Undersecretary at the President’s Office Fareesha Abdulla has said she intends to file a defamation case against Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) MP Ahmed Mahlouf, after he appeared on DhiTV’s ‘Habaru Therein’ (In The News) and accused her of trying to introduce other religions to the Maldives.
“I have asked the Maldives Police Service on January 11, 2012 to investigate this case,” Fareesha said in a statement.
Mahlouf told Minivan News today that “Fareesha, and her husband, I think he’s a foreigner, run a website called Maldives Culture promoting other religions in Dhivehi.”
“Her husband was [previously] deported and Fareesha stayed away from the Maldives for a long time. Under this government, she is now working in the President’s office,” Mahlouf said.
Maldives Culture is a website run by Fareesha and her husband Michael O’Shea, containing English translations of documents about the history, culture and society of the Maldives.
“There’s no Dhivehi in the site – it’s all in English,” Fareesha said. “There’s nothing about other religions, and Michael was never deported.”
Fareesha told Minivan News that while she could laugh off Mahlouf’s allegations, “they have serious ramifications for me. He is a member of the Majlis and people do trust what he says – they may not check the truth for themselves. I am concerned for my physical safety – I may not be able to walk on the streets without being attacked.”
Mahlouf meanwhile claimed that the government was using the police “to try and stop us talking.”
“There’s no way they can stop us,” he said.
Documents available on Maldives Culture cover topics ranging from Maldivian art, history, social customs to historic photographs and maps of the Maldives, and a Dhivehi-English dictionary.
The site also includes translations of the works of famous explorers who visited the Maldives throughout its history, including the Ibn Battuta, François Pyrard de Laval and HCP Bell.