Government must reward those who helped win presidency: Yameen

President Abdulla Yameen has refuted allegations that his administration was creating a high number of political posts, but said the government must provide incentives for those who helped him win the presidency.

“We are not creating useless political positions just to appoint persons to them,” Yameen told the press at a Wednesday event in which former President Dr Mohamed Waheed and senior members of his party joined his ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

Yameen said members of the ruling coalition were only raised to political positions after the resignation or dismissal of those who currently filled the posts.

“What I want to tell all politicians and citizens regarding this matter is that in reality, it is the work of a united group that made it possible for us to get this presidential term for ourselves. And so even citizens will accept that this government must provide incentives for those who took part in that work and put in responsible work. That cannot be called partiality towards them,” Yameen said.

He went on to say that political positions must be filled with individuals who share the ideology of the government, and who will work to reach the same goals, adding that this must be inclusive of government coalition members.

Yameen pointed out that the coalition would not be complaining about failure to receive jobs if his government was increasing the number of existing positions.

However, he pledged to assign all promised positions under the coalition agreement to all the involved political parties.

He called on those who are currently filling political positions who are not part of the government coalition to leave their jobs and “make space” for those within it.

The current administration has 112 known political positions within the government; 15 cabinet ministers, 3 other ministerial rank positions, 33 appointees at the level of state minister, 50 appointees at the level of deputy minister and 11 high commissioners and ambassadors, as per the President’s Office website.

These 112 positions do not account for presidential appointees to the boards of state enterprises and other institutions.

Government coalition

Besides ruling party PPM, the government coalition consists of Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), Jumhooree Party (JP), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Adhaalath Party (AP) and Gaumee Ihthihaadh Party (GIP).

With GIP leader former President Waheed and many of its senior members joining PPM on Wednesday, the party council has announced their decision to dissolve the party.

“I have not set any conditions in joining this party, and am doing so as I believe it will be most beneficial for the country at this time. I have neither asked for any political appointment nor have I asked for any share of the government,” Waheed said, speaking to media at Wednesday’s event.

Earlier in December, rumours arose that Adhaalath Party had left the government coalition, after the party announced it will be contesting in the upcoming local council and parliamentary elections separate from the coalition. The party later refuted the claims on December 8, asserting that although they will contest separately, the party fully supports the government. The party, along with a number of state and deputy minister posts, holds two cabinet seats.

On November 26, JP Leader Gasim Ibrahim said in a party rally that the government had thus far failed to allocate the promised state positions to the party, adding that he believed this could be due to the government being “hectically engaged in other government matters”.

“Our President Abdulla Yameen is an experienced man. Maumoon [Abdul Gayyoom, former President and Leader of PPM], too, is a person who has far more political experience than seen otherwise in the history of the Maldives. They will certainly not act in a way which will deprive us of benefits,” he said then.


Adhaalath Party “is still with the coalition”

The religious conservative Adhaalath Party has issued a statement reaffirming its support for the governing coalition.

President Abdulla Yameen formed a coalition government in November after securing a second round victory with the support of the Jumhooree Party (JP), the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and the Adhaalath Party.

According to local media, Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) had promised a 33 percent stake in government and a 35 percent share in upcoming local council and parliamentary elections to the Jumhooree Party. The JP’s decision to support the Yameen after its candidate’s defeat in the first round of the election proved decisive.

However, while PPM and JP appear to be contesting elections as a team, the Adhaalath Party had previously announced it will field candidates for both elections separately. Speaking to the press in November, Adhaalath said it will contest 104 of the 1118 local council seats and 32 of the 84 parliamentary seats.

According to the Adhaalath Party, it’s statement comes in response to rumors the party had left the coalition.

“The Adhaalath party fully supports the government. The party is still with the coalition,” the statement read

Moreover, the party said it is currently working with the coalition to field candidates for the upcoming elections.

“The Adhaalth Party wishes to work with the coalition in the local council and parliamentary elections. The party is doing lots of work in this regard,” read the statement.

Meanwhile, former President Mohamed Nasheed of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has repeatedly said a coalition government will not work in the Maldives’ presidential system of government.

Nasheed came to power in 2008, defeating 30-year authoritarian leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom with the backing of a coalition of parties including the JP, the DQP and the Adhaalath Party.

However, within a month, the JP left the Nasheed administration. The coalition fell apart and the parties fielded separate seats for parliamentary elections in May 2009 resulting in a majority for Gayoom’s party at the time – the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party.

In February 2012, the JP, DQP and Adhaalath Party joined Gayoom’s newly established PPM in ousting Nasheed.

Speaking to the media on November 30, Nasheed said: “We have received 105,000 votes [in the second round of presidential polls] because we say we do not want to divide the cabinet, because we say we do not want to divide up the government.”


MPs raise concern over “spy devices, toxic gas, poison” in parliament

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdulla Jabir has claimed that security forces have planted ‘spy devices’ throughout parliament, local media reported.

During today’s parliament session, Jabir claimed that ‘information’ had been received regarding the bugging and that security forces were not listening in to the conversations of MPs, a report in local media stated.

In response to Jabir’s allegations, Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid said that the matter is to be taken up as a “matter of serious concern”.

Local media reported that immediately after Jabir’s claim, Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed then claimed that he had information that meals provided in parliament were laced with drugs.

“Various effects were felt even yesterday after consuming some of the food,” Rasheed was quoted as saying in local newspaper Haveeru.

A further claim was then made by Milandhoo constituency MP Ali Riyaz, who said that he had received more information that toxic gas would be put into the air-conditioning in parliament to poison the members.

Shahid assured the MPs that the allegations would be thoroughly investigated.


President’s Special Advisor appeals to Indian PM to terminate GMR contract, warns of “rising extremism”

Special Advisor to President Mohamed Waheed and leader of the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Dr Hassan Saeed, has appealed to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to terminate the Maldives’ airport development contract with Indian infrastructure giant GMR.

GMR signed a 25 year concession agreement with the former administration to develop and manage Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA). Saeed’s DQP was vocally opposed to the deal while in opposition.

In a self-described “candid” letter to Singh dated September 19, obtained by Minivan News, Saeed claimed that “GMR and India ‘bashing’ is becoming popular politics”, and warned that “as a result, “the Maldives is becoming fertile ground for nationalistic and extremist politicians.”

“I want to warn you now that there is a real danger that the current situation could create the opportunity for these extremist politicians to be elected to prominent positions, including the Presidency and Parliament on an anti-GMR and anti-India platform,” Saeed informed Singh.

