Comment: Appeal for help

On the 7th of February, 2012 the lawfully elected Government of Maldives was overthrown by a mutiny carried out by joint factions of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the Maldives Police Service. Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed was forced at gunpoint to write a letter of resignation addressed to the Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid.

Using the above mentioned letter that was processed under duress, was used as a pretext to usher in the then Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik to the President’s chair. Soon thereafter, Dr. Waheed appointed a new Home Minister, a new Defense Minister and a new Police Commissioner. It has now been revealed that these new posts are taken up by the leaders of the coup.

The self-claimed government of Dr Waheed is using the military and the police force to beat and arrest MPs and others loyal to the former government. This large scale crackdown on the members of Parliament and supporters of President Nasheed is continuing.

At the moment, the UN, Commonwealth and other bodies are trying to diffuse the situation.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the coup including Dr Waheed are using their newly assumed powers to suppress free media, conduct extra-judicial arrests and utilise the Criminal Court in issuing court orders for the arrest of President Nasheed and his supporters. We believe they are trying to wipe out the democracy movement by destroying the Maldivian Democratic Party.

As indicated by the popular uprising in the aftermath of the coup, a great majority of the Maldivian people do not accept the newly established government in power.

President Nasheed won the Election in 2008, after 30 years of autocratic rule by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. New President Waheed named ministers on Sunday who are almost all veterans of the government of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives for 30 years until Nasheed beat him in 2008 in a presidential election.

We believe that despite counter claims of Dr. Waheed, his move up from vice president to the head of state did not follow constitutional procedures after Nasheed was forced to resign.

We call upon citizens of all democratic countries to condemn this coup and to demand from the government of Dr. Waheed to hand over power to the Speaker of Parliament in accordance with the Maldives Constitution, until a free and fair election can be held. We also demand from the international community to conduct an independent inquiry of the process that lead to the forcible removal of President Mohamed Nasheed from office.

Help us save this young democracy, before the coup leaders and the mutinous military and police take back our democratic rights.

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18 thoughts on “Comment: Appeal for help”

  1. Appeal to who? And for what? An armed foreign intervention? Sanctions? What??

    Yes, its a Coup. But Nasheed brought this upon himself by blatant disregard for the Constitution and abuse of power.

    If Nasheed had not resigned, he would have been impeached or arrested by the very military he was using to arrest judges and intimidate them.

  2. To all democrat Maldivians: please write to
    Plenty of people around the world are already doing it but they need more requests to start a campaign for Maldives democracy.

  3. Ilyas you are like your name sake. We are not calling for an armed intervention. A lot could be done without arms. If you think Waheed and Gasim is going to survive an International condemnation then you have no clue about the World.

    I do not care if Nasheed never sees the daylight of the President's Office. But I care about a democratically elected Government, being thrown out by a bunch of thugs.
    Naseer, is right. The only way forward is to hand over to The Speaker of the Majlis and call fresh elections?

    Why is Waheed frightened to handover the power to the Speaker of the Majlis? Why is he scared to call fresh elections?

    If you are so sure that Nasheed would lose then why worry? If Nasheed loses he has lost in the eyes of everyone and should not be the President.

    I think you and Waheed are scared that Nasheed would win the election. We would not accept an illegal government. We had 30 years of Gayoom's dictatorship and enough is enough.
    If they wanted to get rid of Nasheed all they need is to wait for one year and out vote him in the next election in 2013 and no one can say anything.

    A coup in Maldives is not acceptable.

  4. Armed foreign intervention ? YES, NOW.

    Becaure the freedom of whatever in Maldives is totally gone.
    Because your junta is brutalising people, robbing, torturing ... real god, - sorry, allah - fearing people i would guess ?

    I do not see any difference between Bush who was every time calling for his god to bless america ... no difference with this junta, they just call on allah for the same ... jokers

  5. Nasheed lost. Constitution won.
    If Dr Waheed starts arresting judges and opposition leaders like Nasheed did I guarantee his rule will be short.

  6. We need a external body to undertake the investigation into the coup d'etat. Maldives simply does not have the capacity to do so and I certainly wouldn't trust any Maldivian to undertake this delicate job! It requires total impartiality, expertise in military and legal affairs not to mention others.

    I certainly believe Nasheed and his administration made a number of blunders. Nevertheless that doesn't justify the overthrowing of a democratically elected government by illegal means.

