News and discussions about Maldives kay:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/iosco-adds-iceland-maldives-saudi-arabia-syria-members/LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The International Organization of Securities Commissions, a grouping of the world's securities market regulators said Thursday that it has broadened its membership to include Iceland, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The addition of these countries means IOSCO represents supervisors from 114 jurisdictions who have signed up to the organization's principles designed to harmonize operating procedures between regulators, reduce systemic risks, protect investors and ensure markets operate in a fair, efficient and transparent manner.
The four new countries were accepted as members at a meeting Wednesday of IOSCO's presidents committee.
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Quick-View/632133/India will export rice to neighbouring Maldives through the diplomatic route and sell more grains in domestic markets to trim bulging stocks, government officials said on Thursday. India, the world's second-biggest rice producer, had banned exports of common grades of rice in 2008, joining other leading producers in their protectionist measures to bolster domestic supplies. India will export 36,000 tonne of rice to Maldives, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=161641&catid=3The Maldives Stock Exchange (MSE) has announced it is the first in the world to become carbon neutral. It has linked with an offsetting company to measure and offset any emissions linked to its energy usage, waste disposal, business travel and staff commuting with carbon credits.
Ibrahim Nasir, chief executive at the MSE, said he hoped companies listed on the exchange would follow its example and implement carbon emission reduction programmes.`Organisations that implement comprehensive carbon reduction programmes can enhance their corporate reputation by showing customers, staff and prospects that they are taking direct action against climate change,` he added.
The Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed hopes to make the entire nation carbon neutral by 2020. Earlier this year he said that the nation will switch to completely renewable energy sources in a bid to achieve this goal. As the Maldives is one of the lowest lying nations on earth, it is at great risk from rising sea levels.
http://www.btimes.com.my/articles/20100625184745/Article/#ixzz0s7FVjus3Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has won a bid to build, operate, modernise and expand Maldives' main airport, the Male International Airport, via its GMR-MAHB consortium.
In a statment today, MAHB said it has been successfully partnering with the GMR Group since 2002, a Bangalore-based global infrastructure major with interests in airports, energy, highways and urban infrastructure.
The airport operator said the Male International Airport was situated on the Huhule Island on the politically stable archipelagpo, and was one of the fastest growing airports in the region.
MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad said the win signified an important milestone for a Malaysian firm leading with its expertise in the international market.
The bid was participated by two other parties, namely the Aeroport De Paris, France-TAV, Turkey consortium, and the Zurich Airport-GVK consortium.
With the project, MAHB now has four overseas airports in its portfolio, including the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Turkey.
SINGAPORE: The President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed will make his first official visit to Singapore starting on Sunday.
The two-day visit is at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
President Nasheed will deliver the keynote address at the Asia-Pacific Water Ministers Forum (APWMF), held in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week.
On Monday, there will be a welcome ceremony for him at the Istana followed by a meeting with Prime Minister Lee and a call on President S R Nathan.
President Nasheed will also visit the Singapore Airport Terminal Services' Coolport @ Changi facility and the National Orchid Garden where he will have an orchid named after him.
He will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Shaheed, Housing, Transport and Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, President of Male Municipality Adam Maniku, and senior officials.
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/7070340.htmlThe Maldives is hosting an innovative meeting of developing and rich world countries that want strong international action on climate change, the Maidivian presidential office said on Saturday in a statement.
According to the statement issued by the office, the "Cartagena Group/Dialog for Progressive Action" is being held Saturday and Sunday at Bandos Island resort near the capital Male.
"A key aim of group is to bridge the divide left after the acrimonious Copenhagen Climate Change negotiations in December and bring like-minded countries together before next UN climate summit in Mexico," said the statement.
The Maldives'meeting is the second such gathering of the Cartegena Group, which was established shortly after Copenhagen. It is an informal space open to all countries who want an ambitious outcome in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and who are committed, domestically, to becoming or remaining low carbon.
In the keynote address on Saturday morning, Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed noted that the forum includes countries from each region in the world.
"It is the ability to come together as friends that is the great value of this Dialogue for Progressive Action," Nasheed said.
The president said that the "disappointments" of the Copenhagen Summit were a reflection of "global realpolitik" in which nations prioritized perceived short-term economic gains over the long-term health of the world's climate.
