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Indian Star Katrina Kaif Is In Maldives But Let’s Talk About Maldivians & Their Love For Bollywood!

in Lifestyle/Tourism by

In the Indian media, the Maldives can be a rage when Indian celebrities post their vacation, honeymoon or shooting pictures. This time, it is Katrina Kaif – one of India’s leading actresses – who is making the Maldives trend in India.

The 33-year-old star is here for a photo shoot by Harper’s Bazaar Brides India. and a selfie posted by her designer friend Manish Malhotra on Instagram is being shared widely.

#ShootTime #maldives #beautiful #KatrinaKaif .#MyFirstTime in #maldives #Exciting #SeaPlane #Journey #Experiences #SliceOfLife

A photo posted by Manish Malhotra (@manishmalhotra05) on

Did you spot seaplanes in the background?

The picturesque Maldives has always been one of the top destinations to capture in camera for the Mumbai-based Bollywood industry.

Taking cue from Bollywood’s interest in the country, in 2010, the then tourism minister Toyyid Mohammad proposed turning one of the nation’s islands into shooting studios.

“We have already proposed that one of the islands could be turned into a studio to shoot movies,” Toyyid was quoted as saying in an Indian newspaper in 2010. Though, the plan never took off but Bollywood continued to shoot movies in the Maldives.

Here are five movies shot in exotic locations of the Maldives


Ek Villain

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Ek Villain was shot at Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island where the entire beach looks like starry night sky due to a natural phenomenon known as “bioluminescence”.


Kites

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This Hritik Roshan starred movie was shot at the Sultan of Blues yatch.


Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya

maine-pyaar-kyun-kiya

Salman Khan who has a huge fan base in the Maldives as well shot his home-production Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya with Katrina Kaif at Coco Palm Resort. Sea Plane again!


Fight Club- Members Only

fight-club

A song from the movie Fight Club – Members Only was shot at the Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa in Meemu Atoll


Samundar

samundar

This 1986 release starring Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon was shot at the Bandos Island Resort & Spa now known as Bandos Island.


The love between Bollywood and the Maldives is not one sided. While in mainstream media, the narrative begins and ends with sharing pictures of stars and movies being shot here, the love for Hindi movies, songs and even TV soaps among the Maldivians is fascinating.

Sometimes, this love also translates into a tool to protest against the alleged dictatorship in the country. Last year, some of the MPs played a song ‘Ye Andha Kanoon Hai’ (The law is blind) from 1983 drama starring legendary Amitabh Bachchan to protest against the state-controlled judiciary in the People’s Majlis.

Maldivians are also hooked to radio stations playing Hindi songs.

Even Maldivian Idol – an adaptation of popular British show Pop Idol which became a hit in its maiden season – also witnessed the love for Bollywood when the top three contestants sang a Hindi song with a popular Indian singer Abhijeet.

One can also spot Maldivians dancing on popular Hindi songs. In this video, Suneetha Ali is seen performing the iconic steps of Bollywood heartthrob Madhuri Dixit’s ‘Ek Do Teen’ at a function organised by Raajje TV.

According to a report, not only Indian movies, the ‘saas-bahu’ sagas made by Ekta Kapoor are also popular among Maldivians, especially women.

Mohamed Salih Hassan, General Manager Operations and Project/Director for Adaaran luxury resorts said as quoted in the report, “Local people really like to watch Hindi movies and serials. Stars like Shahrukh, Aamir, Salman and Aishwarya are quite popular among them, including kids.”

The government-owned Olympus Cinema used to screen Hindi movies along with Dhivehi films even it had just a projector and a DVD player. Now, state broadcast network Television Maldives (TVM) screens Hindi movies to entertainment-hungry Maldivians. With home entertainment and cable TV, the love for Bollywood rose in the Maldives.

To Invest Or Not: GMR Fiasco At Hands Of Yameen & Friends Leave Indian Investors Nervous, Non-Committal

in News/Politics by

At the lavish Ashoka Palace in the Indian capital New Delhi, visuals of clear turquoise water, white beaches, exciting under-water experience and boduberu dance set the mood for the delegates of over 400 companies who were here to attend the third edition of Maldives Investment Forum on Tuesday.

