Sunday 21st Apr 2024
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241 Committee

Chief of Defence Force Lies About Helicopters To 241 Committee

Chief of Defence Force Maj. Gen. Abdullah Shamal has lied to the Parliament Committee on National Security Services about the helicopter being operated by the Indian military in the Maldives.
The Parliament Committee on National Security Services (also known as the 241 Committee) have launched a full-scale inquiry into the possible ill effects the "India Out" movement may have on the Maldives. The inquiry was launched by the request of Majlis Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Speaking at a session of the Committee held Thursday night, Maj. Gen. Shamal said that the two helicopters operated under the complete command and control of the Maldivian military.
However, based on the leaked copies of the agreements that had been signed between India and the Maldives, the helicopters are operated by the Indian navy; and the commanding Indian naval officer reports to the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives.
The agreements do not stipulate that the Maldivian military have any degree of command or control over the helicopters.
Maj. Gen. Shamal stated this in response to a question posed by MP Ali Hussain (JP-Kendhoo). MP Hussain had noted that an Indian helicopter had once landed on Maldivian soil without prior permission from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). He pointed out that the MNDF had written a letter to the Indian navy with regards to the unauthorized landing. He asked if any steps had been taken afterwards.
Maj. Gen. Shamal's response seemed to indicate that the helicopter had to land without prior authorization because of an emergency. He had declined to give MP Hussain a direct answer.
Maj. Gen. Shamal has lied about the helicopters in public on a previous occasion as well. He had claimed that the Yameen administration had taken no steps towards removing the helicopers from the Maldives.