Male’ gripped by chaos as protests intensify


As violent confrontations between police and anti-government protesters rock the capital of Male’, the Majlis continued was locked in a stalemate as President Waheed was forced to give his opening speech amidst loud heckling from MDP MPs.

The live feed continues here.

16:31 – Tension is once again on the rise as large numbers of police have begun to clear out the surf point area of the capital that has been home to an MDP protest camp since the controversial resignation of former President Mohamed Nasheed last month.

16:14 – Police with riot shields have now asked asked a large group of people gathered towards the Tsunami Memorial to disperse.

15:35 – A police spokesperson had told Minivan News that the violent confrontations with protesters now appeared to have been bought under control, although a few people are still thought to be waiting in Sosun Magu.

15:20 – President Waheed and his spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza were unavailable to elaborate on the comments made during today’s speech when contacted by Minivan News.

15:00 – The President’s Office has issued a statement quoting Dr Mohamed Waheed in pledging to commit to an early election if it was “required”.

Reiterating points raised in his inaugural address to a boisterous Majlis floor that saw the president having to shout over loud heckles from MDP members just a few hours ago, Waheed pledged to bring together all political leaders to discuss constitutional amendments required for fresh elections.

“This is the time for all of us to work together in one spirit, the time to bring political differences to the discussion table in order to formulate solutions,” said the president.  “I fully assure you that I will not order anyone to act against the Constitution or laws of this country”.

14:45 – Some protesters are reportedly making their way to the justice rally by the Tsunami memorial.

14:40 – The MDP has issued a statement condemning the acts of violence that took place across Male’ today, alleging that a blaze in the Neelan Fihaara “may have deliberately started” by figures loyal to the government as a means to crack down on peaceful demonstrators.

“The MDP condemns the Waheed regime’s attempts to associate the MDP with acts of violence, even before conducting an independent investigation,” the statement read. “Thousands of pro-democracy supporters poured onto the streets this morning to peacefully protest Dr Waheed’s attempt to address the People’s Majlis.”

14:10 – The official police website has reported that eight police personnel have suffered injuries during today’s protests, while 41 people are reported to have been arrested.

14:06 – Dr Waheed has returned to the chamber and finished giving his address amidst loud heckling from MDP Supporters in the Majlis chamber.

13:57 – The Police Integrity Commission has released a statement denouncing what it sees as violent acts committed against security forces by protestors.

13:34 – One female protester seems to have fainted, while another has been badly affected by gas. “Milk has been put all over her to treat it,” reports Daniel Bosley from between the police lines on Sosun Magu.

13:30 – President Waheed reportedly tells protesters in the chamber “I’ll be back” after having to walk out once again.

13:29 – President Waheed is forced to cut short his speech amongst ironic clapping. Shouts of “long live democracy” are heard as he leaves the floor again.

13:27 – President Waheed is having to shout out his speech as MDP protestors directly heckle him creating a noisy Majlis floor.

13:24 – Police on Sosun Magu have reportedly begun warning protesters they will use “force” to restore order, according to witnesses at the scene.

13:20 – Haveeru has reported that the police are now requesting protesters to being cooperating with them, whilst the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) has strongly condemned the attack on the VTV building.

13:17 – Addu City Mayor Abdulla Sadiq has said there has been no reports of unrest in the country’s second city. He was unable to confirm if any events or demonstrations were currently being scheduled to occur in Addu.

13:13 – President Waheed has once again entered the parliamentary chamber only to leave again soon after.

13:05 – MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor claimed that 20 MNDF are now inside parliament in an attempt to remove Milandhoo constituency MP Riza, Machangoalhi South MP Mohamed Rasheed and Thinadhoo constituency Nazim. Ghafoor told Minivan News that MPs Shifaz and Riza had been injured, meanwhile international observers are said to be looking on at events from the public gallery.

13:01 – President Waheed on his Twitter feed has condemned MDP members and Mohamed Nasheed for blocking parliament. “Anni must take responsibility for the chaos as he is directing the chaos in Male’,” he wrote.

12:51 – MDP members inside the chamber have alleged that the Majlis secretary general has compiled a list of MPs that are required to be removed from parliament before the session can start. The MPs claim this goes against the Majlis rules of procedure as it is for the speaker to say who is to be removed by security officials.

