IRS |Institute of Regional Studies

Islamabad

News Updates

25th May - 31st May
  • India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has not visited the Maldives despite receiving four letters from the country’s foreign minister. The reason she told the media was no progress on New Delhi’s some concerns which they had raised with Asim in January.(Maldives Independent, May 28, 2018)
  • Maldivians see ‘little hope’ of free and fair election. Maldivians do not believe there will be a free and fair election this year, Transparency Maldives said. One of many bleak findings published in its pre-election report. (Maldives Independent, May 27, 2018)
  • Despite Ups and downs, ties with Maldives cannot be broken, said Sushma Swaraj Amid strain in the Indo-Maldives relationship, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said though bilateral ties may have seen ups and downs, they were “not broken and cannot be broken”.(NDTV, May 29, 2018)
  • The Maldives welcomed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement that relations with the Maldives were “not broken and could not be broken”, but expressed disappointment at remarks made by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba last week.
  • At the Vivekananda International Foundation, Admiral Lanba said that ties with the Maldives were a challenge given the incumbent Yameen government’s inclination towards China. “Coming from a naval chief, it is too political a statement. Such statements could lead to uneasiness and blow up a situation,” remarked a Maldivian government official.(The Tribune, May 30, 2018)
  • Kazakhstan, Maldives explore ways to expand cooperation. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov received Torik Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Republic of Maldives, and discussed opportunities for cooperation and mutual support of the initiatives of the two countries within international organizations. (Maldives Independent, May 26, 2018)
19th May - 25th May
  • The Maldives is a ‘challenge’ because of its pivot to China, India’s naval chief has said. Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba told media that India would continue to work its smaller South Asian neighbour despite its inclination towards Beijing, with his comments suggesting that relations are yet to fully recover from months of tension and bickering.
  • China’s growing presence and a controversial state of emergency in the Maldives have been the two main sources of tension in recent times for India, which has found itself out in the cold in its own backyard.(Daily Mirror, May 24, 2018)
  • The Elections Commission has threatened to dissolve the Maldivian Democratic Party if its presidential primary is conducted with former president Mohamed Nasheed as a candidate. “As Mohamed Nasheed is serving a jail sentence under the anti-terrorism law, he has lost the right to participate in political activity for that period. We inform you that the commission will not accept a presidential primary with a such a person,” reads the letter.(Maldives Independent, May 22, 2018)
  • More robust action is “desperately needed” against the Maldives and it may be time for celebrities and tourists to boycott the country, a UK parliamentarian said on May 23. Sir Hugo Swire, a former Foreign Office minister, said that the “politically controlled” Elections Commission was attempting to freeze out the opposition ahead of September’s presidential polls.
  • His remarks follow the electoral body’s threat to dissolve the Maldivian Democratic Party if its upcoming primary is conducted with former president Mohamed Nasheed as a candidate. (Daily Mirror, May 24, 2018)
  • A Maldivian national was arrested at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport while attempting to smuggle 2kg of heroin. (Daily Mirror, May 24, 2018)
12th May - 18th May
  • An Indian naval ship is carrying out joint surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Maldives and conducted training for Maldives National Defence Force personnel ahead of that on May 12 to 15. “The Joint EEZ surveillance of Maldives is an endeavour of the Government of India and the Indian Navy to ensure the safety and security of the vast EEZ of the island nation,” the Indian navy said in a statement.(Maldives Independent, May 13, 2018)
  • Two Maldivians arrested in largest ecstasy bust in Sri Lanka.
  • The Sri Lankan police’s special task force seized nearly two thousand ecstasy pills with a street value of more than US$6,320 after a tip-off while the suspects were on their way to meet customers.(Maldives Independent, May 17, 2018)
5th May - 11th May
  • India’s share of investment and project funding in its small island neighbour is declining, the Maldives ambassador told the Deccan Chronicle. “There is more project funding that is coming from China into Maldives, when compared to what’s coming from India. Yes, India’s share is declining but we have never said ‘no’ to encouraging India’s share,” Ahmed Mohamed was quoted as telling reporters during a two-day visit to Chennai. (Maldives Independent, May 08, 2018)
Credit: Nabila Jaffer

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