The European Union (EU) demanded legalisation of same sex marriage and freedom of religion in return for extending duty-free status to Maldivian exports of canned tuna, Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed and Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee have claimed.
At a press conference this afternoon, Saeed said that the reason for the EU’s decision was the Maldives’ refusal to accept the condition for “allowing homosexual relations and the opportunity for people to follow any religion they want”.
“The Maldives is an Islamic state and will remain so. We will uphold Islam. We will not compromise on anything that conflicts with Islam,” he said.
Last year, the government’s application for a year’s extension under the ‘GSP Plus’ program was declined as it had not ratified all 27 required international conventions. The Maldives holds reservations concerning the freedom of religion component of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Dr Shainee said there was consensus among the public that same sex marriage and freedom of religion should not be allowed in the Maldives.
The ministers accused the opposition of attempting to deceive the public and obstructing the government’s development efforts.
Shainee said the opposition was twisting and distorting statements from government officials to divert attention from the government’s achievements during its first year in office, attempting to cast a “shadow” on the government’s achievements.
He accused former President Mohamed Nasheed of providing false information to foreign parties with the intention of “creating distrust towards the Maldivian people” and turning foreign nations against the Maldives.
The Maldivian people would suffer the consequences of the opposition’s alleged attempts to worsen relations with India and Europe, he said.
India has suggested remarks made in the People’s Majlis by Dunya last week regarding Sino-Indian talks on the Maritime Silk Road project were misleading, prompting government politicians to suggest the MDP was behind the confusion.
After publishing what is claimed to be evidence of the supposed discussions having taken place yesterday, Indian High Commissioner Rajeev Shahare tweeted a link to the official joint statement released at the conclusion of September’s talks between President Xi Jinpeng and Narendra Modi.
The 28-point statement contained no mention of the silk road project, while the Chinese press release referred to by the Maldives government mentioned that the two governments “should” work within the silk road framework.
In his Republic Day address yesterday, President Abdulla Yameen accused the EU of imposing trade restrictions on the Maldives for refusing to change or abandon Islamic principles.
Until January 2014, fish exports to the EU – the single largest export partner by value – were duty-free under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme, a non-reciprocal trade agreement extended to developing countries.
Thailand, Ecuador, and China also lost GSP benefits this year.
The Maldives was forced to apply for GSP Plus status as a result of its graduation from least developed country status – a change President Yameen has noted as bringing “enormous challenges and hardships”.
President Yameen said yesterday trade and economic cooperation with China does not involve the same challenges to remaining an Islamic state posed by “Western colonial powers.”
“Participating in business with China does not involve any such compulsion for us,” Yameen said.
Former Fisheries Minister Shafeeu told Minivan News in November 2013 that the Maldives would lose its competitive advantage over the larger fishing fleets of nearby Sri Lanka and Thailand with a 14-20 tariff on fish imports, and reduce profits to “a marginal value”.
President Yameen said there was “no way forward” for the country on the issue.
“The government’s thinking is changing towards the East,” he said. Under the Maldivian Constitution, all citizens are required to be Sunni Muslim and the practice of other religions as well as places of worship are prohibited.
Shainee noted that the EU was still the Maldives biggest partner for fish exports and stressed that closer ties with China does not entail worsening relations with India or other friendly nations.
The government has been looking for new markets for fish exports – such as China, the Middle East, and America – and have introduced longline fishing, he added.
Of the companies responding to request for proposals from the government for infrastructure projects, Saeed said today that a large percentage were from China.
An agreement has also been signed between China and Maldives to form a joint commission on trade and economic cooperation, he added, which would facilitate economic growth.
Saeed also noted that China represents 40 percent of tourist arrivals to the Maldives.
The government decided to participate in the Chinese 21st Century Maritime Silk Route initiative because China is currently the strongest and fastest growing economy in the world, President Yameen said yesterday.
As a result, Yameen continued, the government believes that the “multi-million dollar infrastructure investment” needed for economic development would “arrive through this door.”
31 thoughts on “EU demanded same sex marriage, freedom of religion, claim ministers”
The question is when did Islam prohibit the practice of other religions? Can a Maldivian scholar or politician answer that?
Dear beloved Maldivian folks, it is not the first time our Tuna Industry has been in crisis with buyers over the ages. We had problems in the past where when "Buyer Economies" went-through-rough-riding either they completely stopped importing our fish or made adjustments by taking time over a joint discourse or agreed to review our product line. From hardcore dry,frozen, canned and to modern-day fresh-on-ice did not happened over-night. Once again it a time for refelection and be Maldivian - Yes, be innovative and creative then move on! No need for blame-game and time wasting and blabbering. Move on baby, move on baby. When One door closes knock on the next one,, move on baby move on baby.
Yes, EU has unreasonable demands.
Yet, you failed to convince them their demands are unreasonable. This is the Governments failure.
If you had convinced them their demands were unreasonable, the EU would have complied.
I doubt this same sex marriage thing is a policy Western countries want to implement in a country in Asia. Freedom of religion yes but same sex marriage, don't think so.
Blattant lies!!! I am sure no world organisation will ever force a country to adopt the same sex marriage.