“That would not be in the interests of either the Maldives or India. You are well aware of the growing religious extremism in our country,” Saeed stated, in an apparent turnaround from the party’s former position.

Months prior to the downfall of Nasheed’s government in February, Saeed’s DQP published a pamphlet entitled ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians’, which accused Nasheed of “working ceaselessly to weaken the Islamic faith of Maldivians, allow space for other religions, and make irreligious and sinful behaviour common.”

Specific allegations in the pamphlet against Nasheed’s administration included “fostering ties with Jews”, “holding discos”, “dancing”, permitting the consumption of alcohol, fraternising with “Christian priests”, characterising the Maldives as “a nest of terrorists and Maldivian scholars as terrorists”, failing to condemn comments by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay opposing “Shariah punishments like flogging fornicators”, permitting senior female diplomats and party officials to wear skirts, and attending the Miss France 2011 Beauty Queen pageant on the night of the Holy Hajj.

“Nationalism and extremism in India’s backyard is not good for India or our small country,” Saeed informed Prime Minister Singh, in his letter.

Saeed went on to accuse GMR of extensive bribery, including the payment of “millions of dollars to buy MPs to get a parliamentary majority for the then ruling Maldivian Democratic Party”.

He claimed that “politicians and MPs who end up in GMR’s pocket keep silent but no one – with the exception of former President Nasheed and his key associates – have defended the indefensible GMR deal in public.”

“When politicians and legislators are unable to debate openly such important national issues and address them in an appropriate manner the public starts to look for alternative voices,” Saeed claimed.

“I fear that the only viable alternative for them appears to be nationalist and religious leaders, which could turn a bad situation ugly.”

Saeed advised Prime Minister Singh that “due to the negative connotations of the GMR issue, many positive elements of our relationship such as the vast amounts of grants and loans by India to the Maldives go unnoticed.”

Maldivian Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad in late October warned that the Maldives would be unable to pay state salaries for the rest of the year without a further US$25 million loan from the Indian government.

The US$25 million was agreed upon in September 2012 as part of a US$100 million standby credit facility signed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2011.

“Indians and the Indian government may find it difficult to understand the growing anti-Indian sentiments here in the Maldives in spite of the vast amount of aid and loans we receive from you,” Saeed informed Prime Minister Singh, and complained that all bilateral talks with India now “start with and end up on the subject of the GMR issue.”

“As a result many other crucial discussions are delayed or are tied up with GMR. Normally straightforward issues such as simplifying the Indian visa for Maldivians end up being tied into the GMR issue,” Saeed said.

Longstanding opposition

A second pamphlet produced by Saeed’s DQP while it was in opposition criticised GMR as “paving the way for the enslavement of Maldivians in our beloved land”, and warned that “Indian people are especially devious”.

“Maldivians feel our respect is taken for granted, our sovereignty infringed and that India is developing a ‘big brother’ approach to relations with us,” Saeed wrote to Singh on September 19.

“The Indian Foreign Secretary’s visit to our country in February [2012] failed to resolve the political crisis largely because India is no longer seen as a friendly and fair neighbour who could broker an honest and fair deal. It cannot help India’s international reputation to be seen as unable to resolve a crisis in its own backyard.”

Saeed furthermore informed Prime Minister Singh that “the Indian diplomatic corps in the Maldives appears to be so passionate in protecting GMR interests that one often gets confused as to whether they are GMR employees or diplomats representing the Indian government.”

The remarks echoed controversial comments by President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza at an anti-GMR rally on Friday – during which Riza accused Indian High Commissioner D M Mulay of protecting GMR’s interests and being “a traitor and enemy of Maldives and Maldivian people”.

Saeed claimed in his letter that “increasingly Maldivians believe that the unfair treatment of the Maldives by the Commonwealth is connected with GMR and India.”

“It appears to many Maldivians that Indian officials are using international leverage and contacts to influence Commonwealth governments and forcing the way the Maldives is governed, thus impinging on our sovereignty. Some Indian diplomats continuously remind our senior government officials that the Maldives would be removed from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) agenda the moment the GMR issue is resolved,” Saeed claimed.

Growing tensions

For its part, GMR has downplayed its confrontation with the new government. However it admitted last month to India’s Business Standard publication that “public statements and press conferences of some government ministers and coalition party leaders are clearly aimed at arousing public sentiments against GMR and creating undue challenges for us.

“To gain political advantage, some elements of the government itself have started hampering the smooth functioning and development of the airport,” the company added.

The most recent surge of tension follows the company’s forwarding of a US$2.2 million bill to the government’s side of the contract – the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).

The negative balance was the result a civil court case filed by Saeed’s DQP during the Nasheed administration, which blocked the company from levying an airport development charge (ADC) as stipulated in its concession agreement.

The Civil Court ruled in the DQP’s favour. Opting to honour the contract, the Nasheed administration instructed the company to deduct the ADC from its concession fees while it sought to appeal the matter.

The new government – which included the DQP – inherited the problem following the downfall of Nasheed’s government on February 7. In the first quarter of 2012 the government received US$525,355 of an expected US$8.7 million, after the deduction of the ADC. That was followed by a US$1.5 million bill for the second quarter, after the ADC payable eclipsed the revenue due the government.

Combined with the third quarter payment due, the government now owes the airport developer US$3.7 million.

“The net result of this is that the Maldivian government now has to pay GMR for running the airport. On this basis it is likely that the Maldivian government will end up paying about MVR 8 billion (US$519 million) to GMR for the duration of the contract,” Saeed wrote.

Saeed concluded his letter to Prime Minister Singh by suggesting that India “assist us in terminating the GMR contract as soon as possible, well before the 2013 presidential election.”

Download the complete letter (English)


“The word coalition is not meaningful in the Maldives”: DRP Deputy Leader

Deputy Leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Dr Abdulla Mausoom, has dismissed reports in local media that the party’s alliance with the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) is being reconsidered.

“I think the media report is the opinion of one person,” said Mausoom.

Mausoom was responding to quotes from the Secretary General of the DQP, Abdulla Ameen, suggesting that a failure to strengthen the party’s ties since its initial agreement in February 2011 had made the coalition redundant.

“The coalition was formed to make the then government more accountable to its people. The other reason was to create an environment for the opposition parties to work together,” Ameen told Haveeru.

But former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government fell in a way that we had not even expected. Now we have to function in a different manner altogether. So the circumstance under which the coalition was formed has changed drastically,” he added.

Ameen went on to say that the issue was one which would have to be discussed by the parties’ respective councils – he was not responding to calls at the time of press.

