.

Mohamed ‘Madulu’ Waheed discussed the current trends in local literature and journalism and three oral storytellers revived the long lost Maldivian traditional poetry known as Raivaru.

International historian and biographer Jung Chang (author of Wild Swans and Mao) discussed her work while giving an insight into China in the twentieth century and the creation of one of the world’s new superpowers.

The award-winning foreign correspondent, author and documentary-maker Peter Godwin, former bass guitarist Ahmed ‘X-Ray’ Athif, President’s special advisor on Climate Change Mark Lynas, local environment expert Simad Saeed, multi-form artist Sabina Manik also discussed various topics from their fields.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32877
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Old October 17th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #22
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Kuwaiti billionaire expresses interest in presidential “Arumaazu” yacht
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MALE, October 16 (HNS) – A Kuwaiti billionaire Saturday expressed interest in buying the presidential yacht “Arumaazu” on display at the ongoing “Gulfcraft International Boat Show.”

“This is a very beautiful yacht. But it needs some repairs,” the billionaire who owns three five-star hotels in Kuwait said.

The billionaire went to see the yacht with a Ref Association official.

The official said the interested Kuwaiti billionaire asked to clarify the price.

“He also told me that he is very interested in buying the yacht. But he asked to clarify the undisclosed price,” the official said.

The yacht which costs some Rf100,000 per journey, however, needs renovation. The carpet was dusty and the painting was removed from some areas.

Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MNCCI) Deputy President Ismail Asif said the yacht is on display for “special parties” and investors operating in the Maldives are expressing interest in the yacht.

“We are just facilitating the interested parties to see the yacht. The government will carry out the process of selling it. It is not put on auction. The government has not informed the selling price. The price will be negotiable,” he said.

Asif stressed that no party officially applied to buy the US$4.7 million yacht used exclusively by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Haveeru was unable to contact a government official.

The Boat Show will be held from October 16 to 18 in the sea in front of President’s Office and at Dharubaaruge.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32875

Seylam house residents blame contractors for foundation damages, cracks
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MALE, October 16 (HNS) – Negligence of the contractor at Janbuge is to be blamed for the damages to the foundation of Machangoalhi Seylam, which houses Checkmark shop, residents said Saturday.

Ahmed Nasheed said Housing Ministry confirmed that digging the planned 11-storey Janbuge was done by Zaan Constructions against the regulations.

“So the contractor should take responsibility for the damage. The contractor, however, says that the work was being done correctly,” he said.

Nasheed, who was an engineer, noted that sand slipped out under six-floor Seylam when the contractors drained the water from the eight-foot pit dug next to the house.

“When we checked, about three feet of sand had slipped out from under the foundation. The shopkeeper of Checkmark was the first to notice it and told me that evening. The floor had a crack of about five-foot. Even the door of the shop could not be fully closed. The glass was bent under tension,” he said.

“The two beams of the building foundation are connected via tie beams. One of the tie beams must have deformed or cracked for something like this to happen. The building is no longer safe.”

Nasheed said the third floor sheet was cracked and the people living there had moved out.

“The building has been saved by filling the dig. More cracks are expected to form. So it is hard to predict what will happen to the building next,” he said.

“The sad thing is no one knows what to do when something like this happens. The government does have equipment to monitor such things.”

State Minister for Housing Dr Mohamed Shareef said on Thursday that the construction of Janbuge was put on hold as it was dug against the engineer’s advice. He said he does not feel that the building is damaged beyond liveability, but added that such sites will be monitored.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32873
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Old October 18th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #23
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Rejecting cabinet ministers is like passing a no-confidence motion: Press Secretary
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MALE, October 17 (HNS) – Rejecting some cabinet ministers is deciding that they do not have the confidence, Press Secretary at President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said Sunday.

On July 13, President Mohamed Nasheed sent the cabinet for parliament approval, a week after reappointing 13 ministers who resigned en masse claiming that opposition MPs were “hijacking” the executive and making it impossible for the ministers to discharge their constitutional duties.

No progress however has been made to the cabinet endorsement. The opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) last week devised an undisclosed list of ministers to reject.

Zuhair noted that the parliamentary committee studying the ministers should consider constitutional requirements as done by the president while nominating them.

“The committee, however, is using other policies. The committee is asking questions outside the boundaries of the constitutional requirements. The government believes that the parliament should also consider constitutional requirements while endorsing the cabinet ministers. The government does not believe that it can be outside that,” he said.

