#Adeeb4VP; Cause and Effect – Ripples in the Unknown

Ahmed Adeeb being sworn in as the Vice President - Source CNM

Ahmed Adeeb being sworn in as the Vice President – Source CNM

So all the talk of the town during the past month or so has come to its fruitful conclusion. A new Vice President was sworn in just yesterday, none other than Ahmed Adeeb, our former tourism minister, who practically swore that he wasn’t looking to fill in the position of the Vice President. He is the man behind the ousting of the former Auditor General Niyaz. The most corrupt youngster that we’ve seen in the Maldivian political scene in recent times. PG Leader Ahmed Nihan hails him as the man who collects “fees” from businesses to keep their party PPM (Progressive Party of Maldives) afloat. I call it blatant corruption.

I’ve got so many things I want to say about what has gone down within this week. Nothing nice, mind you. About how MDP (Maldivian Democratic Party) got into bed with the devil & seemed not to care an atom’s worth of what the public’s sentiments were on the matter. I’ve ranted so much on Twitter this afternoon about this that I felt like I should just take a break from all this & let this wash over me. Like I’ve done when encountered with every disappointing facet of Maldivian politics in recent times.

For one thing, the sheer audacity of the MPs who’ve been supporting every amendment that has been proposed left & right by the governing party aka PPM has been nothing short of nauseating. The response from most MDP MPs has been that ‘this is for the common good’ or ‘you wouldn’t understand this right now’ or the mother load of excuses ‘the only thing that matters to MDP right now is freedom for President Nasheed’.

And then there’s this. The confrontational mindset which refuses to back down even when they themselves know what they are doing ain’t right. ‘Why don’t you come out to the streets & protest?’ Or ‘Why don’t you elect some other person to represent you?’ Or ‘We are your elected representatives. So let us make these decisions for you’ or so it goes. Basically, all this boils down to one simple statement. We, the elected representatives aka the upper echelon know better. You, the stupid constituents know not what you’re talking about.

There’s also this group of supporters that rally behind MDP saying this. ‘This is the result of selling off your votes for MVR 500. So why blame MDP now?’ I mean seriously? There’s shifting blame & there’s blaming the constituents for the shit that MDP has been wading through ever since they lost the 2013’s presidential election.

For whatever reason, the how’s & why’s behind President Yameen & co winning the election of 2013 is a topic that requires a separate discussion. President Nasheed opted to accept the election results when they were finally announced, wanting to lead by the democratic example. It is not even two years since President Yameen took office & so many things have gone wrong since then that one can hardly keep count.

The latest fiasco began with the transfer of President Nasheed to house arrest from prison, where he was carrying out the sentence on terrorism charges that was meshed out by the Criminal Court of Maldives. Don’t even get me started on the sheer injustice of the “trial” that was carried out. I’ve ranted about it enough, written about it on the blog itself enough for people to know that I would never believe that justice was the basis of President Nasheed’s entire trial.

The story of the “deals” that went behind the scenes is what got the people, well, people like myself at least, all riled up this time around. The deal that would see the Constitution amended to allow the Vice President & President to be a person between the ages of 30 – 65; previously the starting age being set at 35 with no capping on the other end. Rumors were afloat by then that the Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb was the one who was going to come on board as the Vice President. But for this to happen, the then incumbent Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed had to go. With him not in the mood to give in & resign, of course it meant that the ruling coalition had to resort to a no confidence motion at the parliament (People’s Majlis) against Dr. Jameel, which too required that MDP be on board.

With the game fully set in motion, MDP & some of its supporters & people like myself who have supported the principles upon which the party was founded upon & believed in them, well lets just say that it was inevitable that not everyone was on board with “let’s save President Nasheed at the expense of the rest of the country” plan. Couple of months back, in celebration of President Nasheed’s birthday, MDP came up with a video narration of sorts entitled Hayaatheh Jaluga, loosely translated into “A life in prison”, which when I look back upon was perhaps the foundation upon which the aforementioned campaign was based on.

President Nasheed certainly never has used his horrific experiences at the prisons during President Maumoon’s regime as a campaign tactic. So even back then, when this video first came into existence, me being the second guessing sort of person I am, questioned the move by MDP. Although I am all for people learning what President Nasheed has been through & his sacrifices for the country, I am just questioning right about everything that MDP has been doing up till now. Guess that is what inevitably happens when the trust breaks & you begin looking for problems where none exists. But I believe I am not alone in feeling this way. Betrayed & utterly & thoroughly depressed.

The final straw was the bill that PPM put forward hastily on 21.07.2015, the bill that would see to foreign land ownership in the country, this being right after the session that saw the vote that ousted Dr. Jameel from the position of Vice President. Because of the grudge that MDP holds for Dr. Jameel, who has few or more like zero friends left in the political sphere, not many thought anything of the haste and unjust manner in which PPM speedily executed the no confidence motion put forward, with the help of members of MDP of course.

Without researching into the ramifications, the results & effects that a foreign land ownership bill would mean to a country such as ours, an “emergency” parliament session of sorts happened just that night. Debate that took place saw most MPs in favor of the bill, which of course wasn’t surprising. The uproar amongst the people however was certainly huge. You only had to look at the chatter on the social media to understand that people’s frustrations were at an all time high & that MDP acceding to the bill would perhaps become the final straw.

While people were still trying to grapple with the bill that had been put forth by the government, President Yameen appointed his new Vice President, Ahmed Adeeb, swore him in with the Supreme Justice present & of course on the same breathe sent the decision to parliament for approval just yesterday (22.07.2015). Before the day was through, Adeeb had been accepted as the Vice President (70 out of the 84 said YES) & the foreign land ownership bill had also passed through (70 out of the 84 said YES), both with flying colors.

Meanwhile diehard MDP fans & supporters refuse to acknowledge the fact that all this could not have happened without MDP being part of the package, that MDP could have actually walked the talk they have been preaching left & right since they came into existence. For instance, today’s free whip line still managed to garner the votes required for the foreign land ownership amendment, which would still have been the case had MDP opted for a free whip for the age amendment, both being amendments to the constitution. That would have at least meant that MDP “wanted” to uphold its principles but given the circumstances, left it up to individual members to decide how they wanted to vote. That, I believe would’ve showed the public just who & who in MDP are part of the ring of “corruption” that runs rampant in our parliament today.

For a party that celebrated its 10th anniversary just recently, it is a bit disheartening & disappointing that they don’t have an alternative leader in place to lead the party & contest in the 2018 presidential elections. Betting all they have on President Nasheed as the only candidate that they would like to see become President is unrealistic given the volatility of Maldivian politics & public sentiments across the board. My opinion, as irrelevant as it maybe is that this country would no longer give President Nasheed the chance to govern it again, come 2018 or even later on.

If you ask me, President Yameen has proved himself to be a brilliant politician & strategist. What he has achieved since imprisoning President Nasheed has been nothing short of remarkable. With this last piece in place, President Yameen has managed to severely cripple the trust members of MDP & rest of the public have placed in the party as the “savior” that works for the common good of the people. Perhaps as usual