Maldives Parliament Urges Action on Indian Coast Guard

Maldives Parliament Confronts Government Over Indian Coast Guard's Storming of Maldivian Fishing Boats

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People's Majlis (Parliament House), Maldives

In an unprecedented move, an emergency motion was submitted to the Maldivian Parliament on Monday, accusing the government of neglecting the recent storming of Maldivian fishing boats by Indian soldiers. The motion, presented by Ungoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed during Wednesday’s session, demanded stronger action against the perceived transgressions.

The motion, which called for immediate government attention, was accepted for consideration with a unanimous vote of 54 members of Parliament.

MP Mohamed Waheed criticized state institutions responsible for safeguarding Maldives’ territory and citizens, alleging a failure to provide clear information about the incident. He argued that this lack of transparency had caused panic and fear among the public. Furthermore, Waheed accused the government of shirking its legal responsibilities in effectively addressing the situation.

The incident in question occurred on December 31 when armed officers from the Indian Coast Guard stopped and boarded three local fishing boats – Asurumaa-3, Maahoara-3, and Neru-7 – within the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Sailors on these vessels reported that the Indian soldiers demanded the boats’ satellite phone numbers. Disturbingly, the same Indian Coast Guard ship stormed Maahoara-3 once again on February 1.

In response to the initial incident, the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) issued a statement on Friday, confirming that the three boats were within Maldives’ maritime boundary when boarded. The MNDF revealed that the boarding teams belonged to India Coast Guard Ship 246 and India Coast Guard Ship 253, and the operation was conducted without coordination with Maldivian authorities, violating international maritime laws and regulations.

Maldives has formally demanded an explanation from India regarding the incident. The emergency motion submitted to Parliament reflects growing concerns over the perceived lack of government action and transparency in addressing this sensitive issue. As the Parliament deliberates on the motion, the public awaits a decisive response from the government to protect national sovereignty and ensure the safety of its citizens.

Sri Lanka Guardian

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