President Yameen’s Independence Day address “cartoonish,” says Nasheed

President Abdulla Yameen’s address to the nation on Independence Day was “cartoonish,” former President Mohamed Nasheed said on opposition-aligned private broadcaster Raajje TV Saturday night (July 26).

Responding to the president’s claim that opposition parties were inciting unrest and sabotaging the economy, the opposition leader contended that Yameen’s intention was to deflect attention from his administration’s failure to “fulfil the hopes of the people”.

Yameen’s remarks were “uncivilised, outmoded, and unacceptable,” the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) acting president said.

At a time when the Maldives was facing a sovereign debt crisis and the president’s mandate was in doubt following the dissolution of the coalition with the Jumhooree Party, “I hear such talk as very cartoonish,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed added that the public would not be intimidated by veiled threats and insisted that democratic progress achieved in the present multi-party system could not be reversed.

Yameen had said the government would not allow the country to be plunged back into turmoil and accused opposition parties of “deliberately trying to disrupt stability by creating a spirit of unrest in society.”

If Yameen was implying that he would restrict the rights to free expression, assembly and peaceful political activity, Nasheed said the Maldivian people would “once again rise up”.

“Bleak” economic outlook

In addition to compensation owed to GMR for the premature termination of a concession agreement to develop the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport – which he predicted would not be lower than US$500 million – Nasheed said the Indian EXIM bank was also seeking between up to US$150 million.

Moreover, the State Trading Organisation has incurred a debt of US$150 million in unpaid bills to the Emirates National Oil Company, Nasheed claimed.

The economic situation was “bleak” with dwindling foreign currency reserves, a stagnating fisheries industry, and declining tax revenue, Nasheed contended, adding that the government could not afford to pay compensation to GMR.

The current administration might be planning to “settle the economic and financial system of the Maldives” with “large amounts of black money” from suspicious foreign investors, Nasheed continued, but such plans could not succeed due to domestic and international oversight.

Reiterating criticism of the government’s flagship special economic zone (SEZ) legislation, Nasheed said the Maldivian government would have less authority in the SEZs than the authority it exercised in Gan during British occupation.

The SEZs would be used for illegal businesses and “money laundering” by international criminal organisations, he claimed.

Nasheed had previously dubbed the legislation the ‘Artur Brothers bill’, referring to an infamous pair of Armenians linked with money laundering and drug trafficking who made headlines last year after they were photographed with cabinet ministers.

A system of decentralisation with local councils granted ownership of land was necessary for increasing home ownership, Nasheed continued, which was was essential for individual liberty.

The SEZ bill would, however, remove land from the jurisdiction of island councils, he explained.

The government maintains that SEZs with tax breaks and other incentives were necessary both for foreign investors to choose the Maldives over other developing nations and to launch ‘mega projects.’

“Castles in the air”

Referring to the Ihavandhippolhu Integrated Development Project or ‘iHavan’ – which President Yameen said would be undertaken once the SEZ bill is enacted into law – Nasheed said an assessment conducted by the World Bank at the request of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration found that it posed “very delicate problems”.

Development of a transhipment port in the northernmost atoll and carrying out activities there that were “contrary to Indian foreign policy” would adversely affect Maldivian independence and sovereignty, Nasheed warned.

Nasheed also argued that guest houses businesses on inhabited islands were more beneficial to the populace than luxury resorts on uninhabited islands.

The direct benefit to island populations from SEZs would be even smaller, he added.

The SEZs and the touted mega projects were “castles in the air,” Nasheed said, “[but] if you plant a small tree in your home, you will see it grow.”

Asked about several MDP MPs voting in favour of approving Muhthaz Muhsin as the new prosecutor general, Nasheed said he does not give instructions to the parliamentary group.

MPs did what they believed was right based on political considerations, he added, insisting that the MDP was too “resilient” with its ability to “absorb shocks” for the party to be split over the issue.

Division and strife within the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives, however, would reach “extreme” levels, Nasheed suggested, after its MPs voted for Muhsin in defiance of Gayoom’s appeal for them to vote for his nephew Maumoon Hameed.

Nasheed predicted that President Yameen will force his half-brother Gayoom into exile abroad, which had happened to former rulers in the past.

“Maldivian history is repeating again,” he said.


12 thoughts on “President Yameen’s Independence Day address “cartoonish,” says Nasheed”

  1. So it was a cartoonish guy who defeated President Nasheed !!

    If EVEN a cartoonist can do that, what should people make of Nasheed?

  2. Defeat?

    The 51% were suckered with money, and stabbed in the back.

    That's not winning.

  3. That's irrelevant.

    Broader objective is to control population.

    The following were used by some in the past.
    (1) calling shooting stars, jinni killers.
    (2) fever ridden hallucinations as revelations.
    (3) emperors as gods
    (4) toilet factories as WMD depots,
    (5) babies as weapons
    (6) eclipses as moon splitting.

    Cartoonish or not, all that matters is, when it was uttered and the control it had, at the time.

  4. How much this idiot got in 2008 ? he got 51% .
    The biggest joker in this country is Nasheed .

    This guy had no clue of running a country. Its quite understandable when the guys could not even managed his own timber shop, can not manage a country,

    Our economy has improved a lot since Yameen took over the office and Nasheed had drag us to 10 years backwards in just 3 years.

    Its hard for him to believe what is happening in the country and he can not digest the achievements that we have got in just few months under Yameen leadership.

    Nasheed can only cry over and he will never be accepted the people of Maldives . Only handful people who had undue corrupt money from his regime will only support the guy and not any one else.

    Yameen will be in office for 10 years and then new leader within PPM will take over. Nasheed can only become the President of Kenenreege.

  5. The Supreme Leader and his President puppet are walking breathing cartoons. Just look at those bizarre royal ceremonies they hold for them selves - so people can line up and watch the elephant master crooning to his medieval musac, with a giant cartoonish shade umbrella, reliving the days when being supreme was being publicly the face of the dictatorship instead of pulling strings from back rooms. How Supreme, hear ye. And thank you for The Laura.

  6. during Nasheed presidency , he had trie very hard to become a King. He forced MNDF to have special independence day celebration where they celebrated in the " Sagaru Park" and people were dressed in the same way and Nasheed was acting like a King.

    Go back to 2009 celebration photos , you will see how Nasheed did it in sagaru park.

  7. Man, hero is pretty desperate to see silly ol' Anni in tatters. I don't know why.

  8. yes i am desperate to see that Nasheed gets charged for the crimes that he had committed

  9. haha.. younger brother of Big Cartoon MAG can only hope for a CARTOONISH PRESIDENCY OF KAAMINEE CARTOONS>>> hahaha.... Kaaminee Cartoon Presidency shall end soon!

  10. for sure , Kenereege cartoon regime will never back in power .

  11. @Hero - I'd ask you what crimes you're talking about, but you're a low-level thug, you don't know... right?


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