12:45 – The MNDF has confirmed that about 60 per cent of the fire at Neelan Fihaara is under control. People are reportedly taking some items that weren’t burnt in the fire out of the premises.

12:39 – Police have now moved crowds outside of ADK Hospital to the other side of Sosun Magu. Minivan News understands that rubber bullets have been fired.

12:36 – Colonel Abdul Raheem of the MNDF has told Minivan News that security would not hesitate to use rubber bullets to disperse crowds, calling them a “non-lethal weapon” that does not constitute excessive force.

12:35 – Haveeru has reported that some protesters have allegedly harassed and threatened some reporters and media personnel.

12:32 – President Waheed has once again left the chamber after disruptions by MDP MPs who have continued to bang copies of the constitution on their desks.

12:28 – The Majlis session has restarted. President Waheed is now in the parliamentary chamber.

12:25 – Protesters around Sosun Magu have claimed that rubber bullets are being prepared for use by MNDF forces.

12:20 – Minivan News has witnessed that police have cleared protesters from Sosun Magu to the west of the junction by Majeedhee Magu.

12:15 – Maldives Police has announced on Twitter that the protests in Male’ are no longer being considered as peaceful – “necessary force” is now expected to be used.

12:08 – Military vehicle arrives to support police – meets hail of projectiles. Windshield is damaged.

12:07 – Sun Online has reported that MP Shifaz fell and injured himself during scuffles withi the Majlis chamber. “What happened exactly is not yet clear,” the news agency added.

12:03 – Police are reported to have temporarily cleared rioters away from VTV studios.

12:02 – Several physical confrontations have been reported from within the Majlis with the MDP alleging that MP Shifaz has been taken away by the MNDF suffering from a broken leg.

11:56 – An MDP supporter within the Majlis has alleged that Baarashu Dhaaira MP Shifaz has been beaten unconscious by MNDF forces.

11:52 – Outside ADK Hospital several men have been seen covered in blood. Minivan News has witnessed some figures attacking the VTV building with bricks. Soldiers are blocking the doors to VTV studios.

11:48 – “Police are continuing to deploy gas as protesters are being driven back down the street [Sosun Magu],” reports Daniel Bosley. “Some are attacking soldiers on their way past.”

11:45 – Soldiers in gas masks have been spotted outside the VTV building on Sosun Magu. Unconfirmed reports suggest four people have been arrested on the street so far.

11:40 – Fire-fighters are still having difficulty controlling the blaze in the Neelan Fihaara area.

11:36 – Under parliamentary rulings, the speaker must call the name of an MP three times to leave the chamber for contempt before they can be removed by Majlis security. Two MPs have been removed at present. “It could be a long day,” one observer with knowledge of parliamentary proceedings has noted.

11:33 – “The police and local people are now trying to escort police vehicles from the fire. Firemen are still working to put out the blaze,” Naahee adds.

11:29 – Meanwhile, a fire has continued to rage in the Neelan Fihaara. “The fire has even spread to the land in front of the nearby auctioning market,” reports Mohamed Naahee. “ The police garage is right next door.”

11:26 – “There are people now ferrying cases of water to the protest’s front lines in what appears to be a measure to counter the tear gas deployed by police,” reports Daniel Bosley on Sosun Magu. “People are dousing themselves in water.”

11:23 – Protesters on Sosun Magu are said to be cheering as a riot shield is taken from the police and held aloft. An ambulance has arrived on the scene.

11:20 – Confrontations appear to be escalating in the capital with local media reporting that police have now called for the protest on Sosun Magu to be broken up. Outside Majeediyya school, flags and pavement stones are reported to have been thrown at police.

11:16 – “The situation has really escalated on Sosun Magu with tear gas now being deployed. However, the MDP supporters appear to be regrouping,” reports Minivan News’ Daniel Bosley.

11:13 – A Minivan News reporter has witnessed police deploying tear gas on Sosun Magu.

11:08 – Tensions are escalating across the capital amidst claims that a police officer has been injured in scuffles with protesters. Sun online reports that tear gas has been used in response.

11:02 – Haveeru has reported that protesters gathered near the Health Ministry building have begun throwing bottles of water at police as well as trying to breach their lines. Military personal have also now removed MP Alhan Fahmy from the parliamentary chambers.

