Comment: Why are the Dhivehin suffering?

In a global world – where the struggle for power is a reality – how do we see the Maldivian situation from Europe?

The world has become a small place to live, indeed very small. Today’s communications can spread news very quickly and people are crying for freedom.

People are tired of being abused and mislead. People are also tired of not having a clear future for their children as uncertainty brings along misery and fear.

Fear, in its turn, brings along pain and a country, just like a sick person, needs to have its pain soothed or complaining, shouting and other similar reactions will take place.

We saw it in Tunisia with the Arab Spring – the Arab awakening – we saw it in Spain, where people went out to the streets to complain about the Government and the banking system, we saw it in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait.

We will see it in Morocco and in Israel. In this sense, the Maldives, a peaceful country up to this moment, is no more no less the confirmation to the rule.

But what is creating pain among the Dhivehin? What is making people cry and become furious? Where is the Maldives going to go? Will we see a Dhivehin spring?

Up until not so long ago the Maldives was a place where freedom of ideas did not exist. For instance, writing in a news site like this was unthinkable, impossible, unless you wanted your bones ending up in jail and your body buried underwater up to your belly.

Today, Maldivians and foreigners can speak. It is possible to write and to some extent there is freedom of expression. So, what is creating pain today?

The Dhivehin did not forget the last years of politics in the country, did they? Was silence the price to pay for peace? If so we all have to know that repression is never a solution. Repression is like a cork glued to the floor of a swimming pool: it might stay there for sometime but one fine day it will pop up to the surface with such energy that someone will get hurt. Why should the Maldives be different?

The present government has installed the right to speak, but is that enough to modernise a country and foster its development, with a economy so dependent on tourism and fishing? Did people forget where are they coming from? Is it a good idea to give an airport to a foreign country? What are really the development policies to make the Maldives a respectable country within the region?

The airport is in Indian hands, what will be next, the port? To whom would the government give the port? China? Would the country be better with the previous government? No, certainly not. So, what is happening?

So many questions to be answered, so many subjects to be questioned.

This article is not about governments, honestly, but is about people of the Maldives having a better life and a future for its people and their children. Governments are all different but alike. In Europe, for instance, it doesn’t make any difference who will be there next time. We really don’t care. If they are efficient, their colours do not matter to us. If they are crap – and most of the European governments have corruption on their shoulders – they will be sacked through an election. It doesn’t matter how many times they change until the lesson is learned. These are the rules of the game.

Maldives is seen by some of us who have been in your country many times, like a youngster. You have the energy to cry, to get angry, but not enough power to manage your immediate future, although you are very bright people. Giving the country’s structures to others will not help.

So what is making the Dhivehin suffer? With my utmost respect for the Dhivehin people, why are you fed-up and shouting? You Maldivians, to answer that question! What is causing unrest today? Can you still not talk? Are you still afraid? What is missing? Remember the butterfly effect in chaos theory. Be aware of inflexible movements, religious or others, that are the right hand of the repression or you will not go down the path of development.

May the country of the 1190 islands and its people stay above turbulent waters for a long time.

Carlos Swartz is a journalist and teacher at Lisbon University, Portugal.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


28 thoughts on “Comment: Why are the Dhivehin suffering?”

  1. We are sufferring due to the immorality and immodesty of our women, who shamelessly use their flesh as a tool to lead even the most pious of men astray. Indeed, recent events have confirmed this truth.

    There is a great tragedy unfolding. Many of our women nowadays rebel against their biologically ascribed role as nurturers and homemakers; childishly, feeling themselves and their emotion superior to the calculating rationality and strength of men - with the consequence that our children are ill bred, and weak in their faith.

    For an optimal God-fearing society to emerge, those who do not fear the almighty should be garroted on the spot - and we should then continue in the even more important task of fixing the deficiencies of our women. It should start with enforcing modest dress.

