President Abdulla Yameen has called on military officials to maintain discipline and professional standards in their service.
“The state wants to make soldiers professional. The security of the state depends on the professionalism of soldiers.”
“Political ideology should not enter the ranks of soldiers,” said Yameen – the commander in chief of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
Yameen’s comments were made during a ceremony held in Malé to mark the 122nd anniversary of the military service in the Maldives. The occasion also saw the launch of the military’s own television station and the presentation of numerous awards.
Yameen said disciplinary action has to be taken in order to maintain professional standards. He noted that some “very honorable” members of the military lost their jobs recently, but that this has to be accepted as “the military way of life”.
Though the president noted that the military had gained the love and trust of Maldivians, he warned that such confidence was very fragile.
“The confidence in you from the state and citizens is not guaranteed in any way. It is a very delicate confidence, it is a very delicate contract.”
“Action take during a single incident could lose the society’ confidence in the military. Let us recall the recent past. 2012 presented a strong example of this from the military institution,” Yameen said.
During the ceremony, President Yameen launched MNDF’s official television channel ‘Addana TV’.
MNDF deputy spokesperson Captain Ali Ihsan told Minivan News today that the channel is currently being received only within the military premises and will be broadcast for the general public after the necessary license is acquired from the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC).
MBC has confirmed that MNDF has not yet registered any television channel for public broadcasting.
While programming is currently limited to just two hours, the future schedule will provide details on the activities of the military and raise awareness of laws, as well as providing entertainment.
The channel will be maintained by the Media and Publishing Service unit of the force and is currently being funded by “well wishers”, explained Ihsan, as well as the MNDF cooperative society SIFCO and its joint venture company SIWEC (owned 90 percent by SIFCO, and 10 percent by the government).
At last night’s ceremony, commendation letters and certificates were awarded to servicemen for various achievements, and honorary shields given to institutions, servicemen, and other individuals in recognition of their services.
Minister of Defence and National Security Colonel (Rt) Mohamed Nazim was honored with the ‘Sincere Service Medal’ for his services towards the development of the military service, the numerous opportunities provided for soldiers, and the “great amount of love for the military in his heart”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nazim promised the modern and quality equipment necessary to improve the services of the military.
Chief of Defense Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam was also awarded with the same honor for productive works in his personal capacity, and his future plans to reform the military.
The ceremony was concluded with a special prayer and the official MNDF song.