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Maldives News Bulletin, 01-06-2008
Issue No: No.1164

Foreign Minister Hails Maldivian Medical Students in Dalian for their Exemplary Humanitarian Work

24 May: The Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid has hailed Maldivian medical students studying in Dalian Medical University in China, for the exemplary humanitarian work rendered to the Chinese Earthquake victims. The Foreign Minister visited Dalian today, as part of his official visit to China, and met with the officials of the University and Maldivian students. Speaking at the meeting held at the University, Minister Shahid commended the efforts of the Maldivian students in raising funds for the victims of the tragic earthquake. He also noted the Blood Donation programmes organized by them. The Foreign Minister stated that such exemplary and humanitarian work reflected the spirit of all Maldivians especially at times of need.  He conveyed the gratitude of President Gayoom, the Government and all Maldivians for the commendable work by the students. Minister Shahid also thanked the Maldivian Ambassador to China H. E. Mr. Ahmed Latheef for his support to the Maldivian student community in China. Recalling that the current visit to China was to officially open the first Maldives Embassy to the country, Foreign Minister expressed hope that the establishment of the Embassy in Beijing would benefit the Maldivians in China. The President of the University also spoke at the meeting today where he highlighted the various initiatives, including the Fund Raising and Blood Donation Programmes, organized by Maldivian students at the University. He applauded the students for their excellent work and noted that Maldivian students at the University were very diligent and hard working. During the meeting, the Maldivian students also expressed thanks to the Foreign Minister for meeting with them and Ambassador Latheef for his continued support to the student community. After the meeting, Minister Shahid toured the University and also met with the Deputy Mayor of Dalian Mr. Dai Yu Lin. Minister Shahid arrived in China last night as part of his ongoing tour of bilateral visits. The Minister is scheduled to meet with his Chinese counterpart on Monday. Ambassador Latheef, Deputy Minister Hameed, Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Fathimath Inaya, Director at the Department of External Resources Ms. Aishath Azeema and Mr. Hussain Jahhaz from the Foreign Ministry is accompanying the Minister on his visit to Dalian.


MIFCO increases staff salaries by 40 percent on average

25 May: The Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) has raised the wages of its employees by an average of 40 percent, the Company said. The Managing Director of MIFCO Adil Saleem said on Saturday that the salaries of the 1081 local staff members had been increased by 20 to 65 percent. “Under the new payment scheme, the biggest increase will be experienced by those in low pay jobs and those in holding important positions,” he said. “We took into consideration what would be best for the staff as well as the company when developing the new scheme. This is the way we can stay in this competitive market.” Adil also said that in addition to the increase in basic salary they had also increased the allowances. In that regard Managing Directors will get an allowance of Rf15,000, Rf10,000 for Deputy Managing Directors, Rf8,000 for Chief Accountants, Rf6,000 for Head of Department and Rf4,000 for Deputy Head of Department. Also those in command of vessels weighing more than 80 tones will get an allowance of Rf4,000, Rf10,000 for Center Heads and Rf6,000 for Managers. Under the new scheme Managing Directors’ salaries has been increased from Rf8,140 to Rf11,885; a 45 percent increase. A similar increase for Deputy Managing Directors who’ve gone from Rf7,200 to Rf 10,515. Also, Assistant Managing Directors have got an increase of 35 percent; from Rf6,500 to 10,560. A 65 percent increase was given to skippers who’ve been raised to Rf10,560 from Rf 6,400. Adil said that the salary scheme had been revised with the permission from the Finance Ministry after the Board of Directors had agreed on it.


The President inaugurates the “APT Policy and Regulatory Forum” and “Connect 2008”, Maldives Telecom and ICT Expo