Mausoom, however, was keen to point out that the nature of the agreement with the DQP was more akin to an election strategy than a traditional coalition.

“The word coalition is not very meaningful in the Maldives,” he said. “Nasheed used a coalition to get into power and that fell apart.”

“We has an understanding – rather than a coalition per se – that Qaumee party would support DRP’s presidential candidate in 2013,” he explained.

Mausoom went on to suggest that legislation would be needed to enforce coalition arrangements before they could become a serious feature of Maldivian politics.

This view reiterates a point previously expressed by the DRP, who view the current alliance of political parties in support of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan as a national-unity government rather than a coalition.

A no-confidence motion, seemingly backed by politicians from within the pro-government group, against President Waheed is currently awaiting inclusion on the Majlis agenda.

Ameen went on to argue that the two parties differ significantly on major issues, in particular the development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) by the Indian company GMR.

Both parties appear to oppose the deal, though DRP leaders have been more vocal about the need to take the issue through the courts and to protect investor confidence in the country.

The DQP, however, released inflammatory literature likening the airport’s development to colonisation. The party’s leader, Dr Hassan Saeed, has this week released a book arguing for the unilateral invalidation of the agreement.

Hassan, also Special Advisor to President Waheed, compared cancelling the deal to “taking bitter medicine to cure a disease” or “amputating an organ to stop the spread of cancer.”

The DRP has stated its intention to provide voters with an alternative to the divisive and personality based politics offered by the other parties.

Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed – the DQP’s sole MP -in June threatened to walk away from the party should it continue to its ties with the DRP, after the abstention of a DRP MP allowed the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to pass a motion to debate police brutality in the Majlis.

The firebrand MP was reported by one local media outlet to have resigned from the party last week before telling another that the supposed resignation letter was simply one outlining current issues of concern he had about the party.

The DRP currently holds 13 seats in the Majlis and has 26,798 registered members, making it the second largest party in the country. The DQP has one seat and 2,199 members.


Translation: ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians’

The following is an English translation of the minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP)’s pamphlet, which this week triggered successive attempts by the government to arrest two senior members of the party and sparked a debate on freedom of expression and hate speech in the Maldives. The original can be downloaded here (Dhivehi).

President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians

This book was prepared by the Dhivehi Qaumee Party in consideration of the devious plans of this government to erase the age-old holy religion of Islam from the hearts of Maldivians, provide opportunities for religions other than Islam and demolish the religious unity and faith of Maldivians. The book sheds light on the government’s actions against Islam so far.

The high honour accorded to Islam

It is certain that the religion we have followed without wavering for over 800 is the true religion and the last religion revealed by God Almighty. In verse five of the al-Maida Surah of the Holy Quran, God reveals, “[…] and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. ” [The book erroneously states verse five when the correct verse is three].

And in verse 19 of the al-Imran Surah, God reveals, “The only religion approved by God is Submission [Islam].”

Constitutional role of Islam in the Maldives

The Maldives is a nation based on Islamic principles. Islam is the state religion. Islam is the main basis of Maldivian law. No law contrary to Islam can be enacted in the Maldives. Only Muslims can be citizens of the Maldives.

Even the fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution can be protected in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam. No one has the right to commit any act that is forbidden under Islamic Shariah. Freedom of expression is provided to citizens as long as it is not used in a manner contrary to any tenet of Islam.

Submitting to Islam, obeying and inducing love for it is encouraged in the education system.

The constitution does not stop at according with fluent phrases a high status for Islam. Article 67(g) of the constitution obliges all citizens to preserve and protect Islam. This constitutional responsibility is entrusted the most to the head of state as the nation’s ruler.

Degree of Islamic faith in the Maldives when Nasheed took office

Religious matters had not been handled ideally when Nasheed took office. We had to spend over 19 years without a Dhivehi translation of our most sacred book, the Holy Quran. Permission to give sermons and counsel was granted to those who shared the government’s thought and philosophy.

People were locked up and punished over issues like Qunooth [invocation in times of adversity] where scholars of different sects disagree. Beards of religious scholars were shaved with chilli sauce.

Although the head of state was an al-Azhar University-educated scholar he was saying openly that penalties clearly stated in Islamic Shariah were unsuited for the times. In addition to saying that matters like wearing the veil were not compulsory, he showed it to the people in deed through his wife and children.

Nasheed’s golden opportunity and how he used it

Nasheed became the ruler of this Islamic state on November 11, 2008 through the hard work and prayer of many political, religious and social organisations as well as many sincere citizens. Who among us has forgotten Sheikh Ilyas [Hussein’s] emotional prayer in the pouring rain on the last night of the second round of the presidential campaign?

Nasheed had a golden opportunity to take all of those individuals and groups along, change the way religion was treated before, strengthen Maldivians’ Islamic faith and spread the bright light of Islam all across the country. However he missed this golden opportunity. Instead of strengthening the Islamic faith of Maldivians, he tried to weaken it. Instead of preserving the Islamic identity of Maldivians, he worked in ways that would allow other religions on this Maldivian soil. Instead of aiding Muslims and the Islamic ummah (community), he tried to please adversaries of Islam and aid them. As a result, the state of affairs has deteriorated to the point where we question whether our over 800 year-old Islamic nation would remain an Islamic nation. Today, visitors to our country have been encouraged to challenge our religion, Shariah and constitution in the most high places of this Islamic state.

Nasheed’s big project to wipe out Maldivians’ religious identity

Since assuming office Nasheed has been working ceaselessly to weaken the Islamic faith of Maldivians, allow space for other religions, and make irreligious and sinful behaviour common. And to show that necessary characteristics a ruler and senior officials of an Islamic state must possess are not important, to reduce ties and relations with Muslims and Islamic nations and foster relations with adversaries of Islamic nations.

