Masked men chop down city council’s areca palm trees

A group of masked men wielding machetes cut down areca nut palm trees across Malé in the early hours of Friday morning.

Eyewitnesses told local media that the group felled about 25 palm trees planted by the city council in late 2011 on both sides of the capital’s main thoroughfare Majeedhee Magu.

On the previous night, (October 22), two trees in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office and one near the Amity shop were also chopped down.

Credible sources have suggested that the trees were felled by Specialist Operations (SO) police officers in plain clothes, with the incident causing a rift between the SO and capital divisions of the service.

Police have said the incident was reported around 3:30am on Friday morning and that no arrests have been made yet.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party-majority (MDP) city council has since called on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“This revolting, abhorrent and unlawful act was an injury caused to all citizens of the Maldives and especially the beloved people of Malé,” reads a press release issued by Mayor Mohamed Shihab yesterday.

Such acts would not deter either the council’s efforts to beautify the capital or calls to ensure peace and security, the statement added.

The Indian High Commission had donated the areca palm trees in October 2011.

Former Police Commissioner and sitting Jumhoree Party MP Abdulla Riyaz told local media yesterday that the police should have stopped the group in the act.

If not, he added, police have the competence and the technology to find and arrest the perpetrators, referring to an extensive network of security cameras in the capital.

Rumours of police involvement in the vandalism have circulated online, with a photo purportedly of one of the perpetrators in the act being shared on social media.

Patrolling officers from the capital police command allegedly followed the group, intercepted one cycle and baton charged two suspects.

However, the men fled and were seen entering the police Iskandhar Koshi barracks.

The group allegedly used police radios to verbally abuse the duty officer at the command centre and the SO SWAT team has since been transferred to the training island Feydhoo Finolhu.

The police media official has, however, dismissed the allegations today as baseless and intended to bring the Maldives Police Service into disrepute.

Anti-government protesters cut down the areca palm trees during demonstrations in January 2012 against the MDP government’s decision to detain Criminal Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

Speaking to reporters last night, former President Mohamed Nasheed criticised the failure of police to apprehend the perpetrators despite video and photographic evidence.

“The safety and security of the public have been lost today to an unprecedented extent. This is something we are all very concerned about,” he said.


20 thoughts on “Masked men chop down city council’s areca palm trees”

  1. Where is leadership?
    Who is really in charge and where is the President? Where is the Home minster?
    Has the country gone to gangs and bandits?
    Anyone taking responsibility there instead of passing blame?

  2. I have ceased to be amazed by the idiocy demonstrated by certain sections of Maldivian society.

  3. special operations police is the most dangerous and powerful gang in the maldives, and they answer to gayoom.

  4. The guys who did this, and those who supported them, would no doubt gloat over their achievement.

    Not a surprise, coming from a community who beleived in sea-monster rapist, and still believes in virgins in afterlife,

    Rude, self centric, ignorant racist idiots.

  5. The is just the new burn of the Reichstag as in Germany with MDP attempt to take an advantage.

  6. Killing somebody can be understood, but killing trees is something not capishee, the poor trees also now the victims of Fishy Rajje. May be too much tuna increases libido, higher libido means less cognition and more animalistic. What motive can be to harm trees, surely, there will be no one in the fishy rajje who would have got hurt by cutting those trees so definitely it can’t be a reaction in revenge of rivals , so is it some new psychological phenomenon arising in this tiny hell hole; the hatred to trees. No doubt there will be more surprises from extra ordinary sub human species in this wonder water , a new branch of human species evolving in the this water world who hates trees , may be one day they will have gills.

  7. Spy vs spy is really silly!
    But what has it got to do with some areca palms donated by a friendly country to the people of Male'?

  8. A Quran for each Maldivian! The country is certainly not lacking in Qurans, mosques or religious "scholars". What it distinctly lacking is a single good Muslim!

    Just a few decades, there were much less mosques (those that were there were rather modest), much less Qurans around and certainly no Islamic "scholars" to speak of. Yet, the country was a place of peace and tranquility.

    Is there are correlation between an abundance of "religion" and a lack of practice of it?

  9. The Male’ mania is mental disease effecting almost every Maldivian, and this disease was there from the time ever known. Every Maldivian has special place in his heart for Male’ and living in Male’ is dream of all Maldivians. No one knows what is so special about Male’ and what is so attractive in Male’ that pulls people to Male’ and also people from non Male’ dialect love the dialect of Male’ and feel speaking in this dialect is a privilege. Somehow this Male mania has evolved to a different type of psychosis condition, probably due to overcrowding, economic hardship, lack of space to move around, Islamization of extreme version of Islam ,drugs and the evolving social media. The biggest problem is everyone is a victim of Male mania, and it spreads like virus, police, politician, judges are not spared as the communities of 200000 are basically intertwined within a radius of 1 KM. Every police, every politician, every court man has direct connection with every walk of life in other words there is nothing that separates elected ones from common man to ordinary petty criminals and even those few killer instinct psychopaths . The police, in their free time have coffee with drug gangs, because they are their friends or relatives, the same goes with judges, and politicians. Everyone has vested interest in anything that surface on this tiny jigsaw puzzle, every drama has characters from top to down in hierarchy. So this is all Male mania, it is nothing that you can do much about it, may be rising sea can help

  10. What's up? Have palm trees been declared 'unislamic' by a mad mullah?
    Why is the Indian government wasting my taxes on gifts to backward and unsophisticated people with whom we have nothing in common?

  11. Hero will say " those masked men were Indians sent by GMR.Its revenge for negating their beloved airport from them"

  12. @MissIndia. We don't néed your blessing and we will develop our nation without GMR and you.

    You should go away from this country and we don't need people like you to work and take our hard earned dollars .

  13. @Maumoon. You and your thugs who think Nasheed and believe Nasheed as God will have no tolerance to digest any criticism.

  14. Dear MissNewDelhi: Thank you for classifying us as backward and unsophisticated nation. We hope to aspire to your level of politics and governance one day. 🙂

    In the meantime let us enjoy a lesson in sophistication from our beloved India.

  15. how very sickening the societal interactions are becoming in Maldives.

  16. @ Nova
    A country that does not allow freedom of worship and that still flogs women in this day and age can hardly be described as progressive or sophisticated can it?

  17. well said miss india and hero still believes his god beloved yamin and adheeb called OPEC and asked to reduce the price of fuel and OPEC agreed to do so because they knew that God will intervene in this case because Maldives is a 100% islamic nation which is very very special.Herp believes in Musailamathul kazzab bin Imran


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