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Maldives government using xenophobia against GMR: Nasheed

Posted on Nov 28, 09:58PM | IANS

The Maldives government of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik used xenophobia, nationalism and religious extremism to attack Indian firm GMR and annul an agreement to manage the airport in Male, former president Mohamed Nasheed said Wednesday.

Reacting to the government's decision to annul the GMR agreement to manage the Ibrahim Nasir international airport, Nasheed told Haveeru online: "This decision is bad for tourism, bad for the economy and bad for the Maldivian people."

Nasheed accused the government of using xenophobia against the country's largest foreign investor.

"This will put off potential investors for decades. Waheed is leading the Maldives down the path to economic ruin," Nasheed was quoted as saying.

The government Tuesday decided to terminate the concession agreement signed in June 2010 between GMR-MAHB Consortium, Maldives Airports Company Ltd., and the government of the Maldives, to lease the Male airport to GMR.

The decision was based on a paper presented by the attorney general's office at a cabinet meeting, according to the presidential website.

The paper was based on technical, fiscal and economic issues, noted by the ministries of economic development, tourism, transport, civil aviation authority, and the Maldives Airports Company Ltd.

The paper also included legal advice from lawyers from Britain and Singapore.

Following discussions at the meeting, the cabinet decided to terminate the agreement on grounds that there were many legal, technical and economic issues regarding the deal, and that it was legally invalid, and impossible to further continue.