The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the technicians to be stationed in the Maldives; under the Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) agreement; would receive diplomatic immunity.
During a presentation given by the Ministry of Defence to the Parliament Committee on National Security Services, a participant at the session confirmed that the official from the Ministry of Defence had stated that the technicians would indeed receive diplomatic immunity.
At the session today, People's National Congress PG leader MP Adam Shareef Umar (Maduvvaree) asked explicitly if the technicians would receive diplomatic immunity. The Minister of Defence, Mariya Didi, responded that she would not answer questions on matters that were clearly apparent from the text of the agreement.
Although the Ministry of Defence had once again refused to disclose the institution to which the technicians would belong, they had failed to explain why these technicians would require diplomatic immunity. In general practice, diplomatic immunity is granted to personnel stationed for military purposes. Workers who are based in the Maldives for civilian projects run by India do not receive diplomatic immunity.
A leaked copy of a draft of the UTF agreement had said that the technicians would receive diplomatic immunity. Clauses 6.9 and 6.10 stated that the Maldivian government would grant diplomatic immunity to all Indian personnel to be stationed at UTF as part of the agreement. Clause 6.9 requires that all Indian personnel should obey the laws of the Maldives, but no Indian personnel should be held responsible for any of their actions except in cases of miscondut or negligience. As per clause 6.10, Maldivian law will not apply to any of the documents or lodgings of the Indian personnel stationed at UTF.