"I can not accept that the Maldives must disappear, so others can carry on polluting," President Nasheed said.
Stressing the importance of establishing trust and cooperation, Nasheed said "deep divisions" obstructed progress at Copenhagen.
The president said re-establishing confidence "must start in Cancun (of Mexico) by reaching agreement across all core issues, especially the inter-related issues of mitigation, finance, and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification."
The president further challenged nations to change the way they present the issue of climate change action to their domestic electorates.
"Cutting carbon should not be considered a burden that will destroy jobs and hamper economic growth. Instead, going green should be seen as the greatest economic opportunity since the Industrial Revolution," he said.
Countries participating at the Cartagena Group/Dialog for Progressive Action include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, the Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Samoa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Britain.
Being an archipelago of almost 1,200 coral islands just 1.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is grappling with the very likely possibility to go under water if the current pace of climate change keeps raising sea levels.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/world/Special-flight-to-link-Mumbai-to-Maldives/Article1-588462.aspxMaldives, known for its exotic locales and breathtaking beauty, can now be accessed by Indian tourists through a special charter flight from Mumbai, to be launched in October this year. The flight between Mumbai and Gan, the southern part of the Maldives, will commence operations on October 2 as
part of an initiative by a leading travel company, which is offering special holiday packages for this country.
"Initially it will be a twice a week flight from Mumbai to Gan, whose operations are expected to be scaled up at a later stage," Keyur Joshi, co-founder and COO of MakeMyTrip, told reporters in Male on Tuesday.
The company is offering special holiday packages in association with the Tourism Ministry of the Maldives from October 2010 to February 2011 with the starting price of Rs 29,990 in a bid to boost the tourist arrivals from India, where people perceive this country as a high-end destination.
"This exotic destination has been relatively inaccessible to Indians as it is perceived as an expensive holiday destination. With this campaign we plan to fly in about 6000 Indians into the Maldives," Joshi said.
On his part, Maldivian Tourism Minister Toyyid Mohammad said that India is a potential market, but the government here has not been able to make much arrangements for promoting the country among Indians.
"With the Maldives hosting the next SAARC Summit in 2011, we hope to draw in a large number of tourists," he said, adding the tourism sector can help give a boost to people-to-people relations between the two countries.
Indian High Commissioner Gyaneshwar Muleh said that India has invested in the health and education sectors in the Maldives but Indian tourists are still not coming here in a large number. He hoped that with the new initiative, more people from India will enjoy their holidays in the Maldives.
In 2009, a total of 15,850 Indian tourists visited the Maldives, which has almost 2,000 islands, with only 200 of them inhabited.
http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2010/09/19/oostory.asp?sid=20100919_08&imid=19092010_Husain.jpg&dt=[September%2019%202010]Career diplomat Hussain Shihab has been appointed as the new Maldivian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka. Shihab, a senior foreign service officer currently serving as the Maldivian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, is due to assume duties in Colombo from next month.
Ali Husain Didi who was heading the Maldivian mission in Colombo, will move to Brussels, to assume duties as the Maldivian Ambassador to the European Union from later next month.
High Commissioner designate Shihab, 61, has been serving in Saudi Arabia from May 2008. He has previously served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Representative of the Maldives to UN.
http://www.planetbollywood.com/displayArticle.php?id=n091910050555Nearly 80 per cent of the Hindi speaking population in Maldives learnt the language watching Bollywood movies, says Ali Seaxan, known as the Shahrukh Khan' of Maldivian cinema.
The National award winning actor from Maldives, says that the country's film industry itself draws inspiration from Bollywood and several Maldivian remakes of Hindi movies have made box office hits.
"80 per cent of Maldivian people speak Hindi because of Bollywood movies. I myself know Hindi because of the movies," the actor said.
Ali too has played a role similar that of Akshay Kumar in 'Dhadkan' in a Maldivian remake of the movie. Vikram Bhatt's 'Raaz', a horror film was also remade and proved a hit.
"Bollywood is where we get strength from," he said adding that Shahrukh Khan and John Abraham are hot favourites in Maldives.
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90852/7147883.htmlCosta Rica and Maldives established diplomatic ties on Tuesday, the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said.
