Government to support Baibala tournament despite police objections

The Maldives Police Service has appealed for those participating in an upcoming ‘Baibala’ tournament, a traditional Maldivian sport, to conduct the activity peacefully in accordance with the law.

Baibala is played by two teams, one inside a circle and one outside. The group outside must run into the ring, tag an opponent and escape without being tagged in return. Any person tagged is disqualified from that round. It is traditionally played following Eid-Al-fithur, and requires speed and agility.

A group of 150 players last week petitioned the President outside his residence to hold the tournament. Police earlier have objected to the tournament because of its popularity with gangs and the potential for violence.

It is common for gangs to compete in teams under their gang name, and even print T-shirts with their gang logos for players and supporters.

A police media official told Minivan News that police objected to the Baibala tournament because in recent years disputes in the sport have triggered gang wars.

“We have two main concerns,” said the police media official. “The teams in it are mainly funded by money obtained through robbery and thieving, and because following the Baibala tournament, a series of gang wars usually commences.”

He said he would not comment on whether police would be providing security during the tournament.

The government has meanwhile requested concerned authorities give permission to the youths.

Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said the government would assist in anyway way it could.

“It is a permanent responsibility of police to maintain peace and law and order, especially in places where something may happen,” Zuhair said. “The Municipality Council, the youth ministry and the police are now discussing how to maintain the security of the area during the tournament.’’

“Police are concerned because during a recent football match, a boy was stabbed to death,’’ he said. “However security will be maintained during the Baibala tournament.’’

It is played between two groups and is often attended by youths.


9 thoughts on “Government to support Baibala tournament despite police objections”

  1. Dear President,
    Why do you have to appease to the thugs and gangs that rule or streets? Do you have to personally fight for the cause that has been the single main reason for increase in mob rule and gang violence. Do you remember the thugs... that held bats and clubs on the day returned from your self exile. The police that day took no action these are the same people that are trying to hold this mayhem festival called "baibalaa". The people that you shook hands were the same people who have been arrested charged and then set free due to lack of evidence. What evidence will be there with the intimidation. The judges then were the same people who rumored to be corrupt and remnants of the previous regime. When the government does not get there way its always corrupt judges and incapable police work.I know there is an election on the horizon do you have to be able to control these gangs like you accuse the previous regime? Its time you teach Maldivians to vote in elections not by fear. How do you think these gangs come up with the amounts that they pay the players with?when will the countless number of murdered people ever get justice or their families closure when the current government takes up the cause of these thugs and starts fighting the police for their cause.We hope for much better from you Mr. President , so much hope for change for the better, I know I'm writing a lost cause as a law abiding citizen in this country I carry no POLITICAL WEIGHT to influence the current governments thought process.
    The press secretary mentioned that you will listen to arguments against it but the current state of lawlessness makes it impossible to speak out against these thugs. I know for one thing that I will be beaten up and stabbed if they know who... I am. This is the reality of law enforcement in this small little country of ours. No sensible citizen of this country wont to see the deaths of these youths on the streets and now its not something that causes outrage amongst the people? Every month a youth gets killed right in the open and how many convictions during the past 5 years? I don't want to see a bleeding kid on the pavement. The people who are against it wont speak out how many eyewitnesses come out to give evidence, why would anyone speak out because they know they will be attacked and probably stabbed. The police and law enforcement are incapable in dealing with these people and that's why they are against the event. the opposition wont say a single word as they are in bed with these gangs as well. How many MP's even from the ruling clan has these groups on the payroll? You talk about there word what is the wight of the word of these thugs so important to us?I voted for you because i believed in you , not because my neighborhood gang head said to vote for you. Not because the "geydhoshu haru meehun buneema" . Protect the rights of the people who live by the law.


  2. This is a great opportunity for these groups to redeem themselves and prove that they deserve the goodwill of the community. Really hope they use it constructively and show their stuff with some healthy competition.

  3. One can only pray.

    Pray that you do not become the next victim, pray that you do not happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I would not pray that this time the scene to be different from past few years, for that would be like praying an oil well erupt in the middle of Male'.

  4. if the youths are agreeing to behave themselves why wont the government let them hold this event, i dont believe a friendly tournament like this cause gang fights and crimes, the reason for the crimes are lack of proper hangouts and youth programs, if there are enough youth development programs held i'm sure we wont see these gang fights

  5. Baibela is a rough, physical game.

    Most of the youth who take part in the game are from lower economic backgrounds.

    Many youth has had serious injuries and neither they, their parents or the team managers have any means to provide medical treatment for those injured.

    Consequently some youths continue without the medical help and proper care for the injuries caused playing Baibela.

    Why has nobody, not a single organization mentioned paramedics service when the game is played?

    And what about treatment for the injuries?

    I support having the tournament.

    It is incorrect for the police to say these tournaments are funded by youth from robbed and stolen money.

    Does the police know the potential damage for the youths while they prepare for the game when they come up with such false accusations without any proof?

    Some of the teams get money through sponsorship. They do a lot of hard work to raise funds by running after business for donations.

  6. President Nasheed is rubbing salt into the wounds of the grieving families whose children have been killed by these gangs. This President does not give a damn about the public and violence in the country. Never felt so disgusted.

  7. It's pretty funny how Hameed assumes all baibala fans are instant thugs. Just add water?.

    Slowly but surely, avenues for fun and relaxation are being shut off to pave the way to becoming a breeding colony for foreign wars.

    The police are incompetent - manned by unarmed officers and directed by criminals - they can't stop criminals; and so they have to settle for enforcing silly laws and overall acting like the proverbial stick in the mud.

  8. Some one please explain why it was not acceptable and the court has ruled so, to hold Yaamin for security reasons. So why is it suddenly acceptable that police go against holding baibalaa for security reasons. Are these people who play baibalaa worse thugs than Yaameen?

  9. President needs them on his side. Don't you see the big picture. He can handle a lion (yaameen) but not a school of pirhanas. Simple logic and clever tactic by a street king.


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