Government “cynically used xenophobia, nationalism and religious extremism” to attack foreign investor: former President

Additional reporting by Neil Merrett and Mohamed Naahii

The Waheed government’s decision to void the GMR contract and issue the developer a seven day ultimatum will “put off potential investors for decades,” former President Mohamed Nasheed has said.

“Waheed’s government has cynically used xenophobia, nationalism and religious extremism to attack GMR, the country’s largest foreign investor. Waheed is leading the Maldives down the path to economic ruin,” Nasheed said, following Attorney General Azima Shukoor’s issuing of the ultimatum on Tuesday (November 27) evening.  The ultimatum was made while arbitration proceedings are pending in the Singapore courts.

The government’s party to the 25 year concession agreement – the 100 percent state-owned Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) – issued a statement on Wednesday declaring that the company was “now working with stakeholders to take over the operations of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) on or before the expiry of the seven days period provided to [GMR] to handover possession of the INIA pursuant to the notice issued by the government of the Maldives and MACL.”

GMR meanwhile yesterday denounced the move as “unilateral and completely irrational”.

“We have no plans to go. We have 23 more years here,” GMR’s Head of Corporate Communications Arun Bhaghat told Minivan News.

CEO of INIA, Andrew Harrison, told Minivan News that the airport’s 1700 staff were “quite concerned” and “not exactly jumping for joy”.

The company had held several meetings with staff following the announcement and called on them to ensure continued smooth operation of the airport while the legal team was working to resolve the issue.

“People who have seen their businesses improve since GMR took over have been calling me up expressing support,” Harrison noted.

The company had received no communication from the government apart from the notice issued yesterday, he added.

The Indian government was quick to back GMR yesterday following the announcement by its Maldivian counterpart, noting that the company was awarded the deal “through a global tender conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank.”

“The IFC has stated that it has complied with Maldivian laws and regulations and followed international best practices at each step of the bidding process to ensure the highest degree of competitiveness, transparency and credibility of the process,” said the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Indian government added that it was prepared to take “all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of its interests and its nationals in the Maldives.”

Surprisingly, GMR’s stock showed an upward trend following the government’s announcement.

Traders on one broker’s website predicted that stock was reacting positively due to the Indian government’s quick defence of the company and the prospect of significant compensation for the infrastructure developer following arbitration proceedings.

“Stock will definitely react in a positive manner as it has now become a matter of national prestige,” predicted one trader on Indian finance portal, Moneycontrol.

The Maldives’ decision was widely derided in the Indian media. Forbes India suggested that “the decision to send the Indian consortium packing has brought into focus the risk of doing business in emerging markets with rapidly changing political landscapes.”

“India Inc has had its share of relatively minor `law and order’ problems in its journey into Africa and a few brushes with shifting goalposts in places like Indonesia and Russia. But being thrown out after signing a 25-year, supposedly iron-clad international contract, is a first,” Forbes observed.

Locally, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) of 30 year autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom praised the government’s move as “important for protecting the rights of Maldivian citizens”.

“It is PPM’s hope that the government’s decision to terminate the agreement with GMR will not affect the historic friendship between the governments and people of the Maldives and India,” the PPM said in statement.

The largest party in the ruling coalition, the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), was more reserved.

“The government should act responsibly and according to the legal contract,” said DRP MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom. “The consequences of government decisions should not adversely affect the lives of the Maldivians.”

The 2191-member Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), which during the Nasheed administration filed the Civil Court case outlawing the airport development charge (ADC) stipulated in GMR’s concession agreement which deprived MACL of airport revenues and cost the government several million dollars, praised President Waheed as a national hero.

“[The] decision will be noteworthy in the history of this country,” DQP Leader and President Waheed’s Special Advisor, Dr Hassan Saeed, was reported as saying in local media.

“No one would expect such a decision to be made by a country that heavily relies on India. But Waheed has decided what is best for his country,” said Saeed. “President Waheed will be remembered in the years to come.”

