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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.

mif-gmr


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.

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.”

President Yameen Apologises For MMPRC Scam; Opposition Says Not Enough

in News by

As a series of corruption allegations loom over President Abdulla Yameen, he apologised for failing to check the country’s biggest corruption scam in which over USD 80 million was transferred from state coffers to private accounts by the state-owned tourism firm – Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

id 18


President Yameen, who was also implicated in the scam as one the beneficiaries, did not take responsibility for it and shifted the blame on former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.

During the inauguration of USD 15million water and sanitation project in southern city of Fuvahmulah, Yameen said:

Even tonight, I want to apologise that the MMPRC corruption occurred during my presidency. For that I ask forgiveness from the people… But no matter how vigilant we are, criminals will continue to commit crimes. The only means to deter crime is harsher penalties.

He said he was not aware of the fact that adeeb was stealing money from the state contrary to the claims of the former auditor general who had alleged that President Yameen refused to take action when he was informer about the corruption in MMPRC in 2014.

Even though President Yameen apologised for the scam, opposition did not seem convinced and said that it was not enough on his part.

Maldives United Opposition Leader (MUO) Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said that an apology cannot compensate for “robbery” of a billion Rufiyaa and demanded an independent probe seeking his resignation.

Former Foreign Minister of the Maldives and current shadow cabinet minister for MUO Ahmed Naseem said he would never forgive President Yameen for the theft.

Others, too, criticised him for just issuing an apology on the scam.

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.

ship


  • 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

Three Observations On Maldives By Willy Matunga That Did Not Go Well With Maldivians

in News/Politics by

Expectations soared when Dr.Willy Matunga, former Chief Justice of Kenya, was appointed as the Special Envoy to the Maldives by the Commonwealth. He was given the duty to aid the process of constitutional and political transition of the country.

Mutunga


Crippled by its political turmoil- with majority of leaders either in jail, or in asylum- Maldives had pinned its hope from Matunga to initiate the much needed “dialogue” between all the stakeholders.

Matunga who arrived here on Sunday began crucial meetings with top officials of the government and opposition to initiate a dialogue.

“The overarching mandate is to support a sustainable political dialogue process leading to a stronger climate of pluralism and inclusive elections in 2018,” Kenyan media quoted Matunga as saying.

But, on the 4th day of his visit to the Maldives, Matunga received flak for ignoring the crisis in the archipelago and tweeting about “clean water, malaria and presidential motorcade.”

He, then, added…

But, these tweets did not go well with the Maldivians who were expecting concrete outcomes from his visit and within minutes reactions started pouring in.

And, this is not the first time when Matunga seemed impressed by Maldives. He had, earlier, tweeted about having good time in the Maldives.

Eid Mubarak: 5 Delicious Recipes To Make Your Eid-al-Adha Special

in Lifestyle by

‘Eid Mubarak’! The streets would be bustling with people coming out of their homes to greet one another with warm wishes. Such is the charm of the festival.

Food items like Sewai, Mutton Rogan Gosht are cooked, but Maldives houses some of the best dishes that are cooked to celebrate the festival of fasting. As soon as the Ramadan approaches, they abandon their fishing practices. Hence, when Eid comes, Maldivians also celebrate Mahahifun Hafan Dhuvas, which is a festival of catching your treat and eating to your content. Since Maldives is surrounded with water bodies, their main catch is fish and that is widely cooked on the island to commemorate the Eid festivities.

Here are some of the dishes that are essential to the platter on the day of Eid in Maldives:

Kaliya Birinjee

sheer khurma

Kaliya Birinjee coupled with Miruhulee Kukulhu is the most expected dishes to be prepapred on a festival.  It’s made out of Maldives staple dietary products such as rice, coconut milk and Cinnamon.  The ingredients are rich in taste and add to the aroma of the food. In India, it’s widely known as Sheer Khurma

Mashuni

mashuni

Mashuni is the famous dish of Maldives. It is a dish that is cooked at every occasion or festival. It’s a concoction of Fish and coconut milk, laced with onions and other ingredients to spice up the taste of the delicacy.

Maas Kavabu

Maas Kavabu

Maas Kavabu is a dish made of Tuna Fish. It’s a fine serving that houses the spices of the island in large quantity. Unlike other Muslim nation, Maldives cook more of sea food as it is their staple diet. Hence, Maas Kavabu is widely cooked in Maldives to mark a celebration.

Thelui Mai

Thelui Mai

Further stressing on the notion of Mahahifun Hafan Dhuvas, it is a dish that is grilled. The recipe is simple as it requires no hard work. One needs to grind spices together to form a paste. All one needs to do is dip the fish in the paste and grill it. The taste of this grilled fish is outstanding.

Banbukeylu Harisa

kaaliya birinji

Banbukeylu Harisa is the curry of steamed breadfruit, onion, chilli and coconut. It is a speciality of Maldives that must be cooked on proper occasions and festival to mark the festivity of the time.

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