The diplomatic relation was set after a bilateral meeting at Maldives' Permanent Mission in the United Nations (UN), where Costa Rican Foreign Minister Rene Castro met with his Maldives' counterpart Ahmed Shaheed.
Castro and Shaheed met in New York to discuss issues of mutual interest, such as the cooperation on issues related to the climate change, the frame on the COP-16 Summit to be hosted in Mexico at the end of this year.
Costa Rica and Maldives share the concerns over global warming and the increase of the oceans' water level, mainly in Maldives, which is an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean.
Castro is in New York accompanying Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, who will give a speech in the UN General Assembly Thursday.
http://doreview.blogspot.com/2010/09/government-to-find-long-term-solution.htmlIn his weekly radio address, President Mohamed Nasheed has said the government will aim for a sustainable solution to prevent flooding in islands during rainy seasons. He added that necessary funds for the purpose would be included in the next year’s budget.
Referring to flooding in the southern islands, President Nasheed said proper drainage and sewerage systems were necessary to prevent flood in those islands.
The President, in his radio address, also spoke on the discussions underway between the government and the Civil Service Commission.
A special committee that include officials from the government and the Civil Service Commission, had their first meeting on Wednesday in which discussions were on the issue of restoring civil service salaries to their previous levels, streamlining the civil service and establishing administrative framework for local councils.
MALE, September 26 (HNS) – Presidents Office Sunday announced that selling land plots from south-west harbour area was put on hold according to the Civil Court order.
Press Secretary at President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said the government would abide by the court order issued on Wednesday.
“It is a responsibility of the government to abide by the court orders. So we have decided to hold the process,” he said.
Male Municipality President Sarangu Adam Manik backed the President’s Office statement and said the court will hopefully settle the matter soon.
In the case filed by the opposition coalition formed among Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), People’s Alliance (PA), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), and Jumhooree Party, Civil Court ruled to halt all land selling transactions as continuing the process is not the most fair way.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32499MALE, September 26 (HNS) – Three parties have submitted proposals to supply oil to State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) for the next one and a half years.
A STELCO official said the company would start evaluating the proposals made by Dubai’s Galana Petroleum, local State Trading Organisation (STO), and Fuel Supplies Maldives Sunday.
The official noted that the company decided not to disclose the prices until the proposals are evaluated.
The second period for bidding expired last Wednesday. Five parties attended to submit proposals in the first period, which expired on July 22.
“The bid-opening was set for July 22 following the pre-bid meeting held on July 1. But the period was extended as it was not enough to submit proposals,” the official said.
STO had been supplying oil to the company.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32501MALE, September 26 (HNS) – Additional 20 row houses will be constructed in Hulhumale to accommodate those not chosen, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) said Sunday.
Deputy Managing Director Suhail Ahmed said the decision was made due to the high demand.
“Of those who applied to the 12 row houses, 29 people passed the financial screening and 25 people participated in the selection. That leaves 17 people unselected. So they will be on the top of the reserve list for the new 20 raw house,” he said.
Owners for eight out of the 12 row houses to be constructed in Hulhumale were selected. The other four row houses were bought earlier after full payment.
According to the corporation, the eight were selected from 25 out of 29 eligible participants for Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) loan.
The corporation said the selected people paid Rf120,000 as booking fee. While a row house costs Rf2.5 million, agreements will be signed on October 6, the corporation added.
The corporation stressed that the owners can pay over a period, including the 20 percent down payment to be paid by the owners and the other 80 percent to be paid by HDFC as loan.
Rf472,800 should be paid as down-payment for the three storey rowhouses.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/27/chagos-islands-maldives-seabed-claimThe Foreign Office has signalled its formal opposition at the United Nations to a claim by the Maldives Islands for 160,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean seabed that may encroach upon British overseas territory.
The letter to the UN is aimed at protecting national interests in the Chagos Islands, an archipelago from which the native population were expelled 40 years ago to make way for a US airbase on the atoll of Diego Garcia. Leaders of the exiled Chagossians contrast the rapidity with which the Foreign Office has defended its interests with the protracted refusal to permit them to return to the islands, known as British Indian Ocean Territory.
