SAARC centre 60 percent complete, says Foreign Ministry

The convention centre being constructed in Addu Atoll for the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit is 60 percent complete, reports the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

This is the first time that the SAARC has been held off of Malé, and south of the equator.

Director of Communications for the Foreign Ministry, Irushaadha Abdul Sattar, said official invitations had been sent to participating countries, and teams were working round the clock to ensure the facilities were ready.

Workers were currently on a three shift a day schedule to complete the facility on time, Sattar said, noting that the physical structure was now complete and workers were focusing on internal wiring and landscaping.

“There has never been this amount of development for a SAARC Summit in the Maldives,” she said. “Roads are being built, buildings put up, wiring is being done, and this time it’s all going straight to the people.”

The Sri Lankan government has pledged to build a six kilometer road as part of project, with teams expected to arrive soon. The Foreign Ministry predicts that the facility will be completed by mid-September.

Addu City Mayor, Abdullah Sodiq, meanwhile forecast October 15 as a likely completion date for construction project, which covers 70 hectares. The Summit will be held in November.

Sodiq told Minivan News that the people of Addu were happy to see the infrastructure being built.

“The only concern is that it may not be completed on schedule,” he said, “At the beginning, progress was very slow, but now they are working very hard around the clock to be finished by October 15,” he said.

The Foreign Ministry said 30 groups have been chosen to perform sideline activities, such as entertainment, during the convention. Sodiq noted that youth groups and NGOs will be included, as well as some groups from other countries in the region.

The government has previously announced that the theme for the 17th SAARC Summit will be “Building Bridges” between member states, both in a physical and diplomatic sense.

One anticipated topic for the summit – heavily promoted by the Maldives – is the introduction of ferry services between the Maldives and destinations such as India and Sri Lanka.

President of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s youth wing, Shauna Aminath, previously observed that SAARC member nations included those the lowest-lying in the world – the Maldives – and the highest: Nepal.

“There are differences, but we want to use these as an opportunity to celebrate as a united force to build bridges of friendship, peace and security,” Aminath said.


5 thoughts on “SAARC centre 60 percent complete, says Foreign Ministry”

  1. SAARC summit: a big waste of time and money of a region with the most poor nations in the world. The only reason you have this summit is to decide a venue for the next summit. Then all the leaders go back to their countries and SAARC remains in the same hidden closet just like it has been since it was formed. Despite the fact SAARC is the body which represents most number of people as a whole in this world, it has done little or nothing at all for the people of the countries in SAARC. The region remains still in poverty, terror, violence, corruption, no freedom of movement, low standard of health care and sanitation, hunger, struggling lives, dirty politics, debts, etc etc. So whats the use of this SAARC. How many years of SAARC's exhistence are needed to show its use on the people of SAARC nations? I feel it doesnt matter whether we are all in a so called SAARC or not, it hasn't brought any good to its people so far, so why be in a so called SAARC?

  2. Interesting update and a shrewd investment for the region. Good news is very refreshing, thanks MV.

  3. @Ziyan

    It's not the fault of SAARC that the region has not alleviated poverty or gotten rid of dirty politics or corruption. If you take any part of the world with over 1 billion people and put them together, I can guarantee that you'll come to the same sort of problems.

    These are hard problems to solve and take many generations of effort. At a fundamental level, we have to start to understand each other better and educate ourselves on our common interests than our differences. We need to educate all of our people to get out of poverty.

    In one sense, all organisations such as a SAARC are a waste of time as you say. Even the United Nations is nothing more than a talking shop where the interests of the rich nations are preserved. There's no perfect solution; these are all imperfect compromises to a very imperfect world.

  4. Due to “SARC” summit Addu will be exposed at least to this region. That is plus point to Addu and maybe the Adduans can exploit the situation and get Indian investment for their region.

  5. @ Ziyn, 21st Aug 2011 OR other like these.

    YES, boys, yes. Keep up your good works by commenting and keeping the foolish Maldivians in a state of confusion by always trying to DIVERT the readers attention from what is being written to something else. Something Islamic or something relating to over expenditure from the current government or the like – anything but the subject in focus. HA HA… hehe.

    Also tell the foolish Maldivians that these infidel and anti-Muslim newspapers are nothing but propaganda machines for this so called democratically-elected. And never let any media’s coverage of my doings be properly absorbed into their minds.

    [And hey boys, do please drop by tonight. I've got your pay checks ready. Don't forget to bring the Vaseline or the KY tube. Also don't get seen by anyone. You don't want the most holiest Islamic man to get caught with this, right? 😉 ]


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