GMR disputes government’s claims to international media that it had agreed to vacate airport

Indian infrastructure giant GMR has said it “categorically refutes” claims made by the government to international media today that it had agreed to vacate Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

The government yesterday dismissed an injunction on GMR’s seven day eviction notice granted by the High Court of Singapore, and vowed that the airport would be run by the state-owned Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) by December 7.

A Finance Ministry official said on condition of anonymity that GMR had agreed to vacate following “informal communication.”

“It’s unofficial. They are even selling off their items at a cheaper price. They have given 40-60 percent discounts. They are selling off whatever they can sell off from here including iron bars, concrete, and cement. So I think there won’t be any confrontation or any such nature. All the department heads and senior staff will start working for the Maldives Airports Company Limited MACL from December 7,” the official claimed. “Even though they maintain in public they are not going to vacate, they are going to vacate.”

President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad meanwhile told reporters that “Whatever the financial implications on their investments, we have already filed a case in Singapore court for arbitration. We will pay the compensation, what we have to pay.”

However CEO of GMR Male International Airport Limited (GMIAL), Andrew Harrison, said that while GMR had met with a delegation from the government at 11:45am this morning, “we did not agree nor state our willingness to hand over Male’ airport.”

Harrison told Minivan News that he had been advised by a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Colonel at 11:03am that Defence Minister and Acting Transport Minister Mohamed Nazim wished to meet him personally.

“The meeting was attended by the Acting Transport Minister, the Chairman of the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority, our lawyer in the Maldives and three members of the MNDF,” Harrison said, in an emailed account of the meeting.

“The meeting was cordial and the Acting Transport Minister outlined the following: that MACL would be operating the airport from Saturday morning in line with the Government of Maldives communication to GMR-MAHB; that the Minister would like a smooth transition as the airport operations should not be affected or suffer in any way; that passengers should not be inconvenienced and therefore all activities including Duty Free would be allowed to continue as is.”

According to Harrison, Nazim informed GMR that “According to their legal advisors the injunction issued by Singapore High Court does not prevent them from taking over the airport and the injunction cannot be applied to a sovereign state.”

Nazim had furthermore proposed offering “100 percent employment in MACL to all staff currently working for GMIAL and an announcement to that effect made tomorrow by the MACL Board .The offer includes both local and foreign staff at their existing terms and conditions including salary,” Harrison stated.

“Our position, which I communicated to them, remains crystal clear. The Singapore High Court has issued an injunction which clearly prevents MACL or the Government of Maldives or any of its agents from taking any action that interferes with GMIAL operating the airport. The injunction clearly prevents them from taking the action outlined in their notice issued to us stating that the airport would be taken over at the end of the seven day period. We remain resolute in our position and there is no question of an offer being made and certainly no question of any alleged offer being accepted as we will simply not agree to our rights nor the injunction being undermined in any way.”

GMR’s lawyer had advised that the injunction was to be was to be honoured “as their representatives and the Attorney General [Azima Shukoor] were party to those proceedings and were present during the proceedings in the Singapore High Court.”

“Further to this we have issued a communication to their lawyers to confirm that their client (MACL/GoM) will not ignore the injunction and outlining the consequences as well as the disturbing media reports that they will ignore the injunction and take over the airport as planned,” Harrison stated.

Nazim had explained that “as he was not a legal person” he would arrange for a legal team to meet GMR’s representatives tomorrow, and pledged to “maintain dialogue”, Harrison said.

“We will always maintain dialogue but our legal position is very clear and we will not compromise on our legal position which is clearly supported by the injunction.”

Moreover, “any version of the meeting being described any differently to my response is categorically untrue and we maintain that we have been granted the right to continue operating the airport in line with the injunction. There is and has never been any change in our position.”

Harrison added that Nazim had also said that “no force used to take over the airport” and that “media reports that the MNDF would take over the airport are untrue.”

Claims that the company was discounting were true – “in the duty free shop”.

“We have a 40 percent sale in duty free because we are trying to minimise our stock holding,” said Harrison. “It is delighting passengers. But I can categorically state we have no intention of going anywhere.”

