MNDF appeals order to disclose part of UTF agreement to high court

Maldives National Defense Force's (MNDF) Chief of Defense Force, Major General Abdulla Shamaal (R) and Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi (L). (Sun Photo/Muzayyin Nazim)

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has appealed Information Commissioner’s Office’s order to disclose some of the contents of the agreement between the Maldivian and Indian military to develop the Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) base to High Court of the Maldives.

The Information Commissioner’s Office issued the instructions in response to a case lodged by a journalist over the lack of response from MNDF to a letter seeking details on six aspects of the UTF agreement. 

Information Commissioner made a decision in the case in last October, which read that MNDF had refused to disclose the information citing national security concerns, but the information the reporter sought does not pose a threat to national security. 

MNDF was instructed to disclose the requested information within seven days of the decision – which Defense Ministry had objected complying with, citing disclosing the information poses threat to national security.

Sun has learned MNDF has appealed Information Commissioner’s decision to High Court. However, it is unclear at the moment whether High Court has accepted the case or not.


  • The institutions to which the technical personnel belong to 
  • Their duration of stay in Maldives 
  • The number of technical personnel who will be stationed at the base 
  • Details of diplomatic immunity to the personnel, if applicable 
  • Details of accommodation and other expenses 
  • Details of the USD 50 million loan under the agreement 

The UTF project involves developing a modern naval port and dockyard in the base. Maldivian government has stated that Maldives will have full ownership of the facilities established at the UTF base under the project, and that the facilities will be operated by Maldives.