India and Maldives cultural ties go from “strength to strength” as cultural center expands activities

The relationship between India and Maldives has been going from “strength to strength” over the past year, stated officials from the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC)

According to the ICC, the centre will increase its outreach with the new services on offer in order to reinforce the positive relationship.

Speaking at the inauguration of a new Library at the ICC yesterday (May 17), the High Commissioner of India H.E Rajeev Shahare stated that the recently completed elections would aid the good relations.

“The people of India have spoken,” remarked Shahare, “it has happened in the entire South Asian region. We’ve had elections, including in the Maldives. I think the trend, what we see is, very well entrenched in democratic practices,” reported Haveeru.

The collection at the new library will be of use to all ages, from the young to the old, an ICC spokesperson explained. The Facebook page and social media will also be used as a platform to engage the local community, they added.

As well as the library, the ICC already offers a range of classes free to the public, including tabla, Kathak dance and yoga.

The centre was inaugurated in Malé in July 2011, with the primary objective of fostering the cultural ties between India and Maldives.

In the same year, India and the Maldives have agreed to begin implementation of an agreement on co-operation in development projects signed in 2011 titled the “Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development”.

The agreement, signed during the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed, mandates the establishment of a joint commission to oversee projects implemented under the programme, and a minimum of one annual meeting of the said commission.

In addition, President Abdulla Yameen recently stated that while the Maldives has “close ties” with China, “nothing will precede ties with India, which are far more precious”.

Yameen told Indian media during his recent official trip to the country, that he had assured its leaders that the bond between the two neighbouring countries is “heartfelt” and “based on sentiments”.

More recently, India’s Army Chief General Bikram Singh visited the Maldives – the visit was the first by a serving Indian Defense Chief since General Deepak Kapoor’s visit in February 2010.