The original Dhivehi news report was published on news website: vfp.mv on 17th March 2017
Here is a loose translation:
The Vilimale member and PPM Parliamentary Group leader Ahmed Nihan Hassan Manik has said that the Constitution was amended to allow selling land to foreigners to sell Faafu Atoll.
In a leaked audio, Nihan has said the amendment to the Constitution to facilitate allowing foreigners to own land in the Maldives was brought, as the Heir to the Saudi Throne and Defence Minister Mohamed Bin Abdul Azeez wants to buy part of Faafu Atoll and to facilitate that sale.
Nihan also said that the Saudi royal family wants to undertake a 16 billion dollar project by reclaiming land in Faafu Atoll and the acquisition fee also has been already paid to the government of the Maldives. As this is such a huge investment the Saudi royal family did not want a 99-year lease.
Therefore in order to give a part of Faafu Atoll as an inheritance of the Saudi royal family the Constitution had to be amended and 70% of the land that will be reclaimed in Faafu atoll will become a property of the Saudi royal family and the Maldivians will own only 30% of that reclaimed land, Nihan said.
Nihan said that the prince wanted the area of Faafu atoll Himithee island, however at that time the Constitution did not allow the prince to own that area, thus the Constitution had to be amended and the main reason for the change of the Constitution was to facilitate Saudi royal family’s ownership of that area of Faafu atoll.
Nihan also said that when the former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was holding the post of Tourism Minister, during Waheed’s presidency the acquisition fee for the sale of that area was taken. However, the amendment to allow owning of land ( by foreigners) was tabled with the instructions from President Yameen.
Source URL: Vfp.mv