10:56 – Local media is reporting that military personnel have now been called to Sosun Magu to assist police with a large protest taking place on the street. A spokesperson for the police told Minivan news that they would be working in collaboration with military officials. “They [the MNDF] will be helping us where needed,” the spokesperson added, without elaborating on the nature of the assistance.

10:50 – Outside the chamber, police are said to have cordoned off more than 15 streets including those surrounding the President’s Office and the Majlis in a bid to try and control protests.

10:46 – Meanwhile, Sun Online has reported that President Waheed was not provided with a traditional “red carpet welcome” when entering the Majlis. He instead entered the parliament gate straight from his car.

10:36 – Haveeru has reported that police have been informing protesters gathered on Sosun Magu that peaceful protests will be allowed as part of their constitutional rights, but action will be taken against anyone found to “impede” police.

10:35 – MPs are drumming on tables with copies of the constitution. President Waheed is reportedly in the Majlis, though not yet in the parliamentary chamber, according to state media.

10:33 – Shahid has called for an intermission amidst continued disruption by MDP MPs.

10:27 – Speaker Shahid has asked MP Alhan Fahmy to leave the chamber due to ongoing disruptions as he tries to establish order to the football match-esque atmosphere. MDP MPs are shouting “Baagee Waheed” for their part.

10:23 – The Speaker has called for President Waheed to deliver his address. The MDP MPs have begun their protest.

10:20 – Parliamentary Speak Abdulla Shahid has just started the Majlis session. He has begun with a eulogy for the late Fathulla Jameel. The MDP have vowed to begin their protest after respecting the eulogy.

10:10 – A group of about 200 anti-government protesters replete with MDP and Maldivian national flags have been witnessed in a sit down demonstration outside Majeediyya school – one supporter has claimed it is the school midterm break at present.

09:55 – A Minivan News journalist in the area surrounding the Majlis says that the situation directly outside parliament remains quiet at present, with a somewhat noisy group of protesters currently having gathered at Sosun Magu as police work to enforce a designated route for demonstrators.

The reporter adds that police have blocked access to the Majlis via Fehimagu.

09:45 – A police spokesperson had told Minivan News that there has been no reports so far of conflicts with groups of protesters that are beginning to gather around Male’.

The spokesperson said that the police were hoping to use “minimum force” to keep the protests under control as the Majlis is set to reopen, but the situation would be reviewed as the day progresses.

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25 thoughts on “Male’ gripped by chaos as protests intensify”

  1. The MDP Parliamentarians inside the parliament chamber are displaying a very uncultured behaviour.
    Disgusting!!!
    I will rather vote for people who resolve differences peacefully. This kind of aggravation is unacceptable.

    If there is anything the MDP does not want, or if anything happened the way MDP does not like, they have always reacted like this. It was this way when they were the ruling party, it is the same when they are the opposition.

    I respected Anni and applauded him when he won the 2008 elections but I have started hating him and MDP after seeing their thug-like behaviour.

    I have realised that I, for one, do not support the MDP style of expressing their political views. It is against what I believe. I can never be one of them. Its just not my way. Its against the principles and values I admire. I think the MDP-way is immoral and unethical.

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  2. MDP is a terrorist organisation.
    They have proved it today.
    There are no words that can express how disgusting I felt on seeing the behaviour of their MPs inside the parliament on 1 March 2012 and also today.
    Eva Abdullah, you have shown that you are a disgrace to the women of this country.
    Most of the MDP protesters on the streets are no better. They say it is peaceful protesting, but their protests are anything but peaceful.
    I wish MDP will in the future behave like cultured people and in a sensible manner!

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  3. When MDP is out on the streets, we have our security forces badly injured, our property damaged and our government buildings set ablaze.
    Why?

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  4. Well, the President has finished his job at the Parliament and left the building.
    MDP shuold resort back to their stage at Raalhugandu Sarahaddhu and sing:
    Ma chis chis kollias
    Ma fis fis kolli as
    Nethey vevey kah
    Baghee akah

    Nice 🙂

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  5. MDP needs to be cleansed! MDP has been roiting from inside specially since Mariya and Rekko Moosa started making corrupt demands from Nasheed when he was in power! And poor Nasheed was too helpless! Nasheeds close associates also started to thorn him for their corrupt deals! This was so deeply penetrated!! he knows this! Only verry few remain truely loyal to him! Been loyal is not licking his [email protected]@!!