26 May: The President inaugurated the “APT Policy and Regulatory Forum” and “Connect 2008”, Maldives telecom and ICT Expo. In his address at the ceremony held at Dharubaaruge, the President called on all the concerned Government authorities, service providers and industry participants to give a high priority to the improvement of telecommunications services in the Atolls. “The biggest challenge facing the telecommunications sector today is to find solutions to further bridging the gaps and disparities in service provision in Male’ on the one hand and the rest of the country on the other.  While there are numerous geographic and other barriers that have to be overcome in order to achieve this objective, the need to develop infrastructure and provide additional incentives to advance services in the Atolls is quite obvious,” the President said. The President also said that the biggest revolution in the country’s telecommunications sector has been the rapid rise in prominence and prevalence of mobile phones and noted that there are more mobile telephone lines in the Maldives than the country’s population, which makes mobile phone penetration in the country the highest in both South Asia and among the LDCs. In today’s ceremony, the President was presented with a copy of the publication outlining the development in transport and communication in the Maldives over the last 30 years. The presentation was made by the Minister of Transport and Communication, Mr. Mohamed Saeed. The President was also presented with a memento by the APT. The presentation was made by the Secretary-General of the APT, Mr. Tashuyoki Yamada. The Minister of Transport and Communication, Mr. Mohamed Saeed, the Secretary-General of the APT, Mr. Yamada and acting CEO of the Telecommunication Authority of Maldives, Mr. Mohamed Nasih also spoke at the ceremony. After the inauguration ceremony, the President toured the stalls of “Connect 2008” Expo.


The President ratifies the Employment Act

26 May: The President ratified the Employment Act at a ceremony held at the President’s Office. Following ratification, the Act has been published in the Government Gazette. The Maldives’ Employment Act, no. 2/2008, states the basic regulations relating to employment, the rights and responsibilities of the employers and the employees. According to this Act, a Labour Relations Authority, an Employment Tribunal and an Advisory Board on wages of employees will be established. In a statement to the press after the ratification, the President said that the ratification of this Act is a major step forward in the Government’s efforts to join the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The “Employment Act”, will come into force 45 days after its ratification.


Magistrates’ salaries increased by 13-50 percent

Some of the local judges who took part in an event held last March. Salaries of magistrates and senior magistrates have been increased by 13 to 50 percent. The Assistant Director of the Justice Ministry, Abdulla Ali, said that the salaries had been increased from May onwards. He did not go into details about the new salary scheme, but Haveeru sources have said that Senior Magistrates’ living allowances had also been increased from Rf7,000 to Rf10,000. With the added benefits and the change to the basic salary a senior magistrate will now receive a total of Rf27,000 per month. In addition, magistrates who work out of town will also receive living allowances, sources have said. A separate allowance depending on the number of cases handled by Island Courts has also been allocated. The High Court said that the salary for Judges remains the same. There are currently 19 judges working in Male’ Courts, in addition to the 160 magistrates working at island courts throughout the country.


New ID Cards to be made for free

26 May: All new ID Cards made by the National Registration from Sunday onwards will be for free, the National Registration announced yesterday. The CEO of the National Registration Mohamed Zuhair said that there will be no charges for making the new computerized ID card or for replacing the old laminated one for a new one. Earlier a fee of Rf30 had been charged for both services. “The aim of this is to try and make it easy for everyone to get their National ID Cards,” he said. “Create more opportunities. Earlier there were people who didn’t want to make the ID Cards because it cost money.” Zuhair said with the introduction of free cards other services offered by the National Registry had also undergone some price changes. He said renewing the computerized version of the ID card would cost Rf150 instead of the Rf30 that had been charged earlier for the renewing of laminated ID Cards. Replacing lost ID Cards now will cost Rf180, an increase of Rf80 from the Rf100 charged before.


Proposals to the SLP Party Positions

26 May: A week’s duration had been opened to submit proposals to the party posts of the Social Liberal Party headed by the leading Member of Parliament- Ibrahim Ismail. Deduced from an announcement made by the SLP, the positions for Party Leader, Deputy Leader, Treasurer and the presidential candidate are opened for proposals. Speaking about the duration of the time for proposals, the Spokesman of SLP – Hassan Latheef stated that as long as the government pressures and the current affairs are concerned, the time does not seem so short. Furthermore, he also said that the seven days duration is only for proposals yet not for the elections. In addition to this, Hassan Latheef stated that even though SLP had been registered, they have not been given the financial aids required for the political parties by the government. He also said that now time is running out when the presidential elections are to be held before the 10th of October.