    The current regime simply do not represent the people of the country. The people of the nation decide their leaders; not a mob, police or army. I think most people agree that the Speaker is the right person to lead an interim government until elections can be held. The Speaker can run a government of "national unity" with complete legitimacy and cooperation from all sides unlike the incumbent, Waheed.

    I don't care whether MDP wins or loses the next elections. The point is that we, the people, will decide who will lead us.

  7. Ilyas, you are so blinded by your hatred for Nasheed that you don't seem to realize that this coup affects all of us Maldivians too. And that we are not going to accept the military taking over our Government, at any time, be it an MDP government, PPM or DRP! You don't seem to see beyond politics, where as a lot of us are calling for democracy and our freedom to vote and for that vote to count! If you are so sure that Nasheed would have been impeached, well why didn't the opposition try that and wait for that to happen. Nobody would be talking about an illegal government and terrorists then. Fact is the Opposition is full of greedy pigs who are addicted to the taste of power during Maumoon's regime, and their craving got so bad that they couldn't think properly. They failed to realize that the people of Maldives are still here and that we have a voice too and that we are not going to be silent and start worshipping Maumoon again!

  8. There were protests earlier to remove Nasheed's government, and there are protests now to remove the new government.

    The louder and more mindless the protests get, the more Maldivians call for outside intervention.

    The same outsiders who are constantly abused for being alcoholic and eating pork. Oh and bringing in tourism money.

    Every new government needs a few days to run smoothly. And every country needs a basic cohesive unity to move forward. You didn't have that before Nasheed, you don't have that now.

    Make up your mind about what you want, and then stick to it. All this can be done in a peaceful manner.

    The damage to Maldives' image is already done. In 1-2 months, when the tourism money decreases, construction projects stop because no banks will fund things in an unstable environment, that is the moment when Maldivians will realize what they have ruined and lost.

    We do not realize the value of water until the well is empty.

  9. Mariyam on Tue, 14th Feb 2012 8:01 AM

    As a matter of fact I have always been a great supporter of Nasheed. Not just voted for him but worked hard on his campaign and until very recently believed in him. So I don't 'hate' him but like him a lot as a person.

    If you are not biased, you will know quite well that during the recent past, Nasheed had repeatedly violated the Constitution and was about to destroy the whole judiciary. He was going to re-appoint the whole Supreme Court and High Court, had already refused the lower courts thus creating anarchy in the country.

    Finally all this led to the Police revolt who decided that enough was enough as far as taking illegal orders was concerned. Later the mutiny and protesters joined by MNDF and finally Nasheed forced to resign. Yes, in the end it was a Coup/Toppling of Government. But a 'Coup' instigated by Nasheed forcing the MNDF and Police to topple his government.

    I do not condone the illegal transfer of power, nor do I condone the way Nasheed acted again and again outside the Constitution without any remorse or regret.

    I don't support the current Prez Waheed. I believe that Nasheed did not resign as such but was forced to resign.

    Before Nasheed's government fell, his popularity was at rock bottom and there was genuine hatred for his actions amongst the independent voters too. People were sick of Nasheed's activists who were threatening media and setting fire to places like VTV. The county was in chaos because of the confrontational policies of MDP.

    Equally the public is now disgusted with the way an elected President has been toppled. Hence, the massive sympathy support for Nasheed at present.

    Nasheed will most probably win any election held today or tomorrow by a landslide. Not because people approve of his conduct in the past or the way he ran the country but because majority of the people believe in democracy and don't wish to be robbed of the opportunity to elect the President through a vote.

    Nasheed will return back to power if not in a snap election then in the next election. When he returns back, he should learn from his past mistakes and assemble a capable cabinet, and run the country for all Maldivians and not just for MDP supporters.

    Prez Nasheed should not use his activists on the roads to make policy. Instead he should abide by the Constitution and operate within the Rule of Law to uphold the values that he himself promotes.

    Prez Nasheed should accept the fact that after Maumoon, the people of this country had reduced the Executive Powers when the New Constitution was adopted as they do not wish for a single person to have too much power.

    So, when Nasheed is back in office soon he must learn to work with the Majlis and Judiciary as equals.

    As for the current situation, I don't believe that violence is the answer or the right way forward. MDP needs to strategise to win the 'war' and not just win a ' battle'.

    I hope I have made myself clear now.

  10. respectdafacts. There is a simple solution and it is follow the Maldivian constitution. Hand over power to the Speaker of the Majlis and let him have a Unity Government till elections.

    That would solve all these problems. A lot of problems are caused by Maldivians not knowing their own constitutions.
    They think if a legally elected President has broken any laws, then he should be thrown out by the Military. NO. He can only be thrown out by either by the vote(elections) or impeached in the Majlis.

