Comment: Open Letter to the President

Open letter for his Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, The President of The Republic of Maldives.

Excellency, Honourable Mr. President: May I start this open letter by wishing you and your family to be blessed by God alike your Government and all Honourable Maldivians, people that I have in great esteem and very close to my heart.

The first time I was in your lovely country was long ago and naturally like most, I have
repeatedly come back. I did it as a tourist and as well as a business man with interests as I am (or… was until GMR destroyed my business) a small business man with economical activities in your country. At a certain moment I even created projects like the Sea University, that should develop studies and produce medicines using the elements exiting in the sea, as the sea is one of the greatest Maldivian assets. IT is not to be forgotten Excellency, that the day tourists will be gone, the sea will still be there.

The duty free island, a place where tourists could by all sorts of goods duty free, different from the airport, was another project that never saw the light but was design by me with all the love I have for Maldives.

The first time I landed in the Maldives, I was coming from Sri Lanka, and the contrast was so high that I really felt I was on paradise. The country was clean, peaceful, the water blue, the people nice. It was sunny and very organised. I was thrilled.

True that at that time, freedom of expression did not exist, and talking too much or too loud could mean something terrible. I understand that today under your presidency, the situation changed and Maldives is now part of a big international club where freedom and respect for life is a core subject. Being myself an European, I admire you Sir and I admire your government as the path to development and growth always goes via the respect and creativity of people, that naturally cannot exist without freedom.

Sir, I am not an important person. I’m a humble European, that dedicates his life to coach Presidents of corporations in management, as well other institutions like the Catalan High management of the police or the High management of the European Patent or Brand office. I am not a guru, certainly do not pretend to be, but I’m proud of being a humble person, hard worker and a thorough professional that enjoys working in life. I am not into politics and would never pretend to talk about something I don’t know.

I am writing you this open letter Excellency, because I really love your country and feel sad when I see that people taking advantage of it.

A country, Your Excellency, needs above all her people and needs to invest in developing her citizens. If there is not a critical mass of national brain power being the driving force of the economy and culture, the country will fall very easily into the hands of abusers, the same ones that in the international scene move the economy with the only goal of making money without values or respect for the people regardless where their operations take place. For them, the geography is not important. Once the cows are milked, they are ready to move to another pasture with no guilty feelings of what is left behind.

You and your government are making huge efforts to develop the economy and growth. That is perceived from the outside. You work hard under a climate of respect and social peace, thus increasing the well being of Maldivian citizens, and sometimes that takes time to be seen. Results don’t come quick, we know. In this sense it is clear that Maldives needed a bigger up-to-date airport, a modern gate to the country and to get it you had to do work with international corporations with expertise in the field. It is therefore normal that in return those corporations request to have for them the business cake represented by the flow of currency expressed in millions coming from the tourists, a cake that is very attractive. So far, so good, but what about Maldivians?

At this point I apologise as I don’t want to step into the internal affairs of your country, but Excellency I live in a country that has 17 autonomous regions, with 17 governments and with 17 Presidents with their cabinets and a central government, so I think I know something about nationalism and protecting the citizens when it comes to putting the economy into international hands. These days the world is as as small as a handkerchief, so international cooperation is inevitable, but what about the protection
and development of the local business people? Shouldn’t the airport structure consider this? Shouldn’t Maldivian citizens’ business be allowed to profit from their country’s development? Shouldn’t the airport have a place for all, Dhivehi people and international business people? Airports for a country like Maldives are a strategic subject.

Once more I apologise as I am no one to give lessons on the subject but being involved with the Maldives for so long, my love for the country cannot keep me silent. A country is made by it’s people and its people make the country. If that is not to be considered why should people vote for any government? The airport could and can have a place for everybody. The airport belongs to the Maldives, is it so difficult for international corporations to understand it?

With my greatest respect and admiration for you and your government, that is getting more and more respect in the international scene, I remain yours faithfully.

God bless the Dhivehi people.