“The government believes that rejecting certain minsters is deciding that those ministers do not have the confidence. But there is another way stated in the constitution to carry out the procedure. We expect the parliamentarians to carry out the matter in that way.”

Meanwhile, opposition MPs urged the parliament chair to ask for voting separately while ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members proposed to ask for voting at once.

The cabinet ministers earlier boycotted committee interviews.

The Press Secretary stressed that the article on interviewing cabinet ministers was included in parliament’s rules of procedure by the opposition-controlled committee. The government filed a case in Supreme Court to abolish article 171(i) of the parliament’s rules of procedure because it contradicts with the constitution, he added.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32887
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Old October 18th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #24
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Local council election set for February 5
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MALE, October 17 (HNS) – Elections Commission Saturday set the local council election for February 5, 2011.

According to a commission press release, the date was set after considering the period that should be allocated for legal procedures and opening atoll offices, island offices and courts on religious and national holidays like Eid, Hajj and National Day would not be appropriate.

The periods for candidates and voters registry cannot be put on hold due to a public holiday, the commission added.

President Mohamed Nasheed Thursday published the administrative constituencies list on the government gazette ahead of the local council election.

Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq said the commission does not get the 90-day period if the election is to be held on December 31.

“We have planned to receive application forms at island offices as well. So it would be very difficult to open island offices on holidays. Besides, the constitution states periods for people to lodge complaints with the court. So we should consider the holidays and the periods before announcing the election. The periods should be counted excluding the holidays,” he said.

Elections Commission earlier said determining the voters’ locations would be very difficult if the election is set for the annual holidays.

According to the Local Council Elections Act, minimum 28 days should be given between the announcement of the election and the candidates.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32885
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Old October 18th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #25
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Opportunity-hungry young Maldivians make Hay in the sunshine
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MALE, October 18 (HNS) – A huge crowd gathered on Jetty No. 4 in capital Male on Friday in what can be best described as a rather unusual scene for Maldivians on a Friday afternoon. A table with handbooks about the Maldives first ever Hay Festival sat in front of the jetty where young Maldivians were waiting impatiently to leave to Aarah island to witness the first Dhivehi “Woodstock of the mind” which featured international and local luminaries in arts and literature.

“A festival of ideas and creativity is what Maldives needs, what we need. This is like a dream come true,” an enthusiastic youth on the jetty said.

Although the initial ticket sales stayed at roughly 10-20 per day, the sales boomed as the festival approached, with almost 1800 tickets sold for Rf50 and Rf100 and some even sold for Rf300 at the ferry queue on Jetty No. 4.

Topics not commonly discussed in Maldivian day-to-day lifestyle were the main themes of the four-day festival, with discussions focused on climate change, culture and history attracting an opportunity-hungry audience.

President’s Special Advisor on Climate Change Mark Lynas, local environmentalist Simad Saeed and Maldives Minister of Environment Mohamed Aslam discussed the Maldives plan to go carbon neutral in 2020 and the obstacles in achieving the goal, while the minister announced Maldives application to UNESCO to declare the integrality of Baa atoll.

Internationally acclaimed author of Mao: The Untold Stories, Juang Chang traced her past into her childhood, sharing her experiences in growing up during the cultural revolution of China in the 20th century.

Ian McEwan, listed by The Times among the “50 greatest British writers since 1945,” discussed his climate change satire Solar - a novel about a Nobel Prize winning physicist’s research on artificial photosynthesis, which he believes can hold the key to fuel provision in the future.

The two days of literature and arts lessons wrapped up with electronic fusion artist, French DJ Ravin filling Aarah’s quiet and refreshing atmosphere with three hours of musical enchantment mixed with infectious traditional Bodu Beru drumbeats of Harubee.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32896
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Old October 25th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #26
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Maldivian gives birth on board flight
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The baby boy Aminath gave birth on board Etihad Airline flight.

MALE, October 25 (HNS) – A Maldivian young medical student en route to Abu Dhabi on an Etihad Airline flight gave birth to a baby boy Sunday.

Dubai’s Gulf News reported that the flight made an emergency landing on Oman’s Muscat International Airport where Aminath Raushan Khaleel, 24 and her newborn baby were rushed to Royal Hospital.

According to the news agency, the baby was in good condition when the agency’s correspondents visited the family at the hospital.

“My wife was due next month around 20th and we had to report before October 30 to complete our transfer from a Russian medical college to the college in Minsk, Belarus,” Aminath’s husband who identified himself as Abdullah Shahid, told Gulf News.

