350.org petitions for security of “friend and ally” Nasheed

Environmental NGO 350.org has joined international organisations and foreign powers in expressing their concerns over Mohamed Nasheed’s resignation from the presidency yesterday in what Nasheed’s government has called a military coup.

The organisation is founded by American author Bill McKibben, author of one of the first books on global warming for the general public. 350.org was also a key player at the 2009 Climate Conference at Copenhagen.

As of 2:00pm on February 7, the organisation had issued the petition “350 Friend and Ally Removed from Office in a Coup”, requesting world leaders to protect former president Mohamed Nasheed.

“President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives has been one of 350.org’s strongest allies, and friends, for many years. As the first democratically elected leader of the small island nation, he has been a tireless voice for climate action and strong advocate for getting us back to 350 ppm. ‘For us, this is a matter of life and death,’ Nasheed has said. Now it is he specifically who is at risk,” reads the statement.

The organisation urges world citizens to tell its leaders “that they must use diplomatic means to keep [Nasheed] safe in this time of turmoil. Assuring his, and his people’s, safety is crucial.”

In its first four hours the petition has received 21, 894 signatures. “This is an amazing response- it shows that environmental activists in every corner of the planet think of Nasheed as one of the most prominent leaders we have,” wrote McKibben in an email exchange with Minivan News. “People all over the world know the story of the bravery of the Maldives in this fight.”

Stating that 350.org perceives Nasheed’s resignation as the in-name only result of a coup, McKibben said “the international environmental community is deeply deeply worried first and foremost about Nasheed’s safety, and the safety of his associates.”

In 2011 the documentary film “The Island President” featuring then President Mohamed Nasheed drew global attention to the Maldives, and its role in the climate change movement.

At the time of the film’s Maldives debut producer Richard Berge identified Nasheed as the key to the documentary’s success. “If Nasheed hadn’t been charismatic, if we couldn’t see that there would be something interesting happening, we wouldn’t have invested the time and energy in the project. But he seemed like the guy who was going to put a face on climate change.”

“The Island President” received the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

According to McKibben, the Maldives’ current place on the climate change platform is a product of Nasheed’s distinct sense of leadership.

“Nasheed is the most forthright, honest, and engaged head of state on the climate issue–the most important issue facing the planet,” he said. “His predecessor [former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom] had very little profile on these issues. Certainly he did not create the kind of movement towards carbon neutrality, or the level of global political engagement, that captured the world’s attention.”

McKibben added that youth were a critical aspect the climate change movement–and a telling feature of Nasheed’s government. “Of course it wasn’t just Nasheed–it was so many of the (especially young) people who got involved in politics because of him. I remember the level of engagement I found during my last visit to Male–and how it contrasted with the silence and apathy when I’d visited during the Gayoom era,” he said.

Noting 350.org’s impression that “good policies of all kinds tend to wither in autocracies,” McKibben said he was unaware of any existing relationship with members of the current national unity government under former Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

Western followers and Maldivian nationals appear to be engaging in a dialogue over the matter in the petition’s comment section.

While one woman states “This is a situation that should not be allowed to exist in the 21st century,” a commentator with a plausibly Maldivian name retorted “[Nasheed] may be a hero or a champion for the West but he is a stupid zero in his own country,” offering his own summary of the events which have led to Nasheed’s resignation.

Another commenter with a Western name observed, “Maldives deserve democracy free of corruption and military takeover. They continue to be in a precarious environmental situation, not one of their making and are likely to be flooded over by rising water levels as a result of climate change. President Nasheed needs to be freed to complete his term of office.”

An Ahmed Hameed retorted, “hmmm.. thats your view… but we elected him to serve us maldivians… and it for us to decide who will govern our nation for us in that office… there is no need for him to complete his term in office because we dont want him or anyone like him to be our president… so please dont talk about him completing a term in office… but yes as a citizen of this country he needs to be freed if he is in any kind of detention which he is not…”

One self-identified Hulhumale’ Councillor wrote simply, “He will come back.”

Meanwhile, McKibben notes that some commentators and 350.org members have asked what they can do to help. “Some are even asking: ‘should I cancel my trip to the Maldives to show support for President Nasheed?’”


13 thoughts on “350.org petitions for security of “friend and ally” Nasheed”

  1. Nasheed is the most cruel person i have seen in my life . You guys don;t know what is really happening on the ground and you are only hearing one side of the story. He is a lier and a dictator. He became the environmentalist within let two years.

  2. Nasheed's proclamation that Maldives is sinking and the underwater dive may help the cause of enviorn-mentalists like 350.org and helped you to attract funds. But as a tiny country it has made maldives an international joke at diplomatic cocktail parties and an embarrassed the often proud maldivains. Does 350.org think maldives is a banana Republic and its president a monkey to help their cause.

    350.org has damaged president nasheed more than anyone.

