Vandalism of Pakistani monument damaging to Maldives’ image: Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry has issued a statement expressing regret over the vandalism and theft of the SAARC monument designed and gifted to the Maldives by Pakistan.

The monument, which protesters contend is idolatrous, was first knocked off its plinth during the SAARC Summit on the evening prior to its unveiling by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani.

It was subsequently set ablaze and on Monday night, stolen. Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The religious Adhaalath Party and the party of former President of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), have declared those responsible for destroying the monument to be “national heroes”, and vowed to fight for their release in court.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the incident had “affected the Maldives’ long time relationship with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

The attacks on the monument were “undemocratic” and the type of behaviour that would damage the image of the Maldives to the outside world, the Foreign Ministry said.

Following the first attempt to damage the monument during the SAARC Summit, a member of the Pakistani delegation told Minivan News that it had approached the Foreign Ministry over the incident and was told by an official that it was a rumour spread by the opposition.

In today’s statement, the Ministry said that the monument represented the culture and traditions of the Indus Valley Civilisation, and was not intended to be idolatrous. However because of public concerns the Pakistani government had already agreed to redesign the monument prior to its destruction and theft, the Ministry said.

“There are ways that people can citizens can solve these issues within the principles of democracy and religion,” the Ministry statement read.

Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla this week told Minivan News that the monument “should not be kept on Maldivian soil for a single day” and “should be removed immediately.”

“We believe it conflicts with the constitution of the Maldives, the Religious Unity Act of 1994 and the regulations under the Act,” he said, because it depicted “objects of worship” that “denied the oneness of God.”

Gayoom’s lawyer Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim ‘Wadde’ claimed that the arrest of those who toppled and vandalised the monument were “unlawful,” as they were opposing “something the government did in violation of the constitution.”


24 thoughts on “Vandalism of Pakistani monument damaging to Maldives’ image: Foreign Ministry”

  1. this whole silliness can be so easily ended if they wanted. in place of these budhas, they can place anything that represents that country, like their flag or whatever, and so end this whole fiasco. they seem to blame the ppl who are rightly enraged because this gets on their religious feelings which we shall respect

  2. @john
    I do not blame you if you are truly a foreigner.
    If not, you should know better that this is a politic plot than religious issue. During the 60s and 70s, when the RAF British forces based in Addu - there was a Chapel for the army and the people have no problem with that. Those who created all the problems are related to political parties.

  3. BTW - I saw photo of a chapel in a 5 stars resort to conduct wedding ceremony for Christian couple. Why no body make a big issue about that?

  4. See! even pakistanis are more understanding about our culture than the kaafir horde that's permanently attached minivan.

  5. pakistan ey terroristun ufahdhaa qaumeh ehen weemaa theethi mi qaumugaa bahattaani kameh neh.

  6. Our people can be enraged by anything, sad to say the political class merely reflects the ridiculousness of the citizenry.

    We can rally people around anything. The Tsunami Monument is of a phallic shape, PPM or for that matter MDP can get their useful idiots in a frenzy over this should a political need arise.

    At grassroots level, leaders still exploit the naiveté of the people rather than empowering them and working for the good of all.

    I'm all for an opposition which acts as a watch dog ensuring good governance. Barking at everything the government does is not what responsible opposition parties do, such parties command maybe 2% of the vote in mature democracies. The question is will be survive until maturity?

    The irony is the nut jobs who are deployed to sink the ship are the ones who have no access to the life rafts.

    Undermining the political system gets no benefit for anybody whether it is Mahlouf or the common benighted man doing their bidding, nobody gains except for the Pharaoh and his immediate family in the end.

  7. @john- what in heaven's name are you on about? Buddhas? Are you even from the Asian region? The Sri Lankan monument in the Maldives was a lion. Islam forbids religious idols. No one in either Sri Lanka or Maldives worship lions. How is this contrary to islamic values?

  8. On TV channels there are idols and idol worshiping shown.
    Why not Adaalath calls for a total ban? Because these differ from the belief of oneness of Allah!
    And why not PPM request the PG to raise case against those who allowed import of the items that allow these depictions?
    Gadgets that allow depiction of idols and idol worshiping seem to fit in to all the acts mentioned by PPM!