The couple took flight from Trivandrum to Abu Dhabi where they were to take connecting flight to Minsk in Belarus, the news agency said.

Aminath delivered a healthy baby boy 20 minutes before the pilot could land the flight after he was told of her condition on board the flight.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33033
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Old October 28th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #27
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Maldives sinks in corruption perceptions index
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MALE, October 26 (HNS) – The Maldives observed a shocking 28 points lapse in Corruption Perceptions Index (CIP) last year amid government’s announced efforts to tackle corruption, the 2010 CIP report published by Transparency International on Tuesday said.

The report, which assessed corruption in 178 countries, ranked Maldives at 143 – a 28-point lapse against 2008’s 115.

The annual report orders countries according to the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. A lower score means more perceived corruption.

New Zealand tops the index with Denmark following at the second and Singapore at the third.

Somalia, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Sudan are listed as the worst countries.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33076
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:49 AM   #28
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Hulhule Island Hotel wins Luxury Airport Hotel award
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MALE, November 2 (HNS) – Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH) has won the Luxury Airport Hotel award for the third time in a row.

At the World Luxury Hotel Awards (WLHA) 2010 gala ceremony held on October 8 in Thailand’s Dusit Thani Hua Hin Resort, HIH General Manager Utkarsh Faujdar received the award from WLHA Executive Manager Marinique Truter.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards are the world’s most prestigious awards, exclusive to the luxury hotel industry and recognise the best facilities and service excellence offered by the industry.

With major renovations, Hulhule Island Hotel, which was established in 2000, has been attracting tourists who come to the Maldives to enjoy its natural beauty. Maldivians also receive the excellent services offered by the hotel on special occasions like Ramadan.

Hulhule Island Hotel has well furnished 136 rooms, inclusive of various categories on offer. The facilities for the guests at the hotel include the spa, gymnasium, swimming pool, beach area, landscaping, tennis court, golf putting green and extensive food & beverage options. The diverse dining selections include a rooftop signature restaurant ‘Uduvilaa’ with a panoramic view of capital Male, catering to the multi-cuisine creations for the International clientele.

A press release quoted General Manager Faujdar as saying, “this is indeed recognition of the world class facilities and service excellence that Hulhule Island Hotel has attained by achieving the highest international standards in the hospitality industry.”
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33196
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 09:50 AM   #29
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Maldives to offer ‘red carpet’ welcome to Miss France participants
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MALE, November 1 (HNS) – Maldives is to receive participants of Miss France 2011 with red carpet welcome and cultural activities at Male International Airport.

Speaking to journalists at Dharubaaruge ‘Fansavees Maalam’ about the contestants’ visit from November 11 to 18, Director of event partner Sunland hotels, Hussein Hilmy said 33 participants of Miss France 2011 will come to the Maldives in one of the biggest tourism events in the Maldives.

“Their visit to Maldives will provide lots of benefits. We are carrying out the event in cooperation with MTPB [Maldives Tourism Promotion Board],” he said.

Hilmy noted that the contestants would travel to Coco Palm Boduhithi resort from Male International Airport in a sailing boat.

“This is the first time such an event is being organised in collaboration with a specific company. Usually such an event would require collaboration with tourism authority of another country. Maldives will benefit more than Sunland,” he said.

Hilmy said French media’s live coverage of the event would include gaining support for the Maldives nomination to the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

According to Sunland Hotels, video and photo sessions and learning to cook Maldivian dishes will take place in Coco Palm, where contestants of Miss France 2009 and 2010 will also attend.

“We are pleased that Sunland has organised this event. This is a huge benefit to the Maldives. This is a good step considering the position where Maldives stands now,” MTPB Deputy Director Mohamed Adam said.

The Miss France contest will be held on December 4 in Caen, France.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33188
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Old November 4th, 2010, 06:06 AM   #30
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Maldives could have dodged November 3 coup with democratic values: Special Envoy
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MALE, November 3 (HNS) – The Maldives could have escaped from the failed coup attempt of November 3, 1988 with democratic values, Special Envoy to the President Ibrahim Hussein Zaki said Wednesday.

Addressing the nation on the 22nd Victory Day observed this year, Zaki said the coup attempt forced Maldivians to rethink as it laid the foundation for new thinking.

“The memories of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this nation and for the sake of its people are fresh in my heart. Those lessons will be carried on to the future generations. They are examples for every courageous individual willing to confront every threat,” he said.