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Government in its keynote address tried to recapture the confidence of Indian investors as apprehension was running high due to the abrupt termination of international contract with GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

Government said they were ready to promote a transparent, hassle-free and liberal trading and investment environment and will welcome investment from India with open arms. ” The government is committed to change its legal framework to allow trade and investment to diversify economy and there has been massive progress on the infrastructure front,” Vice President Abdulla Jihad said.

“I want to assure all potential investors that Maldives is open for business. It is open 24 hours,” he added.

Even though the delegates looked impressed and were confident about the potential of doing business in the Maldives, the GMR fiasco held them back from committing immediately.

“No doubt, the Maldives looks like a dream destination for doing business. But, I would like to know more about the legal and bilateral aspects before we move forward,” said a delegate while looking at his info kit on investing in the Maldives

Another delegate who was here to explore the possibilities of investing in telecom services said, “It is very important to have a set up where we can feel secure about investing money in a certain project. Let’s see how it rolls.”

The concern over providing a conductive environment to do business in the Maldives also appeared in Indian newspapers. A leading Indian business paper Mint wrote, “The memory of the Maldives government abruptly terminating a India-Malaysia joint venture for modernising the Male airport in 2012 saw Indian industry seeking greater predictability and protection for investments in the Maldives… The cancellation of the deal had soured ties between India and the Maldives.”

Last month, GMR won a lawsuit over termination of contract to run Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).  In a major embarrassment, government was ordered to pay USD 250 million to Indian infrastructural company GMR by a 3-member Singaporean Arbitration Tribunal in its final order.

The third edition of the investment forum was held in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to seek investments in infrastructural development, airport expansion and various other sectors to boost job creation in the country.

Jihad also announced that the country will sign its first free trade agreement early next year to boost trade and cooperation with other countries.

“It is investment, both foreign and domestic that has transformed our economy and elevated to current position. On the strength of our past achievements, the government is looking into new investments and is actively seeking foreign direct investment as it is one of the fundamental driving forces of Government policies,” he added.

The annual Maldives Investment Forum was held in Singapore in 2014 and in Beijing last year. The next edition of the forum will be held in Doha, Qatar.

Maldives To Blast Coral Reef Even As It Attends COP22 To ‘Save The Climate’

in News by

At a time when 197 representatives  — including the Maldives– have gathered at 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Morocco to discuss climate change, government’s decision to blast coral reef of Addu City using dynamite has received flak from the opposition and people of the country triggering online campaign against it.

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The Environment Protect Agency on Wednesday asked the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to approve the use of dynamite to blast the reef project to dredge the channel between the islands of Meedhoo and Ismahelahera states.

The EIA had earlier recommended the government to seek alternatives saying the use dynamite can be dangerous and should not be used.

The main-opposition Maldivian Democratic Party criticising government for “reneging” on its international commitments said that the action will cause “irreversible damage”. The party also urged government to respect its international commitments.

“Disregarding the EIA recommendations, it is deeply worrying the Minister of Environment has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve the use of dynamite to blast the reef in Meedhoo…. It is deeply troubling the Maldives government is engaged in activities that will further cause irreversible damage.”” MDP said in the statement issued on Saturday.

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Ahmed Saleem at COP22


Maldivians took Twitter to run an online campaign to bring the attention of the ongoing COP22 where Ahmed Saleem is currently representing the Maldives and Alliance of Small Island States (AIOSIS).


According to Act on Environment Protection using dynamite for blasting coral reefs is an offence punishable by huge fees.

The practice of blasting coral reefs was discontinued by former President Maumoon Gayoom in the Maldives due to its negative impact on the environment.

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More than 60% of coral in reefs in the Maldives has been hit by “bleaching” as the world is gripped by record temperatures in 2016 due a strong “El Nino” phenomenon, the Guardian reported in August. The Maldives which is just 4 feet above sea level contains around 3% of the world’s coral reefs and is considered particularly at risk due climate change and sea level rises.

Shoko Noda, UNDP Representative of Maldives had also tweeted asking for action on climate change ahead of COP22.

UNDP Maldives also called for action on climate change saying that livelihoods and economy in the Maldives depend on natural resources.

Gayoom Brothers’ Rivalry Rips PPM Apart; Yameen Govt Set To Fall As Maumoon Withdraws Support?

in News/Politics by

After over a six-month family feud, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom withdrew his support from his half-brother Abdulla Yameen-led government with immediate effect followed by Supreme Court verdict that upheld the High Court’s decision to make later the head of the party.

gayoom brothers powerplay (5)


The rift between the brothers that led to division of party into two factions escalated on Thursday during the fifth anniversary celebration of PPM when Maumoon was stopped by security forces from attending the event at the party’s office.

