Maldives this week: 10 to 16 June

Ombudsperson's Office for Transitional Justice starts accepting cases, government announces housing loan scheme for islands, lays foundation stone for 1,000 housing units in Hulhumalé, and 100 percent foreign companies allowed to operate airports in the Maldives.

MFR Graphic

MFR Graphic

On 10 June, Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem announced that an agreement has been signed with the State Trading Organization (STO) to procure 96 ambulances for use in the atolls. On 10 June, the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) established a single number "100" for emergency medical services. As the first phase, the service is being introduced for COVID-19 patients requiring emergency treatment. On 13 June, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih inspected a 270-bed medical facility being established in Hulhumale to treat COVID-19 patients. 

On 10 June, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof, who has been asked to step aside from his duties by President Solih said that the allegations against him were politically motivated to remove him from his position. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has requested the Prosecutor General's Office to charge the minister with accepting bribes to vote on the Maldives SEZ bill in 2014 and to remain with the PPM. No decision has been made by the Prosecutor General's Office on the charges yet. 

On 10 June, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, as the President-elect of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced the appointment of Indian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nagaraj Naidu Kumar as his Chef du Cabinet. He also appointed the Maldives Permanent Representative to the United Nations Thilmeeza Hussain as a Special Envoy. 

On 12 June, the parliament's 241 committee summoned Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed's bodyguards at the time of the 6 May terror attack targeting him, for questioning in the inquiry it is carrying out into security failures in the lead up to the attack. 

On 13 June, the Ombudsperson's Office for Transitional Justice announced it will be accepting cases until13 August. the office, established under the Transitional Justice Act, mandated investigations into systemic human rights abuses by state institutions and state officials between 1 January 1953 and 17 November 2018. 

On 13 June, the Ministry of Economic Development published a revised Foreign Direct Investment Policy that will allow 100 percent foreign owned companies to operate airports in the Maldives for 50 years with a minimum USD5 million investment. On 15 June, responding to public and opposition criticism over the amendment including air traffic control, the ministry gazetted a revised policy clearly specifying that customs, immigration, air traffic control and aviation security will be under government purview. 

On 14 June, the government announces the "Gedhoruveriyaa" housing scheme, that will provide MVR700,000 for the development or completion of already started residential housing projects in islands. In a message he delivered at the announcement ceremony, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said that the government will be able to fulfil its housing pledge by the end of his term.  In his statement at the ceremony, Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam said that projections indicated that the population in Male will be higher than the total combined population in the atolls by 2040. He said that efforts were being made to resolve the issue of migration to Male and that the loan scheme announced will help alleviate some of the pressure on Male. On 15 June, the government laid the foundation stone for 1,000 housing units to be developed in Hulhumale Phase I and II. The 1,000 units will include 120 "council housing units" and 220 "affordable housing units." 

On 15 June, President of the Elections Commission Ahmed Shareef resigned from the commission. He had been appointed to the commission in March 2018. 

On 16 June, President Solih appointed Sabra Noordeen as Special Envoy for Climate Change. Noordeen was previously the Secretary, Foreign Relations, at the President's Office. The special envoy for climate change is a mandated position under the Climate Emergency Act. 

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