Being much interested in the Maldives, I read your internet newspaper quite often. However, I want to let you know that I was recently quite disappointed with your publication regarding two recent articles, both of them about events in Noonu Velidhoo.
The first one, about the arrest of a certain Abbas, because of the illegal possession of alcohol.
“Deputy leader of DRP, Umar Naseer, said Abbas was not the leader of DRP’s Noonu Atoll wing.
“He’s just a normal DRP member, an activist,” said Umar.
”I have idea how this happened, but I know he did not drink, because his breath-test results were negative to alcohol.”
Umar said there were no alcoholics in the opposition DRP, and claimed that there “were only alcoholics in the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).”
Well… if you had checked other sources in Velidhoo, and there are many, you would have heard that this Abbas is for sure, and still is today, one (if not the most prominent) of the leaders of the local DRP indeed.
Not up to me to judge about his political activities, but the facts are there.
But more disturbing to me is that you publish that last sentence, where Mr Umar says that alcoholics are only within the MDP. Again I have no judgement as such on this, but as far as know, there has never been anyone from the (local) MDP in Noonu Velidhoo who has been involved in anything to do with illegal alcohol, nor the use of it, or the illegal trade of it.
I have also not said that DRP are alcoholics. The fact remains is that Abbas [allegedly] got caught with alcohol and he is very much involved indeed in the local DRP. A simple Google search shows enough of that.
I cannot understand that you just publish such a political, and very much insulting, statement from a DRP leader about his opponents. I do not understand that you don’t even ask the people who are obviously accused by such a statement, the MDP, that you don’t even ask them for a reply on such statements.
It’s far from objective writing, its more like a political manifesto. Neutral journalism requests to her both sides, to check sources.
The second article is about the suicide of a 24 year-old man in the same Noonu Velidhoo.
There you quote an island official as saying:
“According to what most of the islanders are saying, he had this problem with his girlfriend’s father; he had not been accepted by him. He lived together on the island with his girlfriend from Male’ and they were about to get married, but her Dad sent a letter to the court saying he would not give the consent for the marriage to take place.”
Well well …. “most of the islanders are saying …. “, you give impression, by quoting the official, that you have done a kind of survey even … “most islanders”?
I am very close to the family involved… and NONE of them would ever agree that the disagreement of the father of the girl was the reason of his suicide.
The facts are: indeed the guy had a relationship with the girl, and indeed her father did not approve of that at all. Which happened already TWO months ago. But the couple, though feeling bit sad with that, had already decided last July to approach the court about this and their marriage was approved already!
Again you published an opinion without even asking the people who were involved. It would have been piece of cake to ask the opinion of the family themselves.
It’s such a pity in the ongoing process to a real democracy in our country.