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Opposition coalition vows to block "selling" of Faafu atoll

Aishath Mihna Nasih
28 February 2017, MVT 13:01
Press Conference of MUO. PHOTO/MDP
Aishath Mihna Nasih
28 February 2017, MVT 13:01

Maldives United Opposition slammed the government on Monday, vowing they will stop the state's plans to sell Faafu Atoll to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to the press after MUO's Shadow Cabinet meeting, the Civil Rights Minister Hassan Latheef noted that amidst rumours, the government has not yet revealed any details of the expected project. However, he reiterated that if any such events take place, the project will be stopped by MUO.

Latheef further highlighted that the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Parliamentary Group is trying to re-amend the amendment brought to the Constitution which allows foreign entities to freehold Maldivian lands.

The constitutional amendment allowing freehold of lands was passed by the approval of both government aligned lawmakers as well as MDP parliament members.

Speaking at the press conference held at MDP’s Office, Tourism and Guesthouse Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal declared that the lands of the Maldives can only be sold with the willingness of citizens, which the government has already neglected.

“Citizens of Faafu Atoll are left ignored and concerned. It is important to uphold transparency in such issues,” noted Maleeh, who was a key activist of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's presidential campaign in 2013.

He added that the amendment was passed by the parliament within 24 hours after it was lobbied and, therefore, it is an invalid amendment from its implementation.

It is rumoured that a part of Faafu Atoll is being sold to the Saudi Royal Family. However, the Cabinet Ministers and government aligned lawmakers have denied such claims.

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