Half of cabinet to be provided with MNDF bodyguards

Seven of the government’s 14 cabinet ministers have been assigned Special Protection Group (SPG) bodyguards from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

Colonel Abul Raheem of the MNDF said that the bodyguards had been designated upon the ministers’ request.

SPG bodyguards are of the same type provided to the President, Vice President and the Speaker of the House.

When asked if this was in response to any specific threats, Raheem was keen to point out that the move had not come as a specific response to recent events.

“This is not because of what happened recently – security guards have been requested previously,” said Raheem.

The security of government officials has become a prominent issue in the country following the murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali last week.

Following the murder, parliament’s ’241′ Security Committee summoned Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz to discuss issues including the MP’s murder and politicians’ safety.

After failing to resolve the case, the police revealed earlier this week that they will seek foreign assistance in its investigations.

Earlier this week former Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy called for a review of security arrangements afforded to Maldivian politicians over fears of an increase in “orchestrated” political attacks in the country.

The comments were made after Luthfy had been struck in the face on October 6 by an unidentified assailant on the island of Kanduhulhudhoo, Gaafu Alif Atoll.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed last week requested, in writing, that his Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) security detail – provided under the Former President’s Act – not accompany him on a campaign tour.

The MNDF later released a statement saying that it could not take any responsibility for harm that might befall the former president whilst not under its protection.

A spate of high profile murders and an increase in assaults in the Maldives has led to criticism of the Home Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, with some going as far as to table a no-confidence vote in the People’s Majlis.

This week the cabinet has urged the President to take immediate measures to ensure safety and security in the country.

Local media reported that the cabinet’s security committee had decided to review businesses offering 24 hour services, and that police will conduct increases vehicle checks in an effort to maintain peace on the streets.

The government also announced its decision yesterday to submit a bill which will govern the implementation of the death penalty.

Despite being on the statute books, the Clemency Act and a lack of facilitating legislation has resulted on a de facto moratorium on capital punishment since 1953.


11 thoughts on “Half of cabinet to be provided with MNDF bodyguards”

  1. Great. We're borrowing money to pay wages and wasting more on bodyguards. Well, if the Home Minister and PG were doing their jobs, then we won't need such bodyguards and to waste our money on such unfair actions. How are we the common people going to hire bodyguards to protect ourselves? Home Minister and PG should resign. They have failed in every sense.

  2. The Political parties in Manik's Administration do not trust each other!

  3. A wasted investment. A truck bomb will not be deterred by bodyguards.

  4. The price of living in the paradise isles is not cheap.

    Don't complain!!!

  5. OMG! Animal Farm is at our doorstep!

    Tomorrow the full cabinet, next the Parliament, the Judiciary and finally the Civil Service! Bloody hell!

    Many Maldivians have been subject to murder, slaughter and are being issued with death warrants!

    I am of opinion that I should import 3 guards to stand guard (armed) for my protection and to send monthly expense bills to the government to foot it!

  6. if the bodyguard protecting a minister was cornered by 5 angry men, they would beat him black and blue or even stab him.

  7. Are the lives of the other half less valuable?

    If it is not in response to the recent killing of Dr Afrasheem, then what could have prompted such an action by the MNDF? If not for this or other killings, then what could be the reason except putting unnecessary pressure on the SPG? Why should the MNDF respond to requests by half the Cabinet for protection unless they are satisfied that it is required. If they are, why should the half that didn’t request for it be exposed to imminent danger?

    If the MNDF is not responsible for the security of the Cabinet or anyone else, protection should not be extended even if requested unless, of course, they are satisfied of an impending threat of danger. This is not likely in the case of providing bodyguards to a half of Cabinet, because the MNDF says it is not in response to the recent killing of a politician.

    Why is the MNDF so irresponsible as to act without any reason like this?

  8. our country is in a big mess and senior politician are responsible for the mess were are in.

    They are the people who promoting all these violence for their own benefit.

    We do not need these political parties and we need a good leader to elect on democratic values and then to run the country efficiently.

    We need to reduce the size of the parliament and we need to reduce the number of political jobs in the government and we need to downsize the civil service.

    This is only the way we can have sustainable development and then reduce the crimes .

    I know people some hardcore activists will not this comments since they will believe it will have negative impact on thier lavish life style.

  9. Mody, our country is in a big mess because our citizens elected crooks as parliamentarians, therefore it is the citizens who are responsible for the mess.


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