Thursday, February 25, 2010

Please Mr. President, stop insulting Islam!

I was hoping that President Nasheed would eventually realize his mistake and stop listening to some of his idiotic aides such as Ibrahim Hussein Zaki, Kerafa Naseem and Maria. Now I know that it is not Gayyoom or DRP or Thasmeen who will be Nasheed’s biggest threat but rather, that threat would come from within Nasheed’s own government – in the shape of advisors who unintentionally mislead the President into doing things that would eventually lead to his downfall.

Some of you may remember Nasheed saying that some of Gayyoom’s actions are leading Gayyoom to step on his own private parts (amillayah f—kah erenee)! Well, I wonder whether the decision to issue permits to hotels in populated islands to sell alcohol could be described as an action by President Nasheed that would make him step on his own you-know-what!

Adhaalath Party – that is part of the ruling coalition – is to hold a rally (with support from various NGOs and the public) to protest against the liquor permits. Well, members of the MNDF and the police Star Force could dispense pepper spray and use force to disperse the crowd but I believe that it would be foolish for the government to think that they can dilute the public opinion against this new regulation by dragging this on.

No one with a sane mind would support Gayyoom and his un-democratic party (DRP) to come to power again but if Nasheed and his clowns think that they have a decree from “God” to destroy all things that we Maldivians hold sacred then they are sadly mistaken. Foreign Minister Shaheed and co could not forever hide behind abused terms such as “Taliban” and “fundamentalism”.

This is not about Islamic fundamentalism. This is about standing up for our rights and standing up for our religion. I (like many Maldivians who are angered by this new rule) in fact do not support the Taliban or Osama bin Laden. In fact I believe that Taliban and Osama are doing a disservice to Islam by following the path of indiscriminate violence. So, please Shaheed, do not try to confuse love-of-Islam with fundamentalism. Please Mr. President, stop listening to the clowns whom you have chosen to surround yourself with. Listen to those who strived hard to bring you to this high station. Stop insulting Islam and stop insulting us.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Nasheed-led government that delivers even half of its promises would be a thousand times better than a Gayyoom-led government that delivers 100%

It’s been over three months since my last post on this blog. Maldivian politics has been evolving at a hectic pace over this period. There has been the issue of us reestablishing diplomatic relations with Israel. There has been a number of rallies by the opposition (DRP) calling for President Nasheed to resign for “incompetence”!
Gayyoom’s brothers Yamin and Abdullah Hameed, along with Gayyoom’s two sons (Farish and Gassan) seem to be orchestrating the current wave of opposition against the government. Some of the visible media such as VTV and DhiFM seem to be inclined towards DRP and canvassing against the MDP-led government.

I believe that DHIFM (especially the morning programme presented by Amin) are fighting a losing battle that is so naive and easy to read. If one asks me who the biggest loser in the current political field is I have to say it’s Dr. Hassan Saeed. He had the support of the people and the opportunity to lead the country or at least be the running-mate of Nasheed. He gave up that opportunity thinking that “Coast Milk” does not need advertising! Look at him now!

Does Dr. Saeed think that his little battles with the government - where he sends little foot soldiers such as Amin to the front line while he hides behind his doctoral cloak – will reignite his political career? Dr. Saeed – if he still harbors political ambitions – should come out of his cloak and start talking to the people directly. If he thinks that DhiFM and Amin and some help from Jameel could somehow rejuvenate his political career then one should really feel sorry for him!
I was always of the feeling that Dr. Shaheed was the most politically mature person amongst the three-docs!

As for the Israel issue I have to say that I too am a devout Muslim but I do not understand what the hysteria is about just because we have reestablished political relations with Israel. Islam does not call for us to stop communicating with non-Muslims. Nor does Islam call for us to stop making agreements with non-Muslims. Why not normalize relations with Israel. Nothing wrong with it. What’s this fake hysteria about Islam when it was Gayyoom’s reign that saw the systematic dismantling of our Islamic fundamentals?

I welcome all the mega-projects of this government. If you reach for the stars you may not exactly get one but you won’t end up with a handful of mud either. So we should always set lofty targets and work towards those goals. That will never let us down. International airports and green-energy projects and huge numbers of resorts and international schools and international hospitals and reliable inter-island and inter-atoll ferry networks and paved roads and sewerage systems in inhabited islands and mega-housing projects are just few of the basic things that Gayyoom should have given us. Now that this government is going into overdrive to squeeze these things into a five-year period, Gayyoom and DRP is trying to mislead us into thinking that those are all castles on clouds.