Three tweets followed by the incident within three hours apparently opened Pandora’s box of Maumoon’s resentment wherein he finally announced withdrawing his support from the ruling government.

The announcement was made following this tweet:

Later Thursday night, Head office of PPM under Maumoon’s faction was found chained allegedly by supporters of Yameen, however, police did not confirm who the culprit was, Sun Online reported.

Maumoon, meanwhile alleged that some of the properties of PPM was also stolen.

Earlier on Thursday, eight MPs from ruling party had joined Maumoon’s faction and said that they will work independently defying Yameen’s diktat in national interest.

It is yet to be ascertained if Yameen would be able to prove majority on the floor of People’s Majlis.

The Truth Of Hillary Clinton’s USD 200 Million Mansion In The Maldives

in News by

Hillary Clinton, the United States’ Democratic Party presidential candidate who is vying strongly to become the first woman president of the country in less than two weeks is eye of the storm following 2000 pages of email leaks by the WikiLeaks.

hillary

From her questionable relationship between the Clinton Foundation and its donors, Clinton’s ease with powerful interests on Wall Street, her ties to wealthy campaign contributors, the leaks have it all.

The emails stolen from Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta did not really unearth a major sandal, or a case of corruption but it surely created international furore making front page headlines.

But, this story by Nevada Country Scooper got even the Maldives by surprise as it claimed that Clinton struck a deal of “The Imperial Maldives” for USD 200 million.

nc-scooper

The story published on NC Scooper on October 20 that quoted sources from the WikiLeaks said:

This afternoon, WikiLeaks says sources in the Clinton Foundation inadvertently leaked the details of an apparently secret deal with Christie’s International Real Estate in New York. Several recorded phone conversations between Christie’s executives and Clinton board member, Frank Guistra, clearly show that a deal for “The Imperial Maldives” had been closed. “The Imperial Maldives” is a development of 185 water villas set above the turquoise waters of the North Male Atoll. According to the recordings, the agreed price was $200 million (U.S).

It further reported:

Also according to the recordings, this deal began the morning after the last debate. The morning after Trump told Clinton he would appoint a special prosecutor and put her in prison. Mr. Guistra is heard to say, “Trump can drag his sorry orange ass down to the Maldives if he wants her so bad. There’s no extradition treaty!” [laughing]

 

The Clinton camp is very tight-lipped at the moment and no comments from Clinton Foundation board members. WikiLeaks seems to suggest that the Clintons are feeling the pressure of a world-wide criminal organization becoming frayed at the seams, and are looking for a hideout until they can hatch their next diabolical plan for world domination. Or, those fuckers just need a real good vacation.

On social media many people lost their mind over the news and took Twitter to comment about it.

But were you looking closely? Did you read the story without paying attention to the last line, “WikiLeaks seems to suggest that the Clintons are feeling the pressure of a world-wide criminal organization becoming frayed at the seams, and are looking for a hideout until they can hatch their next diabolical plan for world domination. Or, those fuckers just need a real good vacation,” good enough to figure out that it was a satire, which many did not understand.

The website known for its satirical take also added a picture captioned “Bill Clinton seen walking his dogs Buster and Frank at his mansion in the Maldives,” which is a file picture from 2015.

The NC Scooper, well-known for being mistaken as a hard-hitting news platform, even takes sarcastic tone while telling about itself:

“…the Scooper did not own a printing press, nor did they have the courage to borrow one. And frankly they didn’t have the funds either. So the Scooper relied solely on shouting at people on the street to circulate the news. Later in the 1930s, the Scooper expanded its shouting service to Nevada City, often paying vagrants to assault citizens with news.”

It later clarifies in its manifesto that it is a sarcastically website but again, with a humorous undertone,”The Scooper is a satirical website is in scope and intent. Sometimes it’s funny; often it is not. We provide fake news and social criticism in a satirical setting. Our intention is not to fool or trick anyone, but obviously it happens.”