Weakening the Islamic faith of Maldivians

From the day Nasheed took office to the present day, he has undertaken many efforts to weaken the Islamic faith of Maldivians, especially the younger generation of Maldivians. Below are some of these efforts,

  • Nasheed began the work of weakening Maldivians’ Islamic faith by targeting young children. When Nasheed’s government established diplomatic relations with the nation that is the biggest adversary of Muslims, it was agreed to teach young Maldivian children on the state’s expense good things about the Jews by including it in school curriculums.
  • Along with that, Nasheed tried to make Dhivehi and Islam optional subjects for higher secondary students. And senior officials of Nasheed’s government tried to convince the public on national television that the decision was a good one. Nasheed’s government acted like this after turning a deaf ear to school heads who had repeatedly talked about the importance of the Dhivehi and Islam subjects at the symposium on revising the national curriculum. Nasheed’s purpose is to turn those who would play a leading role in running the country tomorrow into strangers to Islam and the mother tongue of Maldivians.
  • While Nasheed’s government was trying to make Islam an optional subject it also tried to teach Maldivian students subjects of different religions.
  • Nasheed’s government sent a letter to the relevant authorities seeking the opinion of Maldivian scholars on building temples in the country.
  • While working on the one hand to reduce the importance of religious subjects in the national curriculum, on the other hand Nasheed’s government was trying to close down schools providing Islamic education. In this vein, the plot of Arabiya, which had been providing Islamic education to young Maldivian children, was taken and the building was demolished. The government did not make adequate temporary arrangements for its students either. And Nasheed’s government acted towards parents [of Arabiya students] who gathered outside the President’s Office to protest peacefully in a manner so brutal that not even serious criminals are subjected to.
  • Mauhad [Islamic College] is an old institution that played one of the most important roles in strengthening Islamic faith among Maldivians. Nasheed’s government tore down its walls, placed insurmountable obstacles to its development and has been working ceaselessly to close it down.

Allowing other religions

Considering the actions of Nasheed’s government, the goal of this government from the start has been to allow religions other than Islam. Below are some of these efforts,

  • Nasheed’s government made a lot of excuses not to broadcast live on national television the lecture by world famous religious scholar Dr Zakir Naik in his visit to the Maldives in May 2010. Moreover, Nasheed’s government offered a lot of empty rationalisations and tried very hard not to give the stadium area to organise this same event.
  • During the public question and answer session following Dr Zakir Naik’s lecture, a Maldivian born of a Maldivian mother and father named Nazim found the daring to proudly proclaim that he does not believe Islam as a consequence of this government’s ceaseless efforts to weaken the Islamic faith of Maldivians.
  • This Nazim who declared his apostasy before all Maldivians actively participated in the demonstration on 10 December, 2011 calling for religious freedom. This demonstration was held as a result of President Nasheed speaking in a way that suggested he supported UN human rights representative Pillay after she called for omitting the article in the constitution that requires all Maldivians to be Muslims, allowing space for non-Muslims and omitting punishments clearly stated in Islamic Shariah during a visit in November this year.
  • Long before Pillay visited the Maldives Nasheed had sent letters to the relevant authorities in the name of seeking the opinion of religious scholars on building temples or places of worship for other religions in the Maldives. Could there be any reason to do this if he did not want to build such places in this country? Certainly not.
  • In an interview with a magazine named “Forbes Asia” in December this year Nasheed had said “In the past there was a desire to segregate the Maldives from certain influences, but it also kept us from ideas and knowledge. Maldivians are Muslims but modern. The time has come to end the segregation from the outside world.”
  • Among the channels in the service provided by India’s Airtel in the Maldives there is one named ‘God’ channel. It specialises in spreading Christianity. Although the service is available in many Maldivian households, the government has not done anything to stop it.
  • The pictures and drawings released as a theme for the recently concluded SAARC summit most prominently and openly depicted Christianity. This drawing was prepared by Nasheed’s government through a Maldivian with the consent and approval of cabinet. Even based on proportion, Christianity is not among either the first, second or third religion of SAARC nations.
  • The true purpose of putting up these drawings in Male’ and elsewhere across the country is to familiarize, acquaint and slowly bend Maldivians to the portraits, drawings and monuments of other religions.
  • Nasheed’s government erected numerous idols in Addu atoll for the SAARC summit. These things were brought from various SAARC countries and placed upon request of Nasheed’s government the way they asked for. First, unlike the other monuments, the idols were put up at the last minute; in the early hours of the morning so that people would not see. They were concealed with cloth.
  • When the people of Addu, realising they were idols, started raising their voices [the monuments] were protected with the might of the military on the orders of Nasheed in his capacity as commander-in-chief.
  • Moreover, numerous youth who protested and spoke out against the idol were arrested and are being investigated.
  • After importing idols into the country, protecting [the idols], and locking up those who spoke out against them, and when opposition parties started raising their voices saying it was a serious crime legally and under Shariah, Nasheed said he only heard of the idols after it was destroyed. Everyone, young and old, would know that he lied. Below is a photograph taken while [Nasheed] is watching with the Sri Lankan President the inauguration of one of these idols.
  • The Prophet’s Hadith illustrates Nasheed’s words and actions. [He has] denied everything he said. [He has] broken all his promises. [He has] betrayed his responsibility and trust.
  • The idols imported to the Maldives in the name of the SAARC summit are not children’s toys or items in tourist shops. The idols are representations of god or objects used for worship.
  • God reveals in the Holy Quran that idols are unclean.
  • Under article 4 of the Contraband Act, importing idols to the country is not at all permitted. Such a thing cannot be authorised regardless of whether it is the government. And those who commit this offence or are involved in it can be sentenced to jail for a period of 3 to 8 years.

Making alcohol common

The Prophet says in a Hadith that alcohol is the mother of all evils. And God reveals in verse 90 of al-Maidha surah: “O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab , and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan‘s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.”

[Consuming] alcohol is even a crime with a punishment prescribed in Islamic Shariah. Those who commit this crime would not fulfil the requirements for head of state, minister, MP or senior post of the state. And if such a crime was committed as an official such a person must be removed from the post.

Nasheed and senior officials of his government show in words and deeds that alcohol is good and that it is something Maldivians should accept. Below are some of these matters thus noted,

