MUO petitions President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom to adhere to transparency obligations and the Right to Information Act as regards the future of Faafu Atoll

London 22 February 2017- The Maldivian United Opposition (MUO) petitions President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom to adhere to transparency obligations and the Right to Information Act as regards the future of Faafu Atoll.

On 24 January 2017 President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom had announced, in a public speech in Magoodoo Island in Faafu Atoll, that Saudi Arabia’s rulers have a special interest in Faafu Atoll,  to implement what he said was “an integrated development project involving various industries and open to travellers from all over the world”. The President said that he had hoped for the project to begin last year, adding that the Saudis had stalled it because of political instability in the Maldives.

The Maldives United Opposition deplores the fact that the government had continued to ignore numerous requests for information on the subject, raising public alarm and dismay over the purported sale of the atoll to Saudi Arabia.

Faafu Atoll, one of 26 Atolls in Maldives, is located in the south west of the country. The atoll has 19 islands, of which five are inhabited and one is a tourist resort. Some 4,365 people are spread across the inhabited islands.

Inhabitants of the atoll have expressed fears of relocation, while Maldivians all over the country are alarmed and dismayed over possible consequences such as threats to national security and compromises to the state’s sovereignty, making it apparent that the Maldivian people are against this covert deal involving Faafu Atoll.

The Maldives United Opposition (MUO) appeals to all concerned authorities and international well-wishers to prevail over the Maldives ruling regime to stop these clandestine negotiations; and ensure that matters of state are conducted with transparency and accountability; and to regularize due political and public interactions as regards the future of Faafu Atoll.