Addu City’s Mayor Ali Nizar has stated that Council is working on establishing a Sri Lankan or Chinese consulate at the city – prior to an Indian consulate.
Speaking at a television program broadcasted by Rajje TV, Nizar noted that some locals are against establishing a consulate of India in the city due to the ‘India-Out’ campaigns led by the Opposition Coalition.
Therefore, Addu City Council is working on establishing a consulate of a country such as Sri Lanka or China prior to the establishment of an Indian consulate – citing that it might ease the worries of those against the establishment of an Indian consulate. He also added that individuals who are against such development feats in the City are politically motivated.
Nizar further detailed that the Council has already discussed the matter with representatives from the Chinese Embassy – however, they did not express much interest in establishing a consulate in Addu City at the moment as there are no ongoing major projects by China at the City.
“Nevertheless, we are still aiming to establish a consulate of another country before we move forward with the Indian consulate as we see this as the solution,” he had said.
He also confirmed that discussions had taken place with the High Commission of India in the Maldives regarding the consulate matter – and that their intentions to establish a consulate in Addu City are pure. Nizar also noted that the High Commission’s plan was to rent a premise for the consulate building – just as the usual procedure would have been elsewhere.
Discussion of an establishment of a consulate of another is outside the mandate of a local council. This is a matter that can only be decided by the President or the Foreign Minister. Moreover, it is up to the concerned country to decide whether they would establish a consulate in another nation.
When the Foreign Ministry was asked for a comment regarding Mayor Nizaar’s statement by Sun, they had declined to comment.
While the Indian parliament has passed to establish a consulate of India in Addu City – the Maldivian government has yet to decide on the matter. A High Commission of India already exists at the capital Male’ City. Many locals have raised concerns over establishing a consulate of India in Addu City – citing there is a hidden agenda to it.