Indian industry groups back GMR

The 400,000-member Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has meanwhile issued a statement today in support of GMR, warning that “the attitude of Male’ Government, despite the rulings of Singapore High Court, will shake the confidence of the investors and will jeopardise the spirit behind the cooperation of the SAARC nations.”

The industry group appealed to the government to respecting the Singapore judgement, and said it “conveys its displeasure against any unilateral termination of economic agreements, that will be determent to the growth of the nations and might even sow seeds of suspicion amongst the potential investors in all times to come.”

A second industry group, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), also issued a statement in support of GMR.

“It is extremely important for all the concerned parties to respect the sanctity of the concession agreement and abide by the provisions provided therein to resolve any dispute within the stipulated legal framework”, said the CII’s Director General, Chandrajit Banerjee.


43 thoughts on “GMR disputes government’s claims to international media that it had agreed to vacate airport”

  1. Majority of Maldivian believe that GMR is a corrupted company and they have used Maldives and Nasheed to grab the airport illegally.

    Majority of Maldivian believe that it is impossible pay GMR to operate the airport which we were earning millions when airport was given.

    Instead of earning any money, we are paying GMR to earn thier money ? What kind of investment are you talking about here ?

    Investors will never be questioned and the removal of GMR will not have any impact on the investors confidence. In fact it will increase knowing that a corrupt deal like this will have no room in Maldives.

    It is also worth to note that GMR is not the biggest investor in this country and there are much bigger investments in this country for many years.

    HPL group from Singapore, Cable and Wireless, John Keels, Aitiken Spense, SBI, Bank of Ceylon etc and these people have been doing business in this country for years and years.

  2. GMR is our saviour. Waheed will have to go before GMR. We need the support of GMR to buy th 12 MPs we need to vote waheed out. And then we can have a free and fair erection and the people's president Anni will be president of the country.

  3. Male diggings its graveyard ?? I see this as shutting of an investment climate!! One more suspicious government ??

  4. mody,

    Strike off Cable & Wireless from your list. Even a conglomerate in ill repute for alleged exploitative business practices like C&B couldn't take your irrationality and asininity head on. Congratulations.

  5. Mody,

    C&W are getting out... Announnced shortly after the GMR affair.

    You keep going on about a corrupt deal. Can you read? Try this..... From the ACC:

    There you can see based on NPV, GMR was clearly the best deal. But you probably don't understand that.

    As for investor confidence, public statements about going after Nexbis next etc. will surely bring many investors in, no?

    The only investors you'll be betting will be Chinese and they will want a bigger chunk than just an airport.

    Try this:
    Not an Island, but a complete atoll.
    New airport
    Massive shipping port

    Where do you think the most of the money will flow? About 2400km in a North East direction via a few begging hands in Male.

  6. The corruption in the GMR deal is slowly being revealed to the Maldivian public.

    It was revealed yesterday in Maldives media, that immediately after the court order from Maldives court that GMR could not take Airport Development Charge of 27 dollars per passenger, GMR lawyers drafted letters which were then emailed to Ministry of FInance and Maldives Airports company senior persons. The MDP appointees in this state institutions then proceeded to sign the letters which GMR had drafted as they wished, and which were drafted in the interests of protecting and promoting the financial interests of GMR, specifically that GMR could deduct ADC from payments to the govt of Maldives. The result is what we have today, the Maldivian govt having to pay GMR instead of earning revenues from the investment.

    In no other country does this level of corruption exist. That a foreign company is able to email a letter to a State Minister of FInance, and the Minister obliges to all the terms of the company fully without any consideration of the country's financial interests.

    When you take an oath of Ministerial post, you are not signing on to promote the interests of a business company. You are swearing an oath to serve the interests of the people, to protect and uphold the financial interests of the nations people, not to better the interests of some foreign company. It is absolutely disgusting how the Minister of Finance acted, in total disregard of the citizens rights. Was he delusional ? not really, he was just following orders.

