Comment: Open Letter to the President

Open letter for his Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, The President of The Republic of Maldives.

Excellency, Honourable Mr. President: May I start this open letter by wishing you and your family to be blessed by God alike your Government and all Honourable Maldivians, people that I have in great esteem and very close to my heart.

The first time I was in your lovely country was long ago and naturally like most, I have
repeatedly come back. I did it as a tourist and as well as a business man with interests as I am (or… was until GMR destroyed my business) a small business man with economical activities in your country. At a certain moment I even created projects like the Sea University, that should develop studies and produce medicines using the elements exiting in the sea, as the sea is one of the greatest Maldivian assets. IT is not to be forgotten Excellency, that the day tourists will be gone, the sea will still be there.

The duty free island, a place where tourists could by all sorts of goods duty free, different from the airport, was another project that never saw the light but was design by me with all the love I have for Maldives.

The first time I landed in the Maldives, I was coming from Sri Lanka, and the contrast was so high that I really felt I was on paradise. The country was clean, peaceful, the water blue, the people nice. It was sunny and very organised. I was thrilled.

True that at that time, freedom of expression did not exist, and talking too much or too loud could mean something terrible. I understand that today under your presidency, the situation changed and Maldives is now part of a big international club where freedom and respect for life is a core subject. Being myself an European, I admire you Sir and I admire your government as the path to development and growth always goes via the respect and creativity of people, that naturally cannot exist without freedom.

Sir, I am not an important person. I’m a humble European, that dedicates his life to coach Presidents of corporations in management, as well other institutions like the Catalan High management of the police or the High management of the European Patent or Brand office. I am not a guru, certainly do not pretend to be, but I’m proud of being a humble person, hard worker and a thorough professional that enjoys working in life. I am not into politics and would never pretend to talk about something I don’t know.

I am writing you this open letter Excellency, because I really love your country and feel sad when I see that people taking advantage of it.

A country, Your Excellency, needs above all her people and needs to invest in developing her citizens. If there is not a critical mass of national brain power being the driving force of the economy and culture, the country will fall very easily into the hands of abusers, the same ones that in the international scene move the economy with the only goal of making money without values or respect for the people regardless where their operations take place. For them, the geography is not important. Once the cows are milked, they are ready to move to another pasture with no guilty feelings of what is left behind.

You and your government are making huge efforts to develop the economy and growth. That is perceived from the outside. You work hard under a climate of respect and social peace, thus increasing the well being of Maldivian citizens, and sometimes that takes time to be seen. Results don’t come quick, we know. In this sense it is clear that Maldives needed a bigger up-to-date airport, a modern gate to the country and to get it you had to do work with international corporations with expertise in the field. It is therefore normal that in return those corporations request to have for them the business cake represented by the flow of currency expressed in millions coming from the tourists, a cake that is very attractive. So far, so good, but what about Maldivians?

At this point I apologise as I don’t want to step into the internal affairs of your country, but Excellency I live in a country that has 17 autonomous regions, with 17 governments and with 17 Presidents with their cabinets and a central government, so I think I know something about nationalism and protecting the citizens when it comes to putting the economy into international hands. These days the world is as as small as a handkerchief, so international cooperation is inevitable, but what about the protection
and development of the local business people? Shouldn’t the airport structure consider this? Shouldn’t Maldivian citizens’ business be allowed to profit from their country’s development? Shouldn’t the airport have a place for all, Dhivehi people and international business people? Airports for a country like Maldives are a strategic subject.

Once more I apologise as I am no one to give lessons on the subject but being involved with the Maldives for so long, my love for the country cannot keep me silent. A country is made by it’s people and its people make the country. If that is not to be considered why should people vote for any government? The airport could and can have a place for everybody. The airport belongs to the Maldives, is it so difficult for international corporations to understand it?

With my greatest respect and admiration for you and your government, that is getting more and more respect in the international scene, I remain yours faithfully.

God bless the Dhivehi people.

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