Saeed and Shainee are telling LIES as usual and their brainwashed followers will blindly accept these statements without a second thought.
You can click on the link below to look at the 27 conventions that are required to get the GSP+ trade status. There is NOTHING in the conventions about homosexual marriage.
Minivan and other news sources in Maldives should report on the false statements made by this government. Yes, freedom of religion is required but there aren't requirements for allowing same sex marriage.
You can still sell your tuna to the EU. But you will not get special treatment on export taxes because you don't respect or allow basic human rights. For example, the freedom to choose your own religion.
I'm also under the assumption that things like forced labor, human trafficking and sex with minors (under age 18) are strikes against the Maldives as well.
The EU is not forcing their views on Maldives. But they will not reward you for denying people honest and fair treatment. So stop crying and accept that your actions have consequences.
EU will demand and they have a strong believe that they will win it.
Nasheed had promised them he will give the religious freedom in Maldives and he has done a lot to price this.,
Hillath démonstration was the start and Nasheed shared those photos with EU commission in colombo as a proof that he will do it. But he said that it will take time and Nasheed has a hidden agenda and doing those dirty games now .
Nasheed talk about ISIS and other bloody false accusations are foundations that he is laying now to make this country is not able to have a peaceful time.
"Under the Maldivian Constitution, all citizens are required to be Sunni Muslim and the practice of other religions as well as places of worship are prohibited."
So it is clear: there is no freedom because... but who says so? who is the dictator? Seriously guys, we need to move on and liberate ourselves from these misogynistic, obscene perverts. Europe landed a robot in a comet today. Europeans are not perfect, but they got more things right that what we have. We should learn from them.
I have a bit of single scotch left. I am going to finish it off.
Yes I doubt as well that EU implement same sex marriage, and I don’t think it’s even implemented in all EU countries. It’s all a made up fib. One other thing is regarding European Union extension of the duty-free status, as the country was upgraded from un developed to semi developed it has to be treated as other semi developed countries in same area, like nearby Sri Lanka and Thailand. So all the talk about freedom of religion.is also made up for some un known reason
What a load of rubbish. The EU did not demand same sex marriage. EU countries practice diversity, which means you don't impose your beliefs on others.
Demanding freedom of religion is acceptable, because Islam states religion is not a compulsion. Therefore the EU is using the principals of Islam to make the Maldives adhere to the rules in that you must respect people have other beliefs other than your own.
The fundamental right of a human being is to choose their own path to follow on this earth, not to be enslaved to shackles of a religious dictatorship.
If the Maldives wants the business in the EU, then you have to play by the rules of the club.
Referring to Western Colonial powers is likely to see the Aid from these countries dry up and the only people who will suffer is the general public, not the corrupt politicians who make the underhand deals with China.
The sense of entitlement here is ridiculous. Cry, blame, lie and make excuses to make it sound like Maldives is being treated unfairly. The same story over and over. Maldivians want the money, privileges and special treatment they somehow believe they deserve without actually doing anything in return.
Obviously Maldives government signed an agreement for the special trade status. Then Maldives didn't follow the contract terms (surprise!) so they lost the trade status. That's what we infidels call "cause and effect".
You don't get everything you want just because you think you deserve it. In the real world people actually work hard, go to institutions of higher learning, save money, sacrifice time with their families and loved ones, etc. in order to become successful. Here you just take the money and run, that's the definition of success for lazy, entitled thieves and scam artists.
Dont you still get it.You dont belong here.You are in the DhiTv league.No matter what you do you cant bend a false to make truth out of it.Everybody on this commentry board knows thats not what happened and sadly the people Naifaru and fonadhuans cant comprehend your comments.ironical isnt it.Your jihad against nasheed is been waged with a weapon wich is mighty blunt.
wasnt nasheed and hilath were having their honeymoon here in Maldives.They got married in seveth day advantist church in Losangels.Actually you witnessed them kissing isnt it
I believe you have a crush on Saeed,arnt you.Be frank,nothing wrong in it,but ihsana aint gonna leave saeed
EU promote homosexuality ally Israel and attack Islam with insult to our Prophet now they attack Maldives economy and MDP and Nasheed cheers it. Now I am total anti MDP.
Yes you brain dead. This is why it is hypocrites. EU demand we do homosexual marriage but many EU country don't allow it. If it is so good they can marry their brother but it is not permissible in Islam.
The restrictions imposed by the EU is because of the lack of religious freedom in the Maldives and not about same sex marriage. The second reason is a lie for local consumption only. Before you villify homosexuals, be aware that homosexuality is rampant in Muslim countries because of the segregation of the sexes.
What is your problem anyway? You can sell your tuna to your sunni brothers in so many countries. Just don't force your products on the more progressive nations of this world.
I can survive without buying any produce from the Maldives but can you survive without cheap imports from India? Be ever grateful.
For the umpteenth time I DO NOT LIVE OR WORK IN THE MALDIVES.
So, the EU is set up to promote sex and fornication.
Or is it the Minister Shinee's imagination.
Same-sex marriage isn't a problem. See, it's okay as long as you're a government official or something like that.