    GMR is not to blame here. The MDP Minister of Finance appointed by Nasheed is to blame. The Managing DIrector of Airports Company bandhu saleem is to be blamed. He made the corrupt call to oblige to a company's terms whatever they maybe, and whatever the damage may be wrought to a nation.

    Politicians such as this should be made accountable for the dirty tactics they employ and the harm they cause to national interests.

    I used to look upto people like Mohamed Shihab. Now i am simply disgusted whenever i see his face or hear his name. Hope the courts bring him to Justice for the financial losses he has caused to the Maldivian people.

  7. @ mody

    Boy, you better hang on to your pants cause the Indian Govt is getting pissed off. Come Saturday and action is around the corner.!!

  8. @Mody, majority of Maldivians believe you have a loose nut somewhere in your brain.

  9. @Mody, the majority of the Maldivian people don't have a clue about the dealings of GMR and Nasheed and either do you is my guess. You have all been brainwashed by guys like your Sheik Imran.
    You my friend have just been awarded the WaketheFup award of the day, enjoy your new prize

  10. The death certificate for Maldives shall be issued on 7th December when MNDF personnel position themselves and MACL tries to take over the airport.

    The postmortem shall happens days to follow with international community trying to ascertain the causes.

    Weeks later, the findings would reveal 'enforced suicide' as cause of death. The beginning of an exodus of many shall begin and in few weeks the tomb of Maldives shall be left in barren grounds with no water for the cemetery shrubs.

    As hunger and poverty gradually drives in, the youth shall rampage on the streets, no business nor the filthy rich shall be safe on streets without lights but zombies high on intoxicants and drugs that are hauled up in MNDF and Police warehouses.

    The Sri Lankans shall laugh, Bangladesh will mock, indians/Philipino/Indonesians will party as the Chinese stay away in fear of starting a war with India. Our dear muslim brothers in middle east will never lend a hand as they know just a handful of Maldivians are TRUE muslims.

    Afghanistan was a developed rich country during the silk trade till extremism pronounced it dead. Maldives was at one time the best and safest destination in the world till a few minds forced it to commit suicide.

    Brothers and sisters, look around you, look inside your house, look inside your bank accounts and ask yourself, what would happen to you after December 7th, if at all we hang ourselves in public!

  11. @mody
    Where did you get your majority? how many percentage are you talking about here?
    did you take a vote? for i didnt know anyone did. So please be pragmatic and reasonable when you use the word 'MAJORITY' of Maldivians!! Because i am not in this majority you are talking about. Maybe this majority figure came to you in a dream ?

  12. MDP is the biggest political party, with the highest representation in the Majlis as a single party, so has the highest legitimacy in represeting the Public on various issues and believes that GMR's decision to invest in improving airport infrastructure in Maldives is important for the development of the Maldives and we stand by GMR in this difficult situation, as we believe that all the fereign and local protection of investments have to be protected. Only an elected government can make decisions on behalf of the Maldives.

  13. MDP can pay GMR 22 Billion MVR, i don't want to pay, tell me how the deal is not corrupt? u guys will have a tough time and will be impossible to justify, GMR should leave.. but on the other hand i believe what ever action government takes should be done through legal courts..

  14. PatrioticMaldivian, Having a customer draft a letter for the supplier to sign is common practice.

    I agree the government being billed for ADC changes the attraction of what was a solid business proposal for both sides. A far better option would have been to fight the ADC refusal in court and get it accepted for foreigners only to pay.

    Who pushed for ADC to be illegal? I blame them.

    It seems daft really considering the service charge has just been increased without any dispute.

    The Maldives really has to learn to work together. The hatred shown between all parties could well result in civil war.

  15. Told you so. Saeed and Nazim & Co have bitten far more than they could possibly chew. They took for granted, the silent diplomacy of India which showed the utmost restraint until the very last hour.

    Andrew Harrison has acted very professionally. I'm not too sure of "Acting" Transport Minister's academic credentials, but I would be very surprised if he has more than a couple of GCE O/Levels. Of course, he rose to notoriety by being thrown out of Sandhurst! People like Nazim would not even understand half of what Mr Harrison would have to say.

    Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out why the former Transport Minister was suddenly kicked out of office and replaced by Nazim. The guy is the proverbial torpedo deployed by the Gayyoom clan to protect their interests, and has been doing a stellar job since Feb 2012! Let's wait to see the chap adding one more gold star to his collection, next Saturday.

  16. patriotic maldivians gets yours facts right ,dont peddle propaganda as dictated
    to you by wahid and adalath party fascists


    "Masood Imad, the media secretary to the current Maldives president, told the BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo.
    Asked if the government was going against the court ruling, he replied: "No sir.""

    Ahem! Masood Imad still thinks he's in school? "Yes, sir, No sir...". Could this perhaps be the way, he responds to his boss in the office? Buffoons!

  18. This is bullshit.

    GMR swindled Maldivians to get the contract signed by far in their favour.


    They are the same reasons why the naive Maldivians believed 'Rannamari story'. The same reasons why the whole population switched religions in a few days, a few centuries back. The same reason why most do not question any source of information, misinformation or even disinformation. Most are not exposed to the International politics or financial games.

    Simply put. We are stupid. Ignorant. Naive. We tend to believe anything the 'Government' says. Anything a reigning King/Queen/President says.

    Yes. Accept it. GMR swindled us. The question is 'Why shouldn't they?'.

  19. anyone please clarify!!
    Haveeru has written that the GMR deal was signed withouth the AG's approval...

    What about this? ist it fake or real?

  20. Oh it's real. The question is, should the previous AG have signed it also. Look at the dates. That was signed in December 2010 and the original deal signed in June 2010 I think.

  21. some buffoons still chanting GMR must go in between.. the other day i saw old men and women, elders who dont speak english chant "GMR must go" . All you guys who are posting links contradicting what our mulahs or our dear prsident or illiterate imran or stubborn saeed has fed us with, please dont waste your time. we are like keyed toys. our president and illiterate imran will key us and we will keep chanting.

    GMR must go!
    Gmr must go! 1
    Gmr must go!
    Gmr must go!
    Gmr must go!
    Gmr must go!

    as for the Debt we have to pay, "Gmr must go", as for india's intervention thats starting to look serious, "Gmr must go", as for the stupidity in the face of the president of our crabhole country, "Gmr must go", what about the airport leaking again and tourism dying, "Gmr must go", what about other investments we were gonna have "Ah well think bout that but for now Gmr must go".

  22. cable and wireless is not running away because of GMR.
    bahrain Telcom company is the major share holder of cable and wireless and it was not just happened yesterday and they were the major shareholding company for many years.

    MDP guys will try to mislead the public by all means and no matter how far they had to go from the truth.

    Majority of Maldivian i am saying with the facts. After 7th Feb. all the election which had happened in this country, MDP managed to win only 20% of the seats and rest are won by other parties. This is why I am saying that majority of Maldivian do not want Anni back.

    If MDP had won the majority of elections after 7th Feb. I would have shut my mouth.

    No matter what you guys tries to twist the reality. GMR deal is a biggest corrupted deal ever happened in this country and people who had take the money are Anni and his associates.

  23. " The 400,000-member Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has meanwhile issued a statement today in support of GMR, warning that “the attitude of Male’ Government, despite the rulings of Singapore High Court, will shake the confidence of the investors and will jeopardise the spirit behind the cooperation of the SAARC nations.” "

    This truly does not sound like child play!

    People can play with fire for as long as they like.
    But the minute control of play shifts from player to fire, consequences can lead to catastrophic disaster!

    " Ahem! Masood Imad still thinks he’s in school? “Yes, sir, No sir…”. Could this perhaps be the way, he responds to his boss in the office? "

    This must be the rub on of having to hang on behind Nazim and everyone involved in the coup of 7th Feb (masters of the Office of their puppet president Waheed) to who Masood must address as "SIR"! Heh heh !

  24. GMR may have swindled, squeezed or squirmed or what ever to win the business.

    But the mere fact is that the Maldives was earning more than what was being earned and what the MACL put have now put on the table.

    What we cannot see, and will ever see is, what is put on the current or the in lined management's table that will and may have flash and lush effect on those who are trying to kick out GMR!

