Democracy House NGO inaugrated

A  non-partisan organisation called ‘Democracy House’ was inaugurated last night at the social centre, with the objective of “working to ensure that all Maldivian citizens enjoy the rights provided to them in the Maldivian constitution”.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, chief guest Mohamed Waheed-Deen claimed bringing democracy to a country “is nothing difficult.”

“Finally democracy has come to the Maldives. But to keep it going this way will be the real challenge,” he said.

Many people did “not understand” democracy and making them more aware was the “most important thing”, he added.

“We see one political party fighting with the other and saying: ‘this is democracy’. We want to make people aware of real democracy,” he said.

Waheed said many of people in the Maldives have had their rights abused, “and the pain of it will remain for a long period of time.”


Fuel sellers cheating customers, says Fuel Association

“Almost every” fuel seller in the Maldives is taking advantage of lax certification to cheat their customers by using inaccurate meters, the President of the Fuel Association of the Maldives has claimed.

Mohamed Rasheed accused the trade ministry of failing to certify petrol station meters and allowing the industry to take advantage of consumers for more than 30 years.

The trade ministry retaliated by saying it was impossible for them to check every fuel meter in the Maldives, and blamed the fuel suppliers for failing to inform the trade ministry the meters were uncertified.

Rasheed criticised the trade ministry for being “irresponsible”, claiming that the problem was a big drain on money for both consumers and the Maldivian government.

Chairman of Fisherman Union Ibrahim Umar said the organisations had received many complaint from fishermen that the fuel sellers are “cheating” them by showing them inaccurate measurements from uncertified meters.

Umar claimed that sometimes the fuel sellers “take half a barrel by showing the consumers the wrong meter.”

At a press confernce today, Rasheed called on the trade ministry to approve a law that every fuel station in the Maldives must be certified by the ministry.

Director of the Trade Ministry Solih Hussein said “if the fuel sellers inform us today [they have an uncertified meter] we will put on the seal by tomorrow morning.”

Furthermore, Solih accused the Fuel Association Of Maldives of contradicting its own rules and regulations by exposing its own members to accusations of impropriety by their consumers.

“The Fishermens’ Union can now file a lawsuit against the Fuel Association of Maldives, as they have been selling fuel without certifying their meters, while many of consumers remain unaware of this certification,’ Solih said.

He calls on every consumer in the Maldives not to buy anything measured using a uncertified meter “whether it’s fuel, rice or vegetables.”


Police arrest 19 suspects in Campus Didi stabbing case

Police have arrested 19 people in connection with the stabbing of Ahmed Ibrahim ‘Campus’ didi on 27 December.

Didi was badly injured in the attack and was flown to India for medical treatment, while the attackers escaped with almost US$250,000 and Rf1 million in cash.

Chief Inspector of Police Mohamed Jamsheed said the 19 suspects were arrested with variety of weapons, including knives, spears and knuckle dusters, which police believe were used in the attack on Campus Didi.

‘We suspect these weapons were used to stab Campus Didi, as some of the [forensic evidence] we needed was found on these weapons,’ said Jamsheed.

Five of the people arrested were under the age of 18, he said, adding that only a few of the suspects were cooperating with police while most were remaining silent.

‘Some amount’ of the money robbed was recovered, he said.

Jamsheed added the investigation was ongoing and that police could not yet link the attack to similar recent incidents in male’.

‘These robberies are well planned and organised. We are advising people to get help from the police when carrying a large amount of money from one place to another.’

Police said they were currently unable to question Campus Didi as he was still being treated overseas.