Saeed earlier wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to terminate the Maldives’ airport development contract with GMR, warning of rising fundamentalism and anti-Indian sentiment should he fail to do so.

“I want to warn you now that there is a real danger that the current situation could create the opportunity for these extremist politicians to be elected to prominent positions, including the Presidency and Parliament on an anti-GMR and anti-India platform,” Saeed informed Singh.

“That would not be in the interests of either the Maldives or India. You are well aware of the growing religious extremism in our country,” Saeed warned the PM.

Seven day stand-off

GMR has shown no interest in complying with cabinet’s direction and has expressed confidence in the professionalism of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and its assignment to protect the airport, raising speculation as to how far the government would be willing to go to enforce its decision to void the concession agreement and reclaim INIA.

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told Minivan News on Wednesday that the government’s role had “solely been to advise MACL to take control of the site.”

“We are not engineering any handover [of the airport],” he said. “What we have done is just given our opinion after being advised that [terminating the contract] was the proper thing to do.”

GMR has responded that it did not recognise a legal basis for the government’s decision while the arbitration is still ongoing in the Singaporean courts, stating that it would continue to manage and oversee development at the airport for the remaining 23 years of its tender agreement.

Masood claimed that any decision to retake the airport would be “the responsibility” of MACL.

“Well I suppose if MACL decide to terminate the agreement and the company hasn’t moved, procedures are in place for the MACL to address these issues,” he said, forwarding further inquiries to MACL Managing Director Mohamed Ibrahim.

Ibrahim however told Minivan News he was “not willing to disclose anything at this moment.”


27 thoughts on “Government “cynically used xenophobia, nationalism and religious extremism” to attack foreign investor: former President”

  1. What rights of Maldivians will be protected when you will not be respected outside Maldives

    And people who fought for this will not get any business with airport and lose everything

    Then again fall on another country for alms.

    Now this country cannot run its monthly expenses without support from India and it speaks

    So all Maldivians who will be losing business because of GMR being kicked out should go and ask Imran about their future

  2. I wouldn't worry, GMR is not going anywhere. Legally there is no grounds to remove them, they are under an international agreement. The MNDF has said that the deal is not there business on;y security at the airport. India will protect it's interests and there is nothing the Maldivian government Mr Imran or anybody else can do about that.

  3. Nasheed is the man who had ruined the countries economy and not anyone else.

    Nasheed is the man show gave airport for quick bucks not anyone else.

    Nasheed is the man who gave away Dhaargu shares just to of quick money .

    Nasheed is the man who sold MWSC shares to get some cash on urgent basis.

    These are few things Nasheed had done without considering the long term negative effect on the whole economy.

    IFC had failed to monitor the process properly and few individual from IFC are also responsible and part of this corrupt deal.

    Nasheed and his associates had taken a huge cut from GMR and this is why Nasheed is so angry about this decision.

    This is not the largest foreign investment in this country and there are much bigger investment in tourism industry done by foreign companies.

    Since Nasheed is a man who can tell the truth, it is obvious that he had to lie about the value of the foreign investment in this country.

    I wonder when this guy ever be able to speak honestly and stop damaging the country and its economy and society as a whole.

  4. Nasheed will stop at nothing to compromise our sovereignty. What a vile man.

  5. This is very good. Congratulations.

    @Ahmed on Wed, 28th Nov 2012 6:04 PM
    Do you honestly think we were respected before?

    We really are the worst hypocrites on Earth. I sometimes wonder whether God has made a mistake in sending all Prophets to Mid-east, thinking they were ignorant. Well, He would know that we top the list, then, last year, today, and for quite sometime to come too.

    Congratulations. Well deserved and achieved in the Guinness Book of Top performers.

  6. Mody. You had too much propaganda for dinner?

    If ADC wasn't revoked you wouldn't be repeating your mantra aver and over and over again. You're like a sheep bleating in a field...."Baaa.... corruption....baaaaaa...nasheed.....baaaa"

    Maldives NEEDS cash. It is virtually bankrupt. Countries sell shares of assets when they aren't self-funding. It happens ALL OVER THE WORLD.

