Government slams DRP letter to donor delegates as “kids’ stuff”

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has said the letter written by Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen, which he addressed to the participants of the Maldives Donor Conference, is nothing but “the ramblings of a delusional person.”

On 28 March Thasmeen wrote a letter criticising the current government’s economic policies, saying that the country was being “consumed in destructive politics,” and the opposition was constantly “intimidated and harassed.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed Shaheed said the government had “invited DRP leaders and a number of opposition MPs” to the Donor Conference, but “none turned up.”

He said the letter was “devoid of any real substance” and was “a luke-warm attempt” to call for a ban on aid.

“We are in a democracy and we do not hide from criticism,” Dr Shaheed said. “They wrote this assuming we wouldn’t pass it on to the donors. We have passed it on to the donors to expose what kind of stuff the opposition are made of.”

Dr Shaheed said the “transition from autocracy to democracy” was not expected to be easy, and although “there is instability, we are not consumed by destruction. They wish we were consumed by destruction.”

He said the opposition was not being restrained or harassed, pointing out that this is “the only time in the history of this country that there has not been a political opponent in detention.”

“The DRP always see the law as a weapon. Now they have removed the Auditor General from his office by using the law as a weapon.”

Dr Shaheed acknowledged that the government had criticised independent commissions such as the Human Rights Commission for the Maldives (HRCM), saying “they are not doing their job. And I think people have a right to tell others when they are not doing their job.”

He reiterated that the DRP is “still living with a mentality where they think nothing can be said about anybody else.”

Dr Shaheed said the opposition was “against privatisation. They have no idea what liberal means, or what the government needs. They are not listening to what the president is saying.”

On the claims of the incompetence of newly appointed members of government companies, he said the DRP is not indicating any measure to judge competency.

“There is this claim that if you are a political activist you don’t qualify for a job, but this is wrong.”

Dr Shaheed said the government was working hard to fully implement democracy in the country, and “we are the most transparent government this country has had. The most open government this country has had.”

He said that the current government chose to address issues openly in parliament, and not with violence.

“Parliament is a place, not to punch people and call them names, but to work together. The parliament is where the opposition has the road to engage.”

He added “the opposition has so many opportunities to contribute to policies. They should learn to use them.”

None of the delegates of the conference had made any reference to the DRP’s letter, he said.

“DRP is calling this government irresponsible in fiscal policies, and you have the IMF giving us a grant based on our fiscal policies. Who are [the donors] going to believe?”

Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said the “DRP leader wanted delegates to know they are not happy with the government’s economic policy.”

He said the IMF had been especially supportive of the government’s economic policies, and had issued a number of statements commending the government.

“So the question was whether the delegates should believe the IMF and their reports, or whether they are to believe the opposition party leader Thasmeen…about whom there have been comments that he and his family have outstanding debts to the tune of US$100 million to the Bank of Maldives.”

Zuhair said the letter was distributed to all the delegates and no one had made any response.

He added that DRP members and the Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid were invited to the opening session and “abstained from coming.”

Thasmeen told Minivan News today that as far as he knew, DRP members had been invited to the opening ceremony of the Donor Conference, but he did not attend because “as a member of Parliament, I had other engagements.”

He said the letter and dossier the DRP had produced for the delegates “was sent through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” and had been distributed at the conference.

He added that since the letter was sent out, “we have been having discussions with members of some delegations, but it would not be appropriate for me to discuss what went on in the meetings.”

Thasmeen said “we value and appreciate and welcome any assistance in development, and hope [the pledges] are realised soon.”


14 thoughts on “Government slams DRP letter to donor delegates as “kids’ stuff””

  1. I am a bit confused. What Thasmeen says and the Qaumee Party Press release said do not tally. Thasmeen agrees that foreign Ministry distributed their documents. But Qaumee Party press release said that the President had refused opposition parties to present their papers at the forum. Perhaps it is because the Qaumee Party is not really a party but just a small group of people, they were not invited. Perhaps the donors do not recognise Qaumee Party as a political party

  2. Why is the Foreign Minister wasting our time and money talking about kids stuff. If the DRP letter was kid stuff why have discussions with foreign delegations about it. I guess the letter and dossier were infact very effective in communication what DRP wanted to communicate.

  3. Yes Dr, and the Donors all said, you have a Foriegn Minister who speaks from multiple mouths. They were laughing too..same guy ran after them while Foriegn Minister under Maumoon's regime, calling MDP an un democratic party and hooligans and the same guy as Foriegn Minister of Nasheed's regime and calling DRP as undemocratic and hooligans...grow up Mr Spin Doctor, this is 21st Century

  4. ooops, sorry I said grow up...not physically OK Docs. I know you wont grow any more.

  5. Sick of these political games, some people pulling the strings has deliberately promoted and elected people with monkey instincts into parliament.

    sick i say sick

  6. @ Nataha - Couple of years ago MDP launched a covert attack on the donors conference, placing a dossier for each delegate on the conference room table while every one was out for lunch. It took everyone by surprise when they returned from lunch. Guess what? The same old Dr Shaheed was there giving MDP a "black eye" as Natasha calls it.

  7. They once used the law as their weapon, murdering anyone they deemed a threat. Robbed of that power, they now settle for public beatings, terrorism and vandalism.

  8. Currently we all can agree that Maldives has freedom of speech like we never would have expected some years back. Many even called MDP members working from abroad foolish people that is trying to achieve something impossible. Many criticized and others stayed quiet out of fear of being arrested and tortured. But now the fact is that these same foolish people are credited to the freedom that many has today. More foreign governments are more happy with the current government then the previous, maybe they will be happy with the next government even more - but we do not know this at this moment for sure. So my opinion is to stick with what we are sure of especially when foreign donors will be very beneficial to the Maldives economy and create much needed jobs. They are happy of the freedom seen in the country even if it might not be perfect. No one is expecting a first class miracle government. Also they are here to see how much they should pledge to the Maldives in order to help its economy. So politics should be put aside.

    Im sure many people in the opposition parties want the best for the country and does not want to create problems which will scare donors. But it seems that some of its leaders are more keen to see the current government not succeed even if it means the country's economy goes down with it. There is time to play around with politics, if one wishes to be reasonable. But when it comes to foreign investment which creates jobs and benefits local population, all parties should try give its support.

  9. What ever you opposing foos---- who got the money, We got the money., say again who got the money, WE GOT THE MONEY..... MDP -10 DRP -UMAR NASEER, whatever score that is.

  10. Come on Dr. Shaheed , you have got a PhD, talk something sensible , you know well, DRP has enough strength in Maldives politics now.may be they will get more stronger, if you guys cannot manage the mess in the house now, sooner than later. I dont think majority Maldivians like the secular idea and religions you guys trying to impose in Maldives.

  11. tinkle, Oh you got the money? then the score would be much higher than 10? someone must ram that money into your throat..Umar Naseer will do that for you. You must be one of those die hard fanatics of the president? and advisor or something?

  12. Yes yes... this is the most open government ever in Maldives.. Everything thing is so transparent..
    .. So transparent that everything in out in the open..

    Great Job Maldivian people... great job...


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