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15 thoughts on “Comment: Open Letter to the President”

  1. Antonio, please don't interfere with internal affairs of our country.. we already have enough issues. For example:
    "Haveeru Daily reports of attacks against man with turban by MDP activists"

  2. I sometimes think why is our president so ignorant on GMR case? He wants to private all the assets we have which is quite frankly very scary. He should know that certain assets like airport in a small country like Maldives, should be kept under the control of its people and government. Not under some big foreign company which only wants to make huge profits!! Giving our main gateway to GMR is the biggest mistake he did and I am sure he will regret it in the future. Only time will tell. He definitely will not get my vote!!

  3. You don't need to apologise for giving us a few lessons that we maldivians desperately need, and you raised some excellent points.

    A lot of xenophobic comments are going to follow this piece about how Europeans don't know anything, probably even telling you to go away, but pay them no attention. They are just a few extremist trolls that lurk minivannews comments sections thinking they have something of value to say.

  4. Oh please! Nobody addresses himself as Mister these days. Mr.Antonio from Barcelona my ass!

  5. Riffath Afeef had warned that idiot Nasheed about the dangers of indiscriminate privatization during the drafting of that infernal manifesto.

    Poor Riffath, he tried to get his message across to the Maldivian people but never succeeded.

    The sad thing is President Nasheed needed no warning. He knows what he is doing. His ultimate plan is to hand over control of strategic assets to foreign corporations which he hopes would be loyal to him. Not the first time in history that a ruler has tried this tactics. However the gathering storm might blow little Mr. Nasheed off the scene.

  6. I actually know this guy.This guy has something to do with the duty free of MVK at the airport.
    Maybe that is why he is worried about losing his business.

    I cannot understand why Nasheed is selling off all the national assets?

    Would it be better for Gasim Thasmin and all the rest to be worried about these things rather than scream and shout about defending Islam, knowing very well that no one is going to attack Islam in Maldives and get away with it and we all will still be Muslims?

    I think if Maldivians are so ignorant and stupid maybe we deserve these kinds of leaders?

    By the time most of these people realise what is going on all the assets of the country would have been already sold and it would be too late to do anything.

    It is time the public realise that all politicians are crooks and the only thing they are interested is themselves and not the people of Maldives.

  7. Answering the readers of minivan news:
    Dear all, before anything else, my message:
    “ Benvolguts lectors. En el meu article jo parlo de respecte I es respecte el que demano. Jo per amunt de tot respecto les Maldives i os demano la mateixa coisa cap a le meva cultura. Gracies”.
    What you have just read is a message in my language as Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya, whose official language is the Catalan a very old language dated from 1000 - 218 BC but of course Mr. Mickail Naseem, Mr. Myself or Mr. Tut Tut, do not know this. Maybe they do know about our football coach Mr. Pepe Guardiola, or not even that. I am proud of being from Barcelona, gentlemen, and not even you lack of respect towards my culture and my origins will change the importance of my words written to The President of The Republic of Maldives. People that know me in The Maldives, know where I am coming from and my origins. They know my mother and my father. That's all I have to say on this chapter.
    Just a small note to Mr. Mickail Naseem: I am Mr. Antonio and I suppose you are Mr. Nasseem, but if that makes you happy I can call you just Nasseem, although in my family you would always be called Mr. despite your origins, unless you would be a long date friend, which is not clearly the case. You mention as well a part of your body, however I have to say that: what you do with your body parts either in the Maldives or Sri Lanka is your own business, I am not at all interested in that, neither the readers, I imagine.
    To the readers that comment on my article, I have to say that it was written with the utmost respect towards The Maldivian People and with all respect that its Government deserves from me and it will remain exactly that way.
    Mr. Antonio – Barcelona, Spain.

  8. it is inevitable that with any change there will be losses and gains. we have to weigh the benefits and decide what is more appropriate. We need a world class airport as our booming tourism industry requires a good airport. However we also know very clearly we lack the financial capacity to do so. We also allowed cable and wireless to suck our blood for ages before we formed Dhiraagu. Now we are proud to have a fair share of it. Similarly we will get these assets after development. lets talk about facts and figures instead of some emotional hullabaloo.

  9. The tone of this letter sound like con art work of MVK Shafeegs propaganda.
    Mr. Antonio, we the humble fisher folk are better of with multinational companies than bloody Maldivian businessmen. These guys suck our blood and shame on the bastards.


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