Nepalese SAARC monument stolen during police shift change

Nepal’s monument, a gift to the Maldives in commemoration of the 2011 SAARC summit, was stolen today around 1:00pm during a police shift change,  authorities have confirmed.

Police were to guard the monument until 6:00pm, and it was confirmed present at noon today. It has not been seen since.

“The police were on duty until 12:00pm today,” said Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam. “The monument was taken when the police shift changed.”

Shiyam said police have launched an investigation, but could not provide detail at the present time.

Addu City Mayor Abdullah Sodig confirmed the theft and said the remaining monuments would be placed under 24-hour surveillance.

“We regret what has happened,” he told Minivan News. Sodig described the Nepalese monument as a coat of arms that resembles the country’s national symbol. “It was not a religious monument. There is some political motive behind this theft,” he emphasised, citing “opposition party members” as likely suspects.

“Whoever has done this is very clever because they knew we were monitoring the monuments of Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh 24 hours, but the others were only being monitored until 6:00pm. The thief has clearly been monitoring police movements,” he observed.

The monument had been nailed to the pedestal. Approximately three feet square in size, Sodig believed that one person could carry it.

“I think we need to re-think our strategy”, Sodig concluded. “We may need to move them to another location in Addu with greater security.”

Member nations who attended the SAARC summit in Addu City in November gave monuments representing some aspect of their country or culture to the Maldives. Since then, the monuments from Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been vandalised, drawing international disdain. Pakistan’s monument was also stolen, and a mosque door damaged.

The Islamic Ministry has called for removal of the Pakistani monument, claiming that engravings of pagan symbols on the Pakistani monument are unlawful under the Contraband Act, Religious Unity Act and the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, and should not be displayed publicly in the Maldives.

Pakistan’s monument allegedly portrayed its history, which includes a series of religious conversions over centuries.

Meanwhile, opposition Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has hailed the vandals as “national heroes.” It subsequently filed a case accusing Customs for permitting the monuments to be brought into the Maldives.

On his personal website, Islamic Minister Dr Bari claimed that the attack on the mosque was in retaliation for the vandalism of the Sri Lankan statue, which protesters in Addu have criticised as idolatrous.

“All concerned authorities will respect the word of Dr Bari,” President’s Office Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said at the time, but added that it was “very difficult for the government to return a monument gifted to the government, especially when it is handed to us by another Islamic country,’’ he said. “If you think of it diplomatically, it is very difficult.”

Responding earlier to reports of vandalism done to Sri Lanka’s national lion monument, Deputy Sri Lankan High Commissioner Shaanthi Sudusinghe told Minivan News that the Maldivian government had said it would repair and relocate the monuments from Addu City to the convention centre, where they could be given security.

No further conclusions regarding the monuments have been made.


27 thoughts on “Nepalese SAARC monument stolen during police shift change”

  1. The usual rants about Mullahs/Haabees/Extremists are sure to follow.

    Is it true that some private company was paid a million rufiyaa to place these monuments?

    If so, really bad investment I say.

  2. I wonder how much government paid to Reeko Moosa to place these monuments. We are the most corrupt country in this region.

  3. how about removing these offending things ? couldn't that be an option? why do we have to protect these stone carvings when the police are so stretched that they cannot protect honest law abiding citizens who are butchered in broad day light by criminal gangs.

    are these stone carvings so much more important than our blood?

  4. The aim of the munument thieves is not certain. What is certain, however, is that those who are weak in their belief are still at risk of being persuaded by and attracted to another faith.

    The monuments have little to do with the belief of a person or community. We know well why we are Moslems and not idolators nor followers of other religions. The idols or the existance of other religions really don't matter.

    What the monument thieves fail to understand is how important is strong belief in one's religion and what we must do to make others stick to the faith. We all know that ignorance or lack of knowledge about other religions will not guarantee that Islam will be followed.

    To the contrary, Islam gives man the opportunity to think and understand the religions and follow Islam as the best to him. What if a Moslem ignorant of other religions so far in his life finds another more appealing and decides to start following it? So, it's better he has the chance to know well that there is no religion more suitable and comfortable to mankind than Islam.