Maldives and China Discusses Further Strengthening of Bilateral Relations

26 May: Beijing: The Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Mr. Yeng Jiachi have discussed ways of advancing the existing bilateral relations between the Maldives and China. These discussions took place at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. During the meeting, the two Ministers highlighted the close historical relations between the two countries and discussed promotion of relations in future endeavours. In his remarks, Minister Shahid highlighted the Maldives’ commitment to the 'One China Policy’ and noted the extensive programmes conducted between the two countries in the pursuit of consolidated bilateral relations. The Foreign Minister also expressed gratitude to the Chinese Government for its continued support to the socio-economic development of the Maldives and the two Ministers discussed future development cooperation programmes. Foreign Minister Yeng thanked Minister Shahid for undertaking the visit to Beijing and expressed gratitude and warm appreciation for the close ties the Maldives share with China and reiterated China’s continued support to the socio-economic development of the Maldives. In particular Minister Yeng noted China’s readiness to the development of human resources in the Maldives. Foreign Minister Yeng also thanked the Maldivian Government for the contribution to the victims of the Earthquake in Sichuan Province two weeks ago and highly noted the Maldivian medical students in Dalian for their commendable voluntary initiatives in organizing blood donation programmes for the victims. Discussions were also held on issues of common concern to both countries including global climate change and its impact on small island nation such as the Maldives, international security and the growing trade between the two countries. Foreign Minister Shahid also briefed Minister Yeng on the progress of the Reform Agenda and the constitution drafting process. Meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdullah Hameed, Maldives Ambassador to China H. E. Mr. Ahmed Latheef, Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms. Fathimath Inaya and Director at the Department of External Resources Ms. Aishath Azeema. The Minister is on an official visit to South Korea, China and Bhutan.


Maldives and China sign Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Cooperation

26 May: The Government of Maldives and the Government of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Sports Cooperation. During a ceremony held at the General Administration of Sports in Beijing, the MOU was signed on behalf of the Maldives by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid and on behalf of China by H.E. Liu Peng, Minister for General Administration of Sports. The MOU is aimed at strengthening the friendly relations and mutual understanding that exist between the Maldives and China particularly in the field of sports. The MOU specifies for the two countries to create mutual understanding and friendship among athletes and people of the two countries in general. The agreement also aims at encouraging the sports organizations of the two countries to coordinate and strengthen cooperation on international sports affairs. China has recently donated athletics equipment worth 254,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa to the Athletics Association of Maldives. This is targeted to train Maldivian athletes.


Maldives Officially Opens its Embassy in Beijing

26 May: The Maldives has opened its first Embassy in China. The Embassy was officially opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid.  Speaking at the function held on the occasion, Minister Shahid expressed his happiness on the occassion and highlighted the close bilateral relations that existed between the Maldives and China. Minister Shahid also highlighted that the opening of the embassy symbolized the increasing ties between the two countries. “It is a concrete and practical demonstration of one country’s commitment to another- a clear and resonant declaration of the importance that the Maldives attaches to its relations with China and to furthering those relations…” said Minister Shahid. He stated that this expansion of relations between the two countries was evident from every sphere of life, and most notably from the ever-increasing people to people contact between the two countries. In recent years the number of Maldivians travelling to China for business and leisure purposes has been on the increase. Minister Shahid expressed confidence that the opening of the Embassy would lead to further strengthening of the ties between the two countries. The Foreign Minister highlighted that the two countries shared a common vision in their approach to global challenges and reiterated the Maldives’ firm commitment to international peace and prosperity “through mutual recourse to the fundamental principles of sovereignty and the norms of international law”.  The Minister also expressed sorrow and sadness on the devastation and human misery wreaked by the earthquake in Sichuan province two weeks ago. Minister Shahid announced the contribution made on behalf of the Government and people of the Maldives to the victims of the earthquake and saluted the Chinese Government and people for “their spirit of fellowship and brotherhood”.  China’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. He Yefai also spoke at the function. In his remarks the Assistant Minister highlighted the historical close relations that exist between Maldives and China and noted its development in the recent past. Mr. Yefai reiterated that the opening of the Embassy symbolized this relation. The Assistant Minister expressed gratitude to the Maldives for its token contribution to the earthquake victims and highlighted the voluntary initiative organized by the Maldivian medical students in Dalian. This day’s function, which was held at the Hotel New Otani in Beijing was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdullah Hameed, the Maldives Ambassador to China H. E. Mr. Ahmed Latheef, the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China H. E. Mr. He Yefai, Senior Officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Members of the Diplomatic Corp in Beijing.