Fenaka Chairman Resigns After ACC Launches Probe Into Theft Of USD 1 M

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Chairman of Fenaka Corporation, Mohamed Nadheem has resigned after anti-graft watchdog Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) launched a probe into theft of USD 1 million from state coffers.

fenaka
Photo Courtesy: Fenaka

  • No official confirmation has been made in this regard and the reason for the same is stated to unclear
  • Nadheem is the husband of former President Maumoon Gayoom’s daughter Yumna Maumoon
  • The company is undergoing major changes in top management after the allegations of corruption
  • MVR 17 million issued by the corporation USD 1 million went missing in August this year
  • Former Managing Director of Fenaka Corporation, Ahmed Nimal was removed from his position on September 26

Nadheem in his resignation letter to Privatisation board said:

Since my appointment to the post on December 25, 2013 I have performed my duties sincerely, to the best of his abilities. He said that he worked with the aim of achieving goals, related to the company, outlined in the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) manifesto. With the help of the company’s board, I tried to make the 24-hour electricity pledge a reality. I worked for the betterment of the Maldivian people.

Prez Yameen Raises Death Sentence Again, Vows To Implement Before His Tenure Ends

in News/Politics by

“With the will of Allah, Maldives will implement the death penalty under my presidency,” were the words of President Abdulla Yameen on his first address on Monday since August this year.

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President Yameen who is persistent on implementing death penalty in the country earlier on July 4 had spoken for the first time on the issue and said that it was in the interest of the people in the country after which he faced flak from Maldivians who took Twitter to campaign against it using #NotInMyName.

He also denounced human rights group’s criticism on reintroduce death penalty and hit our at media for “destroying” the country.

The decision to reintroduce capital punishment not only received flak from country based watchdogs and activists but also international community including United Nations, European Union and the United Nations.

United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein expressing concern on death penalty had said it was “deeply regrettable” that a series of steps were being taken to resume executions in the country. He also urged government to stick to 60-year-old moratorium.

The United Nations too had asked government to rethink on its decision of implementing .

European Union had, too, opposed the capital punishment in “all cases and without exception” and urged government to continue to apply the “’de facto moratorium’” on executions as a first step towards its abolition.

President Yameen had also received criticism from his own party over his decision. His half brother and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom opposed capital punishment saying that it was against Sharia Law and former Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon resigned in July citing “irreconcilable” differences over implementing the law.

The debate over capital punishment ignited this year after government amended the regulation to carrying out the death sentence in first degree murder cases to incorporated death by hanging along with lethal injections.

Massive support also poured in for 22-year-old Maldivian Hussain Humaam — a contract killer on the verge of being the first Maldivian to get the death sentence for the murder of former parliamentarian and religious scholar Dr Afrasheem Ali.

He was sentenced to death in 2014 for the alleged murder Afrasheem in 2012.

The human rights experts noted in his case that the Maldives Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentence on June 24, while the investigation was still ongoing, and that the accusation and the murder verdict was based on a pre-trial confession obtained under duress.

Supreme Court, later in July quashed a plea demanding stay on death penalty calling its regulations valid and constitutional in mid-night judgement.

The Death Penalty Debate: What Is It All About?

Hanging INCORPORATED

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  • The government has amended the regulation to carrying out the death sentence in first degree murder cases to incorporated death by hanging along with lethal injections.

  • The amendment fails to clarify the basis on which the method of implementing death penalty in individual cases.

  • During the enactment of regulation, the government had decided that the death penalty would be implemented by administering lethal injection.

  • Hanging is being incorporated as there were some issues in carrying out death penalty by lethal injection.

  • The amendment to law has been published in the government gazette.

No Timeline

  • When former Home Minister Umar Naseer announced the amendment, he also mentioned the timeline stating that the death sentence would be carried out by hanging within 30 days of Supreme Court’s final verdict but the no such timeline has been mentioned the gazette.

Dual Methods When Maldives Wants None

  • The government has come up with two methods of implementing death penalty but Maldives seems to have rejected it completely.

  • From Opposition MP Eva Abdulla submitting a motion against the decision to European Union expressing concern, Twitter was on a meltdown for quite some time now over the issue.


Humam’s Case: Sentencing First, Investigation Later

hussain humam

  • Hussain Humaam, a contract killer is on the verge of being the first Maldivian to get the death sentence for the murder of former parliamentarian and religious scholar Dr Afrasheem Ali.

  • The irony is that the sentencing is being done despite the family of Dr Afrasheem Ali requesting delay in his sentencing as the investigation is not yet complete.

  • The police are yet to find out who gave Humam the contract to kill Dr Ali.

  • Maldivians say if former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim can be framed and sentenced, so do others and death penalty will come handy for people to avenge which is against Sharia law.

