22 year-old man to be charged for sexually abusing 17 year-old girl

Police have sent the name of a 22 year-old man to the prosecutor general (PG) to press charges for alleged fornication with a 17 year-old girl multiple times on the island of Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

The man was identified by the police as Ahmed Hassan, 22, of Kulhudhufushi.

Police said the man was arrested on August 1 this year and was summoned to the magistrate court in Nolhivaram island. The court had granted an extension of detention for 10 days from August 26.

According to police the man had previous records of assault, threatening police officers near Kulhudhufushi police station, attacking police officers using iron bars and stones, destroying public property, obstructing police duty,and attempting to capture Kulhudhufushi police station.

Police said that the man had two other pending cases at the Prosecutor General’s Office where he is to be charged for objection to order and driving a vehicle without having a driving license.


Kulhudhufushi and Fuvamulah hospital staff protest over 10 hour work day

Staffs working at Kulhudhufushi Island Hospital in Haa Dhaalu Atoll and Fuvamulah Hospital in Gnaviyani Atoll have held protests over a change in their duty roster that would require them to work overtime.

Speaking to Minivan News, Kulhudhufushi Island Council President Ibrahim Rameez said the strike ended after an hour after staff came to an understanding with the Health Ministry.

‘’At about 11:00am the island council met with the hospital management and talked to them about the issue and we came to understand that the staff went on strike regarding a change in their duty hours,’’ Rameez said. ‘’Their working hours were extended to 10 hours which was eight hours before, and the staff said they would find it difficult to work 10 hours.’’

He said the staffs stopped the strike and went back to work after the Health Ministry promised to amend the change brought to the working hours.

Manager of Kulhudhufishi Hospital Mohamed Hassan said the staff stopped the strike when the Health Ministry changed the duty roster in accordance with staff wishes.

‘’They went on strike regarding a change that was supposed to be implemented on July 1 but was delayed due to Ramazan,’’ he said. ‘’The staff, especially the nurses working at the hospital, said they find it very difficult to work according to the new roster.’’

Fuvamulah Hospital Manager Mohamed Ismail said seven staff at Fuvamulak Hospital and a few Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists protested outside the island council following the change in the duty roster.

‘’I wasn’t formally or informally notified about their concerns,’’ he said. ‘’I went to the area and saw the staff and MDP activists waiting outside the council secretariat.’’

Ishmail said the MDP activists had tried to portray the matter as a big protest for the sake of media attention, and accused local media of misleading the public.

‘’The issue had been already resolved when they went on strike. Everything is fine now,’’ he said.

Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry Geela Ali had not responded to Minivan News at time of press.


MDP “terrorists”, says President Waheed: “We will not step back in giving them their rightful punishment”

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has launched a scathing attack on his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed, accusing him of corruption, hijacking the Majlis, destroying the judiciary, and called him “a liar lacking in any sincerity”.

Waheed made his remarks at a rally on the island of Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaal Atoll on Saturday, after Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters mobbed his car calling him a “traitor.” The MDP alleges Waheed came to power on February 7 following a coup d’état carried out by mutinous elements of the police and military.

Meanwhile, local councils controlled by the MDP have refused to engage with Waheed’s administration. Several MDP councilors rejected meetings with Waheed during his tour of Haa Dhaal Atoll over the weekend.

Speaking on Hanimadhoo island before his visit to Kulhudhufushi, Waheed had appealed to local councils to engage with and support his administration in order to continue providing services to the public.

However, Kulhudhufushi Council President Ibrahim Rameez said he was “ashamed” as an elected representative to meet with an “unelected” president. Waheed was Nasheed’s Vice- President.

Moreover, Rameez claimed he could not support President Waheed as his administration had stopped all development projects in the area. In March, the Economic Ministry halted all public-private-partnership programmes claiming the legality of the contracts needed to be reviewed.

“How can Kenereege Nasheed love the people?”

In his Kulhudhufushi speech, President Waheed painted Nasheed as an authoritarian and corrupt leader who could not tolerate dissent.