Zaki, who was the then Permanent Secretary at Foreign Ministry, said the coup attempt changed the military philosophy of the Maldives armed forces. The nation has today learned a lesson from the coup attempt which was triggered because of the executive’s commands to the armed forces against the military procedures.

“During an age where such a military policy was executed, the Maldives armed forces fought a historic battle against a terrorist activity. After the day, personnel from both genders gave their selves willingly to military service. The armed forces started receiving training in emergency military services and discharging their services to different parts of the Maldives, which led to a force equipped with modern weapons and trained in confronting terrorist activities,” he said.

“It seems the sound of bullets swarming around the armed forces officers, who were dispatched to confront the enemy, is still echoing in my ears. The officers faced the enemy for the sake of this country without second thoughts; to save this country from the enemy. The bravery showed by young Kulhudhuffushi Hussein Adam at the beginning of the battles will never be wiped off from this nation. Even when the enemy’s bullets were striking his young body, he tried to shoot the enemy. The price of his bravery until the last breath can be estimated only by weighing it with a modern military scale,” he continued.

Highlighting that the Maldives has advanced leaps and bounds since then, the President’s Special Envoy said the country has achieved the “sweetness of political freedom,” a strengthening democracy and separation of powers.

“I would never ever forget the role of the then Indian Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi in [confronting] the coup attempt of November. He monitored the Maldives situation very closely for precisely 72 hours and directly advised me via phone. This is the fruitful outcome of our foreign policy,” he said.

Zaki stressed that using the coup attempt for political gains was observed during the most critical time of the 2008 presidential election.

“Loving the nation is not loving the government. It neither is sacrificing everything else for the sake of government. While people who truly love the nation are few according to some, the country will not produce citizens who love the nation if the head loves the government over the citizens,” he continued.

Zaki further said the Maldives have to get victory from drug abuse, stabbing people and getting low grades in O/Level examination.

“We have to get victory in correcting the youth who are living at the margin of the society. This victory cannot be achieved literally without collaborative efforts by the society. We cannot dodge these much serious issues by putting the blame on the former regime. The people of Maldives brought change to the Maldives because they do not want to see this situation,” he added.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33224
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Old November 6th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #31
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President appeals MPs to leave cabinet endorsement
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MALE, November 5 (HNS) - President Mohamed Nasheed Friday appealed parliament members to leave the endorsement of the cabinet.

Speaking in his weekly radio address, President Nasheed said parliament refusing to approve a cabinet minister would not amount to the minister’s dismissal from office.

Referring to articles 129 and 131 of the constitution, the president said the constitution stipulated the conditions under which a minister could be removed from office.

Therefore, he said, cabinet members would remain in office whether the parliament approved or rejected a member.

President Nasheed said he believed, as a matter of principle, the parliament should take a block vote in approving the cabinet. However, he said it was not in the national interest to have parliament in deadlock disputing over the way in which the vote should be taken to endorse the cabinet.

Speaking in this regard, the president urged the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs to abstain and remain silent if they felt they were acting against the laws and regulations by participating in a vote taken to individually approve each cabinet minister.

Although he desired the parliament approval for the cabinet, President Nasheed said it was not wise to have the whole country in limbo until a condition that was not prescribed in a law was fulfilled.

In the negotiations between the political parties, opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) said the matter should settled via the Supreme Court.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33251

DRP holds march to commemorate Victory Day
Quote:


MALE, November 4 (HNS) – Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) held a special march on Wednesday evening to commemorate Victory Day – a public holiday marked in remembrance of those who died in the November 3 failed coup attempt in 1988.

DRP supporters dressed in black walked towards west on Majeedhee Magu, turned south on Boduthakurufaanu Magu and went east on Ameenee Magu until Giyasuddin International School, where they walked east on Boduthakurufaanu Magu to return to artificial beach.

The marchers held national flags and photos of the martyrs and Tamil mercenaries.

Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid, DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, Deputy Leaders and DRP MPs took part in the march.

Addressing supporters, Thasmeen expressed his condolences to the families of the martyrs and commended the wisdom of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom in saving the country. He thanked the Indian government for their assistance.

“I want to assure the public that not even a single drop of blood shed for the sake of the country and its religion, Islam, will ever be forgotten. Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party will be ready to do whatever is required in the defence of Maldives and Islam,” Thasmeen said.

DRP announced that a rally would be held Thursday evening at artificial beach.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33247

Maldives Islamic Ministry opposes symbolic tourist wedding regulation
Quote:
MALE, November 4 (HNS) – Maldives Islamic Ministry Thursday expressed vehement opposition towards the Regulation on Symbolic Tourist Weddings, which came into effect on Thursday.

