Maldives to be the “best country” for press freedom, says President Nasheed

President Mohamed Nasheed has said that the Maldives intends to be “the best country in the world in terms of press freedom.”

In a message to the Commonwealth media development workshop, a four day training event that started this morning at Holiday Inn in Male’, Nasheed said the government wanted the Maldives to have  “the most free and most professional media in the world.”

”We strongly believe that press freedom is important for consolidating democracy,” said Nasheed. ”We also believe that development can only be achieved through a transparent and free discussion of ideas.”

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad, and President of Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) Ahmed ‘Hiriga’ Zahir also addressed participants in the workshop.

Secretary General of Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma, in his message to the participants, highlighted the role of journalism in the society and explained how  important a balanced news article was.

”Journalism is an honourable profession,” Sharma said. ”You can hold accountable both the government and the private sector.”

He said that members of the press played a pivotal role in revealing the truth and upholding the values and principles that would lead to a just society.

In his address, Dr Sawad said journalists in the Maldives “are not responsible”, and urged them to be more professional, sophisticated and accountable.

Dr Sawad said that in the past the free pens of the Maldivian journalists were held hostage.

”But today we are seeing what we dreamed we would see in the 80s,” Sawad said. ”Now we have a new constitution and new legislation.”

He urged journalists at the workshop to convey the truth with their pens, adding that ”the government will not let you down.”

The Commonwealth media workshop is a four day event being conducted by the Commonwealth in collaboration with Maldives Journalists Association (MJA). Around 25 local journalists are taking part, including Minivan News.


11 thoughts on “Maldives to be the “best country” for press freedom, says President Nasheed”

  1. Mr president, i sincerely hope you are out of your mind to make such statements and claims.
    May be you can make a kick start with our 21st century constitution and see how far you get.
    ”the most free and most professional media in the world.” yea right after Adalath makes this country the most economically stable and rich country in the world..

  2. The Maldives may become the best country for press freedom, freedom to laugh or the freedom to sing (?) but I dare Mr President to say that he presides over a country that guarantees human rights.

  3. Oh yeah!! Mr President,then why did you stop Haveeru reporter asking about Gitmo Issue.. I hope President Nasheed next time will not tell the world he got the best Press Secretary in the world....LoL.

  4. Wishful thinking on the part of our President is nothing new. Wherever he goes whenever he talks you can be sure that he wishes many things. Anyone can wish. The so called journalists (with exception to very few) lack adequate educational standard and awareness. Most of them know little about journalism. They think they are journalists.

  5. Dear President Nasheed,

    Thank you very much for you intention to make Maldives “the best country in the world in terms of press freedom.”

    But let me tell you something, Mr. President. You are deliberately and very conveniently (of course for your party's political expediency) forgetting the rank of Maldives on a much more important scale.

    Do you remember where Maldives was on the Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index during the last few years of Gayoom's rule? Do you remember how we used to ridicule Gayoom and talk about his inaction on corruption when Maldives was placed in 115 on TI's Corruption Perception?

    Have you had time to see for yourself what has happened to our ranking in this index since we elected you? 18months after we elected you the Maldives instead of improving on this slid some 15places and is not ranked at 130. God knows what happened to your promise of 'transparent' 'clean' government.

  6. correction of typo - ....slid some 15places and is NOW ranked at 130.


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