Deploy UN peacekeepers to Libya, urges Maldives President

President Mohamed Nasheed has called for the United Nations to deploy peacekeepers in the troubled gulf state of Libya, in an effort “to contain” its leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Nasheed made the suggestion during an interview on ‘Walk the Talk’, a current affairs program on Indian television station NDTV.

The Libyan government, a 42 year autocracy under Gaddafi, is facing rising international censure after using African mercenaries and military hardware – including anti-aircraft missiles – against civilian protesters.

At least 300 people are believed dead in the uprising while armed opposition groups now control much of the east of the country including Zawiyah, a town just 30 miles from the west of the capital of Tripoli. The British SAS meanwhile evacuated more than 500 British oil workers from a staging point in the Libyan desert, using C-130 Hercules transports.

“I feel that the UN should now be thinking about peacekeeping in Libya – on the ground intervention. This is very important,” Nasheed said on ‘Walk the Talk’.

“It is very disturbing to see the whole thing being played out, and everyone talking about their nationals – we all humans and sovereignty cannot be played over humanity,” Nasheed said.

“It is very disturbing to hear everyone talking only about their own nationals. People should be talking about Libya and the people. You kill an Indian, you kill a Libyan, what difference does that make? You’ve killed someone.”

Direct action was needed, Nasheed said, rather than the further economic sanctions that had been imposed.

“[The international community] are talking about sanctions – but Libyans already can’t import anything,” he said.

Nasheed noted that Gaddafi had survived the extreme political turbulence of the last 3-4 days, and said he was “very jittery” about the prospects of the leader stepping down voluntarily.

“Certainly he should go – I’ve no doubt about that,” he said. “It is our responsibility to make sure that at the end of the day we don’t have headlines saying 500,000 people are dead from aerial bombing in Libya.”

The Maldives, Nasheed said, was a “laboratory case” for the current call for democracy in the Middle East and the ousting of autocratic leaders.

“For the last 100 years Maldivian leaders have tried to emulate Egypt. There was Gayoom, but other leaders before him also studied in Egypt.

“What they need now are political parties. We will always support movement in any country when people want to be free – it is very important for development that countries haves strong political parties and free and fair elections.”

The uprisings had showcased that there was “no contradiction between Islam and democracy”, Nasheed said. “We are a 100 percent Muslim country and we have been able to galvanise the public for political activism, we’ve been able to amend our constitution, we able to build political parties, we have had free and fair presidential elections, parliamentary elections, local elections, we have separation of powers, we have a very vibrant independent media, we have all the fundamental rights – but all that requires space for organised political activism.”

A theocracy based around an extreme religious idea, Nasheed said, was simply “The camoflage of a standard dictatorship – except in the name of God.”

Issues such as Israel and Middle East peace issues could be more easily dealt with in a free and democratic country, Nasheed said.

“We have been able to have a number contacts with Israel now – the people have no issue with that.”

Queried by the interviewer about the widespread public anger Nasheed faced when reaching out to Israel, Nasheed claimed that “there is always organised opposition, and there should be and we can always talk about it and give our point of view.”

The uprisings had broken many Middle Eastern stereotypes, Nasheed agreed.

“Finally we will be able to show Islam for what it is – a high sophisticated intellectual life, that is highly attractive to people.”

Asked by the interviewer if he himself was “a devout Muslim”, Nasheed described himself as “practicing”, “but I don’t think that necessarily narrows my thinking or my attitude or my interactions with anyone.”

The interviewer also challenged Nasheed on how the Maldives could balance a broadly Islamic population with the influences of Western-style beach tourism.

“Traditionally we were Sufi Muslim, so therefore we were very liberal,” Nasheed said. “But in 70s we had wahabism starting to come in. Then in the late 70s Gayoom came to power, after living in Egypt.

“There was always a tendency to use religion or verses from the Quran or hadiths to justify yourself or justify your actions. Some other leader might have said “for development’. But Gayoom would say, ‘for God, so that we may attain paradise.’ What you are really saying is that you are building a school.”


13 thoughts on “Deploy UN peacekeepers to Libya, urges Maldives President”

  1. Anni should not be talking and involving in other countries politics.He is already struggling to govern Maldives.he should not be talking Gayyoom.gayyoom has done far more better to this country.the present Maldives came to the light of today is from Gayyoom's plans.Not simply saying Gayyoom has done a great job during his presidency.But it was far better then what we see today.

    He should be a role model to the whole maldives.but he has already failed.There is no respect for him anymore.

    1- He is already corrupted.Thilafushi project is one good example.
    2- Airport was sold to GMR.
    3- He is trying hard to use force.Attacking local media and trying to hijack it.
    4- USD dollars are not available to buy or sell.More foreign currencies are pouring into the country but the public is suffering.
    5 - reclaiming project of second lagoon by Male.Spending our money only to the people in male and whats close by Male.
    gayyoom Hulhumale and Anni Gulhi Falhu.Does not make any difference.taking advantage of money which belongs to all maldivians.
    6- Favors only people from his party(MDP)and his relatives.Blind eye to the rest of the population.
    7- Promises of harbor building in different local villages.Nothing is happening till now months has passed with of promised starting date from his mouth.false promise to the public to win the counsel election.
    8 - Land issuing from some villages to the local for housing.Another fake promise.Nothing is happening till now.
    10-promised to bring down all goods and service to affordable price to all Maldivians.Inflation rate is booming beyond control.
    11- Civil service salary and benefits cut off.Huge negative effect to majority of Maldives.
    12 - Not obeying and following the laws,rules and regulation. Implementing every idea of hi intellectuals.