Foreign Minister condemns the terror attack in Sri Lanka

27 May: The Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr Abdulla Shahid has expressed sympathy to the Government and the people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and extended condolences to the families of the victims of the bomb blast that occurred in Dehiwala. In a message to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, H. E. Mr Rohitha Bogollagama, the Minister stated: “It was with deep shock and horror that I learnt about the bomb blast that occurred in Dehiwala yesterday, that have caused loss of life and injury to many. The Government and the people of the Maldives condemn this violent act of terror in the strongest terms. ”  In the message Minister Shahid also conveyed profound sympathy of the Government and the people of Maldives to the Government and the people of the Sri Lanka.


Foreign Minister Calls on China’s State Councilor

27 May: Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid paid a courtesy call on the State Councilor of China H. E. Mr. Dai Bingguo. At the meeting, this took place at Zhong Nan Hai (State Council), discussions focused on the existing close ties between the two countries. Minister Shahid praised China for its excellent preparations for the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games and reiterated the Maldives’ commitment to the 'One-China Policy’ and full support to the promotion of relations. As such Minister Shahid expressed confidence that the opening of the Maldives’ Embassy in China would contribute to the strengthening of the historical ties and expressed hope that it would pave way for increased people to people contact. In his remarks, the Minister also expressed sympathy and conveyed condolences for the members of the bereaved families of the earthquake in Sichuan province, China. State Councilor Dai also noted the excellent relations between Maldives and China and thanked the Maldives, on behalf of the Chinese Government, for its token contribution to the victims of the earthquake. H. E. Mr. Dai also discussed the ongoing Chinese development assistance programmes conducted by China in the Maldives, and reiterated China’s commitment to the advancement of bilateral relations. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdullah Hameed and the Ambassador of Maldives to China H. E. Mr. Ahmed Latheef.


The Ministers participating in the SAARC Ministerial Meeting for Poverty Alleviation calls on the President

27 May: The Ministers participating in the SAARC Ministerial Meeting for Poverty Alleviation called on the President. The Minister of Planning and National Development, Mr. Hamdun Hameed, Special Assistant to Chief Advisor of Bangladesh, Mr. Makil Lal Samadhar, Finance Minister of Bhutan, Dr. Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu, Vice President of Nepal’s Nation Planning Committee, Dr. Jagadhish Chandra Pokharel and Sri Lanka’s Minister of Coconut Development and Nation Building, Mr. Salinda Dissanayake participated in the meeting. At this meeting, the ministers spoke about the developments and achievements of the country and about the environmental threats faced by the Maldives and the preventive measures being taken against such threats. Issues relating to the development of Maldives over the past years and the steps being taken to preserve the fragile environment of the country were discussed. The President’s global advocacy of issues of environmental issues and climate change were also highlighted in the meeting. The call was attended by the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr. Ahmed Shareef, and Ambassador-at -large, Mr. Abdul Azeez Yoosuf and the Deputy Minister at the President’s Office, Dr. Hala Hameed.


The Secretary General of SAARC calls on the President

27 May: The Secretary General of SAARC, Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma has called on the President. The meeting was held at Bandos Island Resort. The President congratulated Dr. Sharma on his assumption of office as the new SAARC Secretary General. Secretary General Sharma sought the advice of the President in planning the activities of SAARC. The President expressed his views on making SAARC a more dynamic association. The Secretary General of SAARC applauded President Gayoom’s leadership and noted the importance that he attaches for the development of SAARC. He noted that the President was one of the founding fathers of SAARC and added that President Gayoom’s continued contribution was of the utmost importance for the future development of SAARC. The call was attended by the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr. Ahmed Shareef, Ambassador-at-large, Mr. Abdul Azeez Yoosuf and the Deputy Minister at the President’s Office, Dr. Hala Hameed.


