This is a question which was raised in our Citizen’s Majlis recently in an aimless debate (the kind of useless talk politicians call debates…) which will one way or another way be answered negatively just not to be seen as politically incorrect by both MDP and their adversaries in politics. This was raised because commonwealth is seen to be taking a much uninformed approach to the political developments in the Maldives in the last few months. It seems the commonwealth diplomats were not appropriately briefed on the situation from all perspectives or that they were bombarded with too much info such that they just threw all the info they were given away and googled info the easy way. Googling (or Yahooing for that matter) info this way is prone to error and there should have been no surprise there.
But what are the practical benefits of being in Commonwealth? Here are some tidbits of info we came across along these lines.
“If they get a lot of benefits, and that you’re angry, try to think of it this way:
The Brits conquered their lands, exploited their kids, making them work in mines, killed dissenters, killed their leaders, killed the natives, brought in immigrants from China, made them work at meagre salaries, implemented the divide and rule policy to the detriment of national unity, left during the Japanese occupation, shamelessly came back to claim power after the Japs surrenderred, continued to exploit the economy.. all to satisfy the needs of the Brits during the Industrial Era.. and it lasted for 2 centuries in some countries. In other words, it’s payback time for the Brits!”
“Visits from the Queen, the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, a much better chance of winning a gold medal in the shot put because Russia, Germany and the US don’t compete in the Commonwealth Games…”
“The Commonwealth doesn’t have too many legal benefits these days, it’s mainly a friendship organization. One benefit is that if you are travelling to a country in which your own country doesn’t have an embassy, you can obtain assistance from the embassy of any commonwealth country…”
“…Only writers from Commonwealth countries can compete for the Booker Prize which is arguably the most prestigious prize for a single written work (novel) by an author. The Booker prize has the effect of propelling a writer’s career sky high.”