Letter on corruption

Bismillahirahmani Raheem

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmathullahiwa Barakhatu.

My name is Ben Abdul-Rahman Plewright. I am a graduate of political sciences from the University of Western Australia.

Though I am not a Maldivian, I feel compelled to refute the claim that the MDP are the ones who have suspended the newly founded Maldivian constitution. The truth of the matter, I here assert, is that it is the other way around.

Oh, and, what is my business interfering in your internal affairs, you may ask? Well, first of all, I am a Muslim, and I take seriously the Hadith that the Ummah is as one body, and the pain of one Muslim should be felt and alleviated by all other Muslims.

Second of all, I believe in what Martin Luther King said,:”Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere…”

We are all profoundly interconnected. This is especially demonstrated in my situation since I am married to a beautiful Maldivian woman and I have two half Maldivian children and perhaps a third one on the way.

It was the since arrested parliamentarians and the corrupt judges who suspended the constitution initially by ignoring the separation of powers which must exist between the parliament and the judiciary.

The opposition broke the constitution down, Anni (President Mohammed Nasheed), the MNDF and the MDP Cabinet are struggling to mend the constitution within whatever means they can. He cannot do so strictly within the constitutional framwork as the opposition broke the constitutional framework down.

This move by the MDP and MNDF to eradicate those who disregard the constitution is necessary for the salvation of the long term effectiveness and sovereignty of the constitution. It is the salvation of liberal democracy in the Maldives.

One of the main aspects of the constitution is the independance of the judiciary. When a parliamentarian (Yamin or Nazim or any power-brokers within the parliament) control the judiciary, it is absolutely necessary that the judiciary and that any controlling parliamentarian be removed from power to preserve and restore the separation of power between the parliament and the judiciary (the legislature and the judiciary).

MDP are fighting for the integrity of the constitution, they are not suspending or violating the constitution, the constitution was already destroyed by the parliamentarians and judges who violated it, Anni is fixing it!

This move by MDP and MNDF is necessary for the salvation of the constitution and for the long term realization of democracy in the Maldives.

Please, Dr Shaheed, and anyone else who can, please deliver this truth to the international community so that they will support your struggle to save liberal democracy in the Maldives.

Long live the constitution, thank you MDP for fighting to save the constitution!

Ben Abdul-Rahman Plewright

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28 thoughts on “Letter on corruption”

  1. Cheers!
    What a large portion of Maldivians are not able to see from within, a foriegner is able to view from outside and analyse.
    Some Maldivians are either too blind or too stobborn to understand and believe the truth. I don't need to support a specific party. But i must agree that you must support and cheer whenh some one does right by you. Even if its the Devil himself...and here we have a bunch of very young and very educated Maldivians trying to build the best for a nation that was depride for over 3 decades. May the God give these people the strength to see, hear and feel it in their heart. Amen

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  2. Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmathullahiwa Barakhatu
    Dear Brother BEN Abdul-Rahman in Islam
    I have just only a pray to the Almighty, to shed light on you Br. Ben Abdul-Rahman. You have indeed been blinded by the talks and works of the same folks who blinded our people and caused so much concern, chaos and commotion in our society.
    In a democracy, be it Islamic or Christianic, No one above the Constitution of the Nation. President, Parliamentarian and Judge are all limited to within the Constitution. This applies to us the normal folk, the rank and file and even more so to the Military and the Police. Why? Because Maldives now is a listed Democracy and we have moved out from the Maumoonic Dictatorship to a Peoples Democracy not to be an Annimoon's Demoncracy.
    Dear Br. Ben, I am happy and thankful to Allah Almighty, that you don’t undergo the slightest of the fear, frustration and desperation we go through living here in Maldives. Br. Anni came to power as a democrat he has since turned to be Maumoonic like his predecessor, and he is slowly but surely eating into the freedom and rights we fought so hard for and finally got. Isn’t it a shame?
    I would love to agree with you Br. Ben, but only if Anni had acted SMART instead of Maumoonic. No one is (I repeat it a thousand time) “No one is above the law”. Dear Islamic Brother Mr. Ben let me put it to you in capitals "NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW, EXCEPT ALLAH" Anni is not Allah he is Anni, he is human, and we the people of Maldives (most people of Maldives) will not make a demigod of him. He must be limited to the Quran and the Constitution. He cannot victimize and terrorize people guided by and limited to his conscience, because the corrupt people are smart. His must undertake the noble task of ridding our country of the nuisance of corruption and corrupt people, working within the confines and the framework of the Constitution.
    Much as I do, most reasonable and sensible Maldivians deplore corruption, we all do. If Mr. Yameen or Gasim or Abdulla or Moosa or anyone for that matter is corrupt, we condemn them and surely expect the government (Anni) to take action as prescribed in the Constitution. Not step outside of it in discharging his duties. By stepping outside the framework of the constitution, he is setting precedence a bad one, for the DRP or Mr. Hassan autocratic Party to when they get into power, to twist and bend the rules to their personal advantage. For this reason, and the fact that there is a constitution to which we all Maldivians must adhere to, I disapprove of Mr. Anni's stepping outside the limits of the constitution. No one must.
    Whilst I absolutely agree with you that Mr. Anni must bring to justice (not eradicate) those who disregard the constitution for the salvation of the long term effectiveness and sovereignty of the constitution, and the salvation of liberal democracy in the Maldives, he must do it with prudence and not with vengeance and absolutism even Maumoonism.
    You may never see the true picture from down under. You’ve got to be where the happening is. Dr. Shaheed may read your plea, but will never answer it God fearing. He has an agenda. MDP played a plausible role in setting the platform for liberal democracy in Maldives. Now that they are in power, the government’s unpreparedness and inability to cope with the pressures of running the country is surely bring out the little Devil sitting between the M and the P.