I have every confidence that a Nasheed-led government will deliver. Ok it too has some shortcomings and faults. But a Nasheed-led government that delivers even half of its promises would be a thousand times better than a Gayyoom-led government that delivers 100% of its promises. That is a certainty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Justice for Gayyoom and his cronies should be sought with swiftness and fairness

My mother who, like me, is a supporter of MDP and the reformist movement, was looking forward to the day when ex-dictator Gayyoom is brought to justice. But when the onset of that justice was seen Monday night, when Gayyoom was forcefully summoned to the Police Headquarters, my mother said that she felt a tinge of sympathy for Gayyoom.

It’s easy to feel that way since Maldivians are easygoing people who, not only forgive easily but forget easily too. My mother and many thousands of Maldivians would not easily forgive the many atrocities committed by Gayyoom’s ironfisted regime over a period of 30 years ending in 2008, but many Maldivians tend to forget those things when dictators such as Gayyoom paint a rosy picture and hide behind the “law”.

People such as Yamin and Gayyoom and Hameed can now easily pull the letters of the Law or the constitution and preach holier-than-thou prose when they were the ones who trampled that very Law in the past.
The drama that was played out live on Dhi-TV when Gayyoom was taken in to police headquarters for questioning was more enthralling than the infamous “Kasoati” itself. Tens of thousands of people were glued to the TV screens and many thousands more had their ears glued to the live broadcasts on FM radio. Cell-phone networks were jammed and traffic became palpably heavy in Male' through the course of the Monday evening as rumours circulated through the city of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s arrest.

Angry confrontations happened between Gayyoom’s supporters and the riot police. Eventually Gayyoom was summoned to the Police by force. Now the Court has released a temporary ruling which prevents any forceful summon of Gayyoom or Yamin to the Presidential Commission or the Police.

Despite some apparent resistance from various directions, the government must not be discouraged from seeking justice. All efforts must be concerted to bring all the rogue elements from the ex-regime to justice. No one (as Gayyoom has told in the infamous BBC interview) is “above the law”. Hence his own words should apply to himself and his brothers or friends or whoever. If Gayyoom believes he is innocent then he should have nothing to hide. Any delays in the current investigations would be seen as a weakness on the part of the government. Justice should be sought with fairness and swiftness.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ex-president Gayyoom and Yamin should be made answerable

The Ousted ex-president of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom has been sent a summon to attend the Presidential Commission investigating cases of corruption related to his ironfisted 30-year-rule. The notice was initially sent around 6:00 on Thursday evening but he refused to accept it, claiming that the Commission does not have the legal mandate to summon him. Dictator’s younger brother and former Trade Minister, Yamin also refused to attend the Commission claiming it had no legal mandate. Yamin was later questioned by Police in relation to the matter on the request of the Commission.

According to the Commission, setup by President Nasheed in May, Gayyoom is being summoned to make some inquiries and clarify some issues. Gayyoom’s officials say that they will submit a formal letter on Sunday (19tyh July) stating why he will not attend the commission.

As stated previously in this blog, this country will not heal until the ex-dictator (Gayyoom) and his corrupt cronies are brought to justice. Commission or no-commission, these people will have to be made answerable to the people to clarify many outstanding issues that involve millions of dollars of corruption. Whether Gayyoom or his cronies are responsible for those corruption has to be decided once and for all by a fair and free trial. Any resistance from Gayyoom and Yamin and any of their cronies could be seen as a blatant attempt to delay justice and a possible attempt to hide something.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What next for "Islam" in the Maldives?

The Press Secretary of the President's Office (Zuhair) has openly challenged the system of Hadhdh (canning Fornicating men and women) in Islamic Sharia and the Maldivian Law. This could be interpreted as a challenge to Allah and a challenge to Islam.
What next, one wonders? Would we soon hear Zuhair or some other misguided bureaucrat openly asking for the construction of temples in the Maldives?
I supported MDP and Anni (Nasheed) and I continue to do so, but these sorts of statements from stupid and misinformed bureaucrats such as Zuhair is exposing the shortcomings of the government. I wonder where all the Islam-loving people of this country are. If a person such as Zuhair said a similar thing in, say Pakistan or Bangladesh or even Malaysia, people would have come out in force to protest on the streets, against the one who said it or even against the government! I wonder where the pseudo-religious Umar Naseer stands on this issue!
I'm not afraid of anyone but Allah. That’s the reason why I have written this comment. Who does Anni think he is? And the same could be said about his little conniving helpers if they think they can belittle Allah and His Prophet and His Religion. I do not have to write anything to bring down Anni and his government. If Anni and Zuhair think that they can plan against Allah they have forgotten that more "intelligent and powerful" people did plan against Islam and the Prophet but ultimately Allah and His religion and His Prophet prevailed - and will continue to prevail.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Revival of Lanka tourism in peace time and the Maldives

An editorial in Sri Lanka’s Daily News online version titled 'Reviving Tourism' talks in detail about the importance of reviving their tourism industry now that the war is all but over, thanks to the brilliant work of President Rajapakse and his administration. Peace in Lanka is very welcome news for everyone in the region, especially for thousands of Maldivians who see Lanka as their second home.

