HC Deb 09 April 1959 vol 603 cc36-7W
Mr. Tilney

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he has any further statement to make with regard to the situation in the area of Gan atoll in the Maldive Islands.

Mr. Alport

I am informed by our High Commissioner in Ceylon that according to Press reports the Maldivian Government representative in Colombo has alleged that the Royal Air Force has flown to Ceylon a group of Maldivians shot by the R.A.F. during disturbances on the island. This is a complete fabrication. No disturbances have occurred in the Gan area and no one has been injured.

I. have also been informed that on 30th March at 8 o'clock in the morning an armed party landed from a steamer, which was on charter to the Maldivian Government, on Fua Mulaku island some 35 miles to the north of Gan and which forms part of the group of islands which have declared themselves independent of the Maldivian Government at Male. During the attempts by the islanders, who are unarmed, to repel the landing party, which appears to have been despatched under the authority of the Male Government as a punitive expedition, one islander is reported as having been killed and four wounded. Subsequently, the landing party re-embarked and the vessel was last seen steaming away in a northerly direction. Some of the wounded were later brought by islanders from Fua Mulaku to Gan to receive medical attention and one has since been flown to Ceylon for treatment.