Kerala minister to look into Indian teacher’s incarceration in Maldives

Chief Minister of Kerala state Oommen Chandy has pledged to provide all assistance necessary to secure the release of K.K. Jayachandran – an Indian teacher jailed in the Maldives.

Chandy gave the assurances to the Jayachandran’s family following the teacher’s wife’s petition to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, reported the Hindu.

Jyothi Jayachandran sad that her husband had been falsely accused of abusing a student at his school on Feali Island, in Faafu Atoll, in April of this year.

“Subsequently, the complaint was withdrawn by the victim and his parents, but the police pursued the case by extending his custody, ” Jyothi was quoted as telling the Hindu last week.

“I have approached the Indian High Commission and Embassy office at the Maldives. So far, I have got no positive response from them,” she said.

Chandy subsequently said he would summon the consul attached to the Maldivian Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday as well as contacting the Indian High Commission in Malé.

Source: The Hindu


Bileiydhoo man dies while removing moss from boat

A 30-year-old man has died in Faafu Bileiydhoo this morning while removing moss from the hull of a boat docked in the island harbor.

According to local media the incident took place around 08:50pm, and by the time he was taken to the hospital – within five minutes – he was dead.

Quoting an island council member local media reported that it has been considered a natural death as the person suffered from a heart condition.


Pneumonia patient dies on sea ambulance en route to Malé

A 31-year-old woman diagnosed with pneumonia has died on the sea ambulance en route to Malé on Sunday night.

Fathimath Naeem of Faafu Atoll Nilandhoo Island died at 10:30, approximately 30 minutes after a sea ambulance left Nilandhoo, the island’s council has said.

Fathimath is survived by her husband and a five-year-old daughter.

A pregnant woman also gave birth on a Nilandhoo street while waiting for the same sea ambulance, the council said. Both the mother and child are in good health, the Faafu Atoll Nilandhoo Hospital has said.

President Abdulla Yameen’s administration introduced sea ambulance services in May to provide emergency transportation from all inhabited islands in the country.

There are no sea ambulances stationed at Faafu Atoll and the atoll’s islands use neighboring Dhaal Atoll’s speedboat. According to the island council, the hospital had called for a sea ambulance at midday, but the speedboat only arrived at 10pm.

According to Nilandhoo Council President Ahmed Ali, health services at Faafu Atoll Hospital are poor. He also said pregnant women routinely go to Malé to give birth, as there are no gynecologists, surgeons or anesthetists at the hospital.

The sea ambulance incident is the latest in a series of service failures in recent weeks.

The Health Ministry appealed to island councils to refrain from criticising health services, claiming councils were spreading false information in the media.

The ministry said such claims lead to a loss in confidence in health services and said it did not have the required budgetary support to buy new equipment and renovate health posts.

On Saturday, northern Haa Dhaal Atoll Kulhudhuffushi islanders held a protest over deteriorated healthcare conditions in the region.

The Haa Dhaal council released a statement expressing concern over “comatose” health services and condemned a severe lack of doctors, equipment and facilities at the regional hospital.

The council said a woman had to be flown to Malé to sew up a cut to the vagina during childbirth and an infant suffered damages to the head during a caesarean.

“The council calls on the Ministry of Health and all relevant authorities to recruit two more gynecologists, a physician, a cardiologist, ultra sound scanning machine, an x-ray machine, 4 ECD machines, two fetal Doppler and adequate supplies for and facilities in the twelve health centers in Haa Dhaal Atoll,” the statement read.

In response, Shakeela told regional newspaper Kulhudhuffushi Online work is underway to improve regional health facilities and said the ministry is recruiting doctors to staff regional hospitals.

The Health Ministry is also in the process of purchasing a new x-ray machine and laboratory equipment for the Kulhudhuffushi hospital, she said. But the process will take time, as equipment is imported from abroad, she added.

The government in May announced it is seeking 225 additional doctors, and said it will place 91 medial officers in health centers across the country.

On June 3, councilors of the southern Fuvahmulah Island held a press conference blasting Health Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela for “worsening conditions” at the hospital after a case of stillbirth and the death of a soldier on the island.

In February, the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé transfused HIV positive blood to a patient due to an alleged technical error.


Police arrest 52 year-old man on suspicion of molesting children

Police have arrested a 52 year-old man from the island of Bileiydhoo in Faafu Atoll on suspicion of molesting young children on the island.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed the man was arrested yesterday at 1:52pm, after they obtained an arrest warrant from the court.

‘’We can confirm that the man was accused of molesting young boys on the island,’’ Haneef said, adding that as the case involved minors police could not provide further details.

Bileiydhoo Council Chairman Abdulla Zuhury told Minivan News that the police arrested the man after obtaining a warrant.

‘’The case was not reported to the council, some islanders reported the case directly to the authorities and the Gender Ministry and the police are now conducting a joint investigation into the case,’’ Zuhury said.

‘’I can’t confirm the ages of the children he allegedly molested but I have heard that they were very young – around 5- 7 years-old,’’ he said.

Zuhury said police have summoned and questioned other people in connection with the case.

The island council of Bileiydhoo has told local newspapers that the man was a staff member at the island’s mosque, and that he allegedly molested the children inside his house.

According to local media, the man is married and has a disabled daughter.

Under the Act Number 12/2009 ‘Special Measure Applicable to Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse’, the penalty for child sex abuse is 10-14 years but can be extended to 15-18 years if the accused was in a position of trust with the children he or she abused.


Faafu Atoll Council Chair resigns

Idhrees Abubakur, chair of the Faafu Atoll Council, has resigned from his post and as a councillor.

Sun Online reports Idhrees, who represents the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), as saying that he resigned because of a “serious matter,” which he would reveal in the near future.

An unnamed MDP councillor however insisted that Idhrees resigned because of an impending no-confidence motion against him. The ruling party has a majority on the Faafu Atoll Council.

Idhrees had previously survived a no-confidence motion by a narrow margin.


Maldives signs agreement with University of Milano-Bicocca for scientific and academic programs at Magoodhoo, Faafu atoll

The government has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MoU) agreement with the University of Milano-Bicocca to implement scientific and
academic programs at an outpost of the university in Magoodhoo island, Faafu atoll.

With the agreement coming into effect the university will:
– Cover expenses related to research at the outpost;
– Provide all research equipment, instrumentation and other materials;
– Provide subsidised tuition fees for local students;
– Arrange two scholarships from various funding institutions.

For local students studying at the university:
– the university will organise Italian language classes for primary and secondary students at the island on a no fee basis.

At the agreement ceremony, President Nasheed and delegates from the university discussed how to make the outpost more effective, and how to implement the university programmes on the island as soon as possible.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the government by the minister of state for foreign affairs Ahmed Naseem, and on behalf of the university, rector Marcello Fontanesi.