Military leaders from the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka have agreed to cooperate in order to increase security regulations on vessels that violate maritime laws.
The meeting took place at the third National Security Advisor (NSA) level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation between the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka on March 6 and 7 in New Delhi.
The agreement comprised of a number of steps, including information sharing, training in oil pollution response and cooperation in the legal and policy response to piracy.
Shivshankar Menon, chair of the meeting and Indian National Security Advisor stated, “the immediate threat that we have been facing in the last few years is piracy and that fortunately…is down. But, even though the number is down…that doesn’t mean the primary source of the problem, which is on land, has been solved. We need to keep putting in this effort.”
The next NSA meeting will take place in the Maldives.
Police have arrested a person on Friday night from the island of Guraidhoo in Kaafu atoll on charges of assault against his former wife.
Local media have reported that the man was arrested after he assaulted his former wife in a deserted house on Friday night. It was further stated that, in addition to scratches on her face, various parts of the woman’s body was observed to be severely swollen.
Following initial medical attention received from the island’s Health Centre, the woman is now receiving further treatment in Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in capital city Malé.
On March 8, the Criminal Court extended the man’s detention by 12 days.
A police media official stated that they cannot reveal details of the persons involved as the investigation is currently ongoing.
Arrangements have been made to secure child support payments through the family court for divorced mothers within three days, Health Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela has said.
In her address on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Dr Shakeela said that the ministry has formed a council to promote economic empowerment of Maldivian women.
The minister also stressed the importance of protecting women in the workplace from discrimination and sexual harassment.
In March last year, parliament passed an amendment to the Family Act to increase child support payments to MVR2,000 (US$130) a month.
The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has been receiving complaints that candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections are being prevented from disembarking on some islands for campaigning.
Police noted in a statement that the constitution guarantees the right to free expression for all citizens as well as the “freedom to enter, remain in and leave the Maldives, and to travel within the Maldives.”
Obstruction of campaigning is an offence under election laws, police stated, urging candidates and political parties to ensure that the run-up to the March 22 polls is smooth and peaceful.
The Elections Commission (EC) has fined the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) over membership forms submitted in violation of the Political Parties Act.
The DRP was fined MVR5,000 (US$324) for submitting a number of membership forms with the fingerprint of the same person whilst the PPM was fined MVR6,000 (US$389) for submitting forms in violation of regulations.
The PPM was levied a higher fine as it was the party’s second offence, the EC noted.
In January, the ruling party was fined MVR5,000 after it emerged that a membership form was submitted on behalf of a deceased individual.
In June 2013, the Anti-Corruption Commission discovered that two membership forms submitted by former President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s now-defunct Gaumee Ihthihaad Party “were signed by persons who had passed away prior to the forms being sent to the EC.”
Over 6,000 application forms have been submitted by residents of the capital Male’ for the government’s social housing scheme, local media reports.
According to the Housing Ministry, 2,970 forms were submitted in category A by citizens registered in Male’, 3,267 forms were submitted in category B by citizens from other islands residing in the capital, and just one form in category C, which involves relinquishing a small plot in exchange for a flat.
Deputy Housing Minister Abdul Muttalib told the press yesterday that applicants were required to submit utility bills as well as floor plans of their current residence.
Utility bills would be reviewed to access the living condition of applicants, he said.
The deadline for submission of forms is early May.
Muttalib meanwhile explained that a special software would be used to process and grade applications.
The current administration plans to construct 1,100 flats in Hulhumale’ under its social housing programme. The scheme targets residents of the capital living in cramped and difficult conditions.
Of the 1,100 flats, 385 are to be built with a soft loan from India’s EXIM bank while 715 are to be built with a soft loan from the Chinese EXIM bank.
Forty four establishments were fined by the the Health Protection Agency (HPA) this year for violating the anti-tobacco act, ‘Sun Online‘ has reported.
Since the regulation restricting public smoking was created and enforced under the act, a total of 54 establishments were fined, the report said.
Failure to display no smoking signs results in an initial fine of MVR500, and then MVR5000 every time after that. Anyone smoking in a designated smoking zone under the regulation is fined MVR500.
Sun quoted the Deputy Director of the agency Hassan Mohamed who said that many challenges remain in implementing the legislation.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has this week shut down three famous cafe’s in Male’ for failing to meet their hygiene standards. Rats, cockroaches, and their droppings were found in some of these cafe’s according to the ministry.
The government has signed an agreement to install waste management systems in Rasgatheemu, Agolhutheemu, and Rasmaadhoo islands – all three islands are in Raa atoll.
A special function was held yesterday at the Environment Ministry to sign the contract with Brohood Construction Company.
State Minister for Environment Ministry Hassan Shah explained that the three projects will cost MVR2.1 million and that the company was to finish the project in 90 days.
The ministry has also revealed details of its recent waste management awareness-raising programmes conducted in both Malé and Hulhumalé.
The programme took place last Saturday (March 1) in Hulhumalé and on February 22 in Malé, sought to increase knowledge of the recently introduced laws that came into effect last month.
The waste management regulation came into force on February 5 and imposes an MVR100 (US$6.5) for littering and a fine between MVR10,000 (US$ 648.5) – MVR100,000 (US$6,485) if any authority in charge of public spaces fails to place public dustbins.
The regulations also mandate boat owners to place dustbins on sea vessels and imposes a fine between MVR100 million (US$6.5 million) and MVR500 million (US$32.4 million) on boats that dump waste into the ocean
A crew member of a State Trading Organisation (STO) oil tanker en route to the gulf was injured in a fire accident yesterday, local media reports.
STO Managing Director Adam Azim told newspaper Haveeru that the incident occurred onboard the ‘Aihuras’ vessel while it was near the coast of the city of Mumbai in India. There was no oil on the ship when the fire broke out, he noted.
The burnt crew member was taken to a Mumbai hospital for treatment while the ship was undergoing repairs for minor damages caused by the fire.
“It was not a very dangerous incident. We would know of the injuries sustained by the crew member in detail after seeing the doctor’s report,” Azim was quoted as saying.