    Prior to the private partnership with GMR, MACL funded it's pathetic airport development with massive loans at punitive interest rates.

    Tourism growth @ 1% in 2012. I attribute this in part to people like you.

    A major part of the GMR strategy was to make Maldives more accessible for the US tourist. Can you imagine the revenue that would have introduced and the subsequent trickle down benefits?

  7. @Oho.
    Selectively hiding the details;
    Prior to GMR MACL did not had the idea or charging ADC. As for the US guest; that's balloney as well. The US guests are not searching for new air ports when choosing their destination. People look at things like price, reputation, type of package, ease of travel etc.
    Its very apparent that MDP trolls have had devoured too much of propaganda for their own good.

  8. to Oho,

    I attribute the slow growth in Tourism Industry of Maldives to the anti-campaigns launched by MDP and MDP's associates oversea's, plus David Hardingham. They worked tirelessly urging tourists to boycott certain resorts of Maldives, and trying to reduce tourist arrivals to resorts that MDP was politically against.

    This was a sad turn of events for our country, as when MDP were in Power, they did many efforts and campaigns to boost the tourism sector, but after the resignation of Govt, they launched massive campaigns to ruin the reputation of tourist resorts.

    It is a relief that their efforts to destroy our tourism industry's image for the sake of political gains did not succeed that much.

    In every country there are patriots and there are traitors who work to destroy economies.

  9. Nasheed should learn the meaning of the word "investor". GMR is not "investing" anything under the present agreement. Basically all what they are doing is collecting the money required for the investment by way of the ADC amount US£ 25 per person departing from the airport.

    With 2.6 million through put pax that works out to US 1.6 billion over 25 years. To "invest" US 500 million would be nothing when you can collect nearly 2 billion dollars from passengers!

    This is just one issue. The sale of fuel and the profit sharing formula for this is again one sided.

    GMR was handed over a running airport. They did not build the airport. It was given not just free. Under this deal the Maldivian people have to pocket out to keep GMR!

  10. According to MDP and Nasheed, any action that exposes his henchmen and himself is Xenophobic.

    God willing, one day, the details of bribes by GMR would be revealed.

  11. Seyku Nasheed and his tactics, probably reiterating the same things that he, himself used to lure his supporters and the west prior to CoNi report. The big loser!!

  12. Your sovereignty deserves to be run over with a 20-ton truck, mr. tsk tsk. Because your sovereignty depends on preying upon the people of Maldives.

    Please enjoy, as your ivory towers, funded by money that rightfully belongs to the people of Maldives, collapses. Please, be sure to scream loudly for the cameras, yes?

  13. GMR did not make any "investment". The airport was a cash cow and they simply increased the prices three or four-folds and used the place to cover the losses through other operations. ADC alone would get them over 4 times the "investment". Their plan was to make the island a business centre and kill all local businesses. Their aggressive strategy could be seen even now. They took over the duty free shops.

    We do not need "investors" like this. This is simply a very corrupt deal and GMR must be kicked out!

  14. @Ilyas Ahmed on Wed, 28th Nov 2012 11:06 PM

    "To “invest” US 500 million would be nothing when you can collect nearly 2 billion dollars from passengers!"

    Alright, I take it that you're an armchair economist, like most people here (including the Maldivian regime). What you've failed to mention speaks volumes. Let's take a look at those.

    Did you know that the Maldivian government tried to find an investor for the airport several times? Did you also know that no reputable firm ever showed interest? Investors began showing interest only after IFC got involved in the process.

    I'm sure most people have heard of the phantom project to build an international cargo hub in the Maldives. Do you know how many investors turned up for that? Answer: 0, nil, zilch!

    What does this tell you? There are no investors who would risk getting involved with Maldivian authorities on large infrastructure projects. The risk is just too high. One of the most important factors in doing business is risk management.

