Thursday night saw the UK Premier of “The Island President” as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London. After the screening Mark Lynas, former Climate Advisor to the previous President Mohamed Nasheed, helped make up a panel of experts who fielded questions from the audience.
“The debate was very much focused around what has happened since the film was made, with the coup and the new government being installed. People were very concerned about the former president’s welfare, and what it means for him to be back in opposition fighting for democracy after having apparently won the battle earlier in the film,” said Mr Lynas.
Human Rights Watch, the independent human rights organisation describes its film festival thusly: “Through our Human Rights Watch Film Festival we bear witness to human rights violations and create a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference.”
The personal commitment on display was that of former President Mohamed Nasheed, whose efforts to win the Presidency and to raise international awareness of climate change were documented in the critically acclaimed film.
The film debuted to packed audiences in the Maldives in November and is scheduled for showings across the United States throughout March and April.
The expert panel also included the former Envoy for Science and Technology, Ahmed Moosa; and the Guardian’s Head of Environment, Damien Carrington.
As with most public events concerning the Maldives recently, home and abroad, the event was accompanied by opposition lobbyists who dispensed pro-democracy literature outside the theatre.
After the sold-out audience had seen the film, the ensuing discussion revealed their concerns about the effects that political turmoil would have on the Maldives’ environmental ambitions.
Current President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan recently reaffirmed his commitment to environmental projects during his opening of the People’s Majlis, and also at a ceremony celebrating a renewable energy project supported by the Japanese government.
“We have been campaigning for the last couple of years that we would like the world community to come to an understanding, an agreement, to reduce emissions so that the CO2 levels in the atmosphere would be reduced to 350 parts per million,” said President Waheed.
“We will work with other small island countries, and low lying countries, to keep the low carbon development agenda at the forefront of the international developmental discourse over the next years as well. Our commitment to this will continue to be strong and unwavering.”
Lynas however expressed great concern to Minivan News about the likelihood of similar investments in the Maldives continuing to flourish in the current political climate: “Donors will turn away because of the political instability, and investors likewise.”
Such opinions appear to be supported by the Economic Ministry’s unexplained decision to halt any new Public Private Partnership (PPP) schemes one week ago.
Lynas lamented the negative effects the change of political power has had on such projects.
“Back in February we were literally days from signing a major investment plan with the World Bank before the coup happened – this would have leveraged potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, and we were about the begin the process of transforming several islands towards renewable power from the sun,” said Mr Lynas.
“This whole unfortunate saga could set the country back 10 years or more, and undo most of the work that we have all devoted years of our lives trying to pursue.”
Nasheed is hortly to head to the United States, where the film’s release is sure to draw significant media attention to the Maldives political problems as much as its environmental ones.
In an article posted on the website of the NGO Responding to Climate Change, the author posits the question, “Could they have chosen a better time to release this film?”
27 thoughts on “‘Island Ex-President’ debuts in UK”
I have always said 'The Island President' is not a good title and that it reminds me too much of 'The Village Idiot'.
Now that Anni has resigned and crying over his spilt milk, I think, 'The Village Idiot' is a more apt title for this film.
@Rafiqual Alam: Its much better you become as "The Village Idiot" Hope you may will act in a such film, you brainless idiot.
I am well acquainted with the sciences, and can confirm that climate change is an unfounded myth; scorned by those members of the scientific community that have had a proper education.
For instance, glaciers in Europe have actually grown in the past decade, contrary to the mad spoutings of global warming activists and the incompetent lunatics, and followers of the cults of neurologism and evolutionism that make up the ranks of the Western scientific academies.
Given that global warming is a myth, the only rational conclusion is that there must be ulterior motives behind this supposedly well intentioned production.
Indeed, I have observed the facial visage of those involved in the cinematography and screenplay - and have discerned a commonality of semitic features. The rapscaliions would feel right at home in a synagogue in Bat Yam, Brei Bak or Jerusalem.
Things are not as they seem fellow citizens, beware!
And see to it that your women are not too immodest and garrulous or opiniated in the meanwhile! Truly virtue and chastity are our forts against the designs of the zionists!
Dear Dhivehi Hanguraama,
If you think you can explain climate change by copying a paragraph from a website, you are .. umm how do I put it nicely ... well retarded. I think you should watch my film the inconvenient truth and catch up on my TED talk. Perhaps that should at least get your synapses fired up so you can start functioning like a normal human being
'the island president has changed its title to 'Le Douchebag Drunken'
I have never seen the ruthless activities by Nasheed than any other ruler of Maldives. He was much worse than dictator Maumoon . Anni has used accesive power against who open the mount against him.
The media was hijacked by him and people were supressed during his time even worse than Maumoon. He can digest things that are in favor of him and any thing expressed against him or any raise any voiced against him were considered as terrorist.
He him self was saying on public any one does not belong to MDP will not be treated badly and will only do things and will provide the public services to those people who belong to MDP and those who are not, he will show his evil side.
Any way, Anni is an evil Man.
Thank you Al Gore. Divehi Hanguraama is operating on a level too low to be responded to. Thanks for taking the trouble to at least try to give him a good pied of advice! Not that he is likely to follow it. Donkeys are very stubborn. And.. it is useless talking to walls..!
Former Maldives President Gayoom contributed much much more than Island President Nasheed for the environment. He wa in the forefront of bringing attention to sea level rise. Gayoom even educated Mrs Thatcher, British PM on global warming and sea level rise. Gayoom hosted big conference on sea level rise in 1990.
Unfortunately for Gayoom he did not have media friends in the West to highlight his work.
