India rejects “baseless” media claims regarding defence cooperation

The Indian High Commission in Malé has issued a press release seeking to clarify what it argues are “baseless claims” in media reports regarding bilateral cooperation on defence.

“The High Commission of India notes with concern recent media reports about India-Maldives defence and security co-operation and other issues containing blatantly false information,” read this morning’s statement.

It follows a number of stories in Maldivian media which suggested India had refused to train Maldivians to pilot the helicopters, donated to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) in 2010 and 2013 .

It was also reported that the Indian pilots who currently man the Kurangi helicopter (meaning frigate-bird in Dhivehi) had conducted unauthorised flights.

Kurangi is currently stationed at Gan International Airport in the southernmost Seenu Atoll. The aircraft is intended for use for search and rescue operations and surveillance within the Maldives exclusive economic zone.

“The Indian crew members, who provide technical support, are under the operational control of MNDF and can fly Kurangi only on authorisation by MNDF,” said the Indian High Commission.

“Hence, the accusations made in media reports that the crew of Kurangi flew across some areas of Maldives without orders are totally baseless and completely false.”

Maldivian news outlets had attempted to link alleged requests for more Indian pilots – for the second helicopter, currently still in India – to accusations of an attempted coup by former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

The High Commission said today that the second helicopter – accepted by Nazim during an official visit in December 2013 – has been painted in Maldivian colours and is awaiting the establishment of necessary infrastructure.

In the months prior to his dismissal and subsequent arrest, Nazim had announced his intention to convert Kadhdhoo Airport in Laamu Atoll to a military facility.

Suggestions that Maldivians had not been given the opportunity to operate the helicopter in Gan were also rejected by Indian officials today, as were claims that no Maldivian officers were being trained.

“It has been India’s constant endeavour to ensure that Maldives is self-sufficient in operating these assets gifted by India and towards this end several training programs are offered for Maldivian defence personnel in India.”

Today’s statement explained that one flight engineer and one technician from the MNDF had completed ALH training in November 2014, while two more slots had been offered for 2015.

“In the preceding year, around 150 MNDF officers were trained in various defence institutions and colleges in India. Capacity building has been a key area of co-operation in India-Maldives bilateral relationship,” read the statement.

MNDF spokesmen were not responding to calls at the time of publication.

Today’s statement marks the second time in recent months that the High Commission has moved to correct reports regarding its affairs, with a press release in November denying suggestions made in the People’s Majlis that India had discussed joining China’s Maritime Silk Road project.

The ruling Progressive Part of Maldives subsequently blamed the opposition and associated media outlets for the confusion over the silk route issue.

Related to this story

MNDF gifted helicopter as ties with India continue to grow

Military consolidation expected to dominate Defence Minister Nazim’s India visit

Kadhdhoo to become military airport

India denies having discussed New Silk Road initiative with China


8 thoughts on “India rejects “baseless” media claims regarding defence cooperation”

  1. Yameen's foreign policy is to annoy the hell out of our superpower neighbors. But since these shenanigans are for religion and country i guess its ok.

  2. I dont know why some people of maldives has been trying to malaign India since last 1-2 years,a country that stood by Maldives every time of its hour of need with the recent one is water crisis where India was the 1st to respond.Is it because they get too much confidence and are riding on Chinese??But remember pitting China against India can be disastrous for nations like maldives as these two nations are giants and core rivals and competitors with each having biggest military on planet.

  3. Maldivians are so ungrateful for all the FREE aid given by the Indian people. FREE hospitals, FREE health camps, FREE military hardware, FREE drinking water. I don't know why we bother sometimes.
    India should cancel all further aid, unless it is paid for, shut down the visa office and organise a bus shuttle to the Pakistan embassy for visa applicants.
    Can we have the gifted choppers back?

  4. I know this site is financed by Indian Gundas, GMR and MissIndiaAgarwaltheThug. It is also highly likely that like many of my other recent comments, these words may not be published. Any how, I will let the patriotic Maldivan feelings expressed here to tell Mr. Daniel Bosely (who is also part of the group of people trying to create instabilty in the Maldives),that you will never be successful, like the Indians who have tried from time immemorial. May Allah protect us from these enemies of my beloved nation.

  5. @MissIndia

    Nah. Try blockading Mal'e, though. Hero and his ilk are chickens**ts and will surrender the moment the big guns start roaring.

  6. @Maldivian.
    India had already tried bully us in 2012 and got failed and we will continue to live a better life in Maldives with or without Indian aids.

    Let me also remind you non of you will be able to take bribes from GMR to come to operate our airport in Maldives.

  7. Don't think that Nasheed , the second Kannannaru Ali Raja can give away this nation to India .

  8. MissIndiaAgarwaltheThug, it was Rajiv Gandhi under the name of "Operation Cactus" who tried to take over the Maldives using the vanquished Plotte terrorists from Sri Lanka. As often as it happens, the operation backfired and Qayyoom requested Rajiv to clean-up the mess he created. Rajiv obliged by doing a mopping-up and sending the invaders out of our beloved country in Nov. 1988.


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