Maldives crisis affects convocation at South Asian University

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The now-resolved political crisis in Maldives caused the first ever convocation of the SAARC-established South Asian University (SAU) to be called off as SAARC General Secretary Ahmed Saleem was unable to arrive from Maldives.

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    Saleem belongs to the Maldives.

    The university, established in 2010 after an inter-governmental agreement at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), was set to have its first convocation Dec 6.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was to be the chief guest at the event.

    However, General Secretary Ahmed Saleem, who is a visitor to the university, expressed inability to attend the function in view of the political developments in his nation.

    “This was due to the political uncertainty in Maldives. The head of SAARC is our visitor, without whom we cannot conduct the convocation,” a university official told IANS.

    “The Maldivian crisis apparently got over only today (Sunday). We need more time for the preparation and also are required to give more time to the students to arrange for their visas and travel. With such little time left, it is very difficult to proceed,” he said.

    The official added that fresh dates will be notified for the convocation soon.

    The university was established as an attempt to bring the SAARC nations closer and has students from all SAARC nations.

    The Maldives’ Election Commission Sunday confirmed Abdulla Yameen, candidate of the Progressive Party, as the new president.