"Even the Maldives one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, has moved beyond its beaches to promote new concepts to attract more tourists. Incidentally, a large bulk of tourists who used to visit Sri Lanka shifted base to Maldives during the war years. We should now try to get them back adopting a new sales pitch, with the freeing of the country from terrorism." the editor noted in his argument for the need to revive the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.

Being their neighbour and probably their best friend, we of course, wish them the very best and much prosperity but this issue of competition is something that will have an impact on our tourism industry. There is no doubt about the fact that our tourism industry had indirectly benefitted from the unrest and civil war in Sri Lanka over the last 30 or so years. Sri Lanka is if you like, a real gem of beauty and tranquillity. It is blessed with such natural wonders that many nations in the region can only dream of. So, a real boost of tourism industry of Sri Lanka is inevitable, now that they have peace. In a way, perhaps it falls on us to help them in their endeavour to expand their tourism industry because there is plenty of scope and no shortage of people wanting to travel abroad for their holidays. We must also not forget the important contribution of Sri Lankan national airline in the expansion of our tourism industry. Now is the time to payback our dues and show our appreciation.

Of course, we wish them luck in that but this is something that we have to be prepared for. The top brass in our marketing sphere of the tourism industry of the Maldives must think long and hard about how best we can withstand this shock, especially in a time where the industry is on a 'nose-dive' as a result of the global economic downturn. Perhaps we should develop more products, such as an archaeological tour and incorporate more cultural aspects to our tourism packages. We could even introduce fishing holidays to the East. People in Japan would love to experience the traditional and cultural aspects of our fishing method.

Maldives tourism industry is looked on by big players in the region, including Thailand. The development of the industry over the past three decades have become the envy of many countries who want to tap into the gold pot of the travel industry. A new book titled 'Services trade in South Asia' also recongises the Maldives achievement in the sector.

Sri Lanka has everything we have and much more. They have beautiful beaches, splendid natural habitats including mountains, rivers and forests. In addition, they have far better infrastructures to service the sector. Hence, they could easily become the most sought after destination in Asia.

So, it is time to think and find new ways of sustaining the demand for the Maldives holidays.

(Review by Dhivehi Observer Editorial Team

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We should perhaps buckle out seatbelts for a turbulent ride towards an uncertain future

The way that the current political map of Maldives is being shaped, I believe that very soon this could spill into something ugly. The Majlis is so polarized between the two leading parties (MDP and DRP), it is virtually impossible to achieve any meaningful legislation to get us out of the current economic woes.
1. DRP and PA seem to be hell bent on weakening and discrediting the government. They seem to have the aim of changing our form of government into a parliamentary democracy so that (Gayyoom’s younger brother and head of PA) Yamin could one day become Prime Minister.
2. DRP and PA also seem to share Gayyoom’s ambition of promoting his younger son (Gassaan) as a future President or Prime Minister.
3. Any attempt to summon ex-president Gayyoom to the Presidential Commission investigating past frauds could lead to violent confrontations. If the government persists in bringing Gayyoom to justice the situation could lead to the President using his power to enforce 144 and impose temporary martial law.
4. DRP is also getting help from some “independent” MPs such as (Kutti) Nasheed in undermining the relationship between the military (MNDF) and the government. These attempts could eventually lead to a reversing of the democratization process of the country.
I do not believe that this country could achieve anything good as long as Gayyoom and Yamin and their cronies have a say about our future. The best service that Gayyoom could do his country at present would be to retire from politics and let us fend for ourselves. If that doesn’t happen then we should buckle out seatbelts for a turbulent ride towards an uncertain future.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We should not let the government or MNDF or anyone else “rape” our dreams by “raping” Gan!