“Kenereege Mohamed Nasheed won that election because I became his running mate. Today, he does not understand that,” Waheed said. Further, Nasheed had spurned all the political leaders who had backed him against Maumoon Abdul Gayoom during the 2008 election and “beat” them out of the coalition government established after the election.

Waheed said Nasheed was unable to work with the MDP leadership, forcing consecutive party presidents out of power. The MDP last week took a vote of no confidence against the party’s president Dr Ibrahim Didi and vice-president Alhan Fahmy, a motion that received 95 percent support from the party’s 73-strong national council.

“All the issues MDP faces today are because President Nasheed has hijacked the party and has not allowed young leaders to rule the party,” he said.

He went on to accuse Nasheed’s supporters of “terrorism”, and said he would bring them to justice.

“What kind of democratic party is this? This is not a type of democratic party that we know. But they think there are none more democratic than they are, they shout and scream on the streets, they set fire to and vandalise public property, what kind of democrats are these? These are not democrats. I say they are terrorists. We will not step back in giving them their rightful punishment.”

MDP supporters are alleged to have set fire to court buildings and vandalised government property throughout the Maldives on February 8 after police tear gassed and brutally beat MDP demonstrators in Malé.

“If the events of February 7 had not transpired the way they did with God’s will, we would not have a judiciary now. He had decided to destroy the judiciary then. He had decided to abolish the lower courts. Reduce numbers in the higher courts. He had sent the police a list of 60 people to be arrested,” Waheed said.

“Afterwards, he tried to beat down the courageous people who have worked for Islam and the country. He planned for a few thugs within the MDP to attack them. When they tried to attack, our beloved police force came out to stop them. But then he ordered the police not to do so. He ordered the police to leave, and tried to get the military to intervene. He tried to do all of these things, and all his plans exploded in his hands. At that point, he did not know what to do, he knew the people were not with him, he knew there was no longer a police or military officer who would obey him any longer, so he resigned and went home,” Waheed continued.

“Then, he did not think all the people who he’d made promises to, made companies for, given resorts to would lose everything. He thought of that only 24 hours later. He understood after 24 hours had passed. He understood and woke up, and said ‘I have lost everything. This should not happen like this.’ And then all these people he’d made promises to came to see him. Asked ‘Where is the island you gave me? Where is that company you made me? What have you done?’”

“So he had to make up an excuse. Make up some sort of story. So at that point, he said, ‘Let me tell you, the military has established a military government, the military rule the Maldives now.’ He spread this all over the world. Told tourists they must not to go to the Maldives any longer. Nobody should go to the Maldives. There is military rule in the Maldives. He lies, he has no sincerity and now he says he wants to come back to power. Said hold an early election. He says hold an early election. What election can we have?” Waheed said.

The Commonwealth and EU have called for early elections in the Maldives within 2012 to provide legitimacy to those who govern the Maldives. However, Waheed said the earliest date permitted by the constitution for elections was July 2013.

Tension has been rising between the Commonwealth and the Maldivian government after the Commonwealth warned of “stronger measures” against the country if Waheed failed to review the composition and mandate of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) to investigate the transfer of power. MPs supporting Waheed have submitted a bill to Majlis to preemptively withdraw from the Commonwealth.

Engagement with councils

During his tour of Haa Dhaal Atoll, Waheed appealed to local councils to engage with and support his administration.

Waheed said the majority of the public and majority of parliament supported his administration and that he was “saddened by the small number of people who question this government’s legitimacy and who refuse to accept this government.”

Waheed is backed by all the major political parties in the Maldives except the MDP. The coalition includes President Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Jumhooree Party (JP), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and the Adhaalath Party.

“I do not believe the Maldivian constitution allows for the existence of state institutions which do not recognize the lawful government. Some councils and councilors have to consider and accept this,” he said.

“Council members play an important role in providing services to the public. We can only provide those services if council members engage with the different institutions and ministries of the government and the president. We want to engage with everyone,” Waheed added.

However, Kulhudhushi councilor Ibrahim Rameez said Waheed’s administration had stopped all development work in the area, including the installation of water and sewerage systems, harbor development, road construction and housing projects. The development of a international port in Kulhudhufushi had also come to a halt, Rameez claimed.