President Gayoom says that Maldives has made huge strides in reducing poverty

27 May: The President has said that Maldives has made huge strides in reducing poverty over the last 3 decades.  He made this statement at the launching of the Second SAARC Ministerial meeting on Poverty Alleviation.  The opening ceremony took place this morning at Bandos Island resort. Speaking about the achievements made within the SAARC region as well as in Maldives the President noted “In the Maldives, the proportion of people living on 15 Maldivian Rufiyaa per day – which is a little over one US Dollar a day – had reduced from 40 percent to less than 15 percent over the past decade”.  In his keynote address at this forum the President said that during his initial tour of inhabited islands in the archipelago in 1979 and 1980 he met many people living in poverty on every island.  However, with consistent efforts of the government and people working in partnership poverty has been greatly reduced and income levels have increased in the Maldives.  He noted the need to not be complacent and to ensure coordinated actions both nationally and regionally within SAARC to address poverty.  The President highlighted the need for re-invigorated efforts to reach the SAARC Developmental Goals and the Millennium Development Goals.  Minister of Planning and National Development, Mr Hamdun Hameed in his remarks noted the commitment of the Government towards Poverty Alleviation. He touched on the findings of the Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment that had been conducted by the Government of Maldives with UN Assistance.  In particular, he highlighted the fact that although given our achievements Maldives is to shortly graduate from LDC to Middle Income Country status, our vulnerability to external and internal shocks was high. He noted the impact caused by the 2004 Tsunami.  The SAARC Secretary General Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma who was visiting Maldives for the first time also spoke at the ceremony.  He said that ensuring the well-being of its people was an important aspect of the SAARC Charter.  Dr. Sharma outlined the challenges facing the region due to the persistence of poverty and hunger.  However, he reiterated the resolve of the SAARC countries to jointly address this issue.


Deputy Foreign Minister Calls for Intensified Efforts to Combat HIV/AIDS and TB in the SAARC Region
 
May 28: The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H E. Ms. Dunya Maumoon has called for intensified efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and TB in the SAARC region.  Speaking as the Guest of Honour at the inauguration of the Regional TB and HIV/AIDS Programme Managers of SAARC Member States, Ms Maumoon noted “As a region we need to strengthen our programmes and actions.  National surveys in our region have found that knowledge and information about HIV and safe behaviors is very low.  Prevention efforts and education and awareness needs to be intensified” The Deputy Minister spoke about the growing challenges in addressing the increasing epidemics of HIV/AIDS and TB globally as well as in the region.  She pointed out that HIV and TB was a deadly combination. Ms. Maumoon highlighted the rapid urbanization and poverty in the region as well as the growth of high risk groups that was fuelling the growth of the diseases.  She noted that despite the grim picture there was cause for optimism and hope.  With the global commitment to Millennium Development Goal 6 to halt and reverse the spread of HIV and other major diseases, many countries had been taking initiatives which are showing successful outcomes. She pointed out that Maldives had the fortune of being a low HIV prevalence country, however, that the Government realized that there was no place for complacency. Ms Maumoon also noted the high priority given by SAARC to HIV and TB stated that issues related to HIV and AIDS were identified as requiring early and special attention at national and regional levels.  She highlighted that during the SAARC Summit of 2005, the SAARC Regional Strategy on HIV and AIDS was approved by the Heads of States of member countries. In concluding her statement the Deputy Minister congratulated the Dr Kashi Kant Jha, Director of the SAARC Centre for TB and HIV/AIDS  (STAC) for the work carried out by the centre through research and publications.  She also thanked the Global Fund and UN agencies for their support to HIV programmes in the Maldives. Dr Jha as well as Mr. Ibrahim Shaheem, Director-General of the Department of Public Health of the Maldives also spoke at the ceremony.  In his remarks, Dr Jha noted the success of TB control through DOTs in the Maldives and highlighted that Maldives was exemplary in the efforts it had taken to ensure low prevalence of HIV and TB.  Dr Jha thanked the Deputy Minister for gracing the occasion.  Deputy Minister of Health, H. E. Dr Abdul Azeez Yoosuf, senior officials of the Ministry of Public Health and the Department of Health as well as HIV/AIDS Programme Managers of the SAARC countries attended the opening of the meeting.  The meeting, which is being jointly organised by the SAARC TB&HIV Centre and the National TB & HIV/AIDS Control Programme of the Maldives, is expected to continue for 2 days.