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  6. hahahaha come on Maldives!!! stop joking the whole world is watching you is this what you want!!! every one... why are you digging your won grave!!!

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  7. President has delivered his speech, Parliament is in session
    GAME OVER for MDP

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  8. by the time a so called democratically elected president is in power.. at this rate we will have a bunch of aminals as the public. wake up people, think before you act. do not let the power hungry people gain more power

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  9. MDP honorable monkeys were acting like total jerks today! Anni thinks that the constitution is his brain itself. So whatever he thinks is superior to the constitution. If MDP wants an election sit in the Majlis and amend the damn constitution! What can these protests achieve? Loss to people and property. This violence cannot be justified.

    Just becos Anni thinks can we hold an election when the constitution clearly says otherwise?

    Even if it was a coup that toppled Anni's government, he himself is responsible for paving way for the protests that led to it by unconstitutionally arresting judge Abdulla when he had other measures to reform judiciary! Maldives would be a much better place without Gay yoom and Anni!

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  10. All of you writing anti-MDP things here are clearly on the payroll of Maumoon Abdul Gayoon and his cronies - true maldivians would not sit behind the computer and watch their fellow citizens being pepper sprayed, beaten up, arrested, cordoned off for expressing their rightful views. Everyone knows that this was a coup, and they want their rightfully elected president and his government re-instated. People struggled for over 30 years under Gayooms autocratic rule and do not want their country to regress to those days - where the military the state and the judiciary was controlled by Gayoom and his cronies. Not to mention the media. Whos heading all of those places now? And you complain about their 'behaviour'?? Please.

    It is precisely the police, more specifically the revival of the special ops unit 'STAR FORCE' (who are also on Gayoom&co's payroll)that is causing all this violence. These degenerates are out of control and have beaten up unarmed civilians (go to You Tube) and even gone to the extent of storming hospitals when people gathered out of concern for the victims - so much so parents have resorted to hiding their beaten up children at home, out of fear!

    They blocked media in Maldives when Waheed was giving his hard talk interview- which was absolutely disgraceful by the way, they blocked local TV channels during the protests today, they have asked media to step away while they raid MDP camp, probably so they can plant some drugs and alchohol there and then use that a pretext to conduct more arrests. Shameful!

    I know for a fact anyone who cares about the future of our country, who is in Maldives right now, would be out right now protesting and fighting for their rights because, clearly, at this stage, there is nothing else left to do.

    'Evil will flourish, when good men do nothing'

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  11. Firstly the fires bear the hallmark of this rogue regime, which has been trying to blame MDP for arson, knifing and all the violence that they engender in sometimes not so subtle ways. Yaameen (ie NOT MDP) directs thugs and militia specifically for this. They want use violence and are tired of waiting. This is typical mafiosi behaviour.. ie the crooked minority trying to infect the justice seeking majority (do we see a theme emerging here?) , anyone who has watched Maldivian politics in the last few weeks should realise what is going on from day one of The Coup that wasn't a Coup. The hallmark of MDP has always been non violent protest. Anni could have directed far more chaos from the start, Anni is not Gayoom or Umar Naseer and certainly not Yaameen and his motley crew. It is supremely ironic that the first comment posted on this site labels the MDP as disgusting. Well apply it to the right people, otherwise you risk owning your label - here it is, its all yours. As for labelling the MDP a terrorist organisation: yesterday's lawfully elected government is now today's terrorist organisation - hello?Just because some thugs bought the military and got some disgruntled business folk to help fund it. Where's the democracy in that?Given that this is a drama, lets look to Shakespeare, the great dramatist, who knew all about humanity. In his plays he shows that when nature is reversed there is chaos.There is chaos because this is an upside down world, where what is supremely illegal and unjust parades (and parade is the right word for it) as legal and just - its a world of appearances. A total dictatorship and supremely anti-democratic. Shame on you greedy few, PPM and co - the truth will emerge one day,the truth will out.It is already out but some of you don't want to look yourselves in the mirror. Well, I say look before its too late.

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  12. Liyela, how dare you accuse some of us of being Gayoom lackeys. Some of us have faced the brunt of these Star Force attacks before 2008. We have been pepper sprayed, jailed and beaten up. But that was for just being on the street and being part of a demonstration.