“So how can we support this government?” Rameez said.

In his fiery speech, Waheed pledged to complete Kulhudhufushi road construction by the end of the year, and improve services at the regional hospital on the island.

Earlier in his tour, Waheed had told Nolhivaram and Hanimadhoo islanders that development contracts were under review, and said he would resume projects if the state budget allowed for it. However, he assured financial assistance to the elderly, single mothers and disabled persons would continue under his administration.

“Even though there has been a lot of infrastructure development, that can turn to ashes in a moment. We have seen that happen very recently. That is because good behavioral norms, unity and friendliness have deteriorated amongst us,” Waheed told Nolhivaram residents.

Hence, Waheed said he had started a civic education program to promote unity in the Maldives.

On Hirimaradhoo island Waheed said he would allocate Rf 30 million (US$1.9 million) in the 2013 state budget for development, but that the citizens must decide how to best use the funds.

“I will not lie to you. I will not make promises I cannot fulfill,” Waheed said, and promised not to discriminate based on political party affiliation.

The Addu City Council has also cut off ties with the Waheed administration. At first, the council had released a statement pledging support for Waheed on February 8.

“We hope all development projects in this city, including road development, housing, and water and sewerage, and harbor development projects will continue under your presidency,” the statement read.

However, in the evening on the same day, several police stations and court buildings were set on fire in the city. Four of the six MDP councilors and one MDP MP were arrested. The Mayor Abdulla Sodiq’s arm was broken in an attack. A few weeks later, the council said it would no longer support Waheed. Sodiq has also said all development projects in Addu city have been suspended.

“Traitor”, allege protesters

Waheed’s visits within the Maldives and in Malé have been marred by MDP protests. During his outings, Waheed is often accompanied by a heavy police force.

In his visit to Addu city in late February, several MDP supporters, including women, claimed police used tear gas and batons to subdue protests against Waheed. Amnesty International obtained testimonies from several women who said they had been beaten and released a statement condemning the MNDF for the attacks.

Video footage of the Kulhudhufushi protest show several hundred protestors carrying yellow MDP flags calling Waheed “baagee” (“traitor”). One woman shouts “Leave this island. We don’t want you here,” while another voice calls for Waheed to be hanged. Protesters also held placards calling for early elections.

Police in riot gear hold the crowd back as Waheed passes through in a Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) truck.

Since taking office, Waheed has visited Addu Atoll, Fuvamulah Atoll, Laamu Atoll, Shaviyani Atoll and Haa Dhaal Atoll.

MDP protesters mob President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s car in Kulhudhufushi on Saturday:


Fatal motorbike crash on Kulhudhufushi leaves one dead

A 21 year-old man was killed and an 18 year-old man was critically injured after a motorbike crash on the island of Kulhudhufushi island last night.

The motorbike crashed into a wall last night at about 3:55am in the morning, according to police.

Police identified the 21 year-old man as Ahmed Ibrahim and the injured man as Adam Sinah. Both are islanders from Kulhudhufushi.

Sinah is currently in Kulhudhufushi Regional Hospital’s ICU receiving treatment. Islanders prepared Ibrahim’s body to be laid to rest this afternoon after Asr Prayers, according to the Island Council.

According to a statement issued by police, the pair both suffered head wounds in the crash, and both bled from their nose and ears.

Upon receiving the reports, police officers attended the scene and found one victim’s body under the motorbike while the other person’s body was lying 14 feet away from the bike, said police in the statement.

Police said that both were unconscious when police arrived and  were immediately taken to Kulhudhufishu Regional Hospital, where Ibrahim was pronounced dead.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said police cannot disclose further information as the investigation continues.

Council Member of Kulhudhufushi Ibrahim Rameez told Minivan News that the accident occurred before 3:30am early in the morning.

‘’We do not know what they were up to but the accident occurred near the house of one person involved in the accident and it could be believed that they were on their way to his home,’’ Rameez said.

‘’The motorbike crashed into the outer wall of a house and there are signs where the bike hit,’’ he said, adding that the wall was not damaged.

Rameez said the council was informed about the incident at dawn.