  • During the first official visit to India after assuming office the newspaper Business Standard wrote and published that he gave an interview while drinking a kind of alcohol called SulaSharaz. Despite this being a crime with a punishment prescribed in Islamic Shariah and the kind of thing that could get him impeached, he remains silent about it. And politicians are saying openly that that was what really happened.
  • When Nasheed was accused of committing acts forbidden in religion during his visit to Italy on 17 February 2009 and the relevant parliamentary committee summoned ministers who travelled with him to find out truth of it MDP MPs opposed it, caused havoc in the committee and prevented the investigation from proceeding.
  • [Nasheed’s government] has tried repeatedly to sell alcohol in inhabited islands of the country. The regulations needed for this were formulated and published in the government gazette. They were forced to stop it due to the sincere efforts of Maldivian people who love religion.
  • When the Maldivian people came out and defeated the efforts to sell alcohol in inhabited islands, Nasheed did not stop. To make alcohol available in inhabited islands in any case, what Nasheed’s government is doing now is declaring places or areas where they want to sell alcohol as uninhabited islands. Different areas of Addu atoll and Fuvahmulah have been declared uninhabited islands to sell alcohol. Under this principle, the way is now open to sell alcohol anywhere in the country.
  • In many different functions and ceremonies [Nasheed] has spoken in ways that suggested using alcohol and drugs is not a problem. He has said you do not have to stay sober for 24 hours and a person could “for a moment” become intoxicated.
  • Empty bottles of alcohol have been found in places of ministers in Nasheed’s government.
  • A large amount of alcohol was found in the car of Nasheed’s party MDP’s parliamentary group leader Reeko Moosa Manik.
  • In addition to alcohol, persons sentenced by trial for drug use are kept as senior officials of Nasheed’s government and as close allies and are paid high salaries with the people’s money. Nasheed’s spokesperson Zuhair was sentenced by trial for the crime of drug use.
  • Similarly Fahala Saeed who Nasheed keeps in the President’s Office with a high salary from the people’s money is a person who, along with all his family members, was sentenced for drug use.
  • When the son of Sarangu Adam Manik, a senior official of Nasheed’s government elected to the Male’ City Council on an MDP ticket who served as mayor and is still a council member, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Sri Lanka after being caught trying to smuggle a large amount of drugs, he was brought back to Male’, freed and given a high post close to Nasheed. No President of any country in the world, especially the ruler of an Islamic nation, would dare do such a thing. Even if it was done, the people of that country would not accept it. And adequate efforts have not been undertaken to bring back Maldivians in foreign jails for smaller crimes. The Prophet said exempting rulers from the law while enforcing it against the poor will be the ruin of a nation.

Helping the Jews instead of aiding the poor people of Palestinian

From the days when Israel came into being in 1948 to the present day they have been brutalising the Palestinian people and, aside from committing massacres and war crimes, they are enslaving the people. Since 2006 Gaza where many millions live has been blocked from land, air and sea and all its inhabitants enslaved and locked up. Nevertheless after coming to power Nasheed’s main priority was fostering ties with Jews. To this day Nasheed’s government has done a lot of work to form close ties with Israel. Among these include those listed below,

  • Nasheed’s government first decided to establish relations with Israel less than 10 days after the UN representative decided they had committed war crimes against the poor people of Palestine. At the time the whole world was speaking out against Israel and condemning Israel’s actions. The way Nasheed’s government acted told Maldivians and the world that this 100 percent [Muslim] Maldivian state approves of Israel’s war crimes.
  • When Nasheed’s government disregarded the war crimes and established diplomatic ties with that nation, on the initiative of Adhaalath party the Maldivian people were collecting donations to help the innocent Palestinian people and families who were subjected to Israel’s atrocities!
  • When the act of attacking on 31 May 2010 a vessel travelling to Palestine to assist the poor people of Palestine enslaved by the Jews, which martyed 15 people and injured many others, was loudly condemned by the Christian nations of Europe, Hindu nations like India and nations of the idol religion, Nasheed’s government did not say anything in an official capacity. And when it became the target of criticism from opposition parties, [Nasheed] said something at the Haruge [headquarters] made to entertain MDP activists where foreign parties would not hear and ended it with that.
  • One of the things agreed upon during Nasheed’s government establishing ties with Israel was to insert stories of Israel, Jews and their history into Maldivian culture and the education system and tell Maldivians of their virtue. These are things even non-Muslim nations are hesitant to do with Isreal.
  • To familiarise Maldivians with Jews and Israel, show their virtue and induce love and empathy in Maldivian hearts, Nasheed’s government has brought in teams under different names such as doctors and agriculturists and begun the actual work of acquainting Maldivians with Jews.
  • Nasheed’s government has also authorised Israeli flights to land in Maldives. As the people of Israel do not visit the country as tourists there is no reason for flights from that country to come to the Maldives. Moreover, it is likely that with the commencement of flights from Israel the country will face unimaginable security risks, great dangers and devastation of the country’s tourism. However Nasheed’s government pays no heed even to such a danger.
  • Nasheed’s government has decided to give numerous plots and uninhabited islands to Israel.
  • Some family members of Nasheed and some senior members of Nasheed’s government have business ties with Jews.
  • And Nasheed’s current Foreign Minister ‘Kerafa’ Naseem is a person who voted on behalf of the Maldives at the UN to [recognise] Israel as an independent nation. Naseem’s action was contrary to both the order and view of the government at the time.
  • There is no doubt that there are hidden secrets behind why they are trying so hard to establish relations with people who have been so antagonistic towards Muslims.
  • That Israel has always made proposals in various ways and run after small nations to show the Muslim world and other countries that Israel’s inhumane actions are good is not a novel claim in the international area. It is certain that a country like Israel would not find it hard to discover that the Maldives today has come out begging with the economic coconut bowl and has a leader eying various international awards. Allah reveals in the Quran: “Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him) till you follow their religion.”

Carrying out activities against Muslim nations

While on the one hand establishing closer ties with the biggest adversary of Muslims, Nasheed’s government was turning hostile towards Muslim nations. Below are some of Nasheed’s government’s actions in this vein,

  • While on one side establishing closer ties with Israel, on the other side, at a time when Israel was very openly announcing it would attack Iran’s nuclear plants, Nasheed’s government accepted the responsibility of observing and reporting on human rights in Iran. Nasheed’s government gave the responsibility to his former Foreign Minister and current Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Ahmed Shaheed. With the consent of the government, on 17 June 2011 the UN human rights council made the decision. There is no reason to give such an honour to a small and poor country like the Maldives. While the government is one that has arrested politicians without a court order, hijacked state media in violation of the constitution and law, defied orders from Majlis [parliament] and the courts and intimidated and continues to intimidate judges, instead of giving the chance for this government to pass judgment on the human rights of others, Nasheed’s government’s atrocities should be looked into and investigated first. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is a gift for Nasheed’s government’s ceaseless efforts to establish ties with Israel and please Jews. The plans and philosophy of the Jews are based on dividing Islamic nations. And they further want one Islamic nation to weaken another.
  • In addition, while European nations and America were recognising Gaddafi during the civil unrest in Libya that began earlier this year, Nasheed’s government announced in April 2011 that it did not recognise the Libyan government at the time.
  • Compared to the visits of Nasheed and senior officials of Nasheed’s government to other countries, visits to Islamic nations is disproportionately low. This reveals how small the importance of Muslims and Islamic nations is in the government’s view.