The President meets with the people of Mulaku Atoll Dhiggaru

28 May: The President today visited Dhiggaru as part of his tour of Mulaku Atoll. The President was warmly greeted by the people of Dhiggaru upon his arrival. Speaking with the people of Dhiggaru, the President said that the people of Dhiggaru were very hardworking and capable, and noted their significant role in the fisheries industry. He congratulated them for achieving the “Population Shield” award thrice and expressed happiness that the island was completely free of narcotic drug abuse. He also noted their high regard for the Islamic faith. The Senior Island Chief of Dhiggaru, Mr. Abdulla Mufeed also spoke at the ceremony. The President personally met with the people after the ceremony and enquired about their well-being.


Foreign Minister Praises Bhutan’s Peaceful Transition to a Democracy

29 May: The Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid has praised the Government of Bhutan for its peaceful transition to a democracy. The Minister made the remarks in a courtesy call he paid on the Prime Minister of Bhutan and during his meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Economic Affairs of Bhutan.  During his call on the Prime Minister of Bhutan H. E. Lyonchoen Jigme Y. Thinley, the Minister congratulated the Government of Bhutan on the progress achieved under its democratization process and reiterated the Maldives’ support to the process. Minister Shahid briefed the Prime Minister on the Maldives’ experience under the ongoing Reform Agenda and praised His Majesty the King of Bhutan for his visionary leadership in transforming the Kingdom into a democracy. The Foreign Minister stressed on the importance of consolidating bilateral ties at a time of extensive national transformation. In his remarks the Prime Minister commended the Maldives for its successful reform programme and the progress achieved by the country. The Prime Minister also expressed great respect for President Gayooms visionary leadership. The Prime Minister and the Minister further discussed ways of strengthening the existing close ties. Foreign Minister Shahid also met with the Bhutanese Foreign Minister H. E. Mr. Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering this morning. At the meeting, the two Ministers discussed bilateral cooperation issues and possible collaborations in the international arena. Minister Shahid noted that, though different in geographical characteristics, the Maldives and Bhutan shared common issues and significant similarities including both being small states and their vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change. As such, both Ministers viewed sharing experiences as vital in advancing the close ties. During the meeting, on behalf of the Government of Maldives, Minister Shahid offered two scholarships to Bhutan in the field of Toursim with a view to gaining from the Maldives’ tourism experience. At the meeting, Minister Tshering thanked the Maldives for its generous offer and continued support to Bhutan to both its national reform process and international efforts especially in creating global awareness on the threat posed by climate change to small states. Minister Tshering stressed the Bhutanese Government’s continued support to the Maldives’ initiatives. In his current official visit to Thimpu, Foreign Minister Shahid also met with the Minister for Economic Affairs of Bhutan H. E. Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk this afternoon. At the meeting, discussions focused on possible areas of bilateral cooperation especially ways of collaboration in the field of tourism. Currently on the last leg of his ongoing bilateral tour Minister Shahid arrived in the Bhutanese capital yesterday. He was received on arrival by the Foreign Secretary, Dzongda (Governor) of Paro and Deputy Chief of Protocol. The Minister is accompanied by the Maldives Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bhutan, H. E. Lt. Gen. (Rt.) Anbaree Abdul Sattar Adam, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdullah Hameed and Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Fathimath Inaya.


President Gayoom Congratulates Bhutan on its Successful Transition to a Democracy
 