    Believe it or not!

    This is the reality and WE, the people of Maldivians will have to pay through our noses, what this prehistoric regime is trying to achieve!

  25. why GMR only, let talk about Air Maldives and Dhiraagu.

    Mody and other who write long comments, pls copy and paste what every your master at PPM send you.

    pls make a blog to write your BS....

  26. @Oho,

    Links which you have mentioned above in your comment.

    It saddens me that you have not looked at these closely.

    Do you notice that the stamp of which says "Maldives Leaks" is actually below the writings?

    Even a kid would know that its a pain to have that stamp below the letters of a scanned document. The guy who made that STAMP would be a true genius.

    The second documents' some titles are in light blue which is utterly ridiculous.

    This is what YOU call facts. And What I call sham.

  27. Well whoever you are, you clearly have no idea how to render a watermark stamp in HTML.

    They are not physical stamps on the paper numbnuts.

    You should also notice the stamps are different generated after the original scans.

    The level of stupidity here is astounding.

  28. @mody....the term "majority" u means the few ppl gathered at the rallies organized by the ithihadh at artificial beach against GMR, i u know the indian airlines flight which lands in maldives brings more ppl than the ppl gathering at your rallies against GMR,i can assure you if a memorandum is made majority will be on GMR side, be honest and think on the future, brother

  29. Politicians might do any dam thing to distort facts. Most of them are selfish crooks. MDPs are high on that line.

    Given the business profits Indian companies, institutions and individuals are getting from Maldives and Maldivians, it is most unlikely that Indian Government will do any thing that might jeopardize the bilateral relations between the two long standing friendly nations. I do not think India will ever claim the sovereignty of Maldives by force. Guys! give it some time to cool down.

  30. Mody you wrote...

    "bahrain Telcom company is the major share holder of cable and wireless and it was not just happened yesterday and they were the major shareholding company for many years."

    You might want to check that. I'll help you.

  31. I do not know who the idiot is, html or whatever you expect the WRITING of a SCANNED document to be ABOVE the stamp which you have said "computer generated after the original scans."

    I wish you best of luck in rending a watermark on a Scanned PDF Document using html.

  32. gmr must stay....must stay......indian firce will come and teach you the impotrtants of the law...

  33. Our group were planning to lease some Islands in Maldives for Resort, Thanks God ,we have not entered these messssssss.

  34. hmmmm. That's not a pdf you're viewing on the page. The stamp is electronic for want of a better term and has transparency set /layered behind the text body.

    Look, you can even do it in excel:


    Plz stop commenting rubbish, everyone knows u r not real, "our group"??? Now investors started to post unprofessional comments?

  36. Foreign Minister says "Bilateral ties should not be affected because of GMR" then if that is the intention then why the GoM sit with GMR and negotiate that listening what Imran is telling

    Imran and his team will ruin the country.

    Now their next target is Malaysia then Singapore and list goes on.

    Best is to accept the fault and negotiate to save country's face

  37. @Oho, has only pdf files and text files. try doing the watermark on a scanned pdf document. excel is completely irrelevant here.

    the shadows shown in the scanned paper is too low resolution compared to the text on the document.
    try scanning a document and see for yourself.

    when a red stamp is transparent over a BLUE text. what colour do you think will appear? purple.

    please go through the second link which you had posted. to see which colour was in the document.

    and there are still many various aspects i find it to be too uncanny. I can go through them if you would like.

  38. hmmmm, I only mentioned excel to demonstrate how easy it is to do. It was a poor example I know.

    You are right about Scribd only having .txt & PDF but that is for download only. What you are seeing on the screen is neither a PDF or text file. It part of the webpage. The Maldives Leaks stamps are opaque images added afterwards.

    If you open the page in Chrome. Right click on some text in the document and
    select View Page Info. In the window that opens, under permissions, the first item should be Images. Click the down arrow to the right and select Always Block On This Site....

    Click to reload the page and the stamps are gone.

    I'd definitely be interested to know what other aspects you think are not right.


Comments are closed.