Week in review: April 6 – 12

In a varied week of news, protests, primates, and possessed plants all featured in the headlines.

The top story of the week, however, involved the tragic death of two port workers in Malé, killed by faulty equipment in an accident the union suggested could have been avoided.

Beloved public health figure Dr Ahmed Razee also passed away this week after more than three decades of public service.

Meanwhile, tests run following the death of a Malé resident the week before revealed high levels of opium and benzodiazepine in the blood of the youth – released from rehab just 24 hours earlier.

Statistics from the Drug Court this week revealed that 101 individuals have completed the mandatory rehab programmes that had been prescribed since the court’s introduction in August 2012.

The case of a Russian woman accused of smuggling drugs into the country was sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office, while the passport of the doctor who signed the form allowing a convicted drug dealer to leave the country was held by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The ACC were also occupied with investigating alleged wrongdoing in the Ramazan night market contract, with the commission telling the new city council that the deal had been terminated last year – to the bemusement of Go Media, the company currently organising this year’s event.

Police were also kept busy with the recent rush of child abuse cases, with commentators unsure as to whether the recent spate of incidents represented a rise in offending or a greater willingness to report such crimes.

One crime not reported to police this week was the apparent offence committed by a Jinn tree upon the residents of Haa Alif Thakandhoo, who took matters into their own hands, breaking into the school compound to hack down the accused.

Campaigners in neighbouring Haa Dhaalu atoll continued to gain support for their calls to bring resort development to the atoll, with the government assuring that the tourism industry’s ever-growing spoils would be equally distributed.

Teachers campaigning against pay discrepancies wore black to work this week, while civil servants seeking equal pay discussed a potential strike later in the month.

The Bar Association suggested that the government had failed to adequately consult the legal profession regarding new regulations to practice, as well as calling for the suspension of Chief Justice Ali Hameed after his alleged involvement in a sex-tape scandal.

The government’s plans to raise revenue continued this week, with MIRA expecting to receive an additional MVR110 million per year through the taxation of telecoms – revenue that will be essential should the soon-to-be concluded GMR arbitration case go against the state.

The Home Ministry was chastised for its failure to adhere to the schedule of the recently-implemented Anti-Torture Act, while the Environment Ministry revealed that euthanasia may be the only option left for the slow loris confiscated by police earlier this year.

The alcohol possession trial of departing MPs Abdulla Jabir and Hamid Abdul Ghafoor was postponed when the former was unable to attend after suffering health problems while in jail.

Legal challenges to March’s elections results continued to rise, casting doubt on the identities of a number of future MPs, scheduled to be sworn in on May 28.