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News in brief: new taxation commissioner approved

A lighthouse wreck washed up on a northern island.



Parliament confirms new taxation commissioner and deputy

Parliament on Monday approved Fathuhulla Jameel as the new commissioner general of taxation and Asma Shafeeu as the deputy commissioner general of taxation.

Both nominees were approved unanimously with more than 80 votes from the 87-member house.

Jameel, a former director at the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority, was nominated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih along with assistant commissioner of customs Ibrahim Nashid. After vetting and interviewing both nominees, the economic affairs committee recommended Fathuhula to the vacant post. Asma Shafeeu was among six individuals nominated by the president.

At Monday’s sitting, parliament also unanimously approved Maldives ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Khaleel, as the ambassador to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. A Maldivian consulate office was established in Jeddah last August.

Lighthouse wreck washed ashore

A 50-foot metal structure was found washed up on the reef of an uninhabited island in Shaviyani atoll on Sunday.

The wreck is likely to be part of a lighthouse, police said.

Maldives considers banning e-cigarettes

A decision on banning or regulating e-cigarettes will be made after consultations among the relevant authorities, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen told the press on Monday.

“There is ongoing research related to it within the health sector, whether we should ban it all together or introduce measures to regulate it,” he told reporters. A “policy-level” decision will be made after the studies are completed in about a month, he added. 

Several countries including neighbouring India have banned e-cigarettes over adverse health effects.

The health minister briefed the press about a two-day conference due to start next week. More than 200 people will participate in the ‘National Conference on Revitalising Public Health’ and experts from the Maldives and elsewhere will present papers, Ameen said.

‘Asylum ban’ repealed

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday ratified amendments passed by parliament earlier this month to the Presidential Elections Act. The law was revised to scrap a provision added in July last year that barred Maldivians who have sought asylum overseas or relinquished dual citizenship from running for president for 10 years.

The restriction targeted former president Mohamed Nasheed and Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim after the exiled pair secured asylum in the UK and Germany. It also precluded a speculated candidacy of Professor Hassan Ugail, who held dual nationality as a British citizen for 15 years.

Teacher suspended over sexual abuse

The education ministry has suspended a male teacher at the Muhiyddeen School in the capital’s suburb Vilimalé over the alleged sexual abuse of female students. 

“We isolated and suspended the accused teacher as soon as the matter came to our attention. He has been suspended for 30 days under the civil service protocol,”Ahmed Ali, education ministry’s permanent secretary, told Sun Online.

UNDP offer training for short film series on migrant workers

The United Nations Development Programme office in the Maldives is seeking youth participants for a basic training programme on film making in the capital Malé from 12 to 18 November.

“During this activity, participants will produce 5 documentary style short films that capture the experience of migrant workers living in our communities,” the UNDP explained.

“This activity will be conducted with the guidance of industry experts using film making equipment. At the end, Migrant Short Film Series Festival will host various screening events with the aim of creating dialogue and strengthen social cohesion and tolerance in our communities.”

The films will be premiered in the second week of December after a production period. Maldivians between 18 to 25 years of age can submit applications online.

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