Comment: Open letter to President Yameen regarding missing journalist

This open letter first appeared on Republished with permission.

Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan has not been since August 8 after neighbours witnessed a man being abducted outside his apartment building. Better known by his twitter followers as ‘moyameehaa’, Rilwan’s disappearance has prompted an outpouring of grief across the country.

One person influenced by Rilwan’s work, Shaha Ahmed, has written this open appeal to President Abdulla Yameen to do all within his power find the 28-year-old, missing for 19 days.

Dear Mr President,

I like you, I do. As a person I think you are a a good-natured person and I respect you a lot because I was brought up to respect elders, especially the people who are leading the country. Your brother is again someone I dearly respect and love. I remember writing letters to him on his every birthday when I was young and it would make my day to get that thank you letter back from the president’s office. My childhood was rather happy and I also did not know about any of the problems or anything because children are children and they are innocent.

I can’t even understand how much pressure you get from people far and near. Being the president must be hard. You are always trying to do the right thing but everything you do, you get picked on. You have always lived a public life and I can’t imagine how it must have been. Let’s not dwell on that. I just want you to know that I appreciate every good thing you do for this country.

Moving on, I met moyameehaa for the first time on twitter a couple years ago when the Maldivian twitter scene was first starting. Though I don’t know him enough to call him a friend, we have been aquaintances through some twitter meet ups and others. His love for the Dhivehi language has always been an inspiration for me. I have known him to be a good hearted, kind soul who always tries to make people happy, by sharing jokes and just being himself. The last time I met him in person was this February during the Shinzou Con where he and Juxyn commented on my TARDIS outfit and we shared a joke or two.

When I heard he was missing, I didn’t actually realise what it meant. I mean, we see kidnappings and things in movies and in real life, it just doesn’t add up. Somehow I always think that the police would find them before the episode ends, like in an episode of Criminal Minds but this episode is too long. It has been more than two weeks and this is a very small country.

Mr President, you hold on your shoulders, the responsibility of the population of Maldives and that is far too big for one person but alas you knew that when you applied for the post, you knew that when the majority of this country voted for you, you have known that growing up with your brother who carried that responsibility for thirty years. When there are so many problems going around, this missing human being might seem small but dear president, I have been taught that no person’s problem is too small or too insignificant.

The doctor, in his many years of travel has not met a person who was not important. You, moyameehaa, and I, we are all the same. We are human, we are Muslims and we deserve everything this world has to offer to us. Please do everything in your power to help him, to return a son to his mother, an uncle to his nephews and nieces, a friend to his friends and a citizen to this country. I hope, I dearly hope that police is trying very hard, looking through every nook and cranny to give us some good news.

We have not lost hope, at least I haven’t. I’m still that same girl who writes letters on your birthdays and the same girl who believes that at the end of this episode, Rilwan will be found and all would be right with the world. It’s not an easy thing being a dreamer when the rest of the country is so cynical and fighting with their brothers and sisters.

All I ask my dear president is to not let the people of this country down. Be the president this country deserves, be the kind of hero that the little children would happily write letters to, be the man those little boys will be inspired to grow up to be. If all fails, know that there is still one girl who trusted you, who believed in you when the rest of the world doubted you, who will stand by you through thick and thin not because you are the president, but because you are a human being and your deserve to have a cheerleader and I will always try to be that girl.

May Allah bless us with the truth and guide us in our journey to find Rilwan and also in everything we do to make this country better for the coming generations.




7 thoughts on “Comment: Open letter to President Yameen regarding missing journalist”

  1. We are only 340,000 of us, in the whole world.

    Let us treat each other with respect, caring and understand that we need to protect ourselves, our identity and culture.

  2. @Hussain

    There are only 300,000 Maldivains in the known universe. Who else will protect Maldives culture and traditions, if not for Maldivains themselves.

    Problem is cutlure is torn apart by Islamistic and liberals alike.