State Islamic Minister Shaheem Ali Saeed told Haveeru that marriages could not be performed for fun.

“Although the regulation states that the ceremony includes Maldivian cultural activities, marriage is not a cultural aspect; rather it is a sacred Islamic slogan. The regulation does not define the culture stated in it. A sacred religious slogan cannot be carried out for fun and sport,” he said.

Shaheem also questioned about performing renewal of vows ceremonies of other religions in the regulation.

“Renewal of vows can be performed as per the traditions of that particular religion. I cannot think of a way to perform such ceremonies in the Maldives. While marriages can be performed in Islam according to Islamic norms, renewal of vows is referred to a religious ceremony. It proves that those who compiled the regulation are not aware of such facts,” he said.

“This regulation is very complicated. It was drafted against the policies practiced in the Maldives.”

Shaheem, who has been criticising government’s policies on religious matters, also expressed concerns over the lack of cooperation from government authorities in implementing the Religious Unity Regulation.

“Initially the regulation [Religious Unity Regulation] had 70 articles which were later downsized to 40 articles by AG [Attorney General’s] Office. Now it has been days since the regulation was not implemented citing policy issues. We are concerned about the government expediting some regulations and implementing them while the Religious Unity Regulation has been put on hold for more than a year,” he said.

The State Minister further stressed that sometimes President Mohamed Nasheed acts against his pledge to follow Islamic scholars.

“If this goes on repeating, we might also have to leave the government,” he said.

“When we make such claims, some accuse us of hindering the government from discharging its responsibilities. I totally reject that claim. We did not say anything when IGMH [Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital] was handed over to [India’s] Apollo and neither did we say anything when the airport [Male International Airport] was leased to GMR. We make statements in matters concerning the religion.”
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33243
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Old November 7th, 2010, 04:57 AM   #32
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National Library to assist local writers in publicising books
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MALE, November 6 (HNS) – National Library is to assist local writers in publicising books.

Director Ibrahim Shiyam said the library would assist in publicising new books – an opportunity not open for local writers earlier. Shiyam noted that the books would be released at a special ceremony organised by the library, Heritage Department and National Museum.

“Writers usually write books and without introducing it leaves it at a shop. Hence readers do not have enough information about the books,” he said.

He said the ceremony would be held at either the library or the museum.

Shiyam stressed that the opportunity is open for all writers free of charge. The library will also give information about international competitions and events for writers and publishers and will offer the opportunity to take part in such competitions.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33267

MPs to join Jumhoory Party on Republic Day
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MALE, November 6 (HNS) – Jumhoory Party Saturday announced that some MPs would join the party on Republic Day, November 11.

Secretary General Ali Shareef said a special signing ceremony would be held Thursday morning at the party office. He did not release details on how many or who the MP’s are.

“MPs will sign for our party on November 11. We are now preparing for it.” Shareef said.

Shareef said a general meeting will be held Thursday evening but added that difficulties are there in getting the artificial beach area.

Before the 2008 presidential elections, Jumhoory Party was formed with several prominent persons. Some, however, moved to other parties.

Only Jumhoory Party Leader, Maamigilli MP Gasim Ibrahim currently represents the party in the parliament.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33266

Judicial protection necessary to improve small parties: Vice President
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MALE, November 6 (HNS) – Judicial protection is necessary for the improvement of small political parties, Vice President, also Gaumee Iththihaad Party Leader Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik said Friday evening.

Speaking at the political dinner night organised by the party, Vice President Dr Waheed said small political parties are given a high status worldwide and local parties can play an important role. He noted that within the past two years of Maldives short democracy small political parties had to face bitter experiences.

“Small parties played an important role in the past presidential elections. I want to assure you that small parties will continue to play an important role in the future,” he said.

Speaking in this regard, Dr Waheed noted that small parties could help a major party to form the government, intermediate to reconcile major parties and work towards a specific goal.

“I call upon all small parties to continue their work with spirit. A small party alone may not be able to do much. Accomplishments can be made by joining together and by working in cooperation,” he said.

The dinner night held in Giyaasuddin International School also saw entertainment and food. The food items were named after political and democratic terms like “national rice,” “national interest rice”, “coalition rice”, “liberal food noodles,” “socialist spaghetti,” “vote box salad,” “liberal democratic salad,” “republic pudding,” “municipal prini,” “corner salad," “presidential cancun beef,” “order sliced potato” and “centre right devilled fish.”

