Category Archives: Democracy nd Reform

First Democractically Elected Parliament: Mandate?

Today we are proud to say that we have a new constitution; one that gives the people of the Maldives the right to a dignified life in our beloved nation. The August Constitution has been a product of the collective desire of the Maldivian People for reform and justice.

We have the first democratically elected President, today. We are proud to have “30 years” of a prolonged regime behind us; a thing of the past! We have mandated a dynamic, vibrant and young President to lead us to the Other Maldives – one in which each of us will have a decent life.

Now the country is on the verge of the next best thing that will happen to our beloved nation in its new found haven of democracy. We will elect Members of Parliament to the first democractically elected 76 member strong Majlis in the parliamentary elections to be held on 9th of May.

The Question that I have is: What will be the mandate of the first parliament of the August Constitution? I have my thoughts, but maybe later!


How the Serbian Canvas Group succeeded in toppling the Maldivian Dictator: by Omidi from Minivan News

Omidi writes:

In October 2008, the Maldives held its first multi-party elections, toppling 30-year incumbent Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and replacing him with Mohamed Nasheed, a former political prisoner and according to Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) opposition members, rabble-rouser extraordinaire.

Indeed, this is how members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and others connected to the party were and still are viewed: as a mob of uneducated activists who took to the streets in undignified protest. But what few people know is that behind the clamour of MDP as well as those who joined their fight was a well-designed plan.

And behind the plan, there was Canvas – an organisation of trainers and consultants that travel the globe to transfer their skills, knowledge and principles of non-violent struggle. The ideas exported by Canvas were born out of Otpor, a youth movement in Serbia, which has been credited with the bloodless revolution that brought down Slobodan Milosovic.

“Maldives was fourth in line of our successes,” says Srdja Popovic, the executive director of Canvas. “Others include the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia.” In the latter, students offered soldiers roses when the army was deployed by Eduard Shevardnadze, who had ruled Georgia for more than 30 years.

Read the full article here

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Posted by on March 12, 2009 in Democracy nd Reform, Nation Building


Mind boggling figures…

The Defense Minister and Home Minister and the Police Commissioner gave a joint press conference on Tuesday to brief the public on the ongoing street violence and gang related murders that are terrorizing Male’.

Some of the figures that were revealed in the press conference were mind-boggling. The new “Pentagon” Prison going to cost the country over 80million Rufiyaa. This is over 400,000 Rufiyaa (30,000 US Dollars) per head for each of the 200 inmates for whom the prison is being built. [I was told that the cost per key for a three-star resort hotel is under 70,000 US Dollars.]

The cost of maitaining a prisoner is currently at 36,000 Rufiyaa (nearly 3,000 US Dollars) a month. This according to the Defense Minister is equal to housing one person in a nearby tourist resort!

And there are over 500 convicted criminals roaming the streets of Male’, ready to engage in further criminal activity. Male’ is the capital city buzzling with crime. And if the press briefing is to be believed, the crime infrastructure is so far ahead of the law and order capabilities that soon the criminals will take over the captial city of this paradise nation.

Minivan report on the press briefing

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Posted by on March 11, 2009 in Comments and Opionion, Democracy nd Reform, Maldives Police Service, Terror


Parliamentarians to get a pension of 20,000 Rf a month

The Maldives Parliament or Rayyithuge Majlis (meaning the People’s Chamber) has deliberated on a revision of the Pension Bill, to give one third of salary to any MP who completes one five year term in the Majlis.

Parliamentarians are paid three times the highest paid civil servant and more than what any civil servant or private sector employee can expect to earn with over twenty years service and with a decent education and experience. Their self-centered approach to giving themselves a salary and allowances of nearly a hundred thousand Rufiyaa (8,000 US Dollars) a month has thrown the pay structure in the country into complete chaos. A possible pay commission that was called for has not still come to function.

Now these hyprocritical MPs (who call themselves the Honorable Respresentatives of the People) have again showed their greed by asking for over 20,000 Rufiyaa (1,600 US Dollars) a month on completion of their “name-calling” and filth-filled discourse in parliament for five years. This would be equivalent to the take-home remuneration for the highest paid civil servant.

What a Parliament we Maldivians have been blessed with!

Haveeru news report in Divehi


Posted by on March 10, 2009 in Democracy nd Reform, Majlis, Values


Civil Service Commission & Literacy

Article 54 of the Civil Service Act of Maldives (page 23)
President’s Office Dhennevun 43/2008 (page 4)
The Civil Service Commission has appointed permanent secretaries of the dissolved ministries to other ministries illegaly. Rule of law! My foot!

Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Civil Service, Democracy nd Reform


"Nobody can give you freedom… If you are a man, you take it."

Dr. Abdulla Waheed writes:

“The reform agenda is mine,” President Gayoom pronounced to his rivals on TVM’s Riyasee Suvaalu program. Technically speaking, if he was merely referring to the “Reform Agenda” he announced on 9 June 2004, he would be right. But if he was referring to the whole reform movement that is in motion since 2003, that’s a different story altogether.