    We 'Maldivians' know what is right and what is wrong.His leadership is leading Maldives into deep darkness.We are aware of environmental effects or impact the world is facing today.This is very basic, even fifth grader is aware of it.

    He has even said that he will run the Maldives from the money comes from one single resort in Maldives - Concrete evidence of how narrow his thinking level is!!!!
    He should first organize himself before talking about the other.He always standing outside of the border line.

  2. @The brain power of human: You are very right. Anni didn't turn out to be the saviour we expected. He is nothing but a big liar. He has managed to worsen our lives instead of improving its quality. He has been in power for more thsn 2 years and still bicker about Qayyoom. The previous president flourished the beach tourism industry eventhough he was a dictator and a person who read out verses from Quran and Hadiths. Anni has also started running the country just like the previous dictator, by placing all his family and friends to govern the government. Anni has spend more public money on his and his family and friends on foreign trips in this two years, more that Qayyoom spent in his first two years. Anni favours all people who are close to him or to his party. He doesn't give a damn for the rest of the Maldivians. So its better he shuts his drooling trap and big talks in other countries. And its time he comes out of the dream that the people of this country favours his relations with Israel.

  3. President Nasheed is always trying to portray himself as a big statesman to the world.

    In that light, why doesn't he offer the services of his country's forces to the United Nations as peace keepers in Libya? Mere words are worse than useless. Show some action for once!

  4. @ The brain power of human

    Most of your points are valid except this one:

    2- Airport was sold to GMR.

    This is a lie. The Airport has not been sold to anyone. It still belongs to us. GMR has been awarded a business contract to manage the Airport.

    This is very different from "selling" the Airport! I hope you understand the difference.

    Millions of dollars have been wasted in developing Male airport. There is very little to show for all that investment. The government cannot afford to develop the airport to the standards required in the timeframe needed. There isn't a local company that can do the job either.

    Hence, the project was tendered to foreign investors. The whole process was overseen by the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank.

    I agree with the rest of the assertions in your comment. The President is making a lot of promises and he is falling well short on delivery of most of them. Two more years, and he'll see the result of that!

  5. Anni could have done a lot more if the coffers weren't empty. With the hatred and animosity from Gayoom and his personal ambition to return to power had made things extremely hard for Anni. The people who support Anni will elect him once again to complete a second term, when you all will see the difference in our beautiful islands.

  6. Were we ever Sufi Muslims? I thought we have always be Sunni? Can anybody tell me?

  7. We need peacekeepers in thulusdhoo and Funadhoo Mr. Secretary General. Please save us from Asian Mugabe.

  8. You people need to look out side of your shell. If you see what is happening in Libya you see what a dictator could do to his country before being brought down by any mean. Before leaving Gayyoom left all his aides in top positions in civil service and his cronies in Majilis and Judiciary. There is no independent institution in real sense. All these are working to topple the government and regain the lost power. The hiccups will be over sooner than later.

  9. @Fathun
    Remember when the nation was converted from buddism to Islam by Abdul Barakath the Berber? He was a Sufi Muslim. The religion of our country was then largely influenced by Sufi Muslims from Morocco and other neighboring, who were shipwrecked here during their trade travels.

  10. If Anni has any brain left he will stop talking about other countries. Maldives imports everything from outside and our economy is built on foreign loans. So its better we don’t comment on others.
    I don’t see much difference between Libya and Maldives. Both leaders don’t care about the people. Our police harass media and reporters continuously. MDP thugs are sent to media stations if the leader is not happy with what they are broadcasting. MDP thugs are sent outside Parliament house and Judiciary when they are sure that decisions from these places can go against them. And all these are happening after the new constitution

  11. UN peace keeping force will go and exploit the Libya and people of Libya. they will also exploit the poor innocent women of Libya by giving alms and money. no need to send UN cunning people. people of Libya can take care of themselves.

  12. Instead of jumping on the 'big world leader' bandwagon and issuing statements that you actually have no responsibility for please dinghy following;
    Get rid of at least one third of our state monsters, you are appointing them quicker than Ali Raeez can replenish his mas mirus stock.
    Sack anyone recently shown to have self posted naked pictures, including bikinis on Facebook if or messenger if they are in public employment. Do not defend them however close they are to the presidency.
    Commend your Police for wanting to things by the book, there is no other legal way.
    Ask society what we want now and then, especially regarding the way the country is managed or mid managed by parts of the three way excuse we currently have.
    We need proper governance, decent civil servants and a proper and non corrupt legal system if justice.
    These are the issues currently underpinning serious rebellions throughout the middle east, ignore them at your own peril ladies and gentlemen.


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