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  3. @Ben Abdul-Rahman Plewright.
    hey Ben, come and see the situation and talk. something u dont know the truth dont talk buy guss.
    Do u know what Anni and MDP doing?
    May be you and your family is supported by govt money.....

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  4. Ben, I don't question your academic qualifications but your arguement is nothing more than a claim to refute a claim.

    What do you mean by "opposition broke the constitution down" and Anni, MNDF "and the MDP Cabinet are struggling to mend"..it? FYI we have a Presidential system of government and the cabinet does not belong to a party unlike in Australia. There is no such thing as a "MDP cabinet". A constitution is not like a fence that can be broken and mended. Taking action against unconstitutional behaviour does not equate to mending the constitution.

    Your attempt to justify unconstitutional behaviour to uphold the constitution in the long term is the ages old excuse dictators employ in brutally suppressing opposition. Sorry to say that I dont belive the international community will buy your arguement.

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  5. Hey Ben,
    With due respect to your academic qualification, with your current thinking, you will be able to find a job in Bokinofaso or war torn Somalia or some western african country.

    Do you get a MDP paycheck?

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  6. Thankyou all for your constructive feedback and for correcting some of my mistakes. I wrote this in the library with a 15 minute time slot as a knee jerk reaction to something I read about the executive suspending the constitution. My letter here was very poorly expressed, I apologize for that it was extremely rushed.

    Abdul Sattar, Sukrun, Jazakallah Khair for your help. Well, in a democracy, Mr. Abdul Sattar, no one is above the law, but the eternal law is above the written law. In democratic liberal philosophy there is the written law and then their is the natural law or what has been called the moral law. Thomas Acquinas, borrowing his ideas from Aristotle, asserted that when the man made laws violate the natural law to the point innocent human life is in danger or is being killed, then yes, you have to obey natural law and resist written law. This idea was furthered by Locke, it was one of the foundation principles of democracy, of liberal democracy. You see, there are priorities in liberal democracy, the essential worth of the human being and the protection of life is the pinnacle priority in a liberal democracy.

    Mr. Abdul Sattar, the idea that law can be disobeyed if it is not a just law is an age old one even in Islam. As you seem to be a religious soul, I would like to you to read Sahih Muslim, the Book of Government. Now, you notice in there there are times when The Prophet (SAW) commands his ppl to obey even a corrupt ruler if he is praying, and there are times it is told to disobey a ruler if he presents a rule contary to Islam.. The traditional belief is that the Quran is eternal, unwritten, the Self existant Kalam (the Word). It might be viewed as the equivalent of Aristotle or Acquinasas's or Locke's natural law in the Muslim world. I am just trying to point out that the principle that no one is above the law should refer to the natural law only, the principle that things must be done according to the written law has its exceptions when it comes to the deeper human need to save human life!

