Male’ braced for big Mayday rally.

Mayday rally used to be a simple affair in Male’ mostly organized by TEAM. Often times the rally is attended by less than 100 and looks more like a cause for resort workers as others don’t seem interested.  But this time it’s looking like it’s going to be different. Mayday for once is going to be attended in good numbers and for a good reason.  Apart from the ruling party PPM, every other party has joined the effort to free former president Nasheed and some other high ranking officials of the previous administration who have recently been jailed on trumped up charges. Amnesty international and EU has backed the calls for releasing the former president and former defense minister Nazim as the legal proceedings that landed them in jail were neither free from political interference nor just. It remains to be seen how the popular anger against the political trials and injustices are going to be heard by the ruling minority led government which has shown amazing naivety in thinking they can mask the discontent by threats and intimidation and remain non committal to popular sentiments.

Politics being politics every party will take as much advantage as they can out of situations and frequently lie their way through situations making small things appear big, tiny problems appear as huge but there are very good reasons for voicing discontent against the government this time.

Adheeb

image012
image012

The current controversial tourism minister is by all accounts very much involved with the gangs in Male and he has made no effort to distance himself from them. It is also said that when he was made tourism minister his net worth was around minus 5000 dollars and in just 3 years he was able to present brand new car to first lady on her birthday. Former auditor general Niyaz was removed from his job for trying to probe allegation of corruption against Mr. Adheeb.

car donated by Adheeb to firstlady
car donated by Adheeb to firstlady

The courts:

Maldives maybe the only country where a sitting judge in court may have less qualification than the lawyers. It’s sad but true that some sitting judges in our judicial system have not even completed their primary education and preside over cases argued for and against by lawyers who are much learned them. Positions in courts were historically all favors by government to their loyal supporters and they basically just used technicalities in the new constitution to cement their questionably gotten positions. They have also made their positions permanent for life and wrote their own pay scale and benefits.  Against this backdrop its easy to see how any political position the government wants is easily implemented by the courts and this is exactly how the hastily conjured up sham trials of former president and defense minister were concluded.

The police

The opportunity to shine and rise to the occasion for police came when they mysteriously found an elaborate scheme collectively by all opposition politicians to murder president Yameen and tourism minister Adheeb. According to this theory, Villa group chairman (presidential contender) financed the scheme. Former defense minister Nazim wrote the sequence of events. He also kept a pistol with exactly 3 bullets (allegedly: 1 for president Yameen, 1 for Minister Adheeb, 1 for police commissioner). A trained soldier Mr. Nazim also kept an ied, the thumb drive with the murderous plans and the pistol and bullets under his pillow and he and his wife slept blissfully aware of the monstrous things under their pillow while they slept. AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THIS OF COURSE…

One maybe forgiven for believing that politics is for grown up people but when situations like these are actual news from Maldives, it’s hard to believe that sane people can go through this much longer. So in effect this mayday rally is warranted and for the right reasons.  The drama has to stop and sun has to shine. Maldives deserves better than this.

The media circus continues…

If the stakes were lower, this could be hilarious; here are the newest twists in the story about the order to close spas

  • The government asks for legal advice (closest translation) from supreme court on the legality of sale of alcohol and pork. This in itself is funny because supreme court is nobody’s lawyer!
  • MATI, (resort workers arch enemy!) or the resort owner’s cartel is suing government for ordering closure of spas in resorts and seeking damages caused to the industry’s reputation. This in itself is funny if we consider that the secretary general of MATI is the husband of tourism minister! The dynamics of suing a person’s own wife as part of the job will no doubt be painful and we are sorry for the sorry couple. 🙂  However its very likely that they are more in the know with the specifics of the case against them both and hope they can amicably settle their difference in their own sweet private time.
  • DQP (National Party) which has successfully sued government many times before and won cases against government possibly as a precursor to another court case has requested the police investigate tourism minister and the president for causing irrevocable harm to tourism industry saying that the rulings derived from the false-wedding-vow should be applied in this case. The gist of that ruling was that its a civil offense to cause any harm to the economy of the country either by deed or by action..

What is not funny in these political maneuvering is

  • The negative publicity this generated across the media despite the high value tourism we have. The administration clearly needs to dismiss their spin doctors who didn’t warn them about this media storm.
  • The judiciary is not yet famed for their impartiality and a slanted judgment will force the government to reinvent the wheel of tourism.

However it is our assessment that these suits and counter suits are just political equivalent of ruling MDP and opposition coalition pulling each others legs, because ultimately neither party will be able to take responsibility for destroying the tourism product.