  2. The moment you mentioned Israel, I stopped reading. I do not believe that Portuguese teachers should teach Maldivians anything about Jews or Jewish activities, such as rape.

    Oh wait.....perhaps...just perhaps, Carlos Swartz is a Jew himself! Subhanallah! I wish I could unread this article, for such Jewish propaganda itself would lead me to hell, which is a place I do not want to be in.

    Minivan News, please let muslim writers write articles, for muslim readers. Thank you.

  3. @Dhivehi Hangover

    You are talking like a man who has had the misfortune of being blessed with a very small reproductive organ. I suggest professional counseling to be more effective in your case than the conversion of your insecurities into anger against the female species.

  4. What does our history tell us?What stories did that stupid king make up to satisfy his sexual desires?Those who introduced Islam also did it to establish control over the whole country.Is it not time for us to bannish all those fears and live again as normal human beings?

  5. @ Sheikh Imran Abdullah
    Dear Sheikh Imran, Are you in love with Jews? It seems like because you have them all the time in your mouth. You seem to be a very poor person intelectually. I know very well your country, from outside and inside and honestly you give a terrible image from the Dhivehin. Maldives doesn't deserve that. Please respect the people you are comming from. Don't spread shame and anger on the Maldivian people, they are good people and ward workers.

  6. @Sheikh Imran Abdullah

    Ever get tired of writing the same thing over and over on every article?.

    I'm surprised there are some (like Deecay here) who still think these two are serious. You all need to upgrade your sarcasm detectors.

  7. It will be difficult for a westerner to understand the fisherman’s problem. Generally most westerners think based on rationale and the reality on the ground. Fisherman’s actions are based on emotion. They are influenced mainly by instinct. If they hate someone they hate him being himself not for his actions. They have more trust in what they don’t see, they love death more than life, and they believe in unseen, they don’t believe what they see. They are not confident with freedom; they don’t trust anyone, for them everything is conspiracy theory, everything is against them, if you give them a tip they will be suspicious that why he is giving me tip and must be some trap. They blame others for their own disability. It is the cultural issue and we fisherman will never be happy, because we don’t know the true happiness. Sometimes our happiness is others suffering. See Mullahs, they go fornicate, abuse children but they call to flog others because they get satisfaction by watching other’s suffering for the same actions they always commit. It is complicated. You will see lot of comments here that proves all these. These commentators are most educated people so you can come to a conclusion for the average man’s capacity to behave rationally.

  8. Government inefficiency is the problem.

    You are right, we must unseat this government through an election as you would do in your country if they are inefficient.

    I think this answers your questions. The popular movements making such noise are attempts at gathering support for the next elections. We need to make some noise to get ourselves moving towards those ballot boxes.

  9. Dhivehin are suffering is because we had to elect a person who got only 24% of peoples vote -

  10. @ko

    Sarcasm breads more sarcasm. I'm surprised you don't read mine at times.

    @hassan ahmed

    A vote is rarely ever FOR a person, it's always AGAINST another. 24% were FOR Anni, but over 50% were AGAINST Maumoon. It's the AGAINST votes that decide almost any election.

  11. Mr.Antonio from Al Andalus, which actually belongs to Muslims.....please tell me, what exactly do you know about Dhivehin that I don't know.

    If you think I'm the 'only' person in the Maldives who hates Jews, why don't you actually walk around Male' asking random people what they think of the 'yahoodheen'? Perhaps you may find something that you're not ready to accept. We shall never tolerate the God forsaken jews, for it has been mentioned by God Almighty how dangerous and evil they are to the Ummah.

    Furthermore, I also invite you to Islam, the one and only true religion.