One cannot talk about ruthlessness without thinking about the Gayoom regime's 30 year old dictatorship which is now back in such a shamefully brutal way. Maldivians are quick to forgive, an admirable trait, but should never forget what the dictatorship did and is doing again, especially to our youth. Whether they like it or not our youth are our future and destroying them will only destroy our future, actions have consequences, simple as that.As for climate change, this new regime is likely to be all hot air on the subject as it is re most other subjects.Waheed does not have the power when there are others pulling strings.. ie the old guard. Plus they are losing legitimacy in the eyes of others by the day as this becomes more obvious and they use every excuse to dig in. Given recent events in Kiribati, whether what is happenning is climate change or weather change, the fact is that it will affect us and Anni/(ousted) president Nasheed did much to raise our profile worldwide.. which will help us in the long run. Those who choose to bury their (ignorant) heads in the (sinking) sand,should maybe think about staying there.
Its a pity in his 30 years long dictatorship Maumoon was unable to find Western friends in the media.What was he doing all those days? Dhohokko be from Naifaru was sent to to jail because he said he hope to see another president other than Maumoon...... No credits to dictator Maumoon
@Fareed, clearly you have not kept up with developments on the climate change awareness front during Anni's term (Copenhagen was one of many developments, amongst others),otherwise you would not make that statement. BTW cultivating links in the international media is part of the job for a small nation like ours - of course it helps to have some moral stature (n.b. it helps if your regime does not have thousands of political prisoners and sadists who torture teenagers and kill them in their jails - yes, the evidence of the brutality of the Gayoom regime and is out there for all to see.) The current and former 30 year old dictatorship (same lot)are a stunning example of moral decay in action.
The usual Gayoom crowd defending the new regime. Staggering! Now may be the rest of the world can see the fight of the average normal honest Maldivian has against this backwards and bigoted minority that have taken charge with guns.
Democracy is dead. ELECTIONS NOW!
well too bad for Gayoom! BOO HOO!
Anyway, I am looking forward to watching this, have been for a while now 🙂
@pipi - go to the toilet f you need to go pipi
@mode what crap you talk! go look up statistics etc etc and look, evidence poeple who don't support MDP were always safe with Nasheed... you are still on the loose (unfortunately!!)
@Fareed Maumoonu was never an environmentally aware person, not about ozone, not about climate change, not about sea-level rise, not about waste management.. you name it, he had his lackeys push paper n his name and in the name of environment, he has never ever done anything for the envronment. the wasteful person that he has always been
President Nasheed is a good individual and an innocent man who would never have done what Waheed did. Those who entered into this coup will not come out un-scathed. Time will show that. India with the claws of the United States had a major role in organizing the events that lead to the coup.Elections! Waheed! Elecions! That's what will show!
More energy is being spent on renewable commitments!!!
For next time, lets hope Nashhed gets back his presidency in a renewable and a sustainable manner.
The Island Rapist is more appropriate....he and his cronies has raped the whole country
I am saddened how the wonderful Maldives has rotted away in this childish and pathetic display of greed, religious mutilation and corruption. I have visited the Maldives 11 times over the last 13 years staying in 6 different resorts, I am not particular to any political party there, how ever the disgusting display has justified myself to boy-cott the Maldives and now I plan to vacation else where, which I am currently doing by the way. I can't do much, except take my money else where, to where I am welcome and encourage other people to do the same, wile the innocent victims in the Maldives rott and receive economic hardship. I suggest you take some guidance form a stable and mature democracy like the UK system, or accept the consequences.
Anni is a stunt man, he has fooled the entire Europe with his pathetic brown boy from an exotic land act. Even the queen of England has fallen in his trap.
He has given over 400 islands to ppl without thinking about it, just to get some support. He is way too greedy for power and popularity. If he really cares about the country he wouldnt be organizing all these crimes in the country. The Country is in a mess at the moment.
He propaganda from the new or should I say old regime is overwhelming and corrupt, just like them. See how they answer as a group here on the comments section to try and counter the disgust of the nation and pretend they are the majourity.... Laughable!
Who is better than me?? If u come out of constitution to bring down a government which runs out of constitution are criminals too. So stop talking nonsense and, waheed must get away and he must open space for an election if he is sincere.
Terry, can you also take this mad man Nasheed also with you?
'ivre de retard' better title to the movie
any other cinema shows the movie in the UK? to watch it is actual a must!
Anni did good and bad things like everyone else. but his biggest mistake was not listening to the religious concerns of the people. when the statues were erected in Addu, he had the opportunity to remove it all in a hurry and add a few 100 votes to mdp. he had similar opportunity when ppl were calling to close the sex trade houses.. but he got real bad advice from somebody and ignored them and this is the result.
yasir, your insecurity (lack of eemaan) is surprising.
And no, your salaf jamiyya ignored Nasheed when he asked for religious advice.
I found it quite sad to hear from Mark Lynas in the discussion after the screening, that his work against climate change is just connected to Mohamed Nasheed. Even if I can understand that he doesnt want to cooperate with a non-democratic government, isnt it his duty as a climate change expert to continue the battle and help the Maldives and the environment? The climate change doesnt make a break until democracy is hopefully back in the Maldives. It was also really disturbing that some people tried to use the premiere as an opportunity to advertise their travel agency for the Maldives..
As a young passionated NGO (beeing in Maldives for the last 3 month) just starting to work in the Maldives against climate change, i start asking myself how serious and aware the people really are about climate change and the situation for the small island states... I am glad that this gives me more motivation to fight even stronger!
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