As part of the cost-cutting measures as Covid-19 continues to impact the country’s economy, the government has decided to cancel this year’s Independence Day celebrations.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih reached the decision after consultation with his ministerial cabinet. The President’s Office said that the decision is “in adherence to the new normal guidelines developed to mitigate the risk of Covid-19’s further spread”.
It stressed that the decision to not hold the festivities “will help reduce state expenditure, as part of the government’s ongoing recovery efforts from the economic repercussions of the pandemic”.
While the official Independence Day assembly, sports festivities and other activities which are typically held have been cancelled, the President’s Office said that President Solih will still deliver a national address on the day.
Maldives celebrates Independence Day on 26th July.
While the National Award of Honour and National Award of Recognition are presented at the official assembly, these are now to be handed out later, at this year’s official National Day celebration ceremony, which falls on October 18 this year. Further, Special Achievement Awards are to be presented during this year’s official Republic Day ceremony in November.
However, President Solih stressed that that proceeding with National Day and Republic Day celebrations as planned “will be contingent on the country’s situation with regard to Covid-19”, adding that these awarding ceremonies may be rescheduled to a later date if required.
Despite the decision to cancel the Independence Day celebrations, the president has decided to open nominations for the 2020 National Awards.