Climate change and “practical” development among talking points as Gayoom visits Bangladesh

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has called on members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to be more realistic in their aims for collaborative development during a visit to Bangladesh this week.

Gayoom, who was invited to the country by the University of Science and Technology of Chittagong (USTC) to attend a convocation scheduled for tomorrow (June 29), was reported to have asked SAARC leaders to be “practical” and outline more achievable developments in the region, according to the local Daily Star newspaper.

While unaware of the exact purpose of Gayoom’s visit, which has included meeting Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, parliamentary supporters of the former president claimed that the apparent statesman-like nature of his comments did not signify a return to active politics beyond attempts to try and settle divides within the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) that he helped found.

Outside of the domestic political sphere, the 73-year old former head of state has this week been speaking to local media about his own concerns on the importance of addressing issues like climate change and higher education, along with outlining what he perceives as the main challenges facing SAARC nations.

Gayoom said he believed that technical limitations and issues of resources had set SAARC members back in the “very high goals” set by each nation, though he said he believed the organisation had not failed in its plans and had great potential – particularly from regional enterprise.

“There must be more cooperation among the private sector of the SAARC countries,” the Daily Star quoted him as saying.

A spokesperson for President Mohamed Nasheed, who in 2008 successfully unseated Gayoom after 30 years in power during the country’s first ever democratic general elections, was not available for comment at the time of going to press on the visit.

Gayoom retired from active politics in early 2010, appointing  MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali as leader of the country’s main opposition party.

The former president remains a divisive figure in Maldivian life and politics following 30 years of autocratic rule that has inspired fierce support and criticism in equal measure depending  on individual political persuasion in the country.

However, MP DRP Ahmed Mahlouf, who along with Gayoom has been linked to the factional Z-DRP movement that now opposes incumbent party leader Thasmeen, said the former president remained a popular figure among SAARC member states for his work in the field of regional development.

“He has done a lot for the region and I wouldn’t be surprised if SAARC leaders praise him for his efforts,” he said.

Despite his reputation, Mahlouf said that the visit to Bangladesh should not be seen as an indication that Gayoom would run for president in 2013, adding that the former president had shown no interest to change his mind on retiring from front line politics.

“[Gayoom] has not really been commenting much on the current government despite concerns he has.  Right now he is working to try his best and solve disputes within the DRP, something Thasmeen is trying to prevent,” he claimed.

“I would like to see him form a new party under his own image.”


7 thoughts on “Climate change and “practical” development among talking points as Gayoom visits Bangladesh”

  1. Agree with Mahloof.. Haven't seen him commenting much on the current government. I believe he should do what ever he can to solve the problem in DRP. Surely MDP's won't like these articles.. Thought you all don't like, he's the father of development of Maldives and the region too.. The regional leaders will definitely praise him

  2. Maumoon will try to return to power by whatever means. That's just who he is. He can never let go. He will continue to lie through his teeth. When the time comes, he will just say the 'people want me to save this country' or something stupid like that as an excuse.

    by the way he is not 73 years old. He is in his eighties.

  3. Usay - he is not only the father of development for this region. He is the father or development of the whole world and universe. After god he is the highest authority dho ?

  4. “I would like to see him form a new party under his own image.”

    the shallowness of people like Mahloof is evident from this sentence. Sounds like they dont want a party but a clan based on Gayoom's "image".

  5. What kidn of rubbish journalism is this? You started your article with Bangladesh visit of Maumoon and his comment about SAARC there but finish the article deliberatley with Z-DRP and Mahlouf. What a crap piece of combination. This is what MN reporters always do. You should have instead written more about Qayyooms trip to Bangladesh rather than changing the topic of the article. I though the news was Qayyooms visit to Bangladesh and what did he do there. Why bring Z-DRP, Thasneem, DRp, Mahlouf in every piece of news. I cant believe MN pays to such incompetent people who calls them journalists write crap all the time.

  6. And for Qayyoom: SAARC is nothing but a failed association. The only thing they do is every year all the leaders of SAARC meet in one of the SAARC country, decide a place to meet next year and then go home. End of story. Its been more than a decade since SAARC has been formed and this is what we see from SAARC. Despite the fact this is the association which represents highest number of citizens in the whole world, it has done nothing for its citizens, it has never even made life easy of better to its citizens. Its just a blood waste of time, state money and energy of its nations.

  7. This shameless Mullah won’t to be in power; there is no way!
    Why can’t he understand that his days are gone! Nowadays, people in general laugh it his petty talks.


Comments are closed.