Is it true that the government is getting ready to secretly give two thirds of Addu Atoll Gan to the Maldives National Defense Force? There has been no official confirmation of such a thing but many Adduans now believe that President Nasheed’s government is secretly liaising with Mohamed Naseer the State Minister for Southern Province and senior MNDF officers, to give away a large chunk of Gan to MNDF as part of MNDF’s southern army base.
MNDF’s Commander for Southern Area (Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi) was reported to have denied these claims; but he said that a large plot of land formerly assigned for an industrial factory has now been “bought” by MNDF. These quotes goes to prove that there is something hidden from the public!
Hundreds of Adduans have now signed a petition that is being prepared to be submitted to the President, asking President Nasheed to stop this if it were true. Adduans see Gan as the industrial and economic “heart” of Southern Province and they do not want Gan to be “raped” like this.
I would give my support (for what it’s worth) to those Adduans who are concerned about this “dangerous” scenario. Gan is not only part of the heritage of the Southern atolls but it is part of the country’s heritage and most definitely it is connected to the economic aspirations and dreams of the Southerners.
Today I heard a person from Huvadhoo Atoll saying that the government will not expand Gan Airport, but instead develop a brand new international airport at Huvadhoo Atoll and use Gan as a military base. This would be a nail on the coffin of us Adduans. Where is the yacht mariner promised to Gan? Where is the proper international airport promised at Gan? Where is the golf course we so often dreamed about?
It’s easy to say: “over my dead body”! Indeed if this were true, the government can “rape” Gan in this manner only over the collect “dead body” of all Adduans!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gayyoom talking against human rights abuses is like Pamela Anderson talking against artificial breast enlargement!

In a speech to the Muslim world recently, US President Obama said: “...there are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once (when they are) in power; they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others."

This statement reminds us of our ex-president Gayyoom - who was ruthless during his 30-years of power – who is now asking the current government to be more democratic and fair. Gayyoom talking against human rights abuses is like Pamela Anderson talking against artificial breast enlargement!

Please! For God’s sake stop your crocodile tears and pretensions. You trampled all human rights when you were in power. Now, don’t lecture us on democracy and freedoms and fairness. We have better things to do than listen to your hypocritical ramblings.

Gayyoom says that there’s no democracy in the country now that he is no longer President! What a joke. He says that everyone is now scared of being arrested and summoned to the police at any time. Well, Gayyoom and his partners-in-crime maybe losing sleep over this fear. We were scared of such things when you were in power. So stop generalizing your fears into a national phobia!

I have to repeat my previous stament again. Indeed, Gayyoom talking against human rights abuses is like Pamela Anderson talking against artificial breast enlargement!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I do not support a block vote!

The two leading parties has been locking horns for two days now, deliberating on whether to take a block vote for the names proposed for the cabinet or whether top vote for the three candidates separately. President Mohamed Nasheed submitted Mahmoud Razee for the post of civil aviation minister, former speaker of parliament Mohamed Shihab for home minister and prominent lawyer Husnu Suood for attorney general.

Members of the Parliament have still not come to an agreement on whether to vote on all three together or separately. Even when President Nasheed’s initial cabinet was approved by the Parliament on a block vote, I remained an opponent of the block vote and I still remain that way.

Though an MDP member, I cannot blindly agree with all the stands taken by the party. I have to say that one cannot buy a sack of potatoes if five of the 50 potatoes are rotten. When you recruit 10 staff for a company you do not interview and recruit them as a block. You interview the 10 people separately and you recruit them separately.

I believe that Gayyoom and his party could well have tricks up their sleeve, but that is no excuse to do things in undemocratic ways.

Yes, I would say that it would be an undemocratic thing to take a block vote when approving members for the cabinet. This one can be good and this one can be ok and that one could be fine and the other one could be inappropriate! One just can’t decide on this as a whole. I think it’s a ridiculous debate which is going on at the Parliament just now. Is this what we are paying them millions for? To engage in this sort of childish banter?

Friday, May 29, 2009

There’s only one United and there’s only one MDP!

A reader commented on this blog: “DRP won 2-0. Dhen La la laa Bush! You know nothing about predicting politics!”

Wasn’t it DRP who predicted that Gayyoom would win the presidential election in 2008? Wasn’t it DRP who predicted that Maldivians will never elect Mohamed Nasheed as their president? Wasn’t it DRP who predicted that they would win 60 seats in the Majlis?

Well! Gayyoom didn’t win the presidential election! Maldivian’s did elect Nasheed as their president! Drp didn’t win 60 seats in the Majlis. So who is it who can’t predict politics? Me or DRP?

I’m not scared of making predictions. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. This time I was wrong. The front page of Haveeru Daily reported that DRP won and the back page of the newspaper reported that Barcelona won the final match! I had to put masking-tape on the front and the back pages of Haveeru before I could touch it even with sugical gloves! (he he! kidding!) Anyway, life can seem to be so cruel at times. But it is the brave and the wise that can always detect or sense the silver lining in the gloomy clouds!

Now, just because a DRP member (Shahid) is the elected Speaker of the Majlis, don’t expect him to be a lapdog of Gayyoom or Yamin or Thasmeen. In politics things can reverse just overnight. Alliances can break and new alliances could be made. Nasheed is still the president and insha Allah Manchester United will win the quintuple next season!