The main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has announced that it will hold a protest tonight against what they allege is the political bias of the state media.
The DRP has said that the protesters will set off the protest tonight from the artificial beach at 8:45pm.
”We have waited very patiently for a long time, but our patience is reaching its end. The state media is constantly promoting and campaigning for the government in different ways,” said DRP MP Ahmed Nihan. ”MNBC have been interviewing different government ministers and have been creating TV programs to promote the government.”
Nihan said he was “certain” there was “a secret deal” made between MNBC and the government.
”MNBC was re-branded and changed its name after two board members of Television Maldives (TVM) proposed their names for the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) board but were dismissed from the parliament,” Nihan claimed. ”Whats happening is very clear for us and now we want the government to free state media and to make it independent.”
The opposition majority-parliament and the executive are grappling for control of MNBC, after parliament last year created MBC as a competing entity to MNBC and demanded that the government transfer MNBC’s assets. The government refused and the matter entered the judicial system.
Nihan suggested that President Mohamed Nasheed should “ring opposition MPs and give them encouragement like he did with opposition leader in Egypt, El-Baradei.”
”We will hold a very peaceful protest tonight and for now we have not planed to march anywhere, we will just remain at the artificial beach raising our voice,” he said.
He also said the youth’s wing of the party has invited everyone including leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and former Deputy Leader Umar Naseer to join the protest tonight.