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News in Brief

IGMH seeking Indian government assistance to procure equipment

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) is working on bringing in a new MRI machine and CT scan machine with the help of the Indian government, newly-appointed CEO Farhath Shaheer told newspaper Haveeru last week.

The former brigadier general and vice chief of the Maldives National Defence Forces told the local daily that the Indian government has assured the new equipment can be brought within three months through the Indian Defence Corporation.

“We are hoping the machinery to be brought in and installed by February next year. They have come and taken inventory of space available to put the machines in,” he was quoted a saying, adding that the Indian government would be in charge of servicing the machines for the next five years.

Shaheer also said the hospital plans to improve the appointment process by putting an automated system in place in November.

MRI scans are currently available only at the ADK private hospital.

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Local Government Authority conduct forums in the atolls

The Local Government Authority (LGA) has begun forums on decentralization and laws and regulations on local councils.

The main aim of the forum is to bring the local councils up to date with current laws and to ensure that different councils follow the same procedure, LGA officials told local media

The LGA also said that the forum will discuss ways to make the services provided by the councils more efficient and well structured.

The forums are open for councilors, women’s development committees, relevant government authorities and the public.

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Airport runway resumes operations after fuel leakage shutdown

Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) has resumed runway operations early Sunday morning after a shut down on Saturday night due to a fuel leakage.

Maldives Airports Company Limited officials told local media the runway had been closed down to a hydraulic fuel leakage from a Singapore Airlines flight that had landed on Saturday night.

Operations resumed at about 12.45am on Sunday.

The airport’s runway was closed on September 6 due to a leakage from a Singapore Airlines flight.

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Police team attacked in Raa Madduvvari

A team from the Maldives Police Service was attacked last night (October 8 ) on the island of Madduvvari in Raa atoll while attempting to arrest a suspect in an assault case.

A group of men reportedly under the influence of drugs assaulted a group of girls with a chain during an Eid show on the island and later vandalised the door of the island council office.

The police team was reportedly attacked by a 29-year-old suspect who resisted arrest. However, the suspect was taken into custody by a back-up team sent to the island around 8:30pm last night.

A 17-year-old male suspect was also arrested from the island earlier this week.

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Man feared missing found asleep under palm tree

A 50-year-old who went missing on the island of Gan in Laamu atoll last night (October 7) was found asleep under a palm tree this morning, reports local media.

Police launched a search operation for Abdulla Naseer, from Galolhu Waterloo in Malé, after he was reported missing by his family around 11:24pm on Tuesday night.

He was found sleeping on a palm frond near the beach on the eastern side of the island by a search group of police officers and members of the public.

Naseer is reportedly married to a woman from Gan and was visiting the island for Eid holidays.

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Manadhoo council offers vacant plot for flat screen TV, sofa set

The Noonu Atoll Manadhoo island council has made an announcement seeking to lease a vacant plot of land on the condition that the lessee provide a flat screen television and a sofa set.

According to newspaper Haveeru, the announcement states that the council has decided to lease a 5,000 square feet plot for 15 years for a monthly rent of MVR3,000 (US$195).

The conditions for proposals or bids from interested parties include providing a 32-inch flat screen TV and a sofa set to the council. A drawing of the sofa along with specifications was included in the announcement.

In July, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure informed all local councils to seek authorisation from the president before conducting any transaction involving state-owned land.

In June, the ministry had removed two parks from the jurisdiction of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party-majority Malé City Council, while the Dharubaaruge convention centre was reclaimed by the government in May.

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Court rules in favour of STO in Al Fresco cafe dispute

The Civil Court has ruled that the State Trading Organisation (STO) was within its rights to order the eviction of the Al Fresco cafe at the STO trade centre in Malé.

The Cloud Nine Catering and Cafes company – which operates Al Fresco – sued STO in January after the state-owned enterprise gave a 90-day notice to vacate the ground floor premises of the cafe.

In the judgment (Dhivehi) delivered on Thursday (October 2), the Civil Court ruled that the notice was given in accordance with the lease agreement.

The agreement contained a clause that authorises STO to terminate the lease with due notice, the judge noted.

Cloud Nine had argued that Al Fresco should be allowed to operate until the end of the lease period. The court granted a stay order in January halting the eviction pending a judgment.

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Two injured in gas cylinder explosion

Two crew members of the ‘Lily Regal’ cargo ship were injured yesterday in a gas cylinder explosion on board the vessel.

Lily Enterprises told local media that the two men – a Maldivian and a foreigner – were welding on deck when a gas cylinder inside a container exploded.

The Lily Regal was docked near the commercial harbour in Malé when the incident occurred.

Contrary to media reports, Lily Enterprises said the gas leak did not cause a fire on board the ship.

While the Maldivian has since been released after treatment of minor injuries at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, the expatriate is reportedly undergoing treatment for a leg fracture.

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Construction worker dies in fall from 10-storey building

An Indian construction worker died last night in a fall from the 10th floor of a building under construction in Malé.

Police said the incident was reported around 7:14pm and the man was pronounced dead on arrival at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

The Indian worker fell on the roof of the next door residence, police said.

Police urged construction companies to take precautionary measures on sites to ensure safety of workers.

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Torture victims in the Maldives tell their stories