Most were forcibly removed to nearby Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s. A large community now lives in Crawley, near their UK arrival point, Gatwick airport. Having won a high court judgment in 2000 enabling them to return to the islands, except Diego Garcia, the Chagossians were prevented from exercising that right by a highly unusual use of the royal prerogative. Two years ago they had a further setback when the Lords overturned their original high court victory. They are appealing to the European court of human rights.
The Maldives government submitted its claim for an expanded tract of seabed on 26 July this year to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Britain posted its response on 9 August.
The commission arbitrates on applications from states seeking to extend their prospecting rights for oil, gas and minerals over the ocean floor, up to 350 miles from their coastlines. Environmentalists have condemned the process as validating "colonial land grabs".
The maps sent by the Maldives shows its claim bulging south towards the Chagos Islands. In its letter, the UK warns that "the submission of the Republic of the Maldives does not take full account of the 200 nautical miles Fisheries and Environment Zones of the British Indian Ocean Territory." It promises "to formalise these boundaries [with the Maldives] at the earliest opportunity".
A Foreign Office spokesman added: "All states are able to inform the CLCS of their observations on another state's submission. The UK did not protest the submission by the Maldives to extend their territorial waters.
"We are satisfied that the CLCS will be able to consider the Maldivian submission without prejudice to the position of the United Kingdom. The UK enjoys a strong bilateral relationship with the Republic of the Maldives and is committed to formalising nautical boundaries."
Complicating the dispute is the fact that the archipelago is also claimed by Mauritius, which supports the return of the islanders. Last year Mauritius informed the UN it intends to submit a claim to the seabed around the islands. The republic claims the 65 islands were "illegally detached" by Britain when Mauritius became independent in 1968. The UK has said it is committed to "ceding the British Indian Ocean Territory to Mauritius when no longer needed for defence purposes". No date, however, has been specified.
The Foreign Office's prompt response to the Maldives' plans comes as the government has dismayed thousands of displaced Chhhagossians and their descendants by reversing both Conservative and Liberal Democrat pre-election support.
In April,the Conservatives' foreign affairs spokesman, Keith Simpson, told the Commons: "There is a great deal of sympathy from those on both sides of the House for the plight of the Chagossians, and their interests must be placed at the heart of any decisions made about their homeland."
But a Foreign Office statement issued last week states: "The government will continue to contest the case brought by the Chagos Islanders to the European court of human rights. This is because the arguments against allowing resettlement on the grounds of defence security and feasibility are clear and compelling."
The Chagossians are due to meet Henry Bellingham, minister for overseas territories, to press their case.
Roch Evenor, chairman of the UK Chagos Support Association, said: "[The Foreign Office] seems to be more interested in defending the seabed than the interests of Chagossians.
"Why did [politicians] give us all that sweet-talking before the elections and then afterwards we are back to square zero? We feel emotionally drained."
Last month the Labour Friends of the Chagos Islands sent an open letter to the five Labour leadership candidates urging them to reconsider a decision to convert the British Indian Ocean Territory into a marine protection area which bans any fishing. Before being deported, fishing was the Chagossians' main livelihood.
In 2008 David Miliband, then foreign secretary, had to acknowledge to the Commons that Diego Garcia had been used twice used by US planes as stop-off points for CIA "extraordinary rendition" flights to Guantanamo Bay and Morocco. The US lease on the base is due to expire in 2016.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-01/billionaire-rao-s-gmr-axis-discuss-360-million-loan-for-maldives-airport.htmlGMR Infrastructure Ltd., controlled by Indian billionaire G.M. Rao, is in talks with Axis Bank Ltd. on a loan of about $360 million to fund an airport project in the Maldives.
GMR’s Maldives venture may sign the 12-year loan by the end of this month, Sidharath Kapur, chief financial officer for airports, said in a telephone interview yesterday from New Delhi. The debt may be syndicated to overseas lenders and multilateral agencies, he said, without providing a timeframe.
The Bangalore-based airport operator and partner Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. in June won a bid to modernize and expand Male International Airport as they seek to benefit from rising tourism in the Maldives, a nation comprising 1,190 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. Indian companies such as GMR have expanded overseas as bureaucracy and land disputes slow infrastructure projects at home.
