As part of a joint operation conducted on Saturday (April 12), relevant government authorities instructed police to confiscate all pets suspected of having been illegally imported.
These animals were promptly destroyed by the MNDF, while the fate of the slow loris – endangered in more ways than one – remained unclear as interested adoptees continued to face financial and bureaucratic obstacles.
Bureaucratic obstacles continued to hinder President Abdulla Yameen’s attempts to place his nephew in the role of Prosecutor General as the Majlis failed to return enough votes to approve Maumoon Hameed’s nomination.
Home Minister Umar Naseer this week lamented the ‘oversized democracy‘ inherited by the government, suggesting bureaucracy was thwarting his anti-drug camaign.
The government’s attempts to centralise control of the nation’s mosques through amendments to the Religious Unity Act met with greater successful as the president ratified the changes shortly before departing to Japan on an official state visit.
Prior to boarding the plane to Tokyo, Yameen told the press that he had been unable – and unwilling – to meet the demands of Indian company GMR for an out-of-court settlement regarding the terminated airport development deal.
It was revealed that the government will now await the outcome of the arbitration proceedings, expected within the next two months after hearings concluded this week.
Yameen’s trip to east Asia saw the Japanese government thanked for its generous history of developmental assistance in the Maldives as well an open invitation for private investors to continue the tradition.
Back on the home front, President Yameen acknowledged that the distribution of government positions among coalition partners had generated some tension, after rumblings of discontent from coalition leader Gasim Ibrahim.
No such discontent was found in a survey conducted by the Tourism Ministry this month which found 98 percent of tourists would recommend the Maldives as a holiday destination.
Eighty percent of those surveyed reported having holidayed within an hour of the capital Malé, a trend Addu City Council hopes to change with the establishment of a guest house promotion board in the country’s southernmost atoll.
The heavy concentration of tourists in Kaafu atoll brought the opposite response from Malé City Council, who passed a resolution opposing the development of Kuda Bandos – the only local picnic island available to the overcrowded capital’s residents.
Meanwhile, the Department of Heritage hopes to draw the attention of visitors to the Maldives’ cultural treasures, organising an exhibition of the country’s coral mosques as attempts to make UNESCO’s world heritage list continue.
The Ministry of Environment maintained that the country’s natural heritage can still be preserved if the world commits to a 1.5°C cap on global temperature rise, with Minister Thoriq Ibrahim pledging to increase renewable energy to 30% in the next 5 years.
Elsewhere, the High Court is now considering over a dozen election-related complaints following last month’s Majlis poll – though the arguments posited by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir received short shrift from the Elections Commission’s lawyer.
Jabir’s Maldivian Democratic Party announced it would hold an event to mark Labour Day next month while taxi drivers failed to present a united front in protests against new regulations due to be implemented this week.
DhiFM remained steadfast in its defiance of the Maldives Broadcasting Commission – responding to criticism for posting upside down pictures by posting a similar image of the commission’s chair.
Corruption charges were pressed this week against controversial Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed, while the Anti Corruption Commission asked the state to pursue charges against a former state minister for undue expenditure on sports activities.