  12. To Hon. Sheikh Imran Abdullah,
    Why is there so much hate in your words. Why is there so much hate in your heart?
    Why do you hate men and women alike?
    Don't you know the word love? Isn't that a important word in HOLY Qran?
    Don't you know hate makes people sick? Don't you know GOD, the only one almighty ,father of all, punishes people with sickness that spreads hate over the their brothers and sisters. What are your intentions if not sperading hate and unhapiness over Maldivians. Hate should never be an objective. What is wrong with you to hate so much. Why is your heart so black, so filled with bad feelings. When creation took place, GOD created all, no differences were done. NO hate for any. Are you different? Do you allocate more power to you? Why? The profeth told: let them all live, but you want to kill, destroy, erase from hearth the human race. Do you want to play GOD? If anyone is a sinner, GOD will take care of them, no need of your words, or don't you trust GOD.
    May the wisdom come back to you and the Propheth (SWT) bring you health for you and your family. Don't play with fire as it is with fire that you are playing every time you spread hate over the Dhivehin, a people I love, using the jews as an excuse. I would never be ashame of saying I'm frind with Maldivians, but you, with your terrible words makes me feel bad, ashamed. GOD (SWT) knows you don't represent Maldivians. Do you know that?
    You should go to Jordan, to free yourself from sin or well will wait for you. Peace, Dear Sheikh Imran, peace !!!

  13. we are suffering because our local small but vocal kaafir group went offensive and started this vile Islam bashing on social and online media and nobody took care of that. The ruling elite thought it was a harmless prank when dhivehistan report and arabguitar started their hate blog against Islam. Authorities did not take any notice and finally their tree of hatred today has born fruit. today most of damage we have suffered to reputation as an extremist society is because of this vocal minority group who even have serious money to back their online activities. The threat of religious extremism is very very small compared to the threat of kaafir extremism and atheist extremism. There are certain things the religious extremist will not do but there will not be anything the anti-religious extremist won't do.

  14. You mention that this article isn't about governments, right after you mentioned that people got murdered for speaking their minds, by the authorities until recently. I've heard of people being killed, but not in recent times, and I'm a Maldivian. This government did fight for freedom of expression, and has also stuck to refusing imprisoning people who criticise or are a political threat. Those are things that we definitely did not have until recently. but this doesn't mean that it's without any faults or that it is completely innocent of any thing of that sort. Maybe putting this question to people who are complaining is the best start to understanding the probably can't do that here, because most maldivians don't read or comment on an on-line english paper that is perceived to be politically one sided.

  15. When you read the comments above - anyone can see exactly what the article was talking about.

    Good article proven beyond a doubt by the commenters.

  16. Who said Airport was given to India. Mr. Antonio, the well learned Spaniard. Please dont confuse modern concepts of business and development. Our airport needs to be developed and as we don't have the capacity we underwent privatization and it was open for international bidders. The best bidder was GMR and they have won the bid to build, own and operate the airport for 25 years. Now isn't this how it should work in a country rampant with corruption and a certain elite group trying to control the country's assets and resources.

  17. Although the writer said that the article was about Maldivian people and them having a better life, there is nothing written about that subject in the article.

    I think perhaps that's one problem we are having in the country. People say one thing to protect something else. For instance look at the 23 December protest. Almost the whole opposition was there. They made some demands on the government, but I really doubt weather there will be anything concrete that sheikh Imran and Yamin would agree on. Think about this folks. I doubt weather adhalath party would call for fiscal responsibility or have a fiscal policy that they prefer. And I neither do I think that yamin would agree to implement islamic sharia in the country.

    So what I see is old politics at play where all these parties have gathered on a common belief that the current government should not win the next election. This was the same thing that they did in 2008 with Maumoon.

    This I think is the weakness of Maldivians. If we don't agree with someone, we will then look for reasons to prove that he is wrong or better yet evil and against Islam. This culture is inbred in our society and this I think is making us weak and unable to bring forth useful development.

    From an outside perspective, we are seen as intolerant brutal society. In my opinion this is unnecessary and does not help the common Maldivian. It just gives the chance for the politicians to win the next election and the election after that.

