Some schools ignore government’s Ramadan instructions

Some schools in have continued holding classes for grade 9 and under, despite instructions from the Education Minsitry to stop lessons during Ramadan, reports Haveeru.

Local teachers told Haveeru that extra classes have been arranged after consultations between parents and teachers amid fears that the extended break would prevent the completion of the syllabus.

Instances of classes continuing were reported in Gaafu Dhaalu and Lhaviyani atolls.

With less than seven days’ notice, the government last week announced that school sessions would not be held for students in grades 9 and under during the month of Ramadan.

The regulations also said that school sessions for grades 10 to 12 should begin after 9am and should last a duration of three hours per day.


MDP files no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker of the Parliament

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs have filed a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker of Parliament and People’s Alliance (PA) MP, Ahmed Nazim.

MDP Parliamentary Group’s Spokesperson MP Mohamed Shifaz confirmed that MDP had filed the motion today.

‘’We have finished all the documentation work and today we handed it to the parliament,’’ said Shifaz.

Shifaz said the party there were many issues with Deputy Speaker Nazim.

‘’First of all, he has many legal cases filed against him in the courts, and there are many issues regarding his integrity,’’ Shifaz said. ‘’Most of the MPs believe that he has to be dismissed. If that happens, it will benefit the work the government is doing to ensure the independence of the judiciary.’’

Shifaz accused Nazim of deliberately delaying work sent to the parliamentary committees in which he has influence.

In retaliation, the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) filed no-confidence motions against Home Minister Hassan Afeed and Finance Minister Ahmed Inaz.

Shifaz claimed that although the opposition filed no-confidence motions against the cabinet ministers, they would not be able to get the numbers required to dismiss them.

”They are dreaming if they think they can dismiss any of the ministers,” he claims..

DRP MP Ahmed Mahlouf meanwhile said that if parliamentarians continued working like this, the parliament would prove dysfunctional.

‘’We can’t work like this. One day MDP will file a no-confidence motion against the Speaker, the next day the opposition will file a no-confidence motion against a cabinet minister and if it continues like this, parliament’s responsibilities will be left undone,’’ said Mahlouf. ‘’I have decided to speak with the political parties myself to let them know that it is not right.’’

Mahlouf acknowledged that during the recent protests over the economy, some MPs including Mahlouf himself had signed a no-confidence motion against Finance Minister Inaz.

Nazim did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


MNDF commence training in Male’

The Maldives National Defence Force has commenced training exercises in the capital Male’.

MNDF reported that the trainers will be armed and would conduct weapon simulations in Male’ and on some areas of the sea nearby.

The MNDF assured that no weapon dangerous for the people would be used during the training sessions.

MNDF also thanked people for their co-operation.


Thinadhoo house severely damaged in fire

”Drama” house in Thinadhoo of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll has been severely damaged in a fire yesterday morning, reports the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

MNDF reported that although nobody was injured in the incident, all the household materials in the house were totally burnt.

No neighbors were affected due to the incident, according to MNDF.


Eight foot long ‘cross’ discovered on uninhabited island

A eight foot long ‘cross-shaped’ object have been discovered on an uninhabited island in Gaafu Alifi Atoll, reports Haveeru.

Haveeru reported that the object was discovered by a group of people who visited the island.

According to Haveeru, Councilor of Gemanafushi [an island nearby], said the item “is a cross. But the lessee claims that it was an instrument used on speedboats. But I do not see another use of it.”.

The police are now investigating the case.


President ratifies gang violence bill

President Mohamed Nasheed has ratified the bill on gang violence.

According to the bill, possession of sharp objects and other weapons without a valid reason is prohibited and huge penalties are served for those who violate the Act.

The Act has now been published in the government’s gazette.


Opposition MPs vow to forward no-confidence motion against President

A group of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs have declared they will forward a no-confidence motion against President Mohamed Nasheed to parliament.

“There is no need to go out and protest on the streets, there is only one individual who is the issue for the Maldives,” said DRP MP Ahmed Nihan. “It is the president who is the issue, and as MPs it is our lawful duty to file this motion and send the president home.”

