Entrenching the culture of violence among children in paradise: CRIN

February 7 and 8, 2012, was the beginning of a very violent period in the recent history of the Maldives inflicted by its own people, the police and the army, on unarmed civilians, writes former Deputy Health Minister Mariya Ali for Child Rights International Network.

The first democratically elected president was deposed in a coup d’état on February 7. Since then non-violent protests have continued mainly in the streets of the capital city, Male. So far, 412 people have been detained as political prisoners.

Testimonies of male and female detainees confirm that varying degrees of physical, mental and sexual abuse were perpetrated by the police. Violence from the police has been witnessed by children either through their families being directly affected by it or via images on television. Children who witness violence are traumatised with varying degrees of psychological damage that they carry throughout their lives.

This year, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) celebrated Maldivian Children’s Day in their full army clothing, with a designated area created to look like a war zone, and with officers helping children to hold real firearms correctly in their hands and showing them how to use them. Although the MNDF declared that the firearms were not loaded, it failed to recognise the timing and the symbolic message behind the event.

Against the backdrop of continuing violence, growing religious extremism in the island paradise, combined with the message from the current President Mohamed Waheed – “Be courageous. Today you are all mujaheddin [those who fight jihad] who love the nation” – children are internalising the use of violence as a norm.

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4 thoughts on “Entrenching the culture of violence among children in paradise: CRIN”

  1. i did not know that 16 years old boy who had spoken in MDP gethering near artificial beach was doing a " face paint " . I never saw any face paint or he was not just taking photos with the Dictator Anni. He was standing right in front of the dictator near a podium and was giving a speech to MDP members completely attacking Gaasim and the present government,

    For sure the writer is biased like anything and Minivan is as usual trying to bring a different image and twist the the reality.

    Minivan need to do responsible journalism and not biased and tell the truth and not just tell one side of the story but rather need to tell both side.

    I do not think what MNDF did was right on the children day and that for me an insult to the public.

    We can not just ignore what happened prior 7th Feb. and what excessive force the dictator used to dispersed the crowd.

    We need to know why Anni the dictator had to resign. It is not for minivan or the dictator or MDP members to decide that. We the Maldivian have the right to know and i do not believe the dictator words since he never able to stick with his words .

    Since 7th Feb. the dictator have been different stories in different times and one can not understand what to believe and what not to believe since the same are being said by the same guy , our beloved dictator.

  2. the word "killing" is mentioned 180 times in the holy book, of course violence is growing in this society, if children, who should be protected from violence have to learn these verses by heart, children need love and not be taught about hatred. God should better suggest a peaceful treatment with each other, instead of this f.... jihad!

  3. Parents and relatives in Maldives need to be made aware of HOW to stop abusing children. A lot of political debates and programs continue daily in the crammed living rooms of Male households, with the childminder forced to participate and listen to politics. Also for divorced parents, one family may mock the other family in front of the child. May such things are considered normal in Maldives.
    Maldivians are totally oblivious of psychological abuse because it is so constant in families and in society.

    On the Ministry can spread awareness of the abuse - but probably there is abuse in the Ministry itself.


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