    If this is not a coup, then everyone else has to redefine the meaning of the coup.

  11. Ilyas, yes now you do sound like you have put a more balanced argument forward and I can understand your points. I can even agree with what you have said to some extent, in the sense that yes, there are some senior people in MDP who have not had the sense to appreciate the opportunity they won, to make this country a better place, after the 30 years of Maumoon’s rule. Yes, Nasheed should have done a lot of things differently, and he should not have acted outside of the Constitution.

    BUT he did not destroy the judiciary, it had been destroyed by the former regime, and the fact that JSC chose to obey the civil courts order and not publish the fact that Judge Abdulla had been deemed unfit to sit in the bench shows that there actually is no real judiciary in this country, but a bunch of puppets who dance to Judge Abdulla and his masters’ tunes. Yes, even with the whole court system and the PG under Maumoon’s thumb, Nasheed should have chosen a way within the Constitution to deal with that corrupt Judge and I also sincerely hope that lessons have been learned for when Nasheed comes back into power.

    However, there is no way to even remotely justify the coup. If the POlice, Military, Waheed and the Opposition leaders were upset with Nasheed for acting outside of the Constitution, then the Constitution also provided them with the legal mechanism to impeach him. The Police and Military, should know that they are not like civilians who can go out to the streets and protest, and especially in their uniforms. It is a matter of upholding the respect civilians have for the uniform, and if they can’t uphold it, then they have no business wearing it. Those who betrayed this country and its people for their own gain and some cash, SHOULD be made an example of and its questionable why Waheed is calling them heroes instead of the terrorists they are. Maybe because in making them accountable, he too will have to answer a few questions!

    And most especially, when people like Nazim, Jameel and Riyaz are put in charge of our security forces, then the only thing we are going to see in this country is ruling by brutality. We got a taste of that within 24 hours of Waheed’s presidency.

    Yes, I agree that violence is not the answer and MDP should strategize too, but at the same time, even we, the people are not willing to allow or accept a terrorist government governing us even for a few more days!

    First we need new elections, second, reform of the Judiciary as per the Constitution, third, all the terrorists who brought about the coup be held accountable and fourth, a reality check for MDP, whether or not they win the elections! Then, we can move on with our lives!

  12. Ilyas I like your genuineness. Nasheed cooked his omelette in a wrong way. Thats why he has seen this day. If he still has some respect for this country's constitution and moral values in himself, he would stop spreading all these lies and behave like a decent politician. But I doubt he would do. The man is mad and crazy to rule this country. The writer of this article has been irresponsible to say 'majority of the maldivian people do not support the new government'. The majority of maldivian people do not support MDP, the majority of the maldivian people support the opposition and the opposition is the majority of political leadership now in this country. So how can you jump on to say something like that without proper researchs, facts and figures. We all know Anni and MDP spreads lies, but the same coming from journalists is way too beyond to accept.

  13. what i dont know is , why nasheed is doing this to maldives..his behaviours and attitudes do not say he is a democratic leader... why cant he start campaigning for the next term, instead of destroying his so called beloved nation??!!i am really confused

  14. I really think Nasheed is no angel but right now he has the moral high ground. Why should he let down all the people who voted for him by just accepting a coup?

    He cannot accept this government at all and I feel he has no choice but to call for the constitution to be followed by handing the power to the Speaker and call for Fresh elections.

  15. We've done our research and it clearly and absolutely shows that the majority of Maldivians do NOT support the illegal regime of Waheed & Co.

    Moreover, there is very little support for the so-called "coalition" of the most unlikely bed-fellows. The majority of the people in the country want a President they elect to lead them and not someone brought to power by the mob and the military.

    These are the facts on the ground. No matter how some may try to spin it, Maldivians know the truth and do not like it.

  16. All Maldivians concerned about democracy should ask for fresh elections.We don't need any political people involved.We just want free and fair elections ASAP so that we vote for our government!!!I hate having this puppet as President,criminals running our police and defense and our former dictator guiding them all.

  17. No matter how the international community helps the Maldivians, its needed immediately.
    all we want is another election to find a leader we the people elect not what the military junta wants. we want the power to be handed over to the rightful owners, the people.
    Currently, people are being brualised and tortured behind the scenes.

  18. Judging by the feeble military and police who did not have the courage to stand up to the Coup d etat, just send in 10 SAS troops into Male and it would be game over within 10 minutes.


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