Tickets were sold for Rf200 for the dinner night organised by the women’s wing of the party. Secretary General Ahmed Thaufeeq said about 500 tickets were sold.

“The ceremony was held to improve the bonds between different parties and to meet up in a single place on the same time. We definitely got a good support,” he said.

“This is a new thing, but we are very pleased with it.”
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33265
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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #33
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Government to charge for sewerage service in islands
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MALE, November 9 (HNS) – The government Monday announced plans to levy a fee from the sewerage facilities developed in the islands.

The announcement was made by Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam at the ceremony held to hand over the sewerage facilities developed in three islands to the utilities companies.

“At least an operational cost must be obtained by the operators from those who use the service,” he said.

“The amount to be charged has not yet been decided. The amount will be decided accordingly after comparing the rates charged in Male. As you are aware of, providing these services require an operational cost. So we have to get this amount from somewhere.”

The minister noted that Finance Ministry would be responsible for the loan taken from Japan’s JBIC to develop the sewerage facilities in Shaviyani atoll Funadhoo, Baa atoll Eydhafushi and Meemu atoll Muli.

“The government built the infrastructure and provided the capital investment. They will charge an amount from those who use the service to cover the operational cost,” he said.

Aslam stressed that the loan cannot be repaid with the service charge.

Minister Aslam signed the agreement on behalf of the government while Upper North Utilities Managing Director Abdulla Waheedh signed for the facility in Funadhoo, Northern Utilities Managing Director Ali Hassan for the facility in Eydhafushi and Central Utilities Managing Director Abdulla Jameel for the facility in Mulee.

Speaking at the ceremony State Housing Minister Akram Kamaluddin said the facilities were delivered to the companies to provide efficient and sustainable services in a simple way.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33310
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Old November 17th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #34
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Home Minister blames housing issues for escalating crime rate
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MALE, November 15 (HNS) – Home Minister Mohamed Shihab has blamed the escalating crime rate on the lack of proper housing in Male.

Home Minister told Haveeru last week that housing scarcities in overcrowded Male leads to teenagers committing crimes.

“This is a substantial problem. Male residents are forced to get out of their homes even if they want to get some fresh air. When we were young, we could play indoors. We did not have to go out. Now we are forced to go out and meet up with a gang and are caught up in a hassle. Crime-free places do not exist now. But our living conditions are forcing us to walk into gangs,” he said.

Shihab stressed that the time children spend with their parents must be increased in order to decrease the crime rate.

“This did not happen overnight. Reasons for the increase in stabbings, armed robberies and thefts have to be identified in order to find a solution,” he said.

“The solution is to provide a way in which families can have quality time together; a way to enjoy a meal together. Families should be able to go for an ice cream with their children even if it is once a week just as the president said earlier. It is important to provide ways in which families can live together.”

Shihab noted that improper prison facilities and some legal issues lead to the crimes.

“According to foreign experts in Maldives, this country is 23rd on the list of inmate populations. This happens because of our legal system, which forces us to imprison people for even minor crimes. Most countries rehabilitate drug abusers but we imprison them. Inmates have a small chance of coming back to the society as a good citizen,” he said, referring to World Bank experts who visited the Maldives for a drug abuse study.

“Class rooms, libraries, sports arenas and procedures to periodically allow inmates to move in and out of prisons must be established. A systematic jail is necessary to run such a system.”
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33395

Immigration set up laboratory to identify forged passport
Quote:
MALE, November 15 (HNS) – Immigration Department has established a laboratory at Male International Airport to identify forged passports.

Immigration Controller Ilyas Hussein Ibrahim said the laboratory established with assistance from Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship started operations early November. He stressed that four Iraqi nationals who tried to transit with forged passports were arrested after the laboratory started operations.

“In addition to the laboratory, we identify forged passports through experience. But this laboratory stores information about thousands of forged passports confiscated in several countries,” he said.

Ilyas also said about 10 people who try to enter Maldives with counterfeit passports are arrested every month. The Rf1 million Addison Software used at the laboratory identifies forged passports and determines security features and details of visa and other travel documents, he added.

The controller noted that Australian Immigration, UAE Immigration, US Homeland Security, and Canadian Border Service share the software developed by Dutch Police in 1980.

According to the department, details of over 3,500 travel documents and security features are stored in the software.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33392
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Old November 30th, 2010, 05:14 AM   #35
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MVK to begin trial bus service in Male
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MALE, November 29 (HNS) – Male Municipality is working on providing trial bus service in capital Male through MVK.