“For a company like GMR to grow, this is the way it has to be,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, chief strategist at SMC Global Securities Ltd., which manages $100 million in assets, in New Delhi. “Indian infrastructure projects can face bottlenecks and execution problems.”
A spokesman for Axis Bank, India’s fourth biggest by market value, said he wasn’t able to immediately comment.
GMR Maldives International Airport Ltd. will spend about $510 million on the Male terminal, which will have a capacity to handle 5 million users a year, Kapur said. The airport currently handles about 2.5 million passengers a year, he said.
“The government of the Maldives is taking steps to attract tourism from India and Southeast Asia,” he said. “That will drive growth.”
GMR Maldives, 77 percent owned by the Indian company and 23 percent by Malaysia Airports, will build and operate the terminal for 25 years. The facility will be ready by 2014.
GMR and partners also run airports in Istanbul, Turkey, India’s capital New Delhi and Hyderabad in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Maldives attracted 683,000 tourists in 2008, growing at an average 12 percent annual pace since 1980, compared with the world average growth of 5 percent, the government said on its website.
GMR got about 33 percent of revenue from airport operations in the year ended in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company also builds highways and operates power projects.
In July, GMR’s new terminal in New Delhi started international flights. The facility, run by a group also backed by state-run Airports Authority of India Ltd., Frankfurt-based Fraport AG and Malaysia Airports, cost about $2.7 billion to develop, along with other renovations.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Maldives-to-have-floating-hotels-and-golf-course/Article1-607058.aspxFloating livelihood in south Asia will soon be a reality. India’s neighbour Maldives has signed an agreement with the Netherlands government to set up world’s first floating hotel, agriculture fields, residential homes and a golf course in middle of the Indian Ocean. “Both the governments (Netherlands and Maldives) have agreed,” said Koen Olthuis, creative director of Dutch Docklands, a company that has designed new floating concept for Maldvies, considered one of the most vulnerable nations to sea level rise because of climate change in the world.
“A formal announcement is expected next week”.
Apparently the world’s biggest on sea leisure and residential project is expected to start next year with construction of a hotel near the Maldivian capital city. These hotels will be part of a modern small township in middle of the sea having hotels and a 18 hole golf course.
Maldives like Netherlands does not have enough land available and much of it is below the sea level. So, Maldives had opted for using sea to provide people future livelihood. It has harped upon a unique technology using which Netherlands constructed first floating homes in its capital city of Amsterdam about a decade ago.
There are over 1,000 fully furnished floating homes with garden and parking area in the Netherlands now. “Cost of floating home is comparable with a house on land as one does not have to pay much for water on which the house is built,” said Rutger De Graaf, director research and development with Deltasync, a company dealing with designing floating structures.
But one has to pay for erecting permanent structure to tie the house to the sea ground. “It (the cost) is almost same as for building a basement in the house,” Olthuis said.
The only difference — the floating home can rise by up to six metres depending on the design with a gush of water but does not move sidways.
Another advantage floating house has that it can be moved from one location to another, not so easy with homes on land.
Graaf says constructing a basic floating house in 200 square metre area can cost Euros 280,000 in Netherlands (Rs 16,80,00,00) but experts believe that the cost can come down with more use of technology and in countries where cost of construction is low like Maldives and India.
The first phase of construction will be completed by 2013 and entire project by 2017. The Netherland government has also agreed to a request from Maldivian government to have floating agriculture fields.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/10/06/travel-firm-wants-island-staffed-entirely-by-blonde-girls-115875-22612312/#ixzz11Yzs6d62A TRAVEL firm wants to open a holiday isle staffed entirely by blonde girls.
There won't be a brunette in sight among the receptionists, waitresses, managers, beauticians, entertainers and casino staff.
The flights to the Maldives island will have blonde pilots and air hostesses.
And even the yachts ferrying guests from the airport to their Indian Ocean getaway will also be crewed by - yes, you've guessed it - blonde girls.
Lithuanian company Olialia - pronounced Ooh-la-la - has announced plans to open the resort by 2015.
But islanders in the Muslim-dominated Maldives, where most have dark hair, accused the firm of being racist. Maldivian news website Minivan has been inundated with protests. One critic said: "Why do we have to have it in the Maldives?" Latvian journalist Sanita Jemberga wrote: "Sex sells.