Making sinful behaviour common

Considering the form of Nasheed’s government’s actions, it appears that the standard for raising the government’s stature and becoming familiar with the post is shamelessness, increasing sinful behaviour and shaping your lifestyle any way you please. Below are some of matters to be noted in this vein,

  • State Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Nasheed’s government and other close allies of Nasheed carried out many sinful acts naked on the internet. None of the people who committed such sinful behaviour were removed from their posts. And no response has been made to date to a letter sent by this party on 23 February 2011 requesting that they be temporarily fired until the investigation was completed.
  • Instead of investigating the case of senior officials of Nasheed’s government who committed such sinful acts, giving them fair punishments and firing them from their jobs, Nasheed gave such people financial promotions. When Nasheed’s government’s first cabinet secretary Abdulla Saeed committed such an act, he was sent to Singapore after arranging for him to be paid about Rf100,000 a month from the people’s money. This is a much higher salary than his previous one.
  • Instead of investigating the sinful acts committed by senior officials of Nasheed’s government, it took action against those who brought the sinful act to the public!
  • Some people among Nasheed’s ministers and close associates have served sentences for engaging in sexual relations, recording the images and making it public.

The Prophet has said that if you lack shame, you would do anything you pleased.

Becoming modern and ashamed of being Islamic

Nasheed and senior officials of his government endeavours to try and show Maldivians and make them believe that the way of Maldivians and Muslims is outdated. Nasheed and senior officials of his government are working ceaselessly towards this end. Below are some of the matters thus noted,

  • Part of the 2011 France’s beauty queen [pageant] was held in a Male’ atoll resort. As it turned out the event was planned for the night of the holy Hajj day. However instead of worshipping Nasheed and senior officials of his government spent that holy day in mixed sex, dancing and singing. He did not recall that the holiness of the day and that he was the head of state of a 100 percent Islamic nation.
  • And Nasheed is someone who commonly dances at events other than just the aforementioned one. The purpose is to make Maldivians believe that these are the type of “modern” things that even the ruler of this Islamic state must do.
  • On 11 November 2008 after assumed office, MDP’s then-chairperson and current Manchangoalhi North MP Mariya Ahmed Didi came to the function in a skirt. None of the representatives of foreign nations at the function wore a skirt. [They] wanted to show even on the first day how “modern” they were.
  • In Nasheed’s visit to France on October 12 this year, when he met the country’s Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing Minister, she was wearing clothes that covered her face, arms and legs. [This was done] in respect because she was meeting a ruler of an Islamic nation. But Dr Farahanaz Faisal who took part in President Nasheed’s visit arrived wearing a skirt! To show how modern Nasheed’s government is.
  • One of the first events held under Nasheed’s rule was a disco dancing show at Dharubaaruge [convention centre]. Despite the Minister of Islamic Affairs repeatedly asking them not to do it, Nasheed’s government defied him and did it anyway.
  • One of the most sacred relations in Islam is that of marriage. Marriage and the marriage ceremony in Islam is organised and carried out very much centered on advice and religious counsel. However when military weddings and other types of marriage [ceremonies] under various names are introduced it shows that we appear to be ashamed of the noble principles of our religion of Islam.

Christian priests as Nasheed’s consuls

  • Among those who help Nasheed make decisions on important matters include persons who work to promote different religions. The most notable of these is an English priest named David Hardingham. He is one of those who helped Nasheed the most when was an activist. Hardingham and his friends were acting then under the name of “Friends of Maldives.”
  • After Nasheed came to power, on 9 July 2010 he established an office for said Hardingham in Salisbury, England. As a result, upon the wishes of the ruler of this Islamic nation, the money of Maldivian citizens is being spent on a Christian priest.

Opposing the punishments of Islam

Nasheed has created doubt in people’s hearts about clearly stated punishments in Islamic Shariah and opposed such punishments. Below are some of the matters noted thus,

  • [Nasheed] said in his 19th radio address that he does not believe that capital punishment and amputation for thieves that are clearly stated in Islamic Shariah should be included in the punishments specified in the penal code.
  • When UN human rights representative Pillay who visited in November this year said she does not accept Shariah punishments like flogging fornicators, instead of condemning it as head of state [Nasheed] supported her statement.
  • Pillay further said President Nasheed assured her of national level conferences in the country next year over whether or not we should have divinely revealed punishments like flogging in the Maldives. She said this during a press conference at the UN building in the Maldives. Nasheed has not refuted her remarks.

Bringing scholars into disrepute

Nasheed and Nasheed’s government has characterised the Maldives as a nest of terrorists and Maldivian scholars as terrorists. Below are points noted thus,

  • Nasheed’s government has characterised people like Sheikh Fareed and Sheikh Ilyas as extremists and terrorists.
  • In an interview with al-Jazeera [Nasheed] said, while over a thousand students are being educated at [Arabic-medium schools] run by the government, those places teach children to become extremists and that he would put a stop to it.

The state of the country at the end of Nasheed’s big project

Considering the direction of Nasheed and his government and the speed of travel, if this government’s direction and speed is not defeated, there is no doubt that Maldivians would have to face the bitter consequences noted below,

  • Maldives will not remain a 100 percent Muslim nation.
  • The faith of Maldives, especially today’s children and tomorrow’s young generation, will be extremely weakened.
  • Sinful and unacceptable behaviour will become common.
  • Noble principles of Islam and the right path will be characterised as shameful.
  • Followers of other religions and their places of worship will become established in the country.
  • [We will] become estranged from Islamic nations and adversaries of Islam and Muslims will become friends of Maldivians.

What should be done to be freed from Nasheed’s plotting

  • A lot of work has to be done to save ourselves from Nasheed and his government’s dangerous actions. Every citizen should resolve to do everything possible with tongue and pen, financially and otherwise, within the confines of Islamic Shariah and the law.
  • Not supporting or voting for Nasheed and those who give precedence to the philosophy of his government or anyone among their allies and friends and urging those who might vote for them not to do it and explaining the consequences of their doing so. And especially to not support or vote [for Nasheed] in 2013.
  • To not give any financial assistance to Nasheed or his ruling party and urging those who might provide such an assistance to not do it and explaining the consequences of their doing so.
  • Do everything possible to strengthen the faith of our children without relying on this government, its institutions and the current education system.   
  • During each Umra, each Hajj, after each prayer and act of worship, pray to God to protect our nation and religion and keep our beloved nation always as a 100 percent nation.
  • Call senior officials of the government, send SMS and use modern facilities like Facebook and Twitter to raise your voices against such things.
  • Since the most important constitutional responsibility for holding the government is laid upon members of the People’s Majlis, every citizen should call his MP and urge them to stop this government’s irreligious activities and increase calls for holding the government accountable. And do not vote for MPs who do not comply in the future.


