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Not in discussion to sell villas to Rajapaksas: Soneva

Lamya Abdulla
24 May 2022, MVT 11:59
Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) with Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed: The Maldives Journal claimed that Nasheed proposed Rajapaksa purchase a private villa from Soneva.
Lamya Abdulla
24 May 2022, MVT 11:59

Soneva has denied publications made by The Maldives Journal on Monday claiming the company is in discussions to sell a villa from any of the Soneva properties to the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa.

In a press release, the company said on Tuesday that they were not in discussion with the Rajapaksas, and that the CEO of Soneva Sonu Shivadasani had never met, nor had any contact with Mahinda Rajapaksa previously.

It said The Maldives Journal's had made a false statement when it said Soneva had agreed to sell a villa to the Rajapaksas, and that it had "other baseless claims" as well.

"It is disappointing that such websites in the Maldives spread false information in order to create sensational, untrue and libelous stories," they said via press release.

Nasheed in Sri Lanka, facilitating assistance

Former President of Maldives and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed is currently in Sri Lanka, facilitating assistance to the country in the middle of an economic crisis. Months of peaceful protesting lead to a couple of days of violence, and the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign from office on May 9.

The current Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had appointed Nasheed to coordinate relief for Sri Lanka after he offered to do so in his visit to the nation.

The Maldives Journal had claimed Nasheed had proposed that Rajapaksas purchase a private residence in Soneva Fushi, a property owned by India’s Sonu Shivdasan, instead of purchasing one from Maldives' tourism tycoon Champa Mohamed Moosa's properties. The Maldives Journal claimed this was because Nasheed does not find him trustworthy, and had therefore suggested Soneva, as the owner is a close associate of Nasheed's.

Soneva had denied all such claims though.