Male Municipality President ‘Sarangu’ Adam Manik said the service is part of “Veshi Fahi Male” – Greater Male Development Programme.

“Providing bus service in Male is very difficult because of the large number of vehicles. But we have to see if there are any possible methods,” he said.

Adam Manik said MVK would use two buses brought in for Addu bus service. He, however, did not disclose the bus fare and the date to start the service.

The government is not required to pay any fee to the company for the trial service, Adam Manik added.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33620
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Old December 8th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #36
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A veterinarian’s services begin in Male
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MALE, December 8 (HNS) – A veterinarian has been brought to Male’ to treat pets.

According to an Agricultural Ministry official, a vet was brought in because of the large number of pets in Maldives. The official also said that the vet will be able to diagnose diseases, give treatments, and provide valuable technical information. The official noted that as Maldives is a member of The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), it is obligatory for a veterinarian to be present in Maldives.

“All types of living animals can now be treated. However we still don't have medicines specific for animal diseases. So we are now attempting to introduce a clinic to provide such medications,” the official said.

The ministry said that the vet who is working under a contract, will provide services in Male’ and other atolls.

They also said that while many different types of animals have been adopted as pets in Maldives, no serious diseases have been recorded yet. After the spreading of Bird Flu, importing of birds were banned except for one-day old chicks.
Indian naval ship joins Maldives marine operation
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MALE, December 7 (HNS) – An Indian naval ship has joined the ongoing joint operation by the Indian Navy and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Coast Guard to patrol the Maldivian waters.

MNDF Major Abdu Raheem said the Indian naval ship and the Indian Navy aircraft, which arrived in the Maldives last week, are searching the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

MNDF and Indian Navy initiated the operation on Friday after eight Somalis were discovered in dinghies within Maldivian waters last week. The Maldives police, meanwhile, are trying to repatriate the 34 Somalis in custody.

“In this operation the area from north to south of the Maldives will be searched. So far, we have not found any Somalis or suspected activities in the Maldivian waters,” Abdu Raheem said.

He stressed that the operation will continue for an undefined period.

According to reports, Somali pirates operate in the Indian Ocean very far from Somalia.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/de...rine_operation
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Old December 14th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #37
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Australia doubles scholarships to Maldives
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MALE, December 14 (HNS) – Australian government has doubled the scholarship opportunities to Maldivian nationals.

Speaking at the “Australia Awards 2011” ceremony held last evening at Traders Hotel Male, Australian High Commissioner Kathy Klugman said scholarships were doubled this year as a result of President Mohamed Nasheed’s intervention with the Australian government

She also said as a result of the interactions with Australian government by President Nasheed, “we’ve just now taken [Australia-Maldives] relationship to an entirely new level.”

According to President’s Office, 31 scholarships will be provided to the Maldives under the prestigious ‘Australia Awards’ programme. Six out of the 31 scholars were awarded as an Australian Leadership Award Scholarship (ALAS) and the remaining 25 scholars as the Australian Development Scholarships (ADS), the office said.

Following President Nasheed’s meeting with the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra earlier this year, the Australian government announced Australia’s aid programme for the Maldives, including an increased number of scholarships, the President’s Office added.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33852

427 ballot boxes in local council election
Quote:


MALE, December 14 (HNS) – Elections Commission will set up 427 vote boxes across the Maldives and in three neighbouring countries for the upcoming local council election.

A commission official said 279 ballot boxes would be established in the atolls, 116 in Male, and 26 in the resorts. Ballot boxes will also be established at three prisons, India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia.

“The number of boxes may change depending on how many people register before the due date,” the official said.

The commission said ballot boxes would be placed only in resorts with more than 100 voters in the registry.

According to the commission, despite Penitentiary Department’s records show that over 100 inmates are eligible for voting, ballot boxes will be established in Male Prison, Maafushi Prison and Asseyri Prison only if more than 100 inmates register.

The official stressed that more than 300 people from India’s Trivandrum, Kuala Lumpur and Srilanka should register. A box will not be placed in Singapore because the required number of people did not register even after re-announcement, the commission added.

The gazetted voters’ registry lists 224,474 eligible voters that, Elections Commission said, would change once complaints are filed. The commission received 285 complaints most of which were about mistakes in name and address.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33854
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Old December 26th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #38
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President dismisses councillors
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MALE, December 25 (HNS) - President Mohamed Nasheed has decided to dismiss all the appointed councillors from their positions, effective from tomorrow.

A statement issued by the President's Office said the decision was made in order to ensure that local council elections are free and fair.

