The state suspended the five members of Haa Alif atoll Ihavandhoo island's council for three months on Wednesday for degrading the government during the activities held to celebrate Fishermen's Day in December.
According to the letter sent by the Local Government Authority (LGA) to the council’s permanent secretary Mohamed Ibrahim, the actions of the council members during the national cerebration were contrary to the community spirit. They added that after investigating the matter, it was decided to take action against the council members.
LGA said that during the suspension period, members are not allowed to go to the council office or use any documents and facilities of the council. During this period, the council will be run by the permanent secretary.
In addition to the LGA, fisheries minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee also stated that the government did not get any support from Ihavandhoo's council during the Fisherman’s Day celebrations. Shainee said that the council had attempted to smear the good name and pride of the Ihavandhoo fishermen.
However, the council members have denied these allegations. Council president Mohamed Rasheed said that it was the council which had taken the initiative and started the decorations for Fisherman’s Day; but it all failed, he said, when members of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) began to decorate the island with party banners and flags.
It can be noted that all the council members of Ihavandhoo are from main opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP).
In a similar development, all the members of the Gaafu Alif atoll council were also suspended last December for three months after they met with a foreign diplomat without the authorities' permission.