MP Hassan Latheef (Henveiru West), Chairperson of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party, has said that there was a need for the government to clarify information regarding the Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) agreement to the citizens.
In a tweet posted today, MP Latheef said that there was a need to clarify how the government was seeking Indian aid and how the government was not trying to do things in secrecy.
The UTF agreement remains classified by the Ministry of Defence. A session of the 241 Committee was only granted a screenshot of the agreement, and parliamentarians were not given the opportunity to properly analyse the agreement.
Dhiyares, the sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, had requested information on the UTF agreement from the Ministry of Defence. On the Ministry’s refusal, the request was appealed with the Information Commissioner’s Office which ordered the information to be disclosed. As per of the information that the Ministry had disclosed afterwards, Indian personnel stationed at UTF would receive diplomatic immunity.
The term of the UTF agreement is 15 years, which will be automatically renewed for a further 10 years unless either party provides an objection in writing. Indian military personnel would be stationed at UTF for that entire period of time.