India offered to build naval dockyard in Maldives, says Indian media

India’s Army Chief General Bikram Singh has offered to build a dockyard worth MVR 7.7 billion (US$ 500 million) in the Maldives in his ongoing visit, Indian media has reported.

According to the Deccan Herald, China had already offered to develop the Uthuru Thilafalhu lagoon in the archipelago’s north.

Reclamation work is already underway in the area. Once completed, it will serve as the Maldivian Coastguard’s primary operations base and will provide a much-needed berthing space to naval ships and ocean liners.

India’s Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, during a visit to the Maldives in February, visited the Uthuru Thilafalhu project site. Minivan News understands discussions are underway on Indian investment in the project, but it is not clear if a decision has yet been made.

In recent months, India has been steadily increasing defense cooperation with the Maldives including the gifting of two ‘Dhruv’ Advanced Lightweight Helicopters (ALH) and development of the military hospital Senahiya.

Ties with India came under strain during President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s administration in the aftermath of Indian infrastructure giant GMR’s abrupt eviction. The company had won a concession agreement to develop the main airport.

Waheed went on to strengthen military ties with China, sparking Indian concern over “a Chinese policy to throw a ‘string of pearls’ – or a circle of influence – around India.”

Speaking during an official trip to India earlier this year, new President Abdulla Yameen stated that while the Maldives has “close ties” with China, “nothing will precede ties with India, which are far more precious”.

“While we have had a slight rough patch with India, the time of good relations far outweigh the rough patches we had. I suppose it is easy for us to be on the right track again,” Yameen said, referring to the airport dispute.

Singh’s visit is the first by a serving Indian Defense Chief since General Deepak Kapoor’s visit in February 2010.

An Indian High Commission press release on Tuesday said Singh’s three day visit – set to conclude today – will “further enhance bilateral defense cooperation.”

“India’s commitment to Maldives defense has been growing with each passing year. Both countries have inter-linked mutual security interests which need to be protected for the safety and security of the South Asian region and the Indian Ocean,” the statement said.

During his visit, Singh met with President Yameen, Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and the Maldivian Chief of Defense Forces Ahmed Shiyam.

Singh also discussed the possibility of supplying fast-attack craft, amphibious landing craft and small arms from New Delhi, reported the Deccan Herald.

Another potential project is to train 40-60 officers of the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) in Indian training establishments, the article continued.

“All such topics were discussed. But we will reveal details at a later time,” said MNDF Deputy Spokesperson Captain Ali Ihusaan, when asked for a comment on reports by Indian news sources.

Chinese investments including a US$54 million for an IT infrastructure project sparked Indian concern in 2013, with Indian Ministry of Communications and IT saying Beijing’s state owned companies must be “kept at bay.”

According to Indian media, the ministry – in an internal government note – suggested “substantial investment in the Maldives on similar projects [as being planned by China] ensuring that the traffic between India and the Maldives is handled through the equipment installed and commissioned in the Maldives by India.”

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11 thoughts on “India offered to build naval dockyard in Maldives, says Indian media”

  1. So, where's Kuribee, Shimy and Hero now?

    Busy at home, drooling over their ipads and oranges.

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  2. Have india finished their election yet?
    500 million is a serious sum from an unstable political source that deserves a good scrutiny

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  3. what hell you want from me.

    country is moving forward. Yameen is not selling the country for peanuts like Nasheed.

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  4. Ok Hero. Your hero PY is not SELLING the country for peanuts. Slight change in the barter currency...How about if I say he is SELLING the country for COCONUTS ? Sure looks like that. Nasheed offered 10 bags of peanuts and PY is offering 10 bags of COCONUT ?

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  5. Somebody looking for me? I'm here. Yameen is doing very well. He's selling the country for more peanuts than Nasheed did. Also, we are getting some of those peanuts, so it's OK. Got it?

    We don't like Nasheed because he didn't share his peanuts with us.

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  6. Here we go again.....my taxes given in aid to a bunch of ungrateful islanders with whom we kuffars have absolutely nothing in common.....and what do we get in return?
    Don't apply for Indian visas.....our visa section is now permanently closed. The good news is that Pakistani visas are freely available.....do us cow worshippers a favour and go there instead.

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  7. When the sea's rise and Maldivians are running helter-skelter - guess who is NOT going to come rushing to Maldives aid? China.

    Maldives is a mature country and they need to decide what is in their best interests. India is not going to play Waheed's game for much longer and if Maldives cannot be "convinced", India will adopt other strategies to deal with the Chinese presence in Maldives and its implications to Indian security. In any case with or without Maldives help India will act against Chinese influence in the Indian ocean. It would be a shame if Maldivians get caught in the crossfire.

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  8. the maldivians instead of being grateful to india and its people, are spitting venom. a country which can be brought to its knees with my local police station cops, their audacity knows no limits. do you guys know how many zeros are there in 500 million ???? sure u don't with reserves of 200 million dollars 500 dollars is un heard of, so you guys be grateful to your donor without them u can't import your eggs too.

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