    Now you are talking about a gang of thugs destroying public property and terrorising the public. Frankly if Gayoom was in power by now most of these thugs would have been already beaten up and arrested. If Anni was in power it would have been the same too.

    I give full credit to the Police and MNDF for being so patient with these people who create terror.

    It is time people realise that all this is to gain power for MDP so that a few people like Maria Didi and R Moosa can grab all the money they can for more years.

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  13. Having to accept and suffer injustice silently was the way the totalitarian system functioned...Well...That system was abolished by THE PEOPLE led by president Anni. What now occurs are but last angry roars of the dinosaur abolished. The clock will not turn back. We can not simply accept the unlawful overthrow of a democratically elected government. Protest is all that's left to us. Until immediate and fair elections will show whom the people want! Everybody who takes part in this struggle and on the road today is brave and couragous. So far not features invented in the Maldives...Long live the NEW MALDIVES! Long live AARAHJEE!!!

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  14. @liyela. one of the major problems u mdp people have....why do you keep bluffing about maumoon? I supported Anni in 2008! I will never vote maumoon. But neither will i ever vote Anni again. Never. MDP needs to realize that anti-MDP people arnt only maumoon supporters. We stopped supporting Anni for his own actions, for what he did while he was in power for the past three years! i dont care what you do to maumoon or yameen or umar naseer or whatever. i stand against MDP for not listening to people who voted them for a change in 2008!

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  15. Former Dictator maumoon is the biggest terrorist that this country has seen.. he has been saying he does not want any early election .. so people of maldives are calling for democracy .. international communities are with the first democratically elected president mohamed nasheed.

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  16. POLICE ACTULLY HARMING INNOCENT CIVILLIANS! WAHEED SUPPORTERS ACTUALLY DOING THE VANDALISM!

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  17. today and 8th are worse than what we experienced in Maumoons dictatorship.. and fire was started by police the whole block is secured by police since their vehicles are stored in that block.. and as far as i have herd police has cameras all over there but they didn't catch anyone lighting up the fire. and they want a huge fire so they sent around 30 people to control the fire. and then blame on the peaceful protesters of MDP. and now police can have the Neelam fihara to do park their vehicles and repair them plus the garbage area their has to be cleaned from tuck to thilafushee so they just burnt it so that less cost will be applied in that project and they can have the money too :D.. still to come..

    Peace full protest can't be stopped by force so they started up a fire. and say its not peaceful
    Lage number of gangsters in jail were released into the public .. all gangsters hate cops they will do anything just to beat them up. which again will lead police to say its not peaceful.

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  18. @ Liyela:
    And you must be on the payroll of Anni and his cronies!
    I strongly recommend that you keep your views to yourself when you do not know the facts. People like you who advocate violence to get what you want is a disgrace to our Nation and the world at large!Do you honestly believe that you people were 'peacefully' expressing your views? Can you please explain all the damage that is caused to the public properties and the bloodshed we see inflicted on our cops whenever you people (MDP and supporters of Anni) are on the streets? And did you think the police will sit and smile and pat you on the back when you inflict grievous bodily harm on them? Will YOU sit and not retaliate when someone hots you with a brick or clubs you with a stick? These are all acts of terrorism! Grow up!

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  19. I dont really care whether you vote for MDP or not - fact of the matter is people supporting the first democratic president, Mohd Nasheed, are by far the largest faction in the country - and if the current presidency are brave enough to face fresh elections, as they should, he more than anyone else stands the best chance of being selected.

    Why do i keep bluffing about maumoon?and yameen?and cronies? because they are the ones who've amassed the countries wealth via tourism/import-export/business monopolies etc, and are using that wealth and influence to pull the strings of the current puppets in power - Waheed, the police, all these other parties, too blind to see that they want to come back to power. That will not be allowed to happen. That is why people are protesting on the street.

    Do you think its easy to start governing a country so infected with the cronyism and stagnant policies enmeshed into the system like a disease, for over 30 years? Mohd Nasheed may not have been the 'perfect' president you envisioned when you voted for him, but he has tried to bring about change for the better despite a corrupt judiciary, despite a barely functioning parliament, despite a state system still infiltrated with people who dont want to 'change'. Take a look at the bigger picture please.

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