    Abdul Sattar, When a judge cannot save society from gangsters who murder, the judge and the judiciary must be overruled, and if this be a violation of the written law or constitution, then so be it, it is being true to the natural law. The independance of the judiciary is forfeited by their inability to protect the innocent from being murdered when it is in their power to do so. This is not tyranny, it is being true to the purpose, to the intention and spirit of the constitution, it is obedience to the moral law which must be chosen above the written law in case of genuine threat to life.

    The opposition first suspended the constitution by uniting the powers of the parliament and the judiciary, thefore overriding the constitution and rendering it ineffective by failing to adhere to the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary. The opposition destroyed the effectiveness of the constitution by doing things the constitution forbids, and by getting away with it, they effectively made the constituion of no effect whatsoever, it was virtually destroyed as to its effectiveness, and someone had to fix it. So, by arresting those that unite the powers of the parliament and the judiciary by bribing the judiciary, (don’t try and tell me that was not done my five year old son could figure that much out,) the separation of powers between the judiciary and the parliament would once again be restored. The constitution would once again be sovereign. Unfortunately, by doing this, it seems as though the executive is suspending the constitution by wielding absolute power over the judiciary and the parliament, but this is not the case because it is not taking power from them it is restroing power to them that is happening. The executive is restoring the independance of the judiciary by freeing it from the control of the legislature. Now that is a FACT!

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  7. It seems in the Maldives a separate constitution is to be made for each presidency. Your choice of words Abdul-Rahman may not be the best here, Anni is trying to bring balance back to the seperation of powers as vested in the constitution, which incidently was pretty vage on where the line was drawn on the matter. much was left to convention, and Honor and morality of elected people to uphold this, unfortunately this isn't the case, there are no noble folk left on this world in the age of Kali Yuga

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  8. the comment i wrote above, ok to publish, i freed it from personal attacks and accusations

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  9. Mr. Hameed,
    The second part of my above comment being the last paragraph starting with, "The opposition first suspended the constitution by uniting the powers of the parliament and the judiciary..." was my response to your critique...

    although i made some mistakes which you so kindly pointed out to me and I thankyou, yes thats correct i actually know difference between a parliamentary, presidential and semi-presidential constitution i had to write an exam on it so i made a foolish mistake due to not thinking there, BUT still I know that the main point i was trying to make was correct...

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  10. I still think the argument could be effectively made that the actions of Gov. and MNDF were to restore the independance of the judiciary not to destroy the constitution, and that the actions taken were necessary to achieve the sovereignty of the constitution and universal obedience to it. I could even rewrite this better in more time, but I think, the ideas are out there, you guys just have to change the details to make it a winnable argument. I believe if Dr. Shaheed could do or anyonelese it would be great..

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  11. The constitution of Maldives is by itself unislamic.

    Suspending it is only a step forward in the right direction. Then, the parliament should be suspended in favor of a streamlined chain of command built to serve the needs of the Maldivian People first and foremost.

    THAT is the only legitimate foundation of any government. To protect the people from corruption, financial slavery and injustice.

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  12. Ben, if you are pleading to the same Shaheed who a few years ago was trying to convince the international community that the MDP including Anni were a bunch of power hungry thugs, the guy who last Wednesday led a MDP demonstration which was screaming “Yameen maraalaa” (kill Yameen) and “Is Qazee maraalaa” (kill Chief Justice), then you need not worry. I’m sure he would be busy day and night trying to pin the blame for all evil in the country on the opposition.

    Turning to your claim Ben, when dealing with the international community I doubt that you can get away by saying “my five year old son could figure that much out”. Then again I may be wrong. If Shaheed could figure out some way to convince the international community that the five year old is a genius maybe someone will buy your argument. My point is you need facts to back your argument. You at least need facts to support your fundamental premise - “the opposition first suspended the constitution”. If we are to take you seriously you need to explain how and when the opposition did what you say it did.

    Ben, a parliamentarian belonging to MDP was arrested last night under suspicion of bribing the judiciary. So where does this latest revelation leave you in terms of your claim that the “the opposition first suspended the constitution”. FYI the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives today called on the government to repect the basic human rights and to immediately release the opposition leader who was taken into custody a few days ago. Do you Ben still want Dr Shaheed to try justify the gross violations of human rights in the country to the international community? Do you have a conscience Ben.

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  13. Ben, My graduate political science degree certificate was felldown near the main gate of University of Western Australia, when I was entering my car. I'm sure that you have found my certificate over there. Plx give me that is my property. plxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  14. I'll rewrite my above two comments, please only publish this one below, thankyou so much for allowing me to get this poorly presented yet never the less important point across, minivannews...