Pay Shaheem some moolah, and he'll even cook up a fatwa that legalizes it!
But religious freedom?! Big no-no. Anyone who does not recognize Maumoon as the Supreme Deity and Lord of the Heavens, OPEC and Earth is an INFIDEL and a THREAT to the SOVIRGINITY of the Maldives!
Did any journalist asked when, in which meeting, or under what resolution... the EU demanded this from the Maldives and isn't there any way of fact checking these ridiculous claims from the official EU representatives. What does it mean when the government says EU demanded, EU as a body, an EU parliament member just said so in a meeting, or in a EU parliament speaking session, what does it really mean and shouldn't journalists be fact checking these claims and reporting it back. Good thing India released a statement otherwise the government would just go on selling that India is also on board with this Silk route thing
MissIndia NewDelhi = Real Name Agarwal
It is obvious that you need to be treated for your mental sickness. You have been suffering from an obsession with Maldives and a deep hatred for Maldivians for quite sometime. If not treated quickly you will completely breakdown and commit suicide.
Condition of your brain can also be read from your pathetic attempt to portray yourself as a female commentator here!
Your days must be sad and long while you rave and rant. You are like a dog barking at the moon. Your abuse will have no impact on this country or its people.
The Government is getting a bit carried away with this anti EU rhetoric.
It is a must for the Maldives to have excellent relations with EU. This paranoia about EU and the West has to stop and some sense need to prevail within the leadership of this nation.
The healthy "pressure" from EU should be accepted in good faith and we must do more to improve the human rights situation in this country specially the way we treat our women and girls.
The government must take adequate steps to counter Islamic radicalism without trying to sweep the problem under the carpet. Its not going to go away if you close your eyes.
If the leaders of this country (whether PPM, MDP or anyone else) works to reform this country's governance, embrace genuine democracy, establish rule of law and transparency, fight corruption, take action against Islamic radicalism, improve human rights and focus on genuine economic development that helps the middle class and the poor then the international community including EU and the US will not pressure us. Instead they will recognise and support us as model for an Islamic country.
homosexuality was once favorite among the Maldivian elite "naseeb kulhi" it was once called.. "lucky game"
"Saeed and Shainee LIES" seems to be a bigger liar camouflaging his real name and projecting himself in the names of Saeed and Shainee. Get over with the hipocracy and be a good boy, dear.
MissIndia-Agarwal-the-Thug, Maldives and and Maldivians are not CHEAP if I may use the words you have used "can you survive without cheap imports from India?" You've got to be grateful for Maldivians like "your like" in Tuticorin (Thuthukudi) who have even name their port as Male'Port out of gratitude because, the people there are virtually dependent on Maldivian traders. You ignorant begot! We know you will never leave the Maldives because you will never be able to get another opportunity of the like in terms of remuneration and self-engrandizement.
I'm a woman! Oh the horror! I have a vagina and I have thoughts! Again, the horror! I don't write my real name because I don't want you and your backward inbred cousin brothers to make me "disappear". But trust me, after I leave your paradise in 4 weeks, I'll have no problem writing my real name along with the facts that I wrote above. But it won't be long before Adeeb and company shut this site down anyway. One can only hope global warming and rising sea levels are happening sooner rather than later. Then you can move to Saudi and clean toilets and all with be right with the world.
MissIndia-Agarwal-the-Thug,I can see the frustration brewing in that you efforts in jealousy to belittle Maldives and Maldivians are bearing little or no fruitful effect what-so-ever. Go on Tell your lies and the whole world will witness that you have become the laughing stock.
I'm not Miss India, I'm the infidel woman posting under "Saeed and Shainee LIES". I have to hide my name because your fake democracy doesn't allow freedom of speech.
REPEAT - MissIndia-Agarwal-the-Thug,I can see the frustration brewing in that you efforts in jealousy to belittle Maldives and Maldivians are bearing little or no fruitful effect what-so-ever. Go on Tell your lies and the whole world will witness that you have become the laughing stock.
You need to stop post such comments. Dont surprise when you insult Maldives it causes outrage and anger toward you. You and EU need to not inter into Maldives affair.
MissIndiaAgarwaltheThug, you must know that neither our tuna fish nor our resort prices are Cheap. Nor the wages and salaries we pay to you, your compatriots and others,are cheap either. That should be the very reason you are here for. However, it doesn’t seem to be especially,in your case.You are here to disrupt, and disturb the peace of mind and life of every Maldivian. Aren’t you ashamed?
The word MALDIVES is a Brand and that Brand is considered to be the most desirable universally.It sure fetch a comparable price in today’s world. Check the average rates of resort hotels and export quality fish. They are higher than any other country in the world. Right now is our high season for tourism. Check the rates and compare them to any in the world. Mere jealousy runs deep in your blood. Ask for a cure and I will guide to NIMHANS in Bangalore in India. They sure have been treating people of your sort from the time of the British Raj. Only they MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU. Leave the Maldives and the Maldivians to attend to themselves. They have lived through the ages. However, it has always been people of your sort who annoy us, the latest being GMR and High Commissioner Mullay.
Comments are closed.