President Yameen appeals for volunteers to tackle gang, domestic violence

President Abdulla Yameen has called on the Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) and youth volunteers to take the initiative in tackling violence against women and gang violence.

Speaking at a function held by MRC at Dharubaaruge last night to mark the International Day of Volunteers, President Yameen said the country would be “eternally grateful” to volunteers if the two “serious issues” were solved through their efforts.

“Volunteers must step forward, youth leaders should be formed amongst us, to advocate, raise voices, and put a stop to things,” he said.

Maldivian youth should be led away from violent assault and activities of criminal gangs through preventive efforts, he added.

As no family member would wish for a young man to be “brutally murdered,” Yameen said the “viciousness” in Maldivian society should be eradicated.

Similarly, no family member would wish for any harm to come to their mothers, daughters, and sisters, he said.

Yameen suggested that advocacy, awareness raising and an “education process” was needed to stop violence against women.

He urged the MRC and volunteers to assume a role in tackling the two issues.

Earlier this month, a 28-year-old man stabbed to death in Malé became the fifth murder victim during the year.

At a rally held last month to celebrate the current administration’s first year in office, President Yameen pledged to crack down on violent crime and implement the death penalty.

“We have peace and order in Malé and all regions of Maldives. We have peace. However, this is not to say that isolated and significant dangerous crimes do not occur,” he said.

President’s Office Spokesman Ibrahim Muaz assured local media today (December 18) that the government would not hesitate to implement the death penalty, once those sentenced to death had exhausted all of their legal appeals.

Earlier this week, President Yameen welcomed restrictions on the constitutional right to remain silent and right to retain a lawyer for suspects arrested for violent assault.

President Yameen meanwhile went on to quote Hubert Humphrey on volunteerism.

“The moral test of a society is on how that society treats those who are in the dawn of life, that is children, those who are in the twilight of life, those are the elderly, and those who are in the shadows of life, and those are the sick, the needy, and the handicapped,” he said.

Yameen observed that the Maldives led other countries in the region in volunteerism in terms of man hours, noting that the majority of volunteers were youth.
Yameen also praised the MRC’s key role in relief efforts during the recent water supply crisis in the capital.

At last night’s event, President Yameen presented commemorative plaques and certificates to exemplary volunteers from each branch of the MRC, five exemplary national volunteers of the year, and the most proactive volunteer of the year.

Established in 2009, the MRC was recognised by the International Committee of the Red Cross as the 187th National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in November 2011.

The MRC’s Strategic Plan for 2011–2015 encompasses disaster management, health and social care, youth, and institutional development as its main strategic objectives.

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