    Islamic groups (followers of Syyid Qutb, Bin Laden, Anwar Alwaki) do not belive there is any other culture except Islmaic cuture.

    The liberals belive culture is Ameriacn rap music and freedom to cross dress.

    Maldives culture is under threat from both East and West. And only Maldivains can protect it.

  3. In vain.
    Maldives is not a country - though such small place - where the people are united in whatever. The only thing we have in common is our citizenship.
    Keeping our culture ? You mean the society and country we had say 30 years ago ? No, thanks.

  4. Dear Shaha,

    Your letter is very cute and touching, and I applaud the effort you are making on finding Rilwan. But let's face reality. You are asking help from the same person who casually dismissed Rilwan's disappearance like it was nothing just a few days ago, while the whole country is in a state of panic. “A journalist is missing, I think. So work will be done to find the journalist, right? And, God willing, that will be successful,” -Pres Yameen. Tell me, is this the responsible, kind hearted leader you are writing letters to? Is this how a PRESIDENT of a country should respond when asked about a missing person? A fellow Maldivian? One of his own citizens, who he's sworn to protect? Sadly, No. He's not someone to lookup to, he's not a role model for anyone, his top priority is not the people. He's not dependable, or even trustworthy.

    Anyways, I just had to write this because I felt like you are very much misguided. But again, sincerely, I applaud and appreciate the work you are doing for him, even if I don't agree with your methods. I hope it makes a difference. Lets hope that finally, this is that one letter you do get a thank you note back.

  5. This is a hidden agenda from the ruling party manifesto , to kidnapping the people and hide the people , give death warning to the citizen of Maldives , to take there freedom away from them that what they have achieved in few decades, any of you can be the victim at any time , I call Maldivian citizen to weak up , and save your Nation , even I am not Maldivian I have some concern on you , Thanks , mike

  6. Maldives' neighbour Sri Lanka is reputed now to be one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to live in. It means that in that country it is dangerous to critise the government. It means that there is no freedom of speech in Sri Lanka.

    Maldives is a country with long authoritarian and dictatorial traditions, and much more than in Sri Lanka. Maldivian people are extremely intolerant towards each other, and that can be seen even in Minivannews pages.

    The amount of hate crime in the Maldives is phenomenal considering the small size of the population of the country and its ethnic and linguistic homogeinity.

    Gayoom ruled Maldives as an absolutely absolute ruler for as long as thirty years, and during that time Gayoom family grew from almost nothing into being the most powerful family in the Maldives.

    By virtue of that, Gayoom family was restored to power in the forms of his sons and daughters and of course his half brother only after 3 years since he lost power.

    A large part of the Maldivian population got hooked on Gayoom and his family. Gayoom is to Maldives what Mao Tse Tung is to modern day China. All things good came to Maldives through the wisdom and valour of Mr Gayoom.

    Single-handedly, he brought up a whole generation of Maldivian people who owe everything they have, to Gayoom and his family.

    His philosophy, religion and aristocratic values captivated an entire nation that believes that Gayoom's ideology will hold good in Maldives for eternity. Gayoom and his family are irreplaceable and incomparable. Gayoom is, indeed Pharoah Gayoom the First.

    Now we have Gayoom the Second in power. All praise be to the nation of Maldives and its servile population. A dynasty has been established in Maldives that is similar to the Rajapaksa dynasty in Sri Lanka.

    Only a nation with a short and even non-existent historical memory could have surrendered the future of Maldives to Gayoom & Co. after all that happened during 30 years' of Gayoom rule.

    There is no political consciousness and no critical thinking even among the elite in Maldives. Rilwan's disappearance is no surprise to a nation that is so accustomed to violence, lack of freedom and Islamic fundamentalism.

    The President of Maldives cannot be shocked by Rilwan's disappearance and even possible murder. It is dangerous in the Maldives to criticise the government.

    Just like in Sri Lanka.


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