    The Maldives is a challenging place to do business, and carries significant risk (due to a lack of a proper regulatory framework, human resources, etc). When you throw in a healthy dose of political uncertainty, that risk grows by orders of magnitude. The return required by investors is proportional to this risk and is not just a function of the funding costs of a project.

    You have also failed to mention the tax revenues to the Maldivian regime from this investment by GMR. I'm not denying that the deal could have been done on better terms. What appears to have happened is that the Maldivian regime suddenly realised that there was a lot more money that COULD be made from the airport, after seeing GMR's business model. The same regime fails to realise the significant amount of expertise required to turn that potential sum into a realised profit. (A very pertinent example is the island of Singapore. With almost no natural resources, and limited man power, it has turned itself into a first world economy).

    And this brings us to the most glaring omission, i.e., the assumption that MACL or some other Maldivian party can do a better job than GMR. This is so ridiculous that it's a non-starter. Take a good look at the history of the airport and the amount of money that was wasted on it to see why.

    Only a couple of days ago, the Auditor General released a report showing the top brass of MACL spending company money on very expensive "retreats". Do we need to go on?

  15. GMR paid 500 million as License fee for a start. Second, the "actual" investment is the new airport that dumb heads got a stay order for. And you say the old terminal was a cash cow? bollocks. for the maldivian economy thats about to give a huge percent of their GDP as compensation to GMR, it is a cash cow, but not for multinational companies like GMR.

    What GMR brot was exactly as the Ahmed Bins comment, "a business model" the nitwits of MACL could not bring about. And when that starts making money, and the airport stops leaking, and when the tourist pax have increased and when the airports stated getting less uglier, the nitwits are all over it. Just like kids are too excited to wait for the sweet packet to be opened, ultimately they ll find themselves choking on whole plastic sweet and all in their mouth!

    When you bite the hand that taught you to walk, you are just going to get trampled on. Good Going Maldives. Viva le President! long live the crab hole!

  16. Abdulla Zayyid seems to be the first to comment on fake comments made under my name. This time he has done so even though the fake comment posted under my name is so short and so irrelevant that nobody else even noticed it.

    Anyhow I have no opinions to offer on this whole fiasco. In the first place the airport should never have been privatized to the extent that it was. Qualified people have come to that conclusion because of the Maldives' particular economic make-up and other strategic and political concerns.

    However the people who rose up in defense of this stand lack the moral standing and public confidence to appeal to a vast majority.

    The whole discussion about the airport should be conducted without bringing GMR into the mix. The Nasheed-regime decided to privatize the airport, GMR as a private company responded and used whatever was in their means to secure the deal - end of story. No need to drag their name in the muck any more.

    Addu is right about the obstacles to foreign or even local investment in the Maldives because of the lack of a proper regulatory framework and the surrounding financial services in addition to shortcomings within the judiciary. We all need to focus on those issues to develop our country on the same lines as Singapore.

    If only this country and its people could find the energy, strength and dedication to an ideal that the leadership and people of Singapore found in themselves.

  17. Gayoom will do everything within his power to make a fool out of Waheed Hassan Manik, making Waheed a bigger evil to Maldives than Gayoom.

  18. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Thu, 29th Nov 2012 2:52 AM