Nasheed had violated the constitution which justified invoking article 100 of the constitution, concerning impeachment, claimed Nihan.

“Multiple times he has gone beyond the chart and violated the constitution – we have no other choice,” Nihan said, adding that if the president was “allowed to to do whatever he wished, there will be no use for an institution named parliament.”

Nihan said that DRP MP Ahmed Mahlouf, DRP MP and deputy leader of the party Ahmed Ilham and DRP MP Ali Arif were working together to secure the no-confidence vote.

A vote to impeach the President or Vice-President requires a two-thirds majority in the 77-member parliament, and counting the voting history of the Independent MPs, would still require 8-10 of the ruling MDP MPs to cross the floor and vote with the opposition.

Nonetheless, several weeks ago the government revealed that six MDP MPs had written to the President alleging opposition MPs had attempted to bribe them to vote against the government, prompting the resignation of cabinet in protest and precipitating the current political deadlock.

Nihan said he would propose the motion be supported by the rest of the DRP, “although we do not know what would our party’s stand would be,” he said.

“Any MP who works according to the oath and is sincere to their people, will definitely support the motion,” he claimed.

“This is a very serious declaration, this is not a joke. The whole nation is calling in one voice simultaneously for the resignation of the president,” he added.

MDP MP Ahmed Shifaz said that opposition MP were only in parliament with the sole intention of trying to topple the government.

“I can give you 100 percent assurance that they will not be able to topple the government in parliament,” said Shifaz. “Even if they try [with this motion] it would not be successful.”

Shifaz claimed that opposition MPs made such claims to try and boost their status among opposition supporters.


President reinstates cabinet, awaits parliament’s consent

President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has reinstated his cabinet ministers in a signing ceremony before Chief Judge of the Civil Court, Ali Sameer, following their mass resignation on June 29, in protest against what they claimed were the “scorched-earth politics” of the opposition-majority parliament.

The only cabinet reshuffle concerned Mahmoud Razee, former Minister for Transport, Civil Aviation and Communications, who was moved to the post of Minister of Economic Development. His former portfolio remains open.

“Cabinet decided to stick together on the issue and resign, to show they are not hell bent on the salaries and niceties of their positions and to prove they want to do good work for the country,” Nasheed claimed.

Following the reinstatement of his ministers, President Nasheed denied the week-long resignation was a publicity stunt for political gain.

“We had to make everyone aware of the gravity of the situation,” he said. “Cabinet members have been complaining about corruption in parliament for some while, [particularly] vote buying.”

“We were last week able to investigate the matter, and I expect police to pass the findings of the investigation to the Prosecutor General’s Office within the next 10 days,” he added.

The ‘new’ cabinet now requires parliamentary consent before resuming office. The President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair confirmed the government had been delaying the reinstatement until it received signs of cooperation from the main opposition party.

Zuhair acknowledged the strategy was “risky”, an observation confirmed by DRP Deputy Leader Umar Naseer, who claimed “there are definitely ministers that the DRP will not approve, and will have to leave the cabinet.”

Zuhair however noted that the wording of the procceedure according to the Constitution was different to the appointment of the heads of independent commissions.

“Parliament is only required to ‘consent or not to consent’ to the [whole] cabinet,” he explained. “Even if the opposition is factionalised, if we get 7-8 MPs on our side the motion will be carried.”

President Nasheed has met opposition party leaders alone in a meeting on Monday evening mediated by US Ambassador Patricia Butenis, including leader of the majority opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.

President Nasheed today said that while Thasmeen had not explicitly agreed to cooperate in the meeting, “individual DRP MPs have called me, and said they do not wish the government and parliament to remain deadlocked.”

He said the MPs had claimed they did not wish the entire institution of parliament “to be affected by the actions of individual MPs.”

Foreign embassies and international agencies have been nervously eyeing the seemingly erratic behaviour of the country’s administration, fearing a step backward following its democratic transition.

Yesterday Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also arrived in the country, in a surprise visit on the invitation of President Nasheed to help resolve the political deadlock. He has already met with Thasmeen and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, at his residence Maafannu Aliwaage.

Thasmeen did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.

Photo: Umair Badeeu