Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Why India is unable to bring back 28 sailors & 2 choppers Maldives doesn’t want

New Delhi: For the past 38 days, a detachment of 28 Indian sailors and two Indian helicopters are stranded in the Maldives as the visas of the personnel expired on 30 June.
The sailors are part of the contingent that was to bring the choppers back home.  The government of President Abdulla Yameen has refused to renew their visas.
The Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (Dhruv ALH) were gifted to the Maldives in 2013 but the Yameen government earlier this year made it clear that India should take them back, setting a deadline of 30 June.
One of the choppers is in Gan, on the southern tip of the Maldives, in a lagoon named Addu, and the other in Kaddhoo, an island on the northern tip of the country.
The decision of Maldives to return the choppers has come as the relationship between the two countries has frayed in recent years. Chinese investments are pouring into the island nation. And last month, the Pakistani army chief met Yameen and told him that Islamabad will gift him two landing craft (amphibious vehicles).
08/08/18 Sujan Dutta/The Print