Raudha Athif: Maldivian Girl With Aqua Blue Eyes Makes It To Vogue Cover

in Lifestyle/News by

For 20-year-old Raudha Athif becoming a doctor is a career plan for now, but little did she know that even before she lands up on her dream, she will make the country proud by being featured on the cover of Vouge Magazine.

vogue
Photo Courtesy: Vogue

Two years ago, while experimenting with her pictures on social media she became a sensation in the country as the ‘Maldivian Girl With Aqua Blue Eyes’. It was through the lenses of a photographer named Sotti, her picture — where she is coming out of the turquoise sea — went viral.

raudha
Photo Courtesy: Instagram/raudhaathif

The picture also landed her on the cover of Vogue along with five other women from South Asia. Titled ‘Celebrating Unity In Diversity’ on their ninth anniversary issue this month, Vouge tried to capture the spirit of bold and beautiful women who are not only embracing their individuality but also inspiring others to do so, and Raudha Athif is one of them.

“Besides bringing their individuality to the ramp, these stunning models, some of them aspiring lawyers and doctors, are breaking stereotypes and inspiring others to think big, think strong,” Vouge said.

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Photo Courtesy Instagram/raudhaathif

But, for Raudha, who started modelling as moonlighting along with her medical studies, becoming a doctor is her ultimate dream even as she did her first campaign at the age of 14 to encourage people to ban plastic bags. She told Vogue:

It was a small environmental campaign for our national television network, encouraging people to ban plastic bags in favour of eco-friendly alternatives. Modelling is a hobby rather than a career for me, since I’m studying to become a doctor. I’ve never been so bold as to take part in any big pageant before this.

Along with Raudha, Indian model Pooja Mor, Nepalese model Varsha Thapa, Bangladeshi model Peya Jannatul, Sri Lankan model Shenelle Rodrigo, Bangladeshi model Jannatul Ferdoush Peya, and Bhutanese model Deki Dorji Wangmo were also featured on the cover.

On the news of Raudha being featured in the leading woman’s fashion magazine, Twitter users from the Maldives could not contain their excitement and started congratulating her for the success.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed also took the opportunity to congratulate her for her international recognition.

Record MVR 633 M Fine For Reef Damage Proposed For Vietnamese Shipping Company

in Mas-Huni Brief by

A Vietnamese shipping company may be fined a record MVR 633million (US$45million) for damaging a reef in the country, according to a proposal by environmental regulator.

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  • MV NGOC Son allegedly damaged the island’s south western reef on August 13
  • The carrier vessel belonging to Northern Shipping Joint Stock Company was carrying construction material for a water and sanitation project Fuvahmulah
  • The council said the ship caused irreversible damage around a diving spot
  • The company has been given 30-day period to contest the fine
  • According to the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act, the maximum fine that can be levied for environmental damages is MVR100million

Abdul Rasheed Nafiz, chairman of transport authority said:

The amount we have proposed is based on EPA’a estimation for maximum damage to the reef

#MasHuniBrief: Shops Run Out Of Staples As Govt Doubles Up Food Prices

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Shops and supermarkets have ran out of staple food and even long queues are being witnessed in the atolls outside food stores after government’s decision to hike the prices of wheat, rice and sugar from October 1 saying that the subsidies meant for the people of Maldives were benefiting migrant workers.

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Here’s All You Need To Know


  • Customers have rushed to buy rice, flour and sugar following an abrupt announcement by the government to cut food subsidies
  • Some shops have put quantity ceiling on the customers
  • The prices will be doubled as a result of subsidy cut and a kilo of rice which was sold at MVR 3.98 will be sold at MVR7.96
  • Similarly, a kilo of sugar which cost MVR 4.5 will be sold at MVR8 and flour sold at MVR 3.5 per kilo will now be sold for MVR 5.96
  • Economic Ministry defending the price hike said,
    …Because we have noticed that a majority of those who benefit from the subsidy are not its rightful beneficiaries.

     

  • A deputy minister at the economic ministry Adam Thaufeeq claimed that a 60 per cent of subsidy beneficiaries were migrant workers, Mihaaru reported.
  • The government plans to give cash handouts via National Social Protection Agency to poor
  • State Trading Organisation, which is responsible for distribution of staples at government regulated prices, has assured that there is no shortage of food.

Read full story at Maldives Independent

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