Under divine law, God Almighty has given us the opportunity to change our condition. Allah reveals in the Holy Quran, “Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves.”

Let us resolve in the right way to change our condition.


Police interrogate, briefly detain DQP leaders over “slanderous” allegations

Police interrogated and briefly detained leaders of the minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Thursday night, after the President’s Office requested an investigation into “slanderous” statements alleging the government was working under the influence of “Jews” and “Christian priests” to weaken Islam in the Maldives.

DQP council members former Justice Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and ‘Sandhaanu’ Ahmed Ibrahim Didi were summoned for questioning at 8pm Thursday night. Former Attorney General and presidential candidate in 2008, Dr Hassan Saeed, accompanied the pair as their lead lawyer.

Speaking to press outside the police headquarters shortly after 10pm, Dr Jameel contended that the government was trying to silence dissent by arresting those who speak out against corruption and intimidation of the judiciary “with a serious warning of destroying democracy in the Maldives in its infancy”.

“By God’s will, we now have the certainty that will we will put this current President [Mohamed Nasheed] in jail for a long time,” he asserted.

Sandhaanu Didi was meanwhile taken to Dhoonidhoo detention island after midnight and released around 7:00pm on Friday night. DQP had filed a case at the Criminal Court at 3:45pm challenging the legality of the detention and seeking reasons for his arrest.

In July 2007, Didi was sentenced to life imprisonment by the former government for distributing the dissident Sandhaanu newspaper online and allegedly fomenting unrest and revolution. His role in the pro-democracy reform movement was recognised by Amnesty International and the US State Department.

Before entering the police station Thursday night, Didi insisted to reporters that his insinuation of the government’s anti-Islamic agenda was true, holding up a booklet titled ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians.’

“We brought Nasheed to power by mistake. Nasheed is a madman,” he claimed, calling on the public to “rise up and defend Islam.”

Meanwhile a group of DQP supporters gathered outside the police headquarters to protest, during which DQP Deputy Leader Abdul Matheen was briefly detained for “disobeying a police order” and released after midnight.

“Suppression of free press”

The police involvement provoked a flurry of strong criticism from opposition parties, which have accused the government of resorting to dictatorial tactics, intimidating political opponents “out of desperation” and undermining freedom of expression.

Both the main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) – which formed a coalition with DQP last year – and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) led by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom have condemned the government’s “suppression of the constitutional right to free expression.”

In a press statement issued today calling on the international community to intervene, PPM condemned the current administration for “harassment and intimidation” of privately-owned media outlets, arguing that such actions have “created an atmosphere of fear and repression in Male’.”

The ‘December 23 coalition’ of eight opposition parties that united to ‘Defend Islam’ also released a statement on Friday calling for the immediate release of the DQP senior member and condemning the “act of cowardice.”

“The December 23 coalition assures all citizens that we will not be deterred by the intimidation from the government but will continue on with renewed vigor in the face of such adversity for our religion and country to ensure that our rights are protected,” the statement read.

“Invalid offence”

A statement by DQP meanwhile explained that Didi was to be charged under section 125 of the penal code drafted in the 1960s, which states “Where a person makes a fabricated statement or repeats a statement whose basis cannot be proven, he shall be punished with house detention for a period between one to six months or fined between Rf25 and Rf200.”

Noting that the provision was “one of the most frequently invoked clauses by the 30-year rule of President Gayoom to suppress press freedom and dissenting views,” DQP argued that the liberal constitution adopted in 2008 and decriminalisation of defamation in 2009 rendered the offence of slander or lying “invalid.”

“Article 69 of the constitution prohibits application and interpretation of fundamental rights under the constitution restrictively,” the statement explained, adding that article 68 requires the interpretation of fundamental rights “in accordance with prevailing practices in democratic countries.”

Meanwhile, following his interrogation Dr Jameel tweeted: “Nasheed is relying on archaic laws to suppress opposition voices but he calls himself a democrat.”

The former Civil Aviation Minister under President Nasheed also alleged that police were continuing to “harass me and I am expecting to be taken illegally at any time.”

According to local media reports, Sandhaanu Didi has been summoned to the police headquarters again at 8.30pm tonight.

“Racist, bigoted and anti-Semitic”

Sandhaanu DidiAppearing on opposition-aligned private broadcaster DhiTV last week, Sandhaanu Didi had alleged that the government was “operating under the influence of Christian priests” and had been “attempting to spread irreligious practices and principles in the country.”

In response, the President’s Office issued a statement on Thursday condemning the remarks as “racist, bigoted and anti-Semitic.”

“The DQP is playing politics with religion. They are siding with religious extremists to wage a campaign that is racist, anti-Semitic and deeply unpleasant, in an effort to damage the government. I condemn the DQP, its leader Dr Hassan Saeed, and the council members involved for their disgraceful behaviour” Zuhair said at last week’s press conference, where he announced the government’s decision to ask police to investigate the pair along with DhiTV.

Zuhair added that opposition parties were “stooping to the politics of the gutter… out of political desperation”, pointing to a string of victories in recent by-elections for the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) “and the success of government policies, such as universal free health insurance, which was introduced on January 1.”

“The outburst by the DQP council members is the latest in a torrent of intolerant slurs made by opposition parties in recent weeks, in an apparently co-ordinated effort to undermine the government’s moderate Islamic stance,” the President’s Office statement reads.

On December 23, opposition parties and a coalition of NGOs organised a mass demonstration to ostensibly ‘Defend Islam’ and accuse the government of an hidden agenda for securalisation.

“Slander and bald-faced lies”

In his weekly radio address yesterday, President Nasheed insisted that the government “did not wish for the slightest disruption to freedom of expression” and would not react to criticism with police action.

“However, when deliberate slander is spread about the government to mislead the public – especially the false claim that the government is trying to introduce other religions in the Maldives – in my view, the government has a responsibility to clear its name and refute the allegations,” he explained, reiterating that neither the ruling party nor the government “would ever attempt to bring another religion into the country.”

He added that the government should take action against deliberate falsehoods spread to “create discord between the public and myself, my party or this administration and cloud their view of the government.”

Meanwhile at last week’s press conference, Press Secretary Zuhair noted that the former government carried out an investigation while Dr Hassan Saeed was in the cabinet into MDP’s sources of funding and foreign backers, which cleared the fledgling party of alleged ties to Christian missionaries.