  9. Maldivians have proven themselves that they are even more extreme than the Pakistanis. lol 🙂

  10. Police should arrest these PPM stupid fools for promoting unrest and violence in the name of Islam. All they are concerned about is power and ruling the country in 2013. They would be all of a sudden very tolerant if they were to come in to power again. Shame on you Adhaalath for undermining our beautiful religion of Islam to further your own political gains. President Nasheed made a major mistake by setting up a Ministry of Islamic Affairs, for we don't need fools and selfish idiots like you to teach us your so called version of Islam. Islam is a simple and beautiful religion which teaches us not to judge others and to tolerate other religions and to respect differences. Those who are strong in islamic faith wouldn't be jumping up and down like hooligans at the mere sight of a statue. Shows how shallow your faith really is.

  11. Why do we want to hide anything? We hate idols. Be it political, religion, stupidity or by sheer ignorance.

    This is Maldives. We are showing the true face of Maldives.

    And literally we DO NOT care about Paki's, or Bangaalhee's, let alone a Budda or a demented Cow.

    We are proud Maldivians, who wish to stay stupid and ignorant, in the shadow of Arabian Bedouins.

  12. @peasant

    Say 'the Tsunami Monument is of a phallic shape' is a reflection of your state of mind.

    The tetrapod used for Male sea wall are triangular shaped.. what a minute ..

  13. Salute to our stupid foreign minister and who ever thought of this monument idea and didn't know this will happen.

    I fear for my country for heaving such leaders with such limited foresight. I hope they do some damage control before building bridges turn into burning bridges.

  14. you know what else is undemocratic, and looks very bad? trying to whitewash the things that happened in November 1988.

  15. This is politics and has nothing to do with religion. Religious scholars cannot be politicians. Just listen to the lies Afrasheem and Imran have to make on TV to be in the limelight!

  16. The question is why any Muslim's feelings get hurt on seeing an idol? Can any idol destroy our religion? Is our religion so weak?

    There are temples, church, gurudwara (of Sikhs - branch of Hindus) in Dubai. Nobody complaints. All this religious zealots seems to be in South Asia only.

  17. The monument of the lion made of solid stone represents Sri Lanka and its people. It is a national symbol just like the national flag. If a piece of stone is able to jolt some people and shudders their religious faith, a question arises how strong the base of their faith is. Anything that does not stand on a solid, strong foundation is worth demolishing and builds anew.

  18. I think everyone here had missed the point that generally Maldives is not a country that keep human statues as monuments and it is not a country which also keep specific people's faces on money (notes and coins) to appreciate people. The problem here is Maldivian government do not follow a participatory governance system where they share the people about things, and then in many cases things have to be changed because people get outraged. Also if the Maldivian govt had given a guideline on the the type of monument to be designed, there would not have had a problem. I ask the writer, if a Maldivian woman were given a saari as a gift, do you think she will wear it to work. I doubt, because Maldivians dont wear it. Many maldivians discriminate some south asians as people, that is worse..what ever image change has been because of the Government because of its incapability to plan ahead things appropriately. I also blame the press because when they write articles they do not explain why this is happening and such outrage is possible in a country that never had human statues as monuments. If you were not aware about this, please do think a little more on a critical evaluation way. Please dont be one sided in writing articles.

  19. Dear Maldivian Brothers,

    We respect your way of life; and, there is no doubt that our cultural representatives should take more care of other people sentiments as well.

    You have not hurt our sentiments, while destroying simply a monument that was hurting your sentiments.

    All you have to do in future is to create more awareness to foreigners.

    take care,

  20. This is the Maldives unfortunately. Foreign governments should realise that Gayoom's party is also behind this trouble.

    If this government erected a clock tower, those imbeciles would also destroy it saying that the clock was introduced to the World and developed by Infidels.

    Maryam I agree with you. This Islamic Ministry should be disbanded. Why do we need an Islamic Ministry in a 100% Muslim country anyway? All the Ministries and all the departments are Islamic ministries and departments.

  21. However you hate it, we muslims will live in this country. And we will never agree to let statues in public places in this country.


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