Opposition: UTF agreement is unconstitutional, must be terminated

The opposition PPM-PNC coalition stages a protest in Male' City demanding Indian military personnel to leave Maldives. (Photo/PPM)

The opposition coalition, composed of PPM and PNC, states that the agreement between the Maldivian and Indian military to develop Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) base is in violation of the Maldivian constitution, and must be terminated. 

Top MNDF officials met with Parliament’s Security Services Committee members to brief them regarding the agreement on Sunday. Committee members were shown a copy of the agreement during the meeting. 

In a statement on Monday, the opposition coalition said they were deeply concerned that committee members were not given a copy of the agreement for further review, and that the committee itself did not make an effort to obtain a copy of the agreement. 

The opposition said it served as further proof of the failure of the Parliament and the government to alleviate the concerns the Maldivian people have regarding the agreement. 

“This coalition believes that instead of showing a copy of the document they said was the Uthuru Thila Falhu agreement from a screen, the committee is obligated to conduct separate reviews into each and every provision on the agreement,” said the opposition in their statement. 

The opposition said that the presentation made by MNDF to the committee members on Sunday revealed that India had the power to give diplomatic immunity to officials in any field of their choice, and keep them stationed at the UTF base for over 15 years. 

“While [the government] has stated that the people who will be brough in by India will not include Indian military personnel, signing an agreement which enables Indian military personnel to be stationed in a Maldivian military base without seeking approval from the Parliament violates Article 115 (k) (2) of the Maldivian constitution,” said the opposition coalition in their statement. 

The opposition said that Maldives will lose its sovereign powers due to the agreement, and that it should therefore be immediately terminated.