Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi has stated that the public should be protected from maritime disasters. She made the remark while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 20th Coastguard Basic Couse of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
At the ceremony, Minister Mariya expressed her pleasure in seeing all seven female officers graduating from the course. She said it was evidence of the success of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s pledge to promote gender equality. She also noted that the most important role of the MNDF is to protect the independence and sovereignty of the Maldives. She highlighted that 99.7% of the country is ocean territory and that the Coastguard is the first line of defence.
Additionally, Minister Mariya said that terrorism, extremism, and drug trafficking threaten the country’s stability and security and that the Coastguard should work to protect the ocean territory and prevent maritime disasters. She advised the MNDF to implement comprehensive plans to prioritise and execute its responsibilities for the protection of the country. She added that commanders should be able to quickly respond to various emergency situations using conventional and non-conventional methods. She further advised officers to refrain from engaging in politics and to prioritise their duty to the nation.