    “Did you know that the Maldivian government tried to find an investor for the airport several times? Did you also know that no reputable firm ever showed interest? Investors began showing interest only after IFC got involved in the process.”
    My Reply: And do you know that the bid from GMR was disqualified initially as it did not meet the criteria set? And do you know that the bid from GMR was “accepted” through the back door by top politicians on direct orders of Former Regime Leader Nasheed? And do you know that that there were better qualified bids? Just ask the sacked Chairman of MACL Ibrahim Nordeen (a Nasheed faithful appointed by Nasheed) . Ibrahim was sacked for refusing to sign this agreement. For the benefit of those who may not know, Ibrahim is member of Nasheed’s extended family.
    “I’m sure most people have heard of the phantom project to build an international cargo hub in the Maldives. Do you know how many investors turned up for that? Answer: 0, nil, zilch!What does this tell you? There are no investors who would risk getting involved with Maldivian authorities on large infrastructure projects. The risk is just too high. One of the most important factors in doing business is risk management.”
    My Reply: What has the cargo hub project got to do with MIA contract? In any case you seem to be talking from your butt hole. The cargo hub project lacked the business potential considering the competition next in Hambatota, Sri Lanka. Don’t compare apples with tuna.
    “The Maldives is a challenging place to do business, and carries significant risk (due to a lack of a proper regulatory framework, human resources, etc). When you throw in a healthy dose of political uncertainty, that risk grows by orders of magnitude. The return required by investors is proportional to this risk and is not just a function of the funding costs of a project.”
    My Reply: Every developing country has its challenges. Those who invest in the Maldives do weigh those before they invest. Consider the Tourism industry which is by far the largest industry in the Maldives. One & Only Reethi Rah is a US 350 million project – just a single resort. The biggest foreign investor in this country is the HPL group and not GMR as widely assumed. Their investments are in Tourism. The tourism industry has far more billions of dollars invested by foreign companies combined. And they seem to be doing well. If your aim is to show the Male International Airport deal as unattractive try that spinning at Usfasgandu.
    “You have also failed to mention the tax revenues to the Maldivian regime from this investment by GMR. I’m not denying that the deal could have been done on better terms.”
    My Reply: What additional tax revenue are you referring to? “Not denying that the deal could have been done on BETTER TERMS”???? Are you nuts? The fundamental issue here is that this agreement was signed against the decision of the parliament, by sacking the Chairman of MACL who refused to sign it, without disclosing the terms of the agreement to the public or the Majlis. These terms are suicidal to the interests of MACL/Maldives Government and completely one sided. Business agreements are supposed to last when they are made on “win-win” formula and not on “rip off” basis. Don’t you get that?
    Take the case of ADC. If lets say GMR wants to charge such an amount. Then that amount should be fixed for a period of years to cover the investment amount (that has to be agreed between both parties) and not for the whole duration of the contract. Such a charge should be levied AFTER developing the airport by INVESTING FIRST. Not before any investments!
    Further more, when the Court ruled ADC as a tax and must require Majlis approval before such a levy, how the hell can Former Dictator Nasheed on his own give a stupid letter to GMR agreeing to bear that US25 per departing pax from MACL???????? Can such a letter from Nasheed via the Chairman of MACL (who did not even bother to inform the Board of MACL) be considered legally a part of the agreement?

    End result is the government of Maldives is paying this US$ 25 for every passenger departing from the airport. This makes the venture a loss making deal for MACL / Maldivian Government as the country has to pay more than the amount they earn from GMR!!!!!!!!!
    So Mr Know-it-All just tell us how on earth can this deal be preserved? Enlighten us please. All this when GMR is making a whopping US$ 30 million dollars on average from the operations!!!!
    “Only a couple of days ago, the Auditor General released a report showing the top brass of MACL spending company money on very expensive “retreats”. Do we need to go on?”
    My Reply: Funny you raised this point. Such meetings were sponsored by GMR to “butter” the Board members of MACL during the time of the erratic regime of Nasheed. Well done!

