'Uthuru Thila Falhu will be under full control of MNDF'

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has stated that armed Indian forces will not be stationed at Uthuru Thila Falhu military base and that the base will be under the full control of Maldives’ Defense forces.

A recently leaked document said to be a draft of the agreement between the Maldives government and India regarding the development of the Uthuru Thila Falhu base included concerning articles, due to which the public has been voicing its concerns.

Addressing the concerns at a press conference held by MNDF on Tuesday, Chief of Defense Force, and Brigadier General Abdulla Shamal said although an agreement exists between Maldives and India to develop Uthuru Thila Falhu, the agreement has no articles that state that armed Indian military personnel will be stationed at the base. Only those that are permitted by MNDF are allowed entry and exit from the base, said the Chief.

Brigadier General Shamal said the rumors that are being spread on different platforms are baseless, and that action that can be taken against those who spread false information are being investigated. He assured that action will be taken against such acts.

Shamal further assured that no articles of the existing agreement should cause concern to any Maldivian citizen, and said the Uthuru Thila Falhu facility is extremely important resource to the defense forces. It is the state that would decide on who would operate the facility and who can remain on the facility, he added. The state has the full authority to terminate the agreement at any point of time, said Shamal.