No truth to claims that Shaheem blocked from preaching, says Islamic Ministry

Spokesperson for the Islamic Ministry Sheikh Ahmadulla Jameel has refuted allegations by the Dhivehi Post website that State Islamic minister and President of the Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Hussein Rasheed, had ordered ministry staff to prevent former State Islamic minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed from preaching, delivering the Friday sermon, and appearing on TV programmes.

The website reported that the order to restrict Sheikh Shaheem from preaching originated from the President’s Office, and that Sheikh Hussein Rasheed had then ordered all departments of the ministry to follow it.

The website then called for Sheikh Hussein Rasheed to resign from his post as the president of the Adhaalath Party.

However, Sheikh Ahmadulla denied saying this to the website.

”I have asked all staff at the ministry as to whether any such event took place within the ministry, but nobody knows of it,” he said, adding that Dhivehi Post website had never contacted him.

Sheikh Hussein Rasheed also denied the allegations.

”First of all, the President’s Office will not send me any message directly, they will always pass messages to me through the minister,” said Sheikh Hussein. ”It is not the current government’s culture to order ministries to do things like this.”

Sheikh Rasheed said the allegations were false and that the government “would not use unregistered news websites to circulate information.”


Website leaks ticket reservation for Speaker and DRP Leader’s alleged trip to Delhi

The Dhivehi Post website has leaked a document it claims is the ticket reservation for leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, and Speaker of the Parliament Abdulla Shahid, to fly to India for “secret talks” with GMR.

The website last week alleged that Thasmeen and Shahid had received US$1 million from Indian infrastructure giant GMR to cease opposition to the firm’s take over of  Male’ International Airport.

The booking, apparently made in the name of the two DRP MPs, appears to have been reserved by ‘FCM Travel Solutions India Ltd GMR’ and was issued on October 26 for travel on October 30 to Delhi, via Colombo on Sri Lankan Airlines. The cost of each ticket was 42,749 Indian rupees (US$934).

Minivan News can confirm that air travel arranged by GMR for Maldivian journalists visiting the opening of Delhi Terminal 5 in July was booked by the Indian corporate travel firm ‘FCM Travel Solutions(India)Ltd’, and is seeking to clarify the legitimacy of the tickets.

Last week Managing Director of GMR Male International Airport Limited, P Sripathy, told Minivan News the allegations were “totally false and baseless, and very disappointing and damaging to our reputation. We have never met any members of the opposition to date.”

Thasmeen and Shahid likewise dismissed the allegations as ”baseless and false”.

”Out of all the articles published by the Dhivehi Post so far, most of them are untrue,” Thasmeen told Minivan News. ”Like I said before, I did not go to India and I have never met anyone from GMR.”

Thasmeen said that the website was operated by “political figures” and their intentions was to split the DRP leadership and “smear its respect.”

”They are doing this for political gain. If you look at the articles very carefully and try to understand who runs it, it becomes very clear,” he said. ”I do not want to tell the media yet.”

Shahid n”I have not even been to India lately, they are all lies and false accusations,” Shahid said. ”It is a website that publishes false allegations very often, it is operated by some persons who stay hidden.”

Shahid said the aim of the website was to split the DRP and ferment aggression inside parliament.

The Dhivehi Post claimed that it was possible Shahid and Thasmeen would not have an Indian immigration stamp in their passports if they waited at the airport as a transit passenger, “and therefore could be considered as they did not go to India”.

Showing a rather detailed understanding of protocols attached to diplomatic passports, the website speculated that “as all the MPs have the red diplomatic passport, and any diplomat waiting as a transit passenger will be provided services from the VIP lounge, it would be very easy for anyone waiting in the lounge airport to meet senior officials of the company [without passing through immigration].”

The website threatened that “more proof awaits”, should Thasmeen and Shahid continue to deny the allegations.