  19. Kicking out GMR is not because of anything else!
    It is because Gayyoom, who had been looting this country and investing in many places have real big time friends who are willing to bail out GMR and offering offering him better deals for him and family.
    In reality, GMR within this period have given a complete and thorough renovation to the existing facilities which after the lift up job can render service for at least another 10 to 15 years within which he and his crooked friends can earn enough and more.
    By the look of it, and what is being said by legal adviser to this government, it appear that GMR is going to be thrown out without paying back a single cent for what they have done!
    Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim, who has been managing this airport for Gayyoom and his brother-in-law Ilyas Ibrahim, for over two and a half decades can take over and manage the same to their liking earning the billions and billions of Rufiyas which after deducting the unwritten costs will leave us with a minus billion and billion Rufiyas in debt to the friends who are bailing out the airport from GMR.
    The repayment of this minus figures is very apparently showing now itself in the 2013 budget!
    It is not Nasheed or anyone ruining this nation! It is Gayyoom, his family and the likes of spin doctors who are ruining this nation.
    GMR, can be stopped! There is no doubt about it!
    However, the reality and consequences can be and will be too bitter!
    People who never have to visit India for any of their needs, can do and may say anything.
    But the reality is today, this government can cancel visas issued to expatriate workers working at the airport site at Hulhule.
    But what:
    If India decide to do the same and send off the many Maldivians living in India (especially the students who have nothing to do with these political spins)?
    If Indian labour force refuse to work any vessel calling at Indian port for loading and unloading?
    If India decide not to allow any exports to Maldives and warns Sri Lanka not to re-export any of their imported produce to the Maldives?
    Some people with vested interest in this political turmoil, in the past have been speaking about importing our requirement of essential commodities like rice, flour, sugar etc., etc., from China!
    Rice, flour and sugar can be intact.
    But what about eggs, potatoes, onion!
    Eggs by the time they reach Maldives would have hatched on the way and the potatoes and onions would have shoots and ready to bear another generation!
    Then there will be the question of already paid freight and nature of goods when landed.
    It was eggs loaded, not chicks!
    It was fresh onions and potatoes that was loaded not with shoots ready to bear!
    When eggs were loaded, it was 1 ton. But when it reached it was not eggs, instead they were chicks and weigh more than when loaded!
    This is just a few.
    Question is; Is this worth as the more worthier spinners here portrait?

  20. @Patriot on Thu, 29th Nov 2012 12:26 PM

    The problem with the GMR deal is purely commercial. While Maumoon is to blame for a lot of the mess this country is in, this particular case has nothing to with him or his family.

    India/Maldives friendship and cooperation is far more greater than the GMR deal. Our relations go back for years. Most important of which is the cooperation in defense.

    Maldives may be a tiny country and India may be a giant by international standards. But our friendship and cooperation is not about Master and Slave but based on mutual respect and genuine friendship in the common interest of both nations.

    India will not retaliate irrationally just because we have cancelled a commercial contract however huge GMR maybe.

    Likewise Maldives will do nothing irrational to damage our relations with India by bringing in China into the picture.

    All this noise about Indian retaliation is fear tactics being spread by GMR PR chaps who are on the ground in the Maldives working round the clock to create mischief. This includes bribing various officials including MPs to try and topple the government via a no confidence motion on the President, writing in social media and news sites on GMR's behalf, funding MDP activists and top brass to stir them up etc. etc.

    Accepting money from foreign sources is illegal for political parties. Yet GMR is blatantly interfering in Maldivian politics at the dirtiest level. They seem to think that just because we are a small country they can dictate to the government. Anni is a mere puppet of GMR.

    For the sake of Maldives sovereignty and in the interest of our vital economic interests Maldives has no choice but to send GMR packing.

    Go home GMR!

  21. Dr Hassan Saeed is working for the Crown Company, who is funding this mad man's party. Crown Company wants to take over Male' International Airport, where Mr Champa Afeef owns 25%. This mad Hassan Saeed expects to make zillions of the deal, if this blood sucking Crown Company wins the airport project. And the salafi Islamist party Adaalath is expected to own one or two duty free shops, to raise funds for spreading their skewed beliefs called Islam, which is borrowed wholesale from other Abrahamic apocrypha. These religious bigots have limited intellectual capacity and cannot think of anything apart from what is fed to them in Salafiyya seminary. Think, think, and think hard to find the truth. Somebody apparently, reached Sidrathul Munthaha (presumably God's house) that was made out bounds for even archangel Gabriel. But somebody managed to visit the place in a zillionth of a second from Al Hijaz 1400 years ago. Apparently, there were two rivers flowing from either side of Sidrathul Munthaha (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim). Asked what the two rivers were, the response was that they were rivers Euphrates and Tigris...kekeke. (These are two rivers in the current Iraq and Iran). The desert dwellers, obviously who have heard but had never seen the rivers, bought in the what was told to them and since then have been spreading the same story for the last 1400 years!!! The truth will be known at some point in time. It is only a question of time. There is a limit to which one can keep on deceiving the homo sapiens. This religious bigot Imran can carry the Male' International Airport on his shoulders and take to rivers Euphrates and Tigris, until Buraaqu (flying horse) comes home. (Buraaqu is a Greek goddess called Pegasus which had been there thousands of years before Islam).

