12 dismissed for participating in anti-government rally

State-owned companies and the government have dismissed a dozen employees for participating in the May Day anti-government demonstration.

The opposition ‘Maldivians against tyranny’ alliance revealed today that the utility company Fenaka Corporation has fired six employees and the aviation command has fired four employees. The State Electricity Company has also sacked some employees.

Approximately 20,000 protesters took to the streets of the capital on May 1 in the largest anti-government rally in over a decade.

Adhaalath Party council member Shidhatha Shareef told the press that the opposition alliance has launched a hotline (9111388) to assist unfairly dismissed staff.

Former State Trading Organisation managing director Adam Azim said the constitution guarantees freedom of expression and the right to participate in political activities and called on independent institutions to fulfil their responsibilities.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party council member Hussain Amr said the opposition parties will arrange employment for the sacked staff.

The dismissals follow ruling party MP Ahmed Nihan urging the government to track down civil servants and employees of state-owned companies who had participated in the protest and dismiss them immediately.


Fairoosh removed from Head of Police Intelligence

Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdulla Fairoosh has been removed from his position as head of the police’s intelligence directorate.

The dismissal is part of a “routine” change to police management, police told local media.

Fairoosh has been transferred to the position of Head of the Services Development Directorate. Fairoosh held the position of acting Commissioner of Police until a new CP was appointed in the aftermath of the ousting of former President Mohamed Nasheed in February 2012.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef is now the head of intelligence.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of the Criminal Investigation Department Chief Superintendent Mohamed Riyaz has been dismissed from his position and transferred to the Divisional Operation Command.

The head of intelligence under Mohamed Nasheed, Mohamed ‘MC’ Hameed, was removed from his position after Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan assumed the presidency.

He was then dismissed from the Police Services in August 2012, but the Civil Court ordered reinstatement in September this year. The police have said they will appeal the Civil Court verdict.


Umar Naseer resubmits case to invalidate outcome of PPM primary

Umar Naseer has resubmitted a case at the Civil Court to try and invalidate the outcome of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) primary vote – days after the same court dismissed a similar legal claim on a technicality.

A spokesperson for the Civil Court confirmed that Naseer yesterday (May 5) submitted the case under his own name after a judge dismissed the matter on the grounds that the party member who originally filed the case had not herself been one of the candidates competing in the vote.

Naseer, who contested the PPM presidential primary against the party’s Parliamentary Group Leader and eventual winner MP Abdullah Yameen, has since been removed from the party after accusing his rival of corrupt practices to secure his victory.

All allegations of vote corruption during the primary have been denied by Yameen and senior PPM figures.

According to a Civil Court spokesperson, the case resubmitted today by Naseer was believed to be “almost exactly the same” as the one filed by a PPM member on April 18 with the exception of a few “small changes”. The court official said that Umar Naseer was also believed to have requested an interim order along with the case, though no further details were available at time of press on the nature of the request.

As Naseer’s case has yet to be registered officially at the court, the spokesperson said that no date had as yet been scheduled for when a hearing into the matter would be taking place.

A separate case has also previously been filed by Naseer at the Civil Court contesting his dismissal form the party whilst legal action was being undertaken.

Naseer has previously said he does not provide any information or interviews to Minivan News.

PPM MPs Abdulla Yameen and Ahmed Mahloof were not responding to calls at time of press.

Earlier case

The previous case seeking to invalidate the PPM primary was submitted by party member Rahma Moosa, who alleged that thousands of voters were not officially registered with the PPM at the time they cast votes on their preferred party candidate.

Moosa reportedly filed the case claiming that 8,915 people who were not officially registered as members of PPM had been allowed to vote in the primary.  She contended that the move contravened the Political Party Act and compromised the rights of all general members of the party.

Divisions between certain PPM supporters have appeared following March’s primary, after Naseer accused his MP Yameen of having controlled all of the party’s organs, including the council and election committee, and had “rigged” the vote in his favour by ballot stuffing, falsifying the count.

Having previously denied the accusations, current senior representatives for the PPM have pledged to move past the dispute, with local media reporting that a rally scheduled to be held Friday (May 3) to announce MP Yameen’s running mate for the presidential elections was postponed as a result of adverse weather.


Councilor says dismissal was for failing to obey MDP

Councilor of Maavah Laamu atoll Waleed Zakariya has claimed he was dismissed from the post earlier this month because he failed to give into demands by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists on the island.

Speaking to Minivan News, Waleed said he has learned that he was fired on the request of an MDP member on the island who was unhappy with him.

“The MDP people who worked to get me fired asked me to do illegal things and made complaints to try and make me do those things,” he said, adding the actions they wanted him to take could not be taken “even by a dictator”.

Among the demands were repossessing parts of enlarged plots owned by Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) supporters and refusing to issue licenses and ID cards to them.

Waleed said some people demanded that he give out part of his salary to them and publicly refuse to provide any service to DRP supporters.

“I begged and pleaded with them and told them I can’t do those things, but they refused to accept,” he said, adding they believed the island office should pass criminal judgment on opposition members.

He added the government’s decision to dismiss him was very “irresponsible” as it was based on the complaints of “just three people”.

The three MDP activists in question had ties to high-ranking officials in the president’s office, he said.

Minivan News could not reach the president’s office press secretary for a comment at time of press.

While the MDP supporters claimed Waleed was ordered by the government to marginalize DRP supporters, Waleed said he did not receive any such orders. He had been councilor for 11 months prior to his dismissal.

A DRP supporter on the island told Minivan News that MDP “activists” did not like the councilor consulting opposition party supporters.

“They don’t even want to see him talking to anyone other than an MDP supporter,” he said.

Waleed said the DRP supporters on the island were happy with the job he had done. “I think the reason is that under my watch, I have rented out a lot of empty plots on the land to increase revenue for the people. When I took over the office, the total finances were Rf900,000. But, in these past 11 months, I have raised it to Rf2.2 million.”

MDP supporters are outnumbered by the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) on Maavah, which is represented by opposition People’s Alliance MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakuru.

After the MDP supporters alleged in public that Waleed stole money from public coffers, the letter of dismissal was posted outside a popular café on the island.

Waleed said he had been approached by many islanders to express condolences and urging him to contest for the upcoming local council elections.

He said he was “100 per cent certain” that an MDP candidate would not win a seat.

Waleed said he still did not have any clear information about why he was fired when he was told about it on 3 December.

“It came as a shock to me. I said I’m at the office working right now and I haven’t heard anything either from the atoll office or the province office. And I have not been asked by anyone to clear up any information about my work. I said I found it hard to believe that I have suddenly been fired.”

He added neither the home affairs ministry nor the atoll office was informed of his dismissal even three days after the letter was sent out.