MDP warns of a census boycott if authorities fail to find missing journalist

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has said it will consider a boycott of the overdue national census if authorities fail to find missing Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla.

Newly elected Vice President Mohamed Shifaz said the motion would require endorsement by the party’s National Council.

Rilwan – believed to have been abducted – has now been missing for 34 days. The Maldives Police Services has been criticised for its failure to reveal information regarding the investigation.

“President Abdulla Yameen’s government has been negligent towards a Maldivian citizen. We will stand up against that negligence. So we [will ask the National Council] to endorse a boycott of a census held without Rilwan,” Shifaz told the press at a briefing this morning.

“I do want to note the importance of a census. But when we do not know what happens to Maldivians, when citizens have been disappeared, I do not believe we should proceed with a census.”

The census – scheduled to take place between September 20 and 27 – will be the first time such national data has been collected since 2006.

Locals from the island of Vilufushi in Thaa Atoll have also announced that they will be boycotting the census, due to the failure to provide permanent residents for those left homeless after the 2004 tsunami.

Department of National Planning’s Assistant Director Fathimath Riyaza has appealed to all parties to support the census, and called on the public to refrain from connecting the census to Rilwan’s disappearance.

“We, too, are extremely concerned and saddened by the journalist’s disappearance. However, it is not our job to look for and find any particular person. I call on the people to refrain from connecting these two things and to give us information about themselves.”


MDP chairperson Ali Waheed said party members had suggested the boycott and said some felt Rilwan’s disappearance was an act of terrorism by the state.

The MDP has remained quiet on the matter following a request by Rilwan’s family not to politicise the issue, but “MDP cannot remain quiet, he is a citizen just like us,” Waheed said.

Criticising President Yameen’s silence on the disappearance, Waheed said the Maldives had “gone off the tracks” since the new government assumed power.

“People are afraid. People are disappearing, and the government does not care. The truth is the government is failing. It’s been a month since a journalist has gone missing, and it does not seem to be a big deal to the government. The truth is we have regressed 30 years,” he said.

Since Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) holds a majority in the parliament, the president cannot throw off responsibility for the state of the nation, he added.

The government’s actions intimidate the press, he said and criticised the government for its failure to provide security for MPs who have also received death threats.

The MDP will embark on a series of actions to hold the government accountable, starting with a rally at the Alimas Carnival in Malé on Thursday, activating internal party committees on government accountability and preparations for upcoming local council by-elections.

The party has also set up a desk to improve relationship between the MDP leadership and councilors, he said.


Arguing there is room to believe Rilwan has been disappeared, Waheed also appealed to the government to clarify the nature of Rilwan’s disappearance.

“The government’s actions are unlike any other in a case of disappearance. Comments made by senior government officials in press conferences suggest he has been abducted. Instead of commenting directly on the matter, every one is suggested he will be found alive,” he said.

Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim last week said he had hope Rilwan would be found safe and sound.

The PPM dominated parliamentary committee on independent institutions oversight in August rejected a motion to summon and question the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) and Police Integrity Commission (PIC) on Rilwan’s disappearance.

MDP MP Rozaina Adam said the party would table the same request once again.

Rilwan’s family has previously submitted a petition to the Majlis with 5000 signatures calling on MPs to find answers to questions as yet unanswered by police. Local NGO Maldives Democracy Network has also released an open letter raising a number of issues regarding the cases’s progress.


12 thoughts on “MDP warns of a census boycott if authorities fail to find missing journalist”

  1. no one cares about MDP now and what they think and what they want ?

    Is this journalist is being hijacked by the Gov? MDP is accusing it and then it means they know who had kidnapped the person.

    If they know, they should tell where the journalist is

  2. @Hero: Yes, we know you don't care what 48+% of the people of Maldives think, Hero. Why else do you think you are so hated? No need to repeat it every now and then.

    Oh and we're not accusing anyone - I say that the government's actions so far have been self-incriminating.

  3. Dept of Planning have been trying to do for a long time, trying to find enough volunteers to join this, trying to train and organise in a time that is more convenient. This was delayed many times. By doing this, it is not going to help find Rilwan, but it only shows irresponsibility and immaturity of MDP. While Rilwan is missing, many MDP members can be seen in cafes having tea, coffee, enjoying luxurious lifestyles. The people who are organising the cencus and those participating are not in the Ministers level, they are youth. Some of the youth have volunteered to this by setting aside other things.

