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Graduations and bridge gazing in the Maldives

Graduations, bike rides and propaganda have heralded the bridge inauguration.



Almost 800 students from Maldives National University had their graduation ceremony on the Sinamalé Bridge Sunday night, local media reported, as events continued to mark its inauguration.

MNU awarded certificates to 781 students at the ceremony, where Education Minister Aishath Shiham was chief guest.

Other government-led events to have taken place on the US$200 million bridge include runs and marches from the Maldives military and police, visits from senior citizens, bus rides, bicycle rides and a parade hosted by the first lady.

State media PSM reported that 85,000 people took part in the first lady’s event, while newspaper Mihaaru put the number at several hundred.

But the events appeared to have taken their toll on the bridge, with some people claiming on social media that the newest addition to the Maldives landscape was already the victim of littering.

A toll fee for the bridge has yet to be announced. It opens to the public this Friday.

Chinese workers will continue to maintain the bridge for two years before handing it over to the Maldives government, according to SunOnline.

Photo of MNU graduation ceremony from Mihaaru