    Besides, if man has to accept it out of ignorance God is capable of making Islam the nature of man so that he cannot disobey nor deny Islam but follow it just as we eat when we are hungry and breath almost unconsciously.

  5. There you are again, tsk tsk. How much are YOU being paid to be such a d*ckhead? for a while you seemed to have a couple of brain cells to rub together but now you seem nothing more than a broken record. The same stock phrases again & again. If you want to be an assh*le, at least try & be an original one. Too many of you around to impress

  6. Its time for tsk tsk to be consigned to the dustbin of boring repetitive comments somewhere thilaffuushi way!

  7. Doesn't the sun offend Moslems when they have and will always have it above their heads and others' every day while we all know that it was one of the objects that is worshipped? So is fire. Doesn't this offend us, Moslems, when we cannot really do without it for our life? These and other numerous objects including the male organ reminds us of forms of gods while God is only one in Islam and should not be associated with another. Our God is imaginery and these gods are either man-made or of nature.

    Why do these notorious sculptures are so offending while the others used and are being used in worship particularly offensive to us Moslems? We are taught that God is all-knowing and all-powerful and merciful, and He looks at not the deeds but the intention. This is explained by the fact that one can go to hell while performing all duties of Islam from praying five times a day to pilgrimage to Mecca (if one is healthy and wealthy enough for the journey) if these were not performed sincerely and faithfully for God. The act being good or bad depends, therefore, on one's intention about it.

    In this context, we know definitely that the monuments under attack from the so-called Islamic crusades were and are not intended to be worshipped by those who are weak in their faith and those who don't appreciate the words of God.

  8. Leaving aside the "political or religious" aspect of this theft, I am amazed that the monument was totally unguarded during the shift change. How long did the change over take, and what was the point of guarding it at all in that case?

  9. what building bridges.....! THis is steeling bridges..... very correct Anees. God lives in your heart not in objects. You can see God in What you say do and in the way you think.Ithink all of us should try to bring God to our hearts.

  10. I don't know how they steal the monuments. They are not small objects like a jewel in a crown or something. They are huge items and weighs a lot too. How then can anyone steal them? That too while there are people guarding them? What's the point?

    I think the thefts related to these monuments are conducted just to show the Adduans' defiance. Nothing else.

    The question then is, do we need to keep these monuments that costs such a lot of money for the government. For how long can we guard them? Why don't we get rid of all these?

  11. @ Derek Postance

    "I am amazed that the monument was totally unguarded during the shift change."

    The monuments are guarded between 6 pm and 6 am. Rest of the time is shift changing time. lol The Police seem to have miscalculated the work hours of thieves.

    Have you ever heard before that a monument needs to be guarded? This is funny for me.

  12. @ Ahmed Anees

    As a Muslim I feel offended when people like you with Muslim names make fun of our religion.

  13. @Kareemuddin.

    Anees was pointing out some facts. And its not making fun of our religion. There are still some people (there used to be a lot more) who worship sun for instance.. Do you want to hide the sun?

    Why are we muslims so defensive about our religion? Are we so insecure in faith, that we have to jump our guns everytime someone mentions Islam?

  14. @Kareemuddin.

    Don't worry. You are not the only one who is confused and feels stupid for having believed for so long, the Bedouins con-story mainly told to control and manage lust-dripping, desert-dwelling, ignorant idiots.

    They were promised young virgin girls (replenished every time) and boys, rivers of wine; that is, dreams of desert goat herder.

  15. Monument robbers are praised by the Mullahs on various media outlets on a daily basis. They are made to believe that only PARADISE with 72 virgins await them because whatever they do to get rid of the monuments is a noble act worthy of God's appreciation.
    These acts of madness is not only a manifestation of intolerance but an insult to those who gifted them.

  16. I really don't mind removing these monuments if its un-Islamic but stealing them is stealing whether its to protect Islam or to protect some other faith.

