Crime lowest in five years, claims Police Commissioner

Police Commissioner Hussein Waheed has told media that 2014 saw the fewest reported incidents of crime in five years.

18,193 cases were reported to the police last year, he explained – a drop of 1.7 percent compared with 2013.

Haveeru reported Waheed as saying that theft – the most reported offence – was considerably lower than it had been over the past five years.

However, police statistics show that while reports of theft in 2014 had dropped compared to 2012 and 2013, they were still higher than in the three preceding years. Reported theft in 2014 was 26 percent higher than in 2009.

Comparing 2014’s figures with 2009, there were increased reports of robbery (4.9 percent), drug offences (32.6 percent), and domestic violence (69 percent). Reported cases of assault dropped between 2009 and 2014 by 44 percent, while traffic accident reports fell by 18.4 percent, sexual offences by 15.7 percent, forgery and counterfeiting by 41.6 percent, and vandalism  by 42.3 percent.

Waheed also noted that two-thirds of the 3,139 drug-related cases in 2014 were reported outside of the capital, Malé, which is home to around one-third of the country’s population.

Waheed told media on Thursday that 50 Maldivians were thought to have travelled abroad for Jihad, while noting that the unresolved case of missing Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan had been the biggest investigation of 2014.

Source: Haveeru


Averting climate change catastrophe is still possible, says environment minister

Minister of Environment and Energy Thoriq Ibrahim has called for a cap on global temperature rise, and pledged to increase renewable energy to 30% in the next 5 years.

“Averting catastrophe is still possible,” said Thoriq in a statement released yesterday (April 14).

“The impacts of climate change are already being felt, and that is why we are calling for a cap of 1.5 degree Celcius.”

Thoriq’s pledges were made in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report entitled ‘Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change’, released on March 31.

The IPCC report contends that the world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. However, it also argues that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be more difficult to manage the higher the levels of warming.

The report confirms that carbon emissions have risen more rapidly during the last decade, and that a rise in our current temperature would make the effects extremely difficult to manage. It further urged leaders to invest in low carbon energy projects in order to limit global warming to 2 degrees celcius.

The statement by Thoriq explains that the Maldives – with its low lying islands vulnerable to a rise in sea levels – has been actively campaigning the impacts of climate change for 27 years.

“We are determined and actively working towards increasing our share of renewable in the electricity production of populated islands by 30% within next 5 years,” stated Thoriq.

“The Maldives is committed to introduce cost effective renewable energy as part of a diverse, low-carbon and secure energy mix in our low carbon development.”

The IPCC report prompted calls from Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon for the international community to switch from ” ‘business-as-usual’ mode to ‘action now’ “.

“Let this report be the much needed impetus for this September’s Climate Summit in New York, and let us all put our names in history books for saving the planet for our children, in Paris next year”, said Dunya shortly after the report’s publication.

Policies in progress

In keeping with these statements, the Ministry of Environment had recently revealed plans to set up a climate research institute in the Maldives.

Speaking as the guest of honour at the second forum on climate held in the Maldives, Minister Thoriq said that this forum was an important step in mitigating the risks of climate change that low-lying island states experience, reported local media outlet CNM.

Introduced in the Maldives in July 2012, the Monsoon Forum has taken a multi-hazard approach, integrating issues on forecasts and warning information with concerns regarding geological hazards like earthquakes and tsunamis.

This forum – organised jointly by the Maldives Meteorological Service and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems – is geared as an opportunity for dialogue between hydro-meteorological scientists, who generate climate information and promote the application of forecasts and warning information for enhanced management of climate change risks.

Thoriq said that these meetings were crucial as different institutions have to anticipate possible impacts and develop a set of potential responses or management strategies to minimise them. He was also reported to have highlighted the importance of having a climate research institute in the Maldives.

In addition, the ministry recently held an international renewable energy investor’s conference, focusing on the development of solar energy, in a bid to transform the Maldives’ energy sector.

Held on March 26, the ministry reported that a total of 78 participants from government organisations, the World Bank, foreign consultants, and investors discussed photovoltaic systems at the conference.

The conference came after the government last week outlined it’s strategic aims for renewable energy in a proposal named ‘Accelerating Sustainable Private Investments in Renewable Energy programme’ (ASPIRE).

Published March 21 2014, this report detailed some of the difficulties faced by the Maldives, as well as future plans to increase the proportion of sustainable energy consumed in the country.

After the publication of the IPCC report, Thoriq stated that there was “no room at all for any hesitancy”.

“Bold and urgent actions are the order of the day. Now is the time for world leaders to show leadership, implement bold and urgent actions and avert future generations from impending danger before it’s too late. Humanity cannot afford further delay.”


Police confirm body of Azerbaijan national found on Kurumba resort

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has confirmed an investigation is ongoing into the death of a 27 year-old male from Azerbaijan, whose body was discovered at the Kurumba Maldives resort near to the capital of Male’ on Thursday (July 25).

A police media official confirmed to Minivan News that the body of Tural Gurbanov had been discovered on the resort Thursday – though the cause of his death was unknown at time of press.

Local media has previously reported that the deceased was believed to have been a tourist whose body was discovered in one of the resort’s rooms on Thursday morning.


Government gazette to be online only publication from March 1, 2013

The President’s Office has announced it will discontinue producing a print edition of the government gazette from next month in favour of publishing the document online.

According to the President’s Office website, the decision to cease printing of the government gazette from March 1, 2013, has been taken as part of efforts to reduce state expenditure.

The online edition of the gazette, which will continue to outline cabinet policy, legislation as well as other state developments and vacancies, can be read here.


President Waheed departs to Egypt for OIC summit

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has departed on an official visit to Egypt for participation in the 12th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the President’s Office website has said today.

The summit, which started last Saturday ( February 2), will continue until February 7 and is expected to see leaders or senior representatives for 57 OIC members states gather to discuss greater political and economic cooperation, according to the StarAfrica news service.

Back in August 2012, President Waheed attended the fourth extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Conference in Saudi Arabia following an invitation from King Abdulla Bin Abdul Azeez.