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  15. If ever agagin I feel the need to write a letter, I won’t do it in a ten minute mad rush. I will get out my old text books and do some review so that my facts are correct. (I have not studied politics for over ten years and my memory let me down seems I don’t work in the field.) However, this does nt change the fact that despite the mistakes, what I needed to express was eventually expressed despite the blunders along the way..

    thankyou so much for allowing me to get this poorly presented yet never the less important point across, minivannews…

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  16. Hameed, And as to whether I have a conscience, well Hameed, I assure you that everytime a young Maldivian has been killed in gangsterism in the last ten years, I have cried my eyes out. My feeling is, it would take one without a conscience not to agree that urgent radical action has to be taken to deal with corruption. Believe me, if any innocents have been hurt, I wish that were not the case.

    Free NOW, Believe me, I feel sorry for Yamin’s family, but thousands gathered near his house I mean, until this issue is dealt with, I believe Yamin’s family should be protected from that wild mob. The wild mob thing is wrong, I mean, no matter what, Yamin’s family does not deserve to be intimidated because of what Yamin is believed to have or to have not done. I actually hurt for them.

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  17. Ben,

    "If ever agagin I feel the need to write a letter, I won’t do it in a ten minute mad rush. I will get out my old text books and do some review so that my facts are correct."

    When you will spend so much time and energy composing a piece, I suggest you tell the editor to publish your article under their "Comment & Opinion" column so that most readers will see it. A letter can easily go unnoticed by many readers.

    Now, to your article.
    It appears to me that you have heard (and probably been brainwashed by) only one side of the story. May be looking at things from a broader angle will clear many more things for you.

    Things are not so black and white as you stated. There is more fuzziness than clearness.

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  18. Robin,

    Thankyou. whilst i support what Anni is doing, I am not naive' enough to believe his intentions for doing so are purely because he cares for the Maldivian people. He has known about Yamin's ways for years yet only a month ago it seemed MDP were happy to go into an alliance with Yamin (allegedly). This leaves me wondering that they only fight corruption when it suits their personal wealth ambitions to do so, yet befriend corruption when it is in their interests to do that. Politics is a dirty game, because, to win power one must make all sorts of moral and financial compromises, no politician, no matter how pure the motives, is free from the stain of a lie or more filth on the path to power.

    My anguish was when it came to light that certain politicians were behind gangsterism, and when the judges failed to protect the ppl from gangs and their tyranny, a person I trust told me they had inside information that certain gangsers were being protected because they had ties to certain political figures whom the judges did not want to offend. Robin, I wept and wept when Ahmed Shaneed and others died for fighting for MDP, and I had been told by very trustworthy friends that Yamin had in the past ordered the thugs to disrupt MDP meetings (some gang called Bosnia or something?) I am not suggesting that Yamin killed anybody or ordered any one's death, however, I am enraged by the thought of any politician paying gangsters to disrupt political gatherings which were of a peaceful nature. These disruptions became more and more aggressive until eventually, a young boy was killed. I weep because, no one has ever been brought to justice, and the Judges frequenly let gangsters free. My heart continues to break for the oppressed. In hadith's, it says, "To Beware of the prayer of the oppressed, as their is no barrier between the oppressed and Allah..." I feel the depth of tragic injustice in that, I feel the Rahmathullah, the Mercy of Allah for the suffering, I feel it as if it were a deep, deep powerful pain, and I cannot help but celebrate when finally, corruption is being pursued.

    However, you are right in that, I have no doubt that MDP have also bribed judges, which in a way makes me Munnafiq, a hypocrite. But I am just so passionate about seeing corruption eradicated that I wrote that letter out of desparate hope that this was the real deal, this was an attempt to eradicate corruption within the judiciary. My only motives were, to end the fear, the anxiety, that my beloved family and I went through the last time we went to Male' because I had offended Yamin, well, that is to say, he blamed me for something which was not my fault and many told me he was going to kill me through his gangs and all this stuff. Well, I lived in terror, and I don't want anyone to ever again experience that same fear, that is all, I feel for the oppressed, for those who are terrified of gangs, which includes many, and I believe that if the judiciary seriously cared, they would do more to protect the ppl...

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  19. Hi Ben,

    Agree with you 100%. You are apologizing too much, people aren't really questioning what you've overlooked, they have come to the table with their minds made up.

