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News in Brief

Police clear roads to address parking problems

The Traffic Police Department of the Maldives Police Service has carried out a special operation in Malé to address the difficulties in parking.

The operation, which was carried out on April 10, involved clearing the roads and parking areas of unwanted items such pallets and litter.

This operation cleared over 100 unwanted pallets from the streets, and was part of a wider initiative by the police to address parking difficulties.

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Immigration Department to temporarily suspend services

The Department of Immigration and Emigration announced today (April 15) that it will be suspending its services from the visa section and permit unit for two days.

The interruption is due to a transfer from Gaazee Building to Huravee Building, the department said today. Services from the visa section and permit unit will not be available on 16 and 17 April.

Starting Sunday, the Department of Immigration and Emigration’s visa section and permit unit services will be available at the Foreign Employment Services Division on 3rd floor, Huravee Building, reported local media Sun Online.

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MNDF to acquire two robots to retrieve bodies from under the sea

Minister of Defense Mohamed Nazim today told local media that the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) is seeking to acquire two robot specialised in retrieving bodies of divers from the sea.

Nazim the first one is a “rover” robot of approximately US$12,000 with the capability to cut the weight belts, allowing the divers’ body to float. The second robot is one capable of bringing up a body that has sunk to the bottom of the sea.

He said that as a country surrounded by the sea, it is important to have a search and rescue capacity of retrieving bodies from under the sea.

Nazim said the idea was conceived recently while MNDF was trying to retrieve the body of Mohamed Jameel found 100 meters deep, off the coast of Kaafu Villingili island in February.

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UAE group to launch first resort in Maldives

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Dutco Group of Companies reported on Sunday that it had acquired a high-end resort in the Maldives.

The new resort – which will be the group’s first outside of Dubai – will be relaunched later in the year as JA Manafaru, reported

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb was reported to have expressed his hope that Dutco’s investment will be the first of many from the UAE.

“The investment does not just end with the purchase of the Resort as JA Resorts & Hotels have also earmarked several million dollars to making several upgrades and soft refurbishments to the resort to ensure it is able to compete with the very best that the Maldives has to offer when it is relaunched later in the year as JA Manafaru,” the company told gulfnews.

Tareq Baker, the chief executive of the Dutco Group of Companies told the site that the investment in the Maldives is “a part of the company’s larger expansion plan of high-end properties both within the UAE and in other markets outside of the Middle East.”

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Parliament approves ambassador for Sri Lanka as president withdraws nominee for EU post

The Majlis today unanimously approved Zahiya Zareer as the Malidves’ ambassador to Sri Lanka with 49 votes.

Zareer previously served as the Minister of Education in President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration and ran for parliament.

President Abulla Yameen’s nomination for the ambassador for Pakistan, Major General (Rt) Moosa Ali Jaleel was also sent for review by the National Security Committee as per parliament regulations.

Jaleel was the Chief of Defence Force under President Mohamed Nasheed and is revered as a national hero for his services during the attempted coup by Tamil mercenaries in 1988.

However , president Yameen today withdrew the name of Hassan Sobir whom he earlier nominated as the new ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. No official reason was given for the withdrawal.

Sobir served as the tourism minister and fisheries minister in President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. He also served as the ambassador for Singapore and the UK.

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President Yameen ratifies penal code before leaving for Japan

President Abdulla Yameen today ratified the new penal code shortly before departing on an official state visit to Japan.

The People’s Majlis passed the resubmitted code on April 1, which will replace the previous version which has remained unchanged since the 1960s.

The new law will come into force one year after ratification and publication in the government gazette, though local media today reported that Yameen has advised the Attorney General to make a number of changes during the transitional period.

Haveeru also reported that the president ratified the recently passed anti-money laundering bill, as well as amendments to the Religious Unity Act and the Judges Act.

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Health awareness and consultation programme held in Maafuashi

Yesterday, a health awareness and consultation programme organised by the Holiday Inn Kandooma Maldives was held in Maafushi, in Kaafu Atoll.

The programme was held in collaboration with ADK Hospital, Maafushi Council, and the Maldives Medical Association.

”In the camp, apart from consultations screening was done for hypertension and diabetes mellitus. A public lecture also was delivered on common health issues to the general public by Dr Mohamwd Wisham and Dr Hamza Solih, and Mr. Mohamed Mustofa,” a statement about the awareness programme stated.

The health camp was conducted by Dr Hamza Solih (ADK Hospital) Dr Mohamed Wisham (ADK Hospital), Executive Committee Member (Maldives Medical Association) Dr Tata Rao (ADK hospital), and Mr Mohamed Mustofa (Phycotherapist) (Maldives institute for psychological services, training and reserach) the statement said.

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Police looking for father who took 5-year-old daughter from her mother

Police have asked the public for assistance in locating a father who took his 5-year-old daughter from her mother after saying he was going to a nearby shop.

In a statement the police said that the Kulhudhufushi Magistrate Court had ordered the police to take the child from her father and to give her back to her mother as soon as possible.

The police identified the father as Hussain Thahseen of Filladhoo in Haa Alifu Atoll.

Kulhidhufushi Magistrate Court has said that it was unacceptable to victimise the child in an issue related to her father and mother.

The court also noted that Thahseen has a previous criminal record which includes drugs and crimes related to large amounts of money.

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Chamber of commerce awaiting permit for night market

The Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) has expressed concern with the Malé City Council’s refusal to grant permission to host the annual night market in the capital.

MNCCI Vice Chair Ismail Asif told newspaper Haveeru yesterday that the city council had not responded to the chamber of commerce’s request for permission to host the market.

“We are concerned because the council would not even respond to this issue. At this state, another party is announcing hosting Night Market. The same thing happened last year, same thing this year. It seems as if they are trying to hand the project over to someone in particular,” he was quoted as saying.

The Anti-Corruption Commission last week informed the city council that its agreement with Go Media Pvt Ltd to organise the night market had been terminated last year.

Deputy Mayor Shifa Mohamed told the local daily that the council would make a decision in the near future to resolve the issue.

“MNCCI not partaking in the Go Media bid too is a problem. We had found out that they had not participated. We can’t grant the permission to another party without getting out of the agreement made with Go Media. This is the problem that we face now. That, too is a cemented agreement,” she said.

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Torture victims in the Maldives tell their stories