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Biggest responsibility is to ensure Maldives' independence: President Dr Muizzu

Mariyath Mohamed
03 March 2024, MVT 07:17
President addresses the people of Raa Atoll Meedhoo.
Mariyath Mohamed
03 March 2024, MVT 07:17

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has said on Saturday night that Maldives, at present, does not hold true independence, and strongly assured that this administration will grant the highest priority to ensuring it guarantees absolute independence to the Maldives.

Speaking in Raa Atoll Meedhoo last night, the President elaborated on this statement, adding that the country does not have true power over it's entire Exclusive Economic Zone owing to not having been able to monitor it autonomously.

"It is a large area over which we can develop our economy. It is part of our nation. Until this day, a large part of our seas have been left unmonitored. That is because of the level of capacity we have had over the years. And so, there was nothing we could do then even if some other people entered these waters and made use of these areas. No matter what dangers were presented, there was nothing we could do, unless we sought assistance from some others," the President said.

"In all these days, we have never really felt like we have been able to stand on our own two feet. As if we held true independence."

The President announced that within the month, arrangements will be put in place to allow monitoring of the Maldives ocean territory around the clock, and these efforts will see commencement.

"Then we will finally achieve the feeling that we are, indeed, taking care of our own country's security by ourselves, we will experience our own individuality and independence," he said.

"I will make ensure our independence. That is my biggest responsibility," the President pledged.

Reforming SOEs

In his speech, the President also spoke about the financial situations faced by State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

He noted that the administration had taken important steps to rectify the running of SOEs, to strengthen their management, and to bring an end to wasteful spending by said companies. He assured that these companies were generally in a situation now where they are financially more responsible.

The President said the government is undertaking efforts to pay back the approximately MVR 9 billion owned in debts to companies and individuals by various SOEs.

He explained that some of the projects initiated in Meedhoo itself were experiencing a halt due to these non-payments, and assured that he would work to expedite payments and bring about a continuation of the work at the earliest.

The President alleged that the opposition had passed the annual budget in a manner that would pose obstacles to this administration in fulfilling its pledges. He, however, assured he would accomplish the work even if by seeking other means to do so.

President's pledges to Meedhoo

- Land reclamation to as biggest an area as possible (estimated to be between 8 to 10 hectares)

- Building a hospital

- Expansion and further development of harbour

- Build a sports complex

- Road development

- Build an Islamic Centre

- Bring uninhabited island Thavathaa under the administration of Meedhoo

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