    I'm sure you're not naive enough to understand how politics work here. We have not developed yet as a society to hold public figures accountable. To most of us its a horse race; we place our bets and winner takes all.

    Stealing is ok as long as its "our guy". Opposition means opposing whatever and however.

    We need a paradigm shift in peoples thinking, not a benevolent politician. Maldivians deserve this circus, we created this for ourselves.

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  20. peasant, love the screen name... well, its true, but... We humans we need to create something to live for, an ideal which is beautiful such as liberal democracy or perfect Ibadah created by Shariah, and in creating these ideals we doom ourselves to lives of hypocrisy and double standards... But we are trapped...Something in the Universe has trapped us to be hypocrites, because we need to aspire towards an ideal - a utopia as ppl, individually, socially yet we cannot reach the ideal!!! Hypocrisy is not a Maldivian paradox, it is a human paradox... Alot is said about, for example, hypocrisy because Maldives is 100 percent Muslim and noone lives up to Islamic demands yet force them upon each other... etc..etc... But, how about the west, imposing freedom, when freedom only means slavery to some exploitative capitalist industry which dehumanizes and alienates the soul, the western world preaches democracy, but what the hell who the hell for, for those who wish to own more than others, it is freedom for greed... look, the wetsrn world needs its ideals, but they are hypocritacal, and Maldives needs its Islamic ideals though it can't live up to them...The thing is, we are all trapped my friend, it is just a matter of which form of hypocrisy you are trapped in and learning not to judge others forms of hypocrisy before we recognize our own ideals are empty...westerners need to learn to recognize their own hypocrisy before exposing islamic hypocrisy, and Maldivians have to learn that a liberal democracy is not all its cut out to be...

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  21. I understand that there will always be hypocrisy in this world. That's a continuous fight for all humanity. This is not lost on me, but what happening in Maldives is absolutely ridiculous.

    The hypocrisy in the West is rational, however cruel it maybe. For example the US use corn to produce ethanol for fuel, while Africans starve; at the same time the US purports to be working to alleviate hunger. This is the rational thing for the US government because a starved African doesn't have a vote in the US election, but the obese American driving an ethanol fueled truck does.

    The problem in Maldives is that there is no rationale in supporting Yameen. I'd completely understand if an individual was bribed to the tune Mrf 3 million singing any song chosen for him by Yameen, but the overwhelming majority of his supporters stand to lose so much!

    If only people would simply think with a cool head for a few minutes......the sheer number of logical fallacies in their arguments against Anni are enough to make any fool who is willing to use his/her God given brain understand.

    Being a political science graduate, you may have come across studies which conclude that democratic government has a tendency to collapse in poor countries. The reasons given, the lack of credible institutions to safe guard against the tyranny of a few. Another reason being the lack of a credible middle class, a rural uneducated population being easily manipulated.

    I wonder if they were right, we are not yet ready for a functioning democratic government

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  22. Peasant, yes, a unit on democratistion.

    What you said may be correct but I hope that the Maldives does not give up on the quest to be a liberal democratic nation.

    Something interesting...

    Two broad types of approaches, top down democratisation and bottom up demmocratisation. Both are related to different kinds of economies also.

    In the seventies and eighties, the US Government supported right wing dictators all over the world preparing these nations for "liberal democracy." (Top down approach.) The dictators main job was to decure the economic interests of the rich and control the poor with both religion and brutality until the poor were rich enough to be trusted with freedom.

    It was believed that when the economy had reached a level of growth great enough so that most were in the middle class, and also educated, that they could be trusted to vote along more rational lines. Massive poverty implied that voting would encourage votes for either violent radicals (Communism was the main threat at that time) or else by those who bribed the poor or threatened them, both characteristic of non-moral people. It was believed that once ppl had wealth and education, they would vote for internal peace to secure their business or work interests and also, could not be bribed or moved by violent radicals. Also, keep in mind that this approach went hand in hand with a tricle down economic theory, big business would trickle down. With this approach, take Maldives example, the elite were given control over tourism and resorts and it was eventually meant to trickle down to the poor so that the poor could be rich enough eventually to be democratic and rational. According to the theory, the dictators were just supposed to step down and out of power peacefully and allow voting once the ppl were ready.