    Who ever is doing this must know and should know that there are two way of doing things, good and the bad, this is the wrong way this is the jungle way.

    In the name of Islam or to protect our culture, all you need to do is apply to remove this through the system which apparently is working, I just read that its illegal to take development charges from the passenger, It may take little while with all the appeals but still you would get there and it want involve stealing.

    Brothers Stealing is stealing, Dr. Baree was trying to remove it right way, why be in a hurry God is with the righteous.

    If you think you can protect Islam with killings, destruction's and stealing it want work and its Mr. Bin Laden's way, If you observe carefully, his way is the wrong way and its not working and it will never work, try the Islamic way and you will get result.

  17. From all this violence shown towards the Monuments, I come to conclusion that our religious teachings in our schools, our religious teachers, religious scholars have failed big time, in our social pillars its the only area that has failed so badly.

    Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters, if you want to educate your new born in proper Islam don't send them to Pakistan or any where near middle east, send them to western countries, true Islam is taught there, without compulsion you can live and learn to be a pure Muslim.

  18. ok Mariyamba.
    So what do u think we aught to do? go to authorities and petition them to remove the offending things? you think it will work? i think na! cos the 'authorities' do not see what we see in it. they see art, refined culture, symbolic mythology and bla bla. we see corruption, insensitivity to ppls belief etc etc.
    So begging, petitioning and asking will not work. action will work. that's why ppl put on resistance even though they know they cannot win the cause.
    As for Bin Laden, i think you are reading his enemies account of him. These same guys lied about Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. remember?

  19. There is only one solution to this idiocy. Education, education and more education. That's the only way out of the reaches of the poison from the Mullahs.

    Go and educate your children. That's the best investment you'll ever make.

  20. @Kareemuddin

    muslim name? technically most maldivians hav arabic names. arabs who arent muslims, stil hav these same similar arabic names. a name is not muslim, nor does it make you muslim. contrary to what most maldivians are lead to believe we can have other names, even dhivehi names and still be muslims.

  21. I applaud Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) for the steps they have taken against these monuments. Government is going too far when it comes to pleasing others. There is a limit to every nation's norms. If another country asks us to do something or give us something which cannot be accepted, we politely declined. Government members know this, but instead of respecting majority of the Maldivian people's view, they are trying to push for the request of minorities which has no respect for Islam or the Maldivian Law.

    Also how about some political parties which are being silent on this issue? I am sure they will be very loud when election time comes closer. People should be careful of parties and political figures which have stayed away from commenting against Israel, these monuments and the UN speaker which insulted Muslims in Parliament. If we elect people who have a high education but has no respect for Islam, this is sadly the result. Lets not repeat this mistake.

  22. This embarrassing incident in an indication of the backwardness and intolerance of the Maldivian people. It is also insulting and disrespectful to the donor nations. This behaviour is a result of the education system in muslim countries where children are taught the same claptrap........that islam is the best thing since sliced bread......that plurality and tolerance of other faiths is wrong........that anybody who is not muslim is a kufaar and must be put to death.
    It would be better if the Maldives did not host any international conference or summit in the future.........your people are too uneducated and unsophisticated. Just stick to the 'islamic' conferences where you can showcase your mad mullahs to the world.
    By the way, I am neither muslim nor Maldivian.........I was not born that unlucky.

  23. I blame the Government. Why?

    They continuously ignore public sentiments. So this is the product of their arrogant attitude.

  24. @Indira NewDelhi

    While I can understand your sentiments, just wanted to point out that you should not generalize. There are a lot of Maldivians and Muslims who do not support and even strongly oppose the actions of those who are being intolerant towards other religions and nationalities. Neither should you blame Islam, as a religion, for the actions of the ignorant. Islam is a religion that encourages tolerance towards other religions and for people of different religions to coexist peacefully.It's a problem with the people when it is intepreted to suit their selfish wants. And your last sentence " By the way, I am neither muslim nor Maldivian………I was not born that unlucky.", sadly appears to be the words of a very uneducated and unsophisticated person too.


Comments are closed.