Maldives ties take a dip as India told to take back 2nd copter
NEW DELHI: As India seeks to expand footprint in southeast Asia, it continues to suffer serious reverses in the Maldives, the Indian Ocean archipelago which once fit neatly into India's formulation of its strategic backyard. The Abdulla Yameen re gie has now asked India to remove its second 'gift' naval chopper (ALH Dhruv) from the Laamu atoll.
The Letter of Exchange (LoE) for this chopper expired last month and but Male has not just offi ally refused to renew it but also asked India to complete the process of removal of both Indian choppers by June end.
TOI had first reported on April 5 that Male wanted one of the choppers (deployed at Addu) out. At that time, Male had denied that it wanted the other chopper (in Laamu) removed too. The Indian go nment had gifted 2 ALH helicopters to the Maldives but, according to reports from Male, the Yameen go nment is upset about the presence of Indian navy staff who are stationed in the Maldives for the maintenance of the choppers.
India had stationed six pilots and over a dozen ground personnel to operate the ALHs and also help the Maldivian National Defence Forces.
Maldives ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed, when contacted by TOI, said he had no reaction to offer on the issue.
A source here said that work on a police academy which India is building in the Maldives has also been delayed because of Male's "informal" instructions to immigration department to put on hold all fresh work permits in respect of Indian skilled personnel whose presence is essential for projects funded by India.
The location of Laamu is significant as this is where the are said to be considering building a port. Maldives ambassador to Mohamed Faisal was qued as having said earlier this year that indeed had expressed interest in building a port in the Maldives.
“Even Addu (location of the other Indian chopper) is significant as it is located at Equatorial Channel and close to Diego Garcia. It seems Male wants to rid both these strategic locations of any Indian footprint,” said a go nment offi al who didn't want to be qued.
Male had earlier said that it wanted Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft from India. However, according to go nment sources here, an LoE for deployment of Dornier in the Maldives has been pending with the Yameen go nment since 2016.
Yameen is in complete control of all state institutions including ion commission and judiciary. For the opposition, now is the time for India to take the lead in ensuring at least “moderately” free and fair ions.
“If he comes back to power even by manipulating state institutions, , Pakistan and some OIC countries are likely to quickly provide his go nment recognition. It will be too late then,” said a source.
Before that though, and later in the week, India has to choose between the Maldives and Indonesia for the Asia-Pacific non-permanent UNSC seat. While the go nment isn't sure if it wants to ve in favour of Male, it is waiting to see if Indonesia can enlist support from 129 UN member states.
Satyendra N Dhanda
Satyendra N Dhanda-9 hours ago
India should cancel all flights to the Maldives and let their economy suffer and we should boycott the nation which relies solely on tourists
SanMan-3 hours ago
Dont send Indian tourists into Maldives. Blockade that island. Bomb it to hell. To le Yameen govt.
Amit Wagh Amit Wagh-4 hours ago-Follow
We dont need Maldives, Maldives need us.. if required we can built artifical island like ..
Bhuder Pal Pal
Bhuder Pal Pal-2 hours ago-Follow
A coup is needed there... wait for the moment and then strike.
lordofthering-Land Of Lord-3 hours ago-Follow
Even beggar are having attitude now a days
Falcon Rish-Maharashtra-1 hour ago-Follow
U once give roti to dog he will never forget, but you feed for years to mus m he will forget in 1 day.
This is what they are.
Jasmeet-3 hours ago-Follow
India should support Indonesia for the UN Security Council seat.