    Two huge problems with this theory. The first was that wealth did not always trickle down, rich get richer poor get poorer. Second problem, was that dictators do not step down, and that once ppl felt ready, the dictators tried to become more oppressive to hold onto power. Democracies were won through struggle, resistance. We saw this in Maldives.

    Power corrupts.

    I am wondering, if Anni usurps absolute power in the name of eradicating un-democratic elements, would he then just be able to give that power up once Yamin was gone and ppl were educated and rich enough not to be bribed or intimidated.

    It is a catch 22, if Anni does not clamp down on undemocratic elements, they will continue to bully the nation, yet if he does, Anni may get addicted to power and may begin to bully the nation.

    It is tough.

    Perhaps the solution is, developing businesses on the islands or even on Male' through a bottom up approach, so that, they do not depend on the Kathib who takes his orders from the central Government. This way, they can get cash and education and not depend on wealth to trickle down and not depend on favours from some rich power hungry demigod like figure for any survival (free from Yamin or Gasim or...whoever)

    I am talking anout Amartya Sen's idea, bottom up democratisation. So, for example, you ask the Islanders, what sort of business would they like to do, lets say they say, cultural tourism. Instead of depending on the central Government for support for this(which gives power to the leader and encourages the leader to be more dictatorial) they can be given the resources and skills from outside aid programmes who have no dependancy on your Government. That way they could be free to develop to the point of not voting for radicals, not being bribed and be able to afford education to vote rationally.

    This way, Anni does not have to be a dictator and usurp absolute power, but eventually the rich would not be able to intimidate or bribe the poor into voting for them eventually anyway...

    As a matter of fact, you could even do it in Male with your Paartey's,

    What do you think? Please give me your feedback on that one...

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  23. Very interesting points Ben. A very interesting and relevant article in the "Opinions" column (the one y'd commented on). There has been quite a lot of research on the topic but largely based on much bigger countries with larger populations.

    Maldives is unique in many ways, a small population which is largely homogenous, with a relatively high life expectancy, with a low birth rate. Other developing countries have among other problems high illiteracy, civil strife, almost no infrastructure, large rural populations living in abject poverty etc. To overcome any of these issues will require huge investments and time. Success would also depend on many other variables. For example the opening of a port or an airport will make almost no difference in the economy (thereby the lives of ordinary people) in say Bangladesh, but in Maldives these would be significant investments.

    What I'm saying is it possible to have major changes in peoples lives with minor changes in governance. Anni has already begun the process you mentioned, cultural tourism, decentralization of services and decision making (watered down by the opposition), allowance for the elderly, inter atoll transportation network and land reform; all of this will help the less privileged islanders help themselves, the bottom up approach. The tax bill is another game changer, which is vehemently opposed by Yameem and cohorts. Tourism tax is currently $6 per bed/night for a $2000/night suite, same as in a $20 room at a guest house. Once this is changed government will have the money to deliver on various promises (sewage, water etc) on the islands.

    This bottom up approach of providing the services and empowering people is what the DRP PA is most afraid of, because when you think about it from an islanders' perspective - to have a sewage system and a water treatment plant within 5 years would be proof that the "opposition" were what they were - a bunch of thieves.

    Now the question is, in spite of the "opposition" how successful is Anni going to be? Its going to be hard; nearly all reform bills sent by him are being held up at the Majlis, because centralizing of power was the main tactic of the Gayoom family, they won't give up that easily.

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  24. peasant,

    You said, "We need a paradigm shift in peoples thinking" in your first comment. I think, you are absolutely correct. Here is why I also see it like this.

    Lets say, the islanders eventually get all the wealth that they need to be educated, to vote rationally. Will they then vote for more compassionate and reasonable politicians, or is the propensity to be attracted to and vote for gangsters, or Islamic extremists routed in something deeper than one's education and economic well being.

    Karl Marx, offering an inversion of Ludwig Feurbach's application of the Hegelian thesis on Conscioussness, said that conscioussness does not determine one's economic well being and life, but that ones economic situation determines ones conscioussness. This seemed to be taken for granted in much of the bottom up democratisation theory. It was thought that if ppl were poor, they could not be reasonable, and if they had wealth, they could be reasonable and moral.

    So, instead of teaching people to be reasonable in the voting arena or anywhere else, if you helped them become economically self determining and independant, then reason and moral conscioussness would be created as a natural response to the economic development. Therefore, you don't have to teach people critical thinking and morality, it grows by itself with economic self realization.

    At least, that was the theory...

