Seventeen Maafushi prison officers have completed a human rights training programme designed to increase their awareness of the Constitution and the rights guaranteed by it.
The “Human Rights and Constitution Training for Prison Staff” was a project organised by the UNDP in conjunction with relevant state organisations.
UNDP Resident Coordinator Andrew Cox told graduates at the closing ceremony held in Maafushi today that their training would help ensure that prisons are “not just a dead end” but another step towards rehabilitation and reform of prisoners.
The training provided to prison officers was also a further achievement in ensuring that rights guaranteed under Article 2 of the Constitution are integrated throughout the entire judicial process.
Minister of Home Affairs Mohamed Shihab told the gathering that such training was essential for those engaged in such a high-pressure and high-risk profession as that of the prison officers. There have been occasions, he noted, when the repercussions of rapid decisions taken by prison officers working under pressure had been felt nation wide.
Addressing the ceremony on behalf of all participants, Trainee Prison Officer Abdul Qadir Ibrahim said the training had made them all aware that “the Constitution is as essential to life as water”.
The former capitals of Kaaf atoll and and Shaviyani atolls have been reinstated.
The government changed the capitals from Thulusdhoo to Maafushi (Kaafu atoll) and from Funadhoo to Milandhoo (Shaviyani atoll) on 26 October 2009.
That decision has now been reversed by the Majlis after a vote with 41 MPs for the reinstatement and 31 against.
The bill containing the reinstatement, originally presented by Funadhoo MP Ali Saleem, was passed with committee amendments.
President Mohamed Nasheed inaugurated the MWSC’s (Malé Water and Sewerage Company) Production Centre in Maafushi on Saturday, which will provide desalinated water to the residents of the island.
President Nasheed noted the government recognised basic utilities like water and sewerage were essential for the development and prosperity of the people.
He said the government was aiming to provide these services in a sustainable manner, but needed support from the private sector which is why the government is pursuing a policy of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to carry out developmental activities.
President Nasheed also said the government’s wish to create seven provinces was “not for political gain but for the benefit of all citizens.”
He said the government “does not desire to do anything through arguing and fighting in the People’s Majlis,” but is trying to do what is best for the citizens of the country.
He noted if anyone could explain why creating the provinces would obstruct the development of the country, “we are ready to concede.”