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Maldives parliament repeals law allowing foreign land ownership

Infra News - Published on Mon, 22 Apr 2019

Image Source: ETRealty
Reuters reported that the Maldives has cancelled a 2015 law that allowed foreigners to own land in the tropical islands, a move the government said addressed concerns about potential loss of sovereignty. Maldives, located near busy shipping lanes, has been drawn into a regional contest for influence after China stepped up infrastructure development, prompting a pushback from India, its traditional partner.

In 2015, the parliament controlled by supporters of former president Abdullah Yameen changed the land ownership laws to allow the government to sell land to foreigners ready to invest over USD 1 billion, so long it was reclaimed from the sea. No land was actually sold to any foreigner since the law came into effect four years ago.

The move by the pro-China Yameen stoked concern that foreign powers could use such land for military purposes and this week the Maldives parliament moved to repeal the law in line with a campaign promise by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who took power last year.

Presidential spokesman Mr Ibrahim Hood said that "Land is one of the most valuable resources we Maldivians have and obviously it is limited. It is intrinsically connected to our identity and it is difficult for many to see that identity sold off just like any other commodity. The president understands this connection and these sentiments which is why he had pledged to reverse that particular constitutional amendment.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 22 Apr 2019
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