After declaring “unconditional” support for candidate Nasheed ahead of the second round run-off of the October 2008 presidential election, Dr Hassan Saeed said at the closing rally of the campaign that the anti-Islamic allegations were “bald-faced lies.”

“The Maldivian government carried out efforts with funds from the Maldivian treasury, with money from the state budget and using experts from England to see if there was any connection between Mohamed Nasheed or MDP to Christianity,” he revealed.

“They carried out a thorough inquiry. That project looked into whether MDP received funds from foreign parties to spread Christianity. But what did the inquiry the Maldivian government carried out with Maldivian funds show? There is no connection between Mohamed Nasheed or MDP to Christianity.”

Dr Saeed’s running mate in 2008, former Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed explained in an interview with Minivan News in June 2011 that the previous administration hired UK security and private investigation firm Sion Resources in 2007 for a surveillance operation dubbed ‘Operation Druid.’

“The [Gayoom] government may have wanted to see what was going on. What these operations did was try to see who was who. And a lot of the operations the government felt were against it came from Salisbury, and I think the government of the day felt justified in engaging a firm to look into what was going on,” Dr Shaheed revealed.

“We’re talking about people who they had deported from the Maldives for proselytisation, people involved in all sort of activities. They felt they needed to check on that, and what came out was a clean bill of health. Nothing untoward was happening, and these people [MDP members working in exile] were by and large bona fide.”

The accusation from the Gayoom campaign that MDP and Salisbury Cathedral were conspiring to blow up the Islamic centre and build a church was “just a mischievous suggestion, a very mischievous suggestion,” Dr Shaheed said.

“Hassan Saeed and I – the last election rally we had, October 7 2008 or thereabouts, the last rally in our campaign against Gayoom, at the time everyone was accusing each other of being non-Muslim, and this accusation that the MDP was non-Muslim was getting very loud,” he continued. “So we came on stage and said we were former government ministers and that we were aware about this allegation against MDP and that Gayoom had hired a firm to look into this allegation, and that their report had confirmed there was no such connection to MDP. Both of us said this on record.”


DQP calls on government to stop prostitution

The Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) led by former Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed has called on the government to take adequate measures to prevent prostitution in the Maldives.

‘’Prostitution has spread widely across the Maldives in the guise of health clinics and massage centres, to an extent that the citizens should be very concerned,’’ the DQP said in a statement.

‘’There is the chance people will say that prostitution is being conducted with the assistance and support of the government if the government remains silent on the issue instead of taking any action.’’

The DQP claimed the government supported prostitution, referring to video clips allegedly of senior government officials leaked by a blackmail ring prior to their arrest earlier this year.

The party also claimed the government was “keeping its eyes closed” on the issue despite prostitution being haram under Islam, which it claimed showed that the current government was not prioritising Islam in the country.

‘’We call on the government to take immediate measures to stop this and to prevent the society from falling into an illness,’’ the DQP said in its statement. ‘’We condemn statements from the government that these are not issues the government has to investigate.”

The statement also referred to the recent investigation by Sun Online journalists in which the journalists solicited girls in massage parlours.

Police arrested two Maldivian males and two Thai females for involvement in a beauty salon in Addu, for allegedly being involved in prostitution. The Addu Court extended the detention of the four arrested.

Press Secretary for the President’ Office Mohamed Zuhair did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


Mahlouf calls on DRP supporters to shun “Thasmeen faction” rally

MP Ahmed Mahlouf of the split main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party’s (DRP’s) faction loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom called on the party’s supporters today not to attend a rally planned for Thursday night by DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali’s faction, and new coalition partner Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP).

At a press conference held by the ‘Gayoom faction’ today, DRP’s Youth Wing President Mahlouf insisted that tomorrow night’s event was not organised by the party, urging members who support the former President to stay away from the rally at Kalaafanu School.

“That is not a rally held by DRP,” Mahlouf claimed. “We urge anyone who supports [the Gayoom faction] not to participate in that rally or even go there to watch the show. They are trying to test something. That is, [to find out] how much support they have.”

The ‘Gayoom faction’ has meanwhile moved its rally, originally planned for the same night, to Friday night.

Earlier in the day, MP Rozaina Adam, sister-in-law of the embattled DRP Leader, stressed at a separate press conference at the DRP office that the purpose of the rally was not to “hit back at others within the party, quarrel with them and call each other names.”

DQP Secretary General Abdulla Ameen told press that tomorrow night’s rally would mark the beginning of “renewed efforts to hold the government accountable,” adding that internal disputes since the end of last month’s local council elections had weakened the opposition.

The rally will be the first joint event by the two parties since a coalition agreement was signed on February 14.

Widening divide

Following the controversial dismissal of Deputy Leader Umar Naseer in December, the worsening factional split within DRP led the party’s founder and ‘Honorary Leader’ Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to officially withdraw his endorsement of Thasmeen for the presidency in 2013.

While Gayoom accused his former running mate of running the party “dictatorially” to protect and advance personal interests, Thasmeen contends that a few members within DRP’s leadership are pursuing “an internal campaign” to discredit and replace him on the DRP presidential ticket.

At a rally held last Thursday night by the Gayoom faction – attended by a number of DRP MPs along with minority opposition People’s Alliance MPs and senior ministers in Gayoom’s cabinet – Umar Naseer read out letters purportedly from DRP branches in the atolls retracting support for Thasmeen.

Umar called on those within the DRP’s front ranks who are “indebted to the government” to “go to the back seat.”

Former President Gayoom addressed the crowd through Umar’s phone – which was held up to the mic – offering gratitude and a vote of thanks to the speakers at the rally.

Also at the rally, Mahlouf’s calls for Thasmeen’s resignation was echoed back by the crowd gathered at the tsunami memorial area; Mahlouf called on the beleaguered leader to either resign or “step aside and pave the way for a primary so that we can have a new leader.”

Mahlouf asserted that he purposely broke the DRP’s three-line whip in last week’s vote on approving members to the Broadcasting Commission “to teach Thasmeen a lesson.”

The DRP MP for Galolhu South claimed that he does not have to follow instructions from a leader he does not recognise as legitimate.

Moreover, Mahlouf warned that Thasmeen would be “more dictatorial than President [Mohamed] Nasheed” should he win the presidential election in 2013, adding that the current DRP Leader would “pursue personal vendettas and target opponents.”

The country would go “into a slumber” under Thasmeen’s presidency, Mahlouf continued, as “even now when he’s trying to win power he spends four days a week at an island in Vaavu Atoll.”