  4. @Hero. You are correct... MDP obstructs the functioning of government and must either stop this or we have legal actions.

    For this journalist, I more and more think you have it correct... who benefits from his missing? MDP is an answer! This investigation shall start there. MDP threats Islam and now undermines the country.

  5. @Hero I never thought I'd say this, but you are half-right. The government knows exactly who kidnapped Ahmed Rilwan.

    On top of the CCTV footage of suspicious people following Rilwan on the night he was abducted, Police also have information of people who had been following Rilwan for months before August. So they know their identities.

    We know it's the same group that tried to kill Hilath because there are some familiar faces involved, and we know that this group is controlled by some influential politicians. Nobody can do anything about this because these people are protected. But of course you know this, don't you?

    Maldives is a small country. Word gets around. Nobody is going to believe your lies just because you keep constantly posting it all over the web. If you had any sense of decency, you would stop.

  6. Rumors, speculations and false accusations is a specialty in boring isolated place like Male

  7. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to add to the speculations and suspect the miniature extremist group operating in Maldives. It was around the same time as abducted reporters from usa was beheaded. Let’s us hope this case end up in favorable way for the family.

  8. Whoever responsible for the disappearance of this news man, should immediately release him, there is no justification to harm him especially if it is done by religious fanatics. You can’t use your religion to justify your inherent violent nature imbedded in you due to some faults in your brain. It doesn’t look it was for ransom or revenge. Either it was done for political motivation or by some mad people who take religious metaphor to justify their criminal mentality. If this kidnapping was for ransom, then those behind it are more reasonable, then the barbaric nature of politics or religious fanatics. Anyhow if you are looking for money, just simply claim it and let Yameen pay the ransom, he will definitely pay the ransom as he is paying for those who would miss Hajj due to some daylight robbers who stole from who may have paid unreasonable amount that could not have been enough for their Hajj expenses with the commission of their fraudulent agent. And for those religious made people if it was done by such people, this is simply your madness that you are simply hurting someone without any reason, just think, there are many people who don’t agree with your ideology and what you think if they start cutting your neck. It is simply in your head that you have a duty from your lord to kill people, no god would be so mad to ask people to kill for him, it would have been much easier for him to kill then asking some mentally retards to do the killing for him. Just simply think for a moment out of your delusional mental status, you will find out that it is not your God’s order that you are implementing, it is simply your violent nature and your instinct to harm other’s life just for the sake of your own satisfaction, and you are simply using religious metaphor to justify your madness.

  9. @Kashim: You guys obstructed us when you were in parliament. You fought hard to prevent us from ever having a good life so that the money that belongs to the people of Maldives remains in your swiss bank accounts.

    Carry out your 'legal' actions if you must. You only fuel the fire - the fire that calls for vengeance.

  10. @maldivian. we have seen who has obstructed and who had played Dramas in the parliament . Don't try to change it now, and it was live on TVs. and that can not be erased from our memory .

    People like you who had got millions through Anni, will see nothing wrong done by Nasheed.

    People like you who will see nothing wrong by Giving solar project which was grant aid to Government to Nasheed brother.

  11. If ISIS supporters are behind the kidnapping of moyameeha, in the name of Islam, the very Quran commands to any advancing force to find and kill those who spread mischief in the land. So it is obvious the Isis and the so called radical Muslims are the one who are trying to disrupt the ordinary life of people who live in 21st century. So the real Kuffar according Quran are radical Muslims, who are bunch psychopaths and Quran, clearly commanded to get rid of them. So it is the duty of all Muminooon to fight against Isis evil, and the only Muslim leader in Maldives is Anni and all Muslims in Maldives should give allegiance to Anni to get rid of this evil in Maldives and give freedom to peace loving people and peace loving journalist like Moyameeha.

  12. @Hero: Unlike you, I have no need for worldly wealth. Don't try to feel better about your own vices by canvassing it on others.

    Shouldnt you be off in India, begging GMR to lighten the debt? 😛


Comments are closed.