Writing for Haveeru today, Dr Hassan Saeed, Special Advisor to President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, has criticised some foreign journalists for failing “to check the facts” when it comes to reporting the claims of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Many newspapers in the USA and UK rightly pride themselves on their record of investigative journalism.
That is why it is disappointing that Mr Nasheed seems able to get away with feeding journalists so many fantasies, distortions, half truths and – there is no other word for it – lies during his recent visit and charm offensive to the US. They wouldn’t let their own politicians off so lightly!
I’m just going to look at one interview to the UK newspaper The Guardian that appeared this week- but this sad example is not unique.
On the 19th March, Male saw unprecedented scenes of violence, vandalism and arson with eight law enforcement officers injured. Demonstrators, led by the MDP, attacked the local TV station VTV studio, with rocks and iron bars causing damage amounting to approximately 1.5 million Rufiyaa to the building and equipment. The Auction Shop area in Male, with an area about 5000 sq ft. was torched and razed to the ground.
What’s Mr Nasheed’s take on this? Well, talking The Guardian, Mr Nasheed refers with a ‘rueful grin’ to a ‘scuffle’ and then adds (with a truly bizarre reference to the disturbances at this time) “I must say … I think some very good music has come out of this.” I can only imagine how this remark feels to the injured and those whose property was destroyed.
Mr. Nasheed then paints a picture which has at its centre the explicit claim that he had to resign or the generals “would resort to using arms”. We in the Maldives all know that Mr Nasheed has now acknowledged that a previous claim that he was forced to resign “at gunpoint” was fantasy. So why repeat it?