The Civil Court has ordered the Ministry of Tourism halt all proceedings regarding the seizure of uninhabited islands and lagoons granted to Villa Hotels and Resorts Private Limited.
Villa – owned by Jumhooree Party (JP) leader MP Gasim Ibrahim – requested the stay order after the government’s decision to hand back the uninhabited islands and lagoons given to the company as compensation for the nationalisation of several development projects, including Kadhdhoo airport
According to the order, although the government has said Villa can be compensated for the seizure of the islands and lagoons, the areas were handed over due to the government’s inability to bear the burden of a financial or monetary compensation.
The islands and lagoons that had been ordered to be returned are Thaa Atoll Elaa, Raa Atoll Maanenfushi, Gaafu Dhaal Atoll Gazeera, Kaafu Atoll Maadhihgaru lagoon, and Vaavehdhi lagoon.
Speaking at a joint rally of JP and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Gasim stated that “the Maldivian people will not allow injustice” and reiterated calls for the charges against MDP leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed to be dropped.
“Forget it, nobody can push us back, we will be in the service of the Maldivian people. We will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of the constitution”, Gasim said.
The JP’s opposition to key government legislation last year saw Gasim suffer setbacks to his businesses, as well as physical threats against his person – both of which the party blamed on Gasim’s former political allies.
“You can seize everything, take it. Take it. After all, things can only be taken from people who have them,” he told attendees of the joint rally of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and JP held on February 5, 2015.
“Yameen, do not think that a well-built man can come and shoot me with a gun. No, No, No. I am not afraid even one bit.”
President Abdulla Yameen has denied Gasim’s business reversals were a result of political events, stating that all businesses were treated equally under the law.
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