Their unique selling point is blonde Baltic women and sex." But Olialia says its philosophy is to show blondes can be powerful in business and overcome their "dumb" reputation. Managing director Giedre Pukiene - who is, unsurprisingly, a blonde - said: "We should not be underestimated. We are smart, beautiful, reckless and purposeful.
"Two years of active developments in Lithuania have proved our capabilities.
"The island of blondes will appear in the Maldives in 2015. It will be paradise on earth."
However Olialia could run into trouble as Maldives rules state resorts must employ 50 per cent local staff. The blondes-only rule could also break EU employment laws.
http://www.getsolar.com/News/California/Solar-Installers/Maldives-President-Helps-Install-His-Own-Solar-Panels-800105446In terms of walking the renewable walk, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives probably beats every other head of state. President Nasheed was pictured today in a hard-hat and jeans as he helped install a brand-new solar installation on the roof of the presidential residence in the capital city of Male.
The installation - which employs photovoltaic modules from LG Electronics and was designed by Oakland, California solar installer and developer Sungevity - will prevent the emission of 195 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the system and save about $300,000 in energy costs.
The Maldives has special cause to be proactive about sustainable energy - as one of the world's lowest-lying nations, the country's islands are gravely threatened by rising sea levels. It would only take a rise of a few feet to devastate the country.
"The Maldives stands at the front line of climate change and we don't have the luxury of time to sit and wait for the rest of the world to act. We are getting to work to start the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy," the President said in a statement released today.
The White House announced this week that it will install solar panels at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - and President Barack Obama might take the opportunity to mimic the Nasheed's hard-hat and solar panel photo-op.
MALE, October 9 (HNS) – A low turnout is observed in general at the polling stations set up across the capital Male for the ongoing referendum on consolidating islands.
“People come once in a while. A large number might come during the last hours. But a very low turnout is observed until noon,” an official at the polling station in Iskandhar School for Shaviyani atoll residents said.
The highest turnout was observed by 12pm at the vote box set up in Iskandhar School for Haa Alif atoll residents where 192 people registered.
Only three out of 50 registered voters cast votes at the two boxes in Jamaaluddin School for Laam and Thaa atoll residents.
The polling station in Ghiyaasuddin International School in Male for residents of Raa atoll Angolhitheemu and Alif Dhaal atoll Dhidhoo was closed until 12pm under the policy which requires minimum two people to be present at the station. While 29 people from Angolhitheemu and 25 from Dhidhoo registered for voting at the station, the box was opened at 12.55pm.
Meanwhile, only 14 out of 225 registered Addu atoll residents cast votes to decide whether the atoll should be deemed a city.
Only 1,297 out of the some 30,000 eligible voters of 29 islands registered for voting in the capital Male. Ten vote boxes were set up in Iskandar School, Thaajuddin School, Jamaaluddin School and Ghiyaasuddin International School in Male.
The same was also observed in the atolls.
Elections Official Mohamed Jaleel in Faaf atoll said the turnout was very low on Bilehdhoo, Magoodhoo, Dharanboodhoo and Nilandhoo.
Elections Official Abdul Hameed Hussein stationed in Dhaal atoll Maaemboodhoo said a very few people cast votes at the polling stations in Kudahuvadhoo and Vaani.
“Although some are casting votes, the public support is very low. The thing is that there is no group to take people to polling stations in this referendum. That might be the reason why the support is low,” he said.
Addu atoll Elections Official Ali Rasheed said over 100 people voted at the six boxes set up in capital island, Hithadhoo.
“There is no support to this referendum. But it will presumably get better afternoon,” he said.
In the referendum held from 8am to 4pm Saturday, 88,882 people are eligible to vote. Elections Commission set up 141 vote boxes in 95 islands to be combined and those decided to be considered as cities.
Commissioner Fuad, however, noted that the polling stations were not closed by 4pm. Vote counting will commence after 4pm, he added.
According to the commission, temporary results of the constituencies will be announced once the counting is over and the permanent results will be announced within two days.
Around 1,000 officials are involved in the referendum which costs Rf11 million from the state budget.