The statement stressed that the people of Maldives will place one of the biggest responsibilities in national development on the local councils.

"As Head of State, the President therefore believes he is duty-bound to take necessary steps and timely decisions to ensure that the elections are free and fair. Accordingly, with respect to the powers vested on him under Article 115 of the Constitution, the President has decided to discharge all councillors appointed by him, effective from 26 December 2010," the statement read.

Earlier today, Press Secretary at President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair also said President Nasheed will dismiss the councillors after the publication of the candidates list for the local council election slated for February 5, 2011.

Zuhair, however, said coordinators assigned by the president to some islands would remain.

"Coordinators will remain as they are the people who will provide services to the people from the president. But they will not intervene in any matter of the election. Their only job is to coordinate and head the government’s development projects," he said.

Elections Commission, meanwhile, sorted the candidates name today.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33997

Velezinee replaces Abdulla Didi in High Court Bench Panel
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MALE, December 25 (HNS) – Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Didi from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) panel created to appoint the High Court bench has been replaced by Presidential Member at the commission, Aishath Velezinee.

A commission statement issued on Thursday said Abdulla Didi was removed from the panel at Tuesday’s meeting.

The commission’s Media Coordinator Hassan Zaheen said the action was not taken due to a problem with Abdulla Didi, but was done to include members who can attend the meetings in order to expedite the process.

JSC said only two meetings were held from December 19-23. The commission in Tuesday’s meeting evaluated the progress of the committee formed to study the candidates to the High Court bench. In Thursday’s meeting, discussions were held on the preparation of the High Court Bench, the commission added.

JSC further said a complaints committee meeting was not held from December 19-23 on the request of Chair Velezinee.

However, a job committee meeting, a meeting of the panel formed to interview the candidates for the High Court bench, and a meeting of the panel compiled to complete the processes declared in the Judges Act and the Judicature Act were held, the commission added.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33996
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:17 AM   #39
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Maldives and India begin joint surveillance operation
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MALE, January 8 (HNS) – Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and Indian Navy are conducting a joint surveillance operation in the Maldivian Economic Zone.

MNDF spokesperson, Lieutenant Abdulla Ali said no suspected activities have been found so far in the operation being conducted since Thursday.

The operation uses Maldivian Coastguard vessels and an Indian Navy Dornier aircraft.

“We carry out joint operations with the Indian Navy in order to strengthen the security of the Maldives Economic Zone,” he said.

MNDF assures that actions will be taken against those who commit illegal activities within the Maldivian Economic Zone.

MNDF and Indian Navy strengthened military cooperation and began joint surveillance operations after several Somalis were discovered in dinghies within Maldivian waters.

The Maldivian Coastguard along with Sri Lankan Navy also announced plans to eradicate piracy, drug trafficking and human smuggling that has plagued the Indian Ocean region.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/de...ance_operation
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Old February 4th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #40
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Maldivian democracy still work in progress: UN Coordinator
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MALE, February 3 (HNS) - The United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Maldives, Andrew Cox, suggested that democracy was still a developing entity in the Maldives, and would require some time before it could grow “deep roots”.

“I think it (democracy) has made very large strides but one should not assume that one has democracy the day after the first National Elections. Democracy is a very hard thing to develop, to give deep roots,” Cox, who is also the UNDP Resident Representative, said, while speaking to Haveeru.

“Everybody has a responsibility to deepen democracy. I think that there is not quite a shared vision of what democracy should become here in the Maldives, and I think that in one way or another everybody could do much more in the political domain to deepen democracy.”

His comments come two days ahead of Maldives’ first Local Council Elections, which the country’s chief UN figure says offer an opportunity to strengthen democracy “in a very different way”.

“It is not entirely clear how a local government will work in the Maldives. All we can do is try and see how it goes,” he exerted, adding that it nevertheless “gives the opportunity for democracy to develop in a very real way for many Maldivians”.

Cox revealed that one of the main steps the UN will have to take in the Maldives, post-election, will be to create a project which identifies and supports the work of a Local Government.

Speaking on the UN’s future objectives in the country, Cox said that the world body would collaborate closely with the Elections Commission and the Supreme Court, two vital components for a stable democracy.

Moving away from the subject of democracy, Cox said that the future would hold a number of opportunities for Maldives to continue in the key role it was playing in the sphere of climate change.

“There are some good investments and good resources coming into the Maldives for climate change, so it is very important to make sure there is proper planning and that those monies are spent properly.”
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/34621
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