    However, most radical Islamists who push for Jihad are educated and wealthy. ANd education and wealth does not often stop those inclined to support gangsters from supporting gangsters. It just makes them support the gangsters with wealth and more power.

    We have been discussing all of this reaarangement of the constitution and all of this development theory to eradicate corruption in the long term, but I would propose the hypothesis that it will not work.

    For corruption to be eradicated, people's hearts need to be changed, and, only a combination of suffering and compassion, and also, love, can teach people compassion, reason and a sense of true humanitarian moral justice.

    I am not trying to subtly promote christianity either, indeed, as a westerner brought up in a church i can testify that christianity does not make ppl more loving, only love does that, and love can come from any human of any religion. (Love means, others before self, not a feeling of love...) heaps of christians are loveless souless... and most loving ppl i know are maldivian Sufi like Muslims, my wifes family who prayed for me and helped me when i nearly died of dengue fever they recited surahs and put their hand on my head and recited Al-Fatiha and all sorts of healing Ayat's and Surah's.

    (you know, as a westerner, I always have to repeat this type of stuff when talking to Maldivians, because i am always being suspected of trying to promote christianity because i am a westerner. This is especially true in my case since i used to want to be a christian preacher before i converted to Islam...

    I tend to like the Sufi Islamic approach, especially Rumi and his emphasis on love and compassion. I think, more of that type of Islam should be spread through Maldives. I am advocating old fashioned ideological determinism, but something more, that nothing can change, unless the heart is changed, and the heart can be only changed through self sacrificial love.

    And Islam, I mean, well taught, not radical, can inspire that sentiment by those who feel its deep essence...

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  25. Yes economic needs are not the only prerequisite, though will be one of the major factors. We cannot really know which those factors are.

    Institutionalized and state sanctioned slavery, colonialism and racism were abolished in the west because of a paradigm shift. Today people shake their heads and say "What were they thinking?"

    I hope Maldivans realize sooner rather than later how simple the choice is, especially since our choice will make a difference (unlike in many other countries).

    After Blenheim, an anti war poem by English poet Robert Southey shows the change in the paradigm of thought between an old man (and likely his generation) and his grand children.

    http://www.poetry-archive.com/s/the_battle_of_blenheim.html

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  26. Bismillahirahmani Raheem

    Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmathullahiwa Barakhatu.

    My name is A.Kh.Kharluest. I am a graduate of political sciences from the University of Western Australia.1993

    I am a Maldivian, I feel compelled to refute the claim that the MDP are the ones who have suspended the newly founded Maldivian constitution. The truth of the matter, I here assert, is that it is the other way around.

    Oh, and, what is my business interfering in your internal affairs, you may ask? Well, first of all, I am a Maldivian and i am a Muslim too, and I take seriously the Hadith that the Ummah is as one body, and the pain of one Muslim should be felt and alleviated by all other Muslims.

    Second of all, I believe in what Martin Luther King said,:”Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere…”

    It was the since arrested parliamentarians and the corrupt judges who suspended the constitution initially by ignoring the separation of powers which must exist between the parliament and the judiciary.

    The opposition broke the constitution down, Anni (President Mohammed Nasheed), the MNDF and the MDP Cabinet are struggling to mend the constitution within whatever means they can. He cannot do so strictly within the constitutional framwork as the opposition broke the constitutional framework down.

    This move by the MDP and MNDF to eradicate those who disregard the constitution is necessary for the salvation of the long term effectiveness and sovereignty of the constitution. It is the salvation of liberal democracy in the Maldives.

    One of the main aspects of the constitution is the independance of the judiciary. When a parliamentarian (Yamin or Nazim or any power-brokers within the parliament) control the judiciary, it is absolutely necessary that the judiciary and that any controlling parliamentarian be removed from power to preserve and restore the separation of power between the parliament and the judiciary (the legislature and the judiciary).

    MDP are fighting for the integrity of the constitution, they are not suspending or violating the constitution, the constitution was already destroyed by the parliamentarians and judges who violated it, Anni is fixing it!

    This move by MDP and MNDF is necessary for the salvation of the constitution and for the long term realization of democracy in the Maldives.

    Please, Dr Shaheed, and anyone else who can, please deliver this truth to the international community so that they will support your struggle to save liberal democracy in the Maldives.

    Long live the constitution, thank you MDP for fighting to save the constitution!.....(A.Kh.Kharlues)

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