Read more here

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Posted by on October 3, 2008 in Democracy nd Reform


Men and Men: Guardians of the Good

In a moment of reflection, I could not just help wondering the great responsibilities that have come to the shoulders of the men and men who have been placed to kick-start the new constitution for the Maldivian people. The members of the election commission, the supreme court bench, the judicial services commission and others have on them, the onous to make the right decisions.

The difficult thing is that there is little precedence, institutional memory and wisdom that are a function of good decisions; for these institutions. They have to do a rush job and ensure that it is done democratically, fairly and correctly. There is no democratic culture in us, yet everyone expects these immature institutions to do a first-class job void of any flaws, and therefore will not accept anything short of their personal belief.

That is an unfathomable challenge that the men and men who make up these institutions are faced with today. I can only empathize with them.


Adaalath Party takes the elections to court

Adhaalath Party which claims they do things the Islamic way, have taken the Elections Commission to the Supreme Court for accepting Maumoon’s candidacy to stand in the upcoming presidential elections. Adhaalath claims that Maumoon is not a Muslim of a Sunni sect of Islam, when the constitution requires that one should belong to a Sunni sect.

Adhaalath is the institutional strength behind the Jumhooree Gulhun or Republican Coalition, whose presidential candidate is Villa Foundation Chairman Gasim Ibrahim. They have a considerable support base in the political landscape, by being the self-appointed guardians of Islam in the Maldives. Adhaalath type of Islam is fearful because they seemingly claim to have the authority to decide who is a Muslim and who is not. And the other is this prejudice that Sunni Muslims are more Muslim than others.

So what I see is a new type of Islam in the evolution phase. All my life, I had believed Islam to be one religion and a simple way of life which is dignified and caring, not one of greed and a hate-bashing institution of sheer lunacy. I still believe that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance; not the type that is manifesting amongst us right now.

Jumhooree Party has not distanced itself from the court-case to prove that Maumoon is not a “proper” Muslim, thought they were quick to announce their shock and awe at the President of the Youth League of the party who lodged a complaint against Anni in the Supreme Court. Jumhooree spokesperson was highly apologetic whenever he mentioned the incident, and said that the party was going to expell the Youth League President from the party if he did not fall in line. He also seemed to be of the opinion that it should be the people and not the Supreme Court
Bench who decides a president.

Come to think of it, I think the fact that Anni could say “let the people decide” shows his trust and confidence in the people of this country to make the right decision. Clearly Adhaalath fears the people will make the wrong decision. They have no confidence in the wisdom of the people – people are ignorant and only the scholars know!

This action of Adhaalath which is clearly a unilateral action by Adhaalath and without the backing of their coalition partner, definitely shows the Adhaalath way of doing things. They cannot trust the majority to decide. What I cannot understand is that this so called democracy is not an Islamic institution and why are a religous party entagled in it.

Islam is becoming confusing (atleast when forced to believe that Adhaalath is its guardian); and so is democracy. I atleast thought I knew Islam.

You may also like to read the story as reported in Minivan and Miadhu


National Security Agencies are hurt!

Recent rhetoric and accusations by presidential hopefuls Anni, Hassan and Ibra – pointing fingers at certain elements within national security agencies (Immigration, Customs, Police along with National Narcotics Control Bureau); has strongly hurt the big bosses who run these organizations and the agencies they head. There have been press releases claiming innocense and dignity. (I could not help wondering diginty and respect cannot be claimed but can only be earned. Look at TVM and Voice of Maldives).

Let’s for arguments sake agree that ALL officers in all the national security agencies are good people unlike the rest of Maldivians. Then, the question is do we want good people who will come to us and give excuses – or do we want people who can protect our boaders and make this country free of widespread mayhem! I definitely don’t care whether they are Muslims or Jews for that matter, as long as they can deliver; where good people are simply good – but ineffective and inefficient.

It is very immature of the presidential hopefuls to decide to “attack” the integrity of these national security agencies (and also by association perhaps even the MNDF) when these agencies combined are a critical voter base. And from the little I understand of human psychology, men and women in uniform have a “single-mind” and cannot appreciate diversity- for them these agencies are sacred and must be protected at any cost.

Related links:
Haveeru News Dhivehi


Forward Nation: The Project

Our nation is outflowing with the manifestation of the real Maldivian (the person, not the airline).

My worst nighmare in forty two years have been the ridicule of Badheeaa (not the real name) in our neighborhood, who was a mentally ill person. That was the entertainment. Everyone seemed to enjoy when hooligans got her to do things that were “entertaining”. This sadistic nature of the Maldivian has been the most hard to forget single experience that repeated all my life. We enjoy laughing at people, mocking at disadvataged people, making fun of the disabled and the rest. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the kind of manifestations that we are seeing today in the political arena.

Sadism is the single highest common factor of the Maldivian. Why else would the “mainstream” media interview “Moya Nasira” on aspects of political leadership, and make that the cover page!

I pray that when all this is over, there will be a project called “Forward Nation” (Gaumaaigen Kuriyah) which will inculcate some civility into the Maldivian. It is quite possible since people like Hilmy from the Classification Bureau of the Information Ministry (who are running the Project “Think Nation”) are still likely to be around.

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Posted by on September 23, 2008 in Civil Society, Comments and Opionion, Democracy nd Reform, Nation Building, Presidential Race 2008

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