MALE, October 12 (HNS) – Monday’s parliament sitting was called off after MPs stalled over endorsing former Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Commissioner Ali Rasheed Umar as Attorney General (AG).
The Chair cancelled the sitting around 2.10pm after Nolhivaram MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) refused to leave the parliament chamber.
MDP MPs requested for procedural errors consecutively and yelled inside the chamber when parliamentary Finance Committee Chair Mohamed Nazim started presenting the committee report on Rasheed. Bilehdhoo MP Ahmed Hamza and other MDP members reiterated that the committee report was false.
In a procedural error, Nolhivaram MP Nasheed said the committee report presented by Nazim was not passed by the committee majority. Although the matter was informed to Speaker Abdulla Shahid, he only sought information from Chair Nazim, he added.
MPs exchanged heated debates over the matter with the Chair announcing Nasheed’s name and asking him to leave the chamber. Nasheed, however, refused.
The Chair put the sitting on hold at 12.40pm to take Nasheed out of the chamber. The sitting was cancelled after failed attempts by armed forces officers to take Nasheed out of the chamber.
Committee Chair Nazim stressed that the committee followed the normal procedures in studying Rasheed’s name. ACC informed the committee that he was being investigated, he added.
Nazim further emphasised that the committee unanimously endorsed a policy proposed by Mulaku MP Abdulla Yamin and backed by Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed to interview Rasheed and rate his educational qualification, skills, experience and integrity.
MALE, October 12 (HNS) – Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Tuesday criticised the current method of towing vehicles parked against regulations and urged the government to initiate a better towing method.
In a press conference held at the party office, Deputy Leader Ahmed Shareef said that people park their vehicles against regulations because there is no other way. Expensive properties such as motorcycles are towed and kept at the tow yard recklessly, he added.
Shareef claimed that vehicles of senior Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members are not being towed.
“I think they give more attention to some people’s motorcycles. That is, we do not see MDP members’ vehicle being towed,” he said.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/32816/MBC_board_members’_salaries_on_request:_State_Finance_MinisterMALE, October 12 (HNS) – Salaries of Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Directors Board members will be arranged on request, Finance Ministry said Tuesday.
State Finance Minister Ahmed Assad said the parliament-assigned MBC board members were not given since July 12 as no request has been made so far.
“State employees are given salaries when the employer requests it. For example, civil servants are given their salaries when Civil Service Commission (CSC) requests it. Independent bodies are given salaries when the designated authority requests it. In the same manner we will give salaries to MBC board members when it is requested,” he said.
Parliamentary finance committee Monday requested the ministry to arrange salaries for the nine MBC board members. However, the State Minister denied having knowledge of the request.
The parliament passed Rf10,000 as the Chairman’s salary, Rf9,000 as Vice Chairman’s salary and Rf8,000 as other members’ salary.
MALE, October 15 (HNS) – President Mohamed Nasheed Friday said protecting the rights of mothers and children is an important goal of the government.
Speaking in his weekly radio address, the president expressed deep concerns over the increasing number of cases of sexual abuse, rape and degrading treatment of children. Stressing that the government “always condemned” domestic violence, President Nasheed thanked opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Rozaina Adam of Thulhusdhoo constituency for submitting a Bill on Domestic Violence.
In his weekly address, President Nasheed also highlighted Hay Festival Maldives, which started Thursday evening with a music concert in Male.
The President said having Hay Festival in the Maldives would be a “hopeful opportunity” for Maldivian artists, poets, and writers.
Besides internationally renowned artists and authors, a number of Maldivian artists will participate in the three-day festival in presidential retreat island, Aarah.
MALE, October 14 (HNS) – President Mohamed Nasheed Thursday published the administrative constituencies list on the government gazette ahead of the local council election.
According to the President’s Office, the 184 administrative constituencies were published after considering the spirit of the public referendum on consolidation islands held on Saturday.
Addu is listed as a single administrative city as the people of Addu supported the government’s proposal to make the atoll a city, the office added.
According to the list, Shaviyani atoll Komandoo constituency includes Upper Komandoo and Lhaviyani atoll Naifaru constituency consists of Naifaru and nearby military training base, Madivaru.
The government and the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) agreed to publish the list on October 17, Sunday.