29 May: H. E. Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Republic of Maldives has congratulated Bhutan on its successful transformation to a parliamentary democracy. The message was delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid during an audience with the King of Bhutan His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk today. The audience was held at Tashichhodzong in Thimpu. Minister Shahid conveyed best wishes from President Gayoom, the Government and the people of the Republic of Maldives and congratulated His Majesty the King for his visionary leadership in transforming Bhutan into a modern democracy. The Minister also expressed his admiration to the visionary leadership of the former King of Bhutan, His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk and applauded Bhutan for the extensive progress achieved especially in the past decade. Continuing his remarks, the Foreign Minister updated His Majesty on the significant progress achieved by the Maldives under the Government’s Agenda for Reform and Democracy and briefed on the status of the drafting of the new Constitution of the Maldives. The Minister also expressed gratitude to Bhutan’s generous assistance to the Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and the contribution towards the recovery efforts of the tidal swells of May 2007. At the audience, His Majesty the King commended President Gayoom, the Government and the people of the Maldives for the progress achieved under the ongoing reform agenda and reiterated the importance of strengthening the close bilateral ties at this time of important transformation for both countries. Highlighting on the achievements of the Maldives, His Majesty the King expressed admiration for President Gayoom's visionary leadership and praised the Maldives for its outstanding progress under President Gayoom. Speaking on the extensive reform measures in Bhutan, His Majesty reaffirmed the importance of sustaining democracy. Bhutan’s new proposed constitution was unveiled in March 2005, and it envisages a parliamentary democracy. Further discussions were held on the existing close bilateral ties between the two countries and issues of common concern. Particular attention was focused on the security of small states, protection of the environment and the adverse effects of global climate change on small states. On behalf of the Government, Foreign Minister Shahid expressed sincere gratitude to the Bhutanese Government for its dedicated support to the Maldives initiated Resolution on Human Rights and Climate Change at the Human Rights Council in March 2008. Bhutan was one of the co-sponsors of the Resolution. His Majesty the King and the Foreign Minister also discussed the role of SAARC in South Asia and stressed on endeavoring to play important roles in the regional organization. Bhutan adopted its new constitution yesterday. The Maldives and Bhutan established formal relations in 1984, with this year marking its 24th Anniversary. Cooperation between Maldives and Bhutan has grown over the years both bilaterally and in the international arena.


The President says that active collaboration will pave the way for rapid development

29 May: The President said that active collaboration and cooperation among our people will pave the way for rapid development. Speaking with the people of Mulaku Atoll Muli last night, the President highlighted the progress Maldives has achieved over the past years. He said that such achievements were the result of hard work, innovative thinking and constructive planning. In his speech, the President highlighted the work of the Government against narcotic drug abuse. He also spoke of the ‘Drug Control Master Plan 2008-2012’ which he launched on 22nd of this month. The Mulaku Atoll Chief, Mr. Abdul Rasheed Ali and the Special Assistant in charge of Muli Office, Mr. Moosa Naseer also spoke at the ceremony. The President met with the people of Muli after the ceremony.
 

The President urges the people of Maldives to refrain from smoking

29 May: The President urged the children and youth of Maldives to refrain from smoking. Speaking at a ceremony held this morning in Mulaku Atoll Mulaku to mark the World Health Day, the President said that smoking is a habit which could lead up to drug abuse. Regarding this year’s theme for World Health Day - “protecting health from climate change”, the President said that changes in the global environment posed various health risks which we should all be aware of. In his speech, the President highlighted the work of the Government in the development of Mulaku. He also stressed the importance of maintaining peace and harmony during the ongoing reform process. The President presented the awards to winners of the Poster Drawing competition held to celebrate World Health Day. Thaajuddin School won the first place in this competition. Ghiyaasuddin School and Aminiya School won second and third place respectively. The Minister of Health, Mr. Ilyas Ibrahim and the Representative of W.H.O in Maldives, Dr. J.M Luna also spoke at the ceremony. The vote of thanks was delivered by the Mulaku Atoll Chief, Mr. Abdul Rasheed Ali. Senior Island Chief of Mulaku Island, Mr. Mohamed Adam also spoke on behalf of the people of the island. The Minister of Health, Mr. Ilyas Ibrahim, Ministers and Delegates who participated in the World Health Day celebrations, officials of the island and members of different committees, welcomed the President on his arrival. The people of Mulaku performed a traditional item and the students presented a song of welcome at Mulaku School. During the visit to Mulaku, the President officially opened a Guest House, “Maaran’ga”, which was built by the initiative of the Mulaku people. He also visited the “Ahli Pre-school” which was built by the people of the island. The President returned to Male’ this afternoon after concluding his visit to Mulaku Atoll.
 


Human Resource Seminar targets resorts

Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has held a Human Resource Seminar targeting the resorts in the Maldives. The seminar was held at Youth Centre and the key points discussed in the seminar were the importance of Human Resource when Tourism is developing widely in the Maldives. Also it was discussed how Maldivians can participate fully in Human Resources and how Maldivians can work comfortably in the Tourism field.

Tourism Ministry says that seminar highlighted why Maldivians do not get jobs from the tourism sector and why some Maldivian youths are staying jobless. The seminar also noted ways on what the resort managements can do to keep the Maldivian staffs in their jobs. About 60 resorts and other personals in the tourism field took part in the seminar.

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