Kulhudhufushi woman found unconscious after being stabbed, suffocated

An 18 year-old woman has been attacked by a sharp object yesterday in the island of Kulhudhufushi, Haa Dhaal Atoll.

The police said that the incident took place at around 4:00pm in the evening and the victim is being treated currently in Kulhudhufushi Regional Hospital. The woman sustained injuries to her left wrist.

According local media, the woman was attacked with a box cutter and those who had attacked her had attempted to suffocate her. She was found unconscious at a rarely used small road behind her house.

The woman was reportedly attacked by masked men after she had reported the theft of a mobile phone and an iPad to police. The police at the time arrested two suspects but later released them.

The Maldives Police Service has said that the case is currently under investigation.


Dhoni capsizes en route to Makunudhoo

A dhoni (traditional boat) carrying gravel from Kulhudufushi in Haa Dhaal Atoll capsized en route to Makunudhoo around 3.45pm today, reports local daily Haveeru.

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) confirmed the accident. According to the newspaper, the boat was from Neykurendhoo and three crewmembers were onboard at the time.

All three survived unharmed and were reportedly travelling in a dinghy.


Bidding opens for Kulhudhufushi plots

Bidding is now open for 20 plots of land on the newly-reclaimed Kulhudhufushi Development Zone in Haa Dhaal atoll Kulhudhufushi.

Plots measure 1000 feet squared and will be sold at a rate of Rf300 per foot squared, Kulhudhufushi Development Corporation Ltd. has told Haveeru.

Bidders are asked to pay 25 percent of the proposed bidding price as down payment along with Rf50,000 bid security, and the total price within a week of winning a plot. Alternatively, payments may be made in two installments or over five years, with interest.

Bidding is open to all, except individuals who own plots of 600 feet squared or more anywhere in the country, reports Haveeru.

Proposals will be accepted at Afeefuddeen School until November 24.


Two years and 25 lashes for sexual assault of Japanese music teacher

The Criminal Court of the Maldives has sentenced a man to two years imprisonment and 25 lashes for sexually assaulting a Japanese woman on Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

The Criminal Court, which identified the victim, said she was walking down the ‘Giolhilaashi Hingun’ street in Kulhudhufushi on November 6, 2010, when she was approached by Adam Shareef who sexually assaulted her.

“Adam Shareef stopped [the victim] and [sexually assaulted] her according to his own admittance.”

An authority at Kulhudhufushi told Minivan News that the Japanese citizen was a volunteer music teacher at Kulhudhufushi school.

”Whatever took place happened on that street,” he said. ”It is a very narrow street where people do not walk very often.”

”Another islander reported the incident to police, not the Japanese citizen,” he said, adding that the incident occurred during broad day light in the afternoon.


“Here’s some cash”: Kulhudhufushi islanders open charity box for MP Nasheed

Kulhudhufushi islanders have launched a charity fund box to help their elected MP Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed, an independent member of parliament, after he admitted it was his voice saying ”I need some cash” to Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim in a leaked audio clip.

Gasim is currently under house arrest while he is investigated by police for vote-buying and treason.

”We felt pity for our MP Mohamed Nasheed after hearing the leaked audio clip,” said Mohamed Naeem, a Kulhudhufushi islander who heads the group that opened the charity box.

”When he first asked Gasim about his financial condition, we thought that Nasheed was about to help Gasim. But then we heard he was running low financially himself and was in need of some cash.”

Naeem said the group of islanders did not wish their MP to be begging people for money, and had set up a charity box on the beach of the island for everyone to put money in to help Nasheed.

”We do not like the way he begged,” he added. “We heard him saying that he would send someone somewhere to pick up the money in case people might see.”

”We will keep the box open until 6:00pm on Saturday, and then we will open it and count the money,” Naeem said. ”Then we will hand all the money to Nasheed’s office, and if they refuse to deliver the money to him, we will send it to him directly.”

Many people on the island had already walked down the beach to the box and were putting money in it, Naeem said.

”We are not a NGO, not even anybody from the island office – we’re just normal islanders,” he added.

As an elected member of parliament, Nasheed receives Rf62,500 (US$4864) per month from the State.

Nasheed was not responding to calls at time of press.