Third Country Influenced Taking of 45,000 Acres of Maldivian Waters: Umar Naseer

03 Jun 2023 | 16:07
Umar Naseer

Umar Naseer, the former Home Minister of Maldives, has stated that the Maldivian territory has experienced a loss of 45,000 acres. He claims that Mauritius acquired this territory due to the influence of a third country.

In the context of the Chagos-Maldives border dispute, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled that Maldives should have jurisdiction over an area measuring 47,232 acres, while Mauritius was granted an area of 45,331 acres. However, there has been opposition claiming that this decision by ITLOS resulted in Maldives losing an area of 45,331 acres, which previously served as an important fishing and economic zone for the Maldives.

They further assert that there is no legal justification for granting the Maldivian economic zone territory to another country. Additionally, they claim that the forthcoming presidency will work towards reclaiming the lost area and restoring it to Maldives.

During a rally organized by the opposition under the name "Etihad against Sale of Territorial Waters," Umar Naseer expressed his views on the dispute. He claimed that although the government stated that Maldives received a significant portion under the ITLOS decision, in reality, Maldives gained nothing at all. 

According to him, Mauritius acquired whatever territory was at stake, and this occurred due to the involvement and influence of a third country. Umar Naseer further criticized the government for relinquishing the rights of Maldivian fishermen in the process.

He additionally expressed the belief that the appropriate course of action would have been for no Maldivian president to claim that the area belonged to Mauritius. Instead, he criticized the current government for sending a letter and reaching the conclusion that the area actually belongs to Mauritius. 

Umar emphasized that the mistake made by the Maldivian government was accepting the decision made by ITLOS, suggesting that Maldives would have been in a better position if the decision had been rejected. 

To bolster his argument about the involvement and influence of a third country in the ITLOS decision, Umar pointed out that the military of this specific country is currently present in Maldives.

Umar claimed that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has abandoned the legacies and policies upheld by all the previous presidents due to the influence exerted by another country.

Umar asserted that Chagos rightfully belongs to Maldives, and he emphasized that the people of Maldives understand the significance of not relinquishing control over that territory. He expressed confidence that the upcoming government will work towards reclaiming the lost area of Maldivian territorial waters.