  22. @Hassan on Thu, 29th Nov 2012 4:56 PM

    Mr GMR Offical, why bother using a Muslim name like Hassan to attack Islam?
    Why not use your Hindu or whatever name? No guts eh?

    As for your lunatic attempt to link the INIA issue with Crown Company or Champa Afeef tell you what? No one will buy that invented allegation.

    Just wait to see who really manages INIA. It will be a a far more capable team than GMR 🙂

  23. @ PatrioticMaldivian:

    Are you saying I should visit the Maldives regardless of the events of Feb 7th?

    I went to the Seychelles this year instead. Not as nice in my opinion but hey-ho.

    The way I see it, the president was ousted illegally, regardless of CONI. Why the hell would I want to go to the Maldives this year? I understand nasheed is far from perfect but he appears (from the outside) to be one of the better ones of a pretty poor bunch.... Maybe I'm ignorant of the facts but it's clear reading 90% of the comments on here, so are most of you with the baseless opinion and accusations I read here every day.

    Whilst some of you may argue I have no right to comment on domestic political affairs, I do have an opinion and choose where I visit based on my opinions as do ALL international visitors. We are not deaf or blind.

    The more I read this site & others SunOnline / Haveeru / Raajje / Miadhu the more I think Gayoom may have been right. The Maldives is not ready for democracy.

    I should also say to Minivan, your journalism is far too one-sided. You should learn impartiality and present both sides of your stories, particularly when it's political (as it seems EVERYTHING is in the Maldives these days).

    And finally, please create user logins, it's pathetic having people posting comments on behalf of others with no access controls.

  24. How pitiful, mr. tsk tsk. Reduced to slanging wild accusations since you cannot control your raging emotions (jazbaath).

    Such is how the enemy regime will end. Weeping. Bleeding. Begging for mercy.

  25. To Mr. Hassan: Some humans think they are above God. They think they know everything. But know that even the greatest minds can't make a book comparable to the Holy Quran. You can mock Islam as you have the choice to be good and bad. But remember, there will come a Judgement day, and you'll regret for every sin you've committed. And for people who mock Islam, the place for them is the depths of Hellfire.

  26. @ Ahmed and Ilyas Ahmed

    All I am asking you intelligent guys is to take a dispassionate view of what had been transmitted to us for the last so many centuries. Omniscience and Omnipotent God knows everything ennu, surely He doesn't require trial and error to protect His scriptures "revealed" to His subjects. Why did He allow Torah, Zaboor and Injeel to be tampered with by his subjects and barred Noble Quran from human tampering for eternity?? Think of the reasons as to why organized religion came into being. Heaven and Hell, are strong motivating factors to alter one's behaviour. In today's management jargon it is called the "carrot and stick" approach. I honestly, request you resort to elliptical readings of reliable literature on the subject and decide for yourself, instead of subscribing to what is forcefully fed into our throats. Talking of throats, do you honestly believe that a compassionate, loving God would instruct a man (through a dream)to take his child to outskirts of a town and slit the kid's throat? Do you think a loving, compassionate God would subject a little kid to such psychological trauma? God does not require subjecting a little kid to such painful trauma to establish one of His subjects unwavering allegiance to Him. This man was probably smart enough to use this incident, to stop people from slaughtering (Qurubaan) their young kids for pagan deities. There are whole heap of other stuff, that warrants one to question the authenticity of so called holy scriptures revealed to certain God men. Probably, these God men are good guys who wanted to alter the barbaric behaviour of people at the time, to make them a little bit more civilized in congruence with the days standards.


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