Thursday 30th Nov 2023
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UTF Agreement

Home Minister Refuses to Answer Question on UTF Agreement

Minister of Home Affairs, Imran Abdulla, has once again failed to answer questions posed by opposition MP Mohamed Saeed (Maavah) regarding the Uthuru Thila Falhu agreement.
The Uthuru Thila Falhu agreement, officially titled "Development, Support, and the Maintenance of the Maldives National Defence Force Harbour Sifavaru at Uthuru Thila Falhu", had been signed between the Indian and Maldivian governments earlier this year. The contents of the agreement remain classified.
MP Saeed has asked Minister Imran if the decision to grant Uthuru Thila Falhu to India had ever been discussed in the Cabinet. Minister Imran declined to answer the question. MP Saeed had asked the Minister the same question the previous week, only for the Minister to refrain from answering, claiming that he had not heard the question clearly.
The government have resisted all requests to disclose and declassify the Uthuru Thila Falhu agreement. When Dhiyares newspaper had submitted a request for information to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry responded that disclosure of any part of the agreement posed a national security threat.
A draft copy of the Uthuru Thila Falhu agreement had been leaked earlier this year. According to the leaked document, Indian military personnel would be stationed at Uthuru Thila Falhu for many decades. The government has stated that India would only be stationing technicians, and these technicians would only be stationed for a period of 15 years.
The government has not explained why Indian technicians should be present at Uthuru Thila Falhu if all that would be developed there is a harbour.