  3. Thank you for voicing your support my Eco-Warrior friends.

    Anni was the beacon of hope that Maldives had in order to combat the ever-changing climate battle.

    The battle is just begining Eco-Warriors. We cannot let Waheed and the opposition get away with this coup. Anni must come back and lead the battle against Climate Change.

  4. Also hope readers are aware that NGO like these have corruption issues and they are really interested in is donor money.

    Its time 350.org to look for a new puppet for fundraising.

    tip. look for a naive small country

  5. I am free citizen of this country.. i have no idea what's going on here. but all i see is police and national defense brutally killing our people. some of the victims are our ex leaders. no matter who they are, they are humans, and whether they support our former president Moumoon, or Nasheedh, Or Waheedh,, what ever, they don't deserve to be attacked like that!

  6. Former President Nasheed is a man of drama.He never missed a photo opportunity.His antics no doubt impressed people like McKibben.I hope McKibben and friends find a true environmentalist to champion the cause. We all thought he was a democrat.But he used democracy to gain power. But once he became President the constitution and the laws were ignored.He arrested his opponents and judge whose verdicts he did not agree.

  7. The opposition bribed the police and diffence force, at gunpoint and a promise of a bloodshed Nasheed is forced to resign. Former diffence minister Ameen Faisal is out of the country with bribe money. The opposition were armed after they bribed the police and diffence. This is all unconstitutional. Poliice and diffence are out of control. They are killing people. Outside world should help Nasheed to continue and complete his 5year term which we had voted for. The bribery act should be investigated. Gayyoom want every NGO, media, police and diffence in his hands, that he is doing. Thus majority of the people supporte Nasheed now. The so called president Waheed is involved in Gayyoom's plans. Outside should do something about this. Gayyoom's corruptions should be investigated. Nasheed is no zero, he is a hero in country now!

  8. “Some are even asking: ‘should I cancel my trip to the Maldives to show support for President Nasheed?’”

    Yes you should! Democracy died in infancy yesterday, here in the Maldives. There is no rule of law by any definition of the term "rule of law". The military and police beat up anyone they could today who voiced opposition against their takeover of the country yesterday.

    The amount of blood that was shed today on the streets of Maldives was unheard of in a generation. We didn't see such violence from the police and military even during the darkest days of Gayyoom's crackdowns.

    Nasheed was our elected president and he was forced to resign at gun point. It was a coup orchestrated by those within the security forces loyal to former dictator Gayyoom, and Gayyoom's party from the outside. If there is any more proof needed, just notice who was the biggest supporter of todays merciless crackdown on civilians. It was PPM, Gayyoom's new party!

    They had no legitimate route to power and have been trying to bring down the democratically elected government for the last 3 years. A military coup was the only route they had to power.

    Nasheed is a true democrat, loves his country and thousands of people in this country are fully behind him.

  9. The last time I felt such anger was November 1988 when Tamil mercenaries attacked our country in the early hours of one morning.

    On that day, Moosa Jaleel, present Major General of MDF, fought bravely to defend his country. Jaleel, where are you today? The country, once again needs people like you to defend it from the tyrants who took over it and extinguished the flame of democracy.

    I know full well, that people such as Jaleel had no part whatsoever in the military coup that took place yesterday. There are honourable soldiers in MNDF who will defend their country with their blood. I hope they rise up to free the country from the claws of the demons.

    History has important lessons for tyrants and blood hounds. They will never prevail. Justice shall be done.

  10. This happened as a result of Mr.Nasheed's too much democracy. It is a basic principle, any politician, when he or she comes to power, should follow, to protect the gained power, and Mr.Nasheed failed to protect it. Gayoom is a cunning politician, who waited for the right time, and used his former catchers to sack Mr.Nasheed from office. There are ways and means and strategies to silence political rivals, and Mr.Nasheed even did not learn such tricks happening in his neighbouring Sri Lanka.
    AT least now, go there and talk to Mr.Rajapakse, and come back to regain your reasonable seat.
    Maldives needs you, if people want a future, especially to find another place, as Mr.Nasheed was working on, to live when increasing global temperature submerge your atolls.

  11. peace at allah only on Thu, 9th Feb 2012 9:30 AM

    "Anni sucks and his cabinet sucks"

    Hye do not use ALLAH'S name when you are condemning people. If you are seeking for peace, that is not the way of Islam.

    People like you are exactly the reason why muslims are highly criticised nowadays.

    As far as I know, President Nasheed is not only loved by the west, but to most developed and developing countries. And the type of integrity and commitment that he had shown in the international media reflects the good side of Maldives and its' people that even if you are small, nothing is impossible, you can make your voice be heard. There is nothing to be embarrased about.

    The man is thinking of your future. Every decisions he takes, or anyone in fact, would have bad and good consequences. Depending on your own personal values.


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