Comment: Urgent appeal from a deeply concerned community

The Velidhoo Future Foundation (VFF) was founded on March 2010 to develop the island of Velidhoo in Noonu Atoll and for the progression of its youth, whilst looking at environmental sustainability for the community, an issue which has emerged as vital the past few years.

Since its establishment, the VFF has developed many initiatives, and as the name indicates, they were all effectively undertaken for the future of the island of Velidhoo. This is done working with the society at grass root level, encouraging participation from everyone, be it local, national or international. Many successful projects have been jointly executed. The advantages of the combination of knowledge and skills of international volunteers together with local expertise and enthusiasm were realised and used to the benefit of the community in Velidhoo.

We are proud of our contribution to the development of our island, disseminating good practice and experience outside our own community too. Our aim is to make Velidhoo an example to be emulated in the field of effective household waste disposal, clean and usable beaches and enlightened, progressive citizens. We were well on our way of doing this, and the co-operation from local businesses, resorts, international volunteers, and particularly from the Velidhoo residents themselves has been over-whelming, very encouraging and definite steps in the right direction.

However, very sadly, the recent developments in both our country and our local community have abruptly halted our ongoing projects. Our community has now become deeply divided. Where before there was unity, solidarity and a real sense of working together for the good of all, now there is hate, suspicion and discontentment.

We are extremely worried that our common religion will be used as a means of sowing hate. We are already facing threats (like SMS and speeches) towards the European volunteers in our region, who are accused of preaching Christianity and therefore “should be thrown out of the country”. These accusations have no base and are completely unjustified, as the volunteers have done nothing but genuinely care for communities without religion ever coming in the context.

An ongoing cooperation with the State of Limburg (Belgium) has put been on hold. We were supposed to have hosted them in February. This project would have given the area a huge impetus for progress and growth, and ultimately it is the communities who will lose out and suffer from this delay.

We are extremely worried that the many NGOs and international organisations in Maldives would be considered “unwanted foreigners”. We desperately need international aid and projects for development. The influence of our volunteers has been positive and far-reaching – in education, training, tourism, environmental issues, marine conservation, even giving local enterprises more business through their activities. We are concerned that these partners will not be wanted.

So far, because of the good nature of these international bodies and volunteers, they have kept the true Maldivian situation to themselves, and tourism has not been affected much yet. But if this situation is allowed to continue, then the repercussions would be horrific. The main body of international tourists would start pulling out. Why would western societies wish to patronise a country where foreigners are generally regarded with hostility and malign ill-will and tolerated through gritted teeth only because of the dollars they bring in?

Furthermore, having had discussions with our members and people in different areas and regions, we can have only one conclusion: “what has happened” was a coup d’état – independent bodies, various local communities and organisations and the international press have confirmed it.

Being a grass roots organisation, I speak not only for my organisation, but also for most of the common Maldivian citizens: A new government should be decided by the ballot box. I am sure you will agree that this is the only way to resolve the current unrest and feelings of discontent and frustration which is draining our nation and giving us a negative image globally.

No one will be able to dispute the outcome of the ballot box.

Prompt elections will bring a solution which ensures a free, democratic and prosperous future for youth, people and our nation. Only fresh elections – for both Parliament and the President’s position can bring a peaceful solution for our now deeply divided nation.

Ibrahim ‘Shoppe’ Mohamed is the Chairperson of the Velidhoo Future Foundation.

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10 thoughts on “Comment: Urgent appeal from a deeply concerned community”

  1. Democracy goood.
    Party system baaayd.

    Miss those times when the islanders were so welcoming.

  2. The islanders have always been welcoming and genuinely warm. But how hospitable can they remain when fear and uncertainity grips and engulfs them?

  3. The article doesnt state which porjects and works they were carrying out in their island !!1 It all talks about projects halted blah blah blah...

  4. I have no idea who this guy is who wrote this article. When you say many projects for the good of the people, no facts are included. I think the guy needs to attend a basic journalism course how to go about writing an article. I am no journalist but I can tell the amaturish writing and lack of facts more importantly the one sided view. by the way which international medical confirms that this was a coup d'etat. All the medias says Nasheed claims it to be a coup d'etat. And the truth is no one really believes it even the guy contradicts himslef. The truth is all majour international players i. e UK, USA, India all recognise the current government.

  5. The current regime and its supporters want to restrict western education as much as they possibly can in this country. This is a deliberate programme to indoctrinate future generations in dangerous Islamic ideology.

    We all know what happened to Fili Waheed when he came to Addu. The people of Addu showed him that he is nothing but a traitor.

    Imagine every single Atoll in the Maldives full of citizens who are as liberal as those of Addu. That's just the worst nightmare scenario for these power mad politicians who grabbed power illegal on February 7th. They know they cannot brainwash the people unless they shut down the artery of education to our citizens.

    Militant Islam and Pakistan style Madhrasas are going to mushroom in the Maldives if things go as they are planned.

  6. It is shameful to see foreigners running our country. Anni's right hand man, Mark Lynas, Mike Mason were all paid millions and were unaccountable British men. We are not a colony any more. We should establish an inquiry to investigate these neo colonisers.

  7. @ Suvadeep

    It appears that no one has been more humiliated and frustrated by the change of government than you.
    Keep your humiliation and frustration under control and stop spreading lies.

    "The current regime and its supporters want to restrict western education as much as they possibly can in this country."
    There is not one change in the educational policy since the governmnet changed.
    How will you justify what you said?
    You are just blabbering hoping that your rant will be music to foreign ears.
    But, let me tell you. The foreigners are no fools.

    "Militant Islam and Pakistan style Madhrasas are going to mushroom in the Maldives if things go as they are planned."
    So you can even predict the future?

  8. @ Savetheplanet
    It is frightening to hear that the Maldives thinks that they can do it alone without the rest of the world? You my friend are a danger to the future of this country.

    Seeing the hardliners like you preach to every one and then drink and frequent whore houses when you go abroad is incredible hypocrsy. If only these people you brainwash could see how you really behave!

  9. this is most interesting piece writing about coup in Maldives. I salute writer for his courage and strong commitment to his nation

  10. @ Kareemuddin

    Why should Suvadheeb keep his feelings about the coup to himself? There are many of us who feel what he feels, and many of us who see what he sees.

    And if you think the Maldiviestan he's talking about is a prediction about a future that'll never happen, think again. Just because you are refusing to see what is happening around you doesn't mean everybody else is!


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