Maldives National Defence Force’s (MNDF) Coast Guard has marked their 34 anniversary today with a flag hoisting ceremony.
The Coast Guard officers were present, for the first time, in their newly introduced full white uniform.
To mark the occasion, the MNDF also organized a football match between two Coast Guard teams to be held today at Henveiru Stadium.
The new uniforms were first announced by Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim in December 2012. A ten-story building for the Coast Guard and the Ministry of Defense and National Security is soon to be built with India’s grant aid, and Minister Nazim recently sought their help in acquiring two more vessels for the Coast Guard.
In the proposed state budget for 2014 MVR 876.7 million (US$ 57 million), 5.3 percent of it, was allocated for the defense sector. In 2012 800.8 million was spent on the MNDF alone and in 2013 their revised budget was at MVR 756.2 million . Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has on several occasions expressed concern over increased military spending following the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.