UK High Commission auctioning painting to help Japanese tsunami victims

Bids for a painting by Deputy High Commissioner of the Maldives to the UK, Naushad Waheed, have reached £5000.00 (US$8000).

Waheed auctioned the painting, entitled ‘Kyotsu – Hachi’, in an effort to raise money for victims of the March 11 tsunami in Japan. The painting was unveiled at a lunch in London attended by members of the All Party Maldives Group, including Lord Naseby, Lord Dholakia, Karen Lumley and David Amess.

Waheed explained that the painting depicts “several common elements from the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 that devastated my country, and the recent tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan.”

The title of the painting, he noted, represented the total sum of the numeric dates of the two tsunamis: “Interestingly both dates equal eight (26-12-2004 and 11-3-2011).” ‘Hachi’ is Japanese for the number eight.

Waheed, who is the brother of Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, was detained by the former administration in 1999 following the publication of a cartoon in a magazine called Hukuru. Two years later he was arrested for criticism of the then-government and tried for treason, and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

He became Deputy High Commissioner to the UK in 2008.