  18. This obsession and insecurity relating to protection of religion is a sad thing.

    Why is it that people are so insecure about their beliefs?

    Maldives is at a unique place in history. It finally has a system that gives voice to people to make their problems heard and a chance to be solved.

    The main problem is that the institutions of this country propagate the status quo; that is anyone who comes to power in this system, is swallowed by the system and becomes the system. Its hard to think of an alternative while within the box.

    However, there is a wonderful opportunity for reform and to introduce systems to take into account Maldives unique strengths for the good of the people.

    As Tsk Tsk says, education, a wholesome education is very important for people to realize their full potential and make their nation proud.

    Singapore would be a good model for Maldives to learn from. How they have been successful by leveraging their people.

  19. @ Everyone
    Stop accusing other religions, one another and women. Look around you people. Maldives will never become a stable economy unless the government decides that all these business tycoons deals through the Maldivian bank to enable Maldives to have enough dollars. Our Maldivian Rufiyaa has been devalued due to previous government printing MRF way over Maldives Budget to have enough support on winning in politics. Illiterate people's mind is devils playground. appreciate what we have, stand up for what we believe in and and don't let these business tycoons in Maldives getaway with our rights.
    Don't play with politics using religion as a means of winning. Let religion be religion and politics is different thing. Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has only taught us to respect each human being and what they believe in. We cannot change another persons religion by force. Teaching & educating people to Islam in respectful manner can have a huge difference then using religion as a means of personal gain.
    People!! learn to respect our own religion first before calling others.
    This stupid unrest in the country will only bring more difficulty to our livelihood, because the country is able to survive only on Fishing & Tourism. Due to unrest we are scaring away well-intentioned investors to the Maldives for Tourism. People we have loads of Uninhabited Islands in the Maldives which can be invested for Tourism. Whoever invest in the Maldives it does not matter as these people cannot take away the island when they leave. So many opportunities missed due to so much unrest in the Maldives.
    Wake up people stop blaming and start thinking and make a difference for our future and for the next generations to come.

  20. Dhivehin are suffering because the majority are gullible idots. Sorry to say, but the Maldives needs a good blow of education above and under the carpet.

  21. Can anyone translate in English and publish the bizarre article about Sheikh Imran on .It would help to know all foreigners who comment on this website the dark side of this racist Imran . The writer of that article wrote a second article saying that he would pay MVR 25000/- if anyone proves that article's accusation on Imran was not true .

  22. kazzab means the great liar. Its frequently used in mentioning the anti-christ or dhajjal. so please everyone shun this dhajjal kazzab.

  23. I wish Minivan would stop publishing these stupid articles meant to have been written by foreigners (probably written by the a Maldivian and likely - Mr Shafiq?)harping on about the Airport being 'given away' etc. Any European understands international business and the free market and its importance to the long term economy. Minivan lowers the tone by allowing these crap articles repeating the same thing over and over.

  24. Dear all,
    First like me tell you how much I respect your points of view and once more congratulate the Government by having opened the path to real democracy and development. There are 24 comments so fat the Mr. Carlos article, therefore I imagine that the article must have touched something important for the country. This would never have been possible before.
    Second, I would like to answer with respect, mainly to Mr. Hakuna Mattata (it doesn't seem to be a Maldivian name, please apologize me if I am wrong) and to Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed. So, Sir, I know the writer, not very well unfortunately, I have to say, but enough as we met in the Maldives a couple of times and I read him from time to time. His lectures are of a very high level, and I can assure you that he has nothing to do with Mr. Shafeeg (as long as I know they don't know each other) so, don't spread accusations as you don't have a base for it. Maybe you have a problem with Mr. Shafeeg but if so, it is your problem, not mine, the writer or the readers problem. Up to you to decide what is the relationship between you and Mr. Shafeeg and fix it or not. I will nor defend or accuse Mr. Shafeeg.
    To you Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed, Sir, it happens that I do know about modern and old concepts of business as myself I was for almost 10 years a teacher of business organization and development at POMPEU FABRA university, a very well know university belonging to the Catalan Government. Juts for you information Catalonia is one of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain. Now, you say Maldives did not have the resources (capacity) to build the airport: please allow me Sir to disagree. You might be able to convince some of your citizen fellows of that, but nor certainly me please allow me to explain why. Maldives has been in the tourism area for quite a long time. 25 years of tourism and fishing have produced an income that is by far more than enough to build airports, ports and other infrastructures needed by the country. Where did all that money go, Sir? Is it maybe in Singapore banks? In London? In Switzerland? China? The money made by Maldivian business men over the last 25 years is huge and we all know what happen to it. So your argument of Maldives being a poor country doesn't stand up.
    More: when you call for an international tender these days, it is a serious mistake to have just one company winning the operation. These days when you call for a tender like the one to renovate an airport, that “per se” is a strategic infrastructure, you never ever give it to one country due to the financial or the political risk. You create a consortium of 3/4 countries in order to prevent from any stupidity to take place. Instead of India alone, The Maldives could have created the conditions for several (not a lot) of countries to participate= India and Others. More Dear Sir: when you touch the entry door of a country, it immediately becomes a economical, financial, political, strategical and national internal issue. Is it that not Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed?. These are, Sir, modern concepts of business and strategy development of a country. If you place in the wrong hands a airport and a port, the country is fried like a fish. Therefore I insist on the risk of such operation. More over, when you create such big infrastructures, there is always place for local business people and local companies to participate. Please don't deny it Sir. An airport is today one of the crucial elements of any country. Indeed there are some airports privately managed, but you never put all the fish in the same basket. You give management to someone, building to another and so forth. I don't think you can teach me about international business sir, I make my life out of it, I know what that is since very young.
    The mistake seems to me to be clear and I don't see why there is no place for local companies. Coming back to money, Sir, I cannot swallow you idea that the Maldives doesn’t have resources. Hotel owners in the Maldives make millions per year, even the ones that do not manage their hotels. YES, Sir, there is money !!! but you rather complain that your country is poor, which “per se” is not logical, just look at the figures of hotel and fish revenue per year.
    I recon to be unhappy, even mad, because my business was taken away and you can blame me for that, but you cannot sell me a fridge in the desert. A cat is a cat, don't try to sell it to me as if it was a caw. In the Maldivian bank accounts around the world there is more then what is needed to make an airport. Finally let me tell you Sir, that these days an airport is like a shopping center, like a market, there is place for all. Why then only for one? Why Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed. Why?
    With my most sincere respect for you and all Maldivians,

  25. Mr. Dhivehi Hanguraama seems to have a serious problem with his sexuality. If he sees women's flesh as a tool to lead men astray, then we know that he doesn't think with his brain but with his penis.

    Maybe he should go abroad first and see that men and women can live and work peacefully with each other, even thought women are not dressed up in tents.

    You need a reality check, Mr. Hangover!

  26. Mr. Dhivehi Hanguraama most of our pious men seem to be led astray by other men and children . just because a woman dresses inappropriately dosent mean you have to chase her down and hump her .

    If what you say is right all the non muslim nations of the world would be in turmoil due to womens flesh .

  27. A cultural awakening is what we need. despite occupation or dictatorships for several years, most nations including the arabs and persians sustain their national identity and national values. we are animals today. we have Islam, but only as something to protect and hate and kill for. We have our dhivehi nation, history and culture but only written in ancient books much distorted history books and filled with lies. we are suffering from a cultural cringe. we are suffering from hate and bigotry imported from lands in pain. from Arabia from Afghanistan. We are suffering from materialism and lack of values imported from a the stupid excuse for a nation America and their cultural invasions.

    We need to free our minds. We need to love. We need to become human. That is what the Dhivehi Spring should be about. OCCUPY YOUR MINDS!


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