Worrying political developments in Male’

Maldives is going through a phase of undemocratic gangsta-rule just when we need more democracy and more and fair treatment for the people. It seems we are taking huge leaps backward and the process is too strong to halt.

It came slowly but things are getting speedy now. First it was websites having to register with home ministry so that nothing untoward can be said against the authorities. At the same time former president’s (now a convicted terrorist!) case against detaining a judge was getting dust in the court because the govt. was not decided what to do with him. The decision to make him a terrorist only happened after Rehendhi flats in Hulhumale were awarded to state prosecutor and supreme court judges. Perhaps re-activating president Nasheed’s case and make a terrorist out him was their way of thanking the regime for the generosity.

Former president was a colorful character both loved and hated almost by equal measure by the population. He was loved for his amicable character honest talk and innovative style of leadership. He was hated for some of his liberal views which are too liberal at times (such as trying to cozy up to Israel when they were bombing Gaza..) and exclusives, sometimes autocratic style of governance most probably pushed to by party activists. Whatever he may have been, he was definitely not a terrorist and the political case against him was dispensed with in a very questionable judicial process which was just a political sham as declared by world bodies such as the ICJ and Amnesty International. What the government fails to acknowledge now is their stand that they are following the law doesn’t hold much water, since every dictatorship used the same language when repressing the people. Things like apartheid, colonialism and slavery were all legal at the time it was practiced and by those who practiced it. But that doesn’t mean it was right.

Just as everything is connected to everything else, the current political intrigues all connect with president Yameen and tourism minister Adeeb. There will be lots of questions they will have to answer to come clean through things that are going very wrong, such as the wrongful conviction and framing of a once political ally, the former defense minister Nazim. In a plot straight out from comics, the former defense minister was sentenced for 11 years for allegedly plotting to kill 3 people including Adeeb, the president Yameen, and police commissioner Hussein Waheed.

The ‘plan’ is a sad but elaborate hoax which is better suited for movies than real life. In the plan the subjects all have nice pictures and proper names and even describes their ends in plain words suitable for laymen to understand the implications. The plan also connects all current government foes such as Villa group of hotels as accessory to terror and doesn’t even leave anyone out, even the religious extremists. The saddest part is that the ‘court’ accepted this hoax and sentenced a potential political rival to Yameen to kill his career.

And then there are the gangs… Even before Yameen became president there were allegations he was controlling some gangs in Male’. Notably Masodi gang was always mentioned by the opposition. Politicians are always labeled with this and that but there are worrying indications that these allegations have some weight in cases such as the notorious drug dealer Safa who was flown to Sri Lanka from jail and later he won appeal against his case being a fugitive in Sri lanka. We have something like 11 gangs operating in Male’ and its almost common knowledge that the authorities have failed to stop them. Gang wars happen daily in Male in full day light, despite Male’ being such a small place. Only last week we had 2 murders by gangs in Male’, one a Bangladeshi waiter was killed in his café’ and despite the gang being known, the police have not apprehended any gang member yet. Although they have searched a local parliament members residence for the murderer’s clues. The gang is known to associate with the said MP. The implication from the latest murder was that government decided to shorten business hours by one hour forcing the shops to close at 10 and cafes at 12. This hasty decision comes as opposition parties are holding nightly demonstrations against the government and will be seen as a punishment for the business community.

If all the above weren’t enough, worst is yet to come. The government has decided that they will use special powers to prevent demonstration starting from Saturday which means that all demos will be dispersed with no notification and as soon as it happens. This is a serious infringement on the right to protest and it appears that the government is seriously weak to handle any more pressure from the streets. They have failed to checkup on what was pointed out by the opposition as serious wrongs and seems to be on an unstoppable descent to electoral defeat in 2018 or some possible event even sooner.










Election fever, everywhere…

goidhoo jumuhoory campaign

Its everywhere now, the tv, the blogs (ours included with this piece), the news papers. Its also that time when people can enjoy a little bit of dreaming about the many promises the politicians make. Reality will always dawn after the results are known and the first 100 days gone.

The list of promises this doesn’t seem to be burdened with any sense of balance unlike the in previous election when they at least tried not to drift away to promises. Below are some pledges various politicians are making to the people as of now. God only knows what they have in mind come tomorrow. These pledges and promises are not based on facts, studies or based on any such frivolities of life. Some are just gut feelings they have, concocted on the spur of the moment…

1) The (proverbial) bridge between Male’ and Hulhule; perfectly feasible but unlikely to be started for another 5 years.

2) OLPC… our version of one laptop per child by Gasim . The explanation for this was to lighten the burden of heavy books the students are carrying to school!

3) Anni’s banana and milk pledge for students to sip in the interval time…

4) Pledge to upgrade the 2kRf for the elderly to 3.5k by Dr. Waheed. The catch might be to raise also the age of the recipient to another 5 years!

5) A house (basically) for every married couple upon getting married! By Gasim,

6) Creation of thousands of jobs. By Gasim, Yameen, Anni and Waheed. How nobody seems to know and whatever they know, they certainly are not articulating well enough. Maybe they have ideas of opening factories etc. But this is also a very manageable issue if they would acknowledge their previous efforts were misdirected.

From the direction of general discourse, its very likely that neither party will get the 50% votes to conclude the exercise in one round (ebburun). If it indeed comes for a second round, its very likely that all parties except MDP will make a grand coalition to defeat MDP in the second round.

Dr. Waheed the incumbent president is all alone by himself without support of any big party after his coalition partners joined Gasim because of lack of campaigning.


anni campaign goidhoo

No travel warning issued against the country yet.

This time its the opposition political parties who are trying to spread fear, capitalizing on the political climate of the country and trying to destabilize the economy. The government’s inability to market their reform agenda is being exploited by the power hungry opposition which is claiming amongst many other things, that there has been travel warnings issued against the country by Britain. Nothing can be further from truth. Here is the exact wording of the travel advice issued by British Foreign and commonwealth office:

“Following a period of political unrest within the Maldivian Parliament (Majlis), there have been a number of political protests and demonstrations in Malé, predominately outside Government buildings and political figures’ residences. Social unrest is possible and there is a risk demonstrations might become violent. You should exercise caution and avoid any large political gatherings.”

This is no travel warning, its common sense and it applies well to locals as well as to British nationals to avoid large gatherings.

The US State Department also keeps a list of countries where their citizens are warned not to go. The list is here: and its doesn’t mention Maldives anywhere.

Haiti 06/24/2010
Israel, the West Bank and Gaza 06/20/2010
Guinea 06/16/2010
Nepal 06/15/2010
Nigeria 06/15/2010
Afghanistan 05/25/2010
Burundi 05/19/2010
Cote d’Ivoire 05/12/2010
Niger 05/11/2010
Mexico 05/06/2010
Georgia 05/03/2010
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 04/21/2010
Philippines 04/02/2010
Algeria 04/02/2010
Lebanon 03/29/2010
Iran 03/23/2010
Kenya 03/16/2010
Colombia 03/05/2010
Eritrea 03/02/2010
Central African Republic 02/26/2010
Yemen 02/25/2010
Iraq 02/25/2010
Saudi Arabia 02/18/2010
Pakistan 01/07/2010
Sudan 12/31/2009
Somalia 12/31/2009
Mauritania 12/02/2009
Chad 11/23/2009
Mali 11/19/2009
Uzbekistan 06/16/2009

However the extensive use of media to propagate these sorts of lies and fear propaganda will ultimately have its effect and the authorities are well advised to finish off this issue with incarcerating the local mafia bosses on whose behalf the opposition politics is advocating. The naivety of the government in allowing these corrupt Mafiosos has had its effect and much blood was shed in this small city of Male’ just because they exploited the liberal policies of the government for their own advantage. The government’s hand is in fact bound by its own liberal polices and sweet talk of democracy and values but where there is a need to show force it shall be used. As for the incarcerated mafioso’s, its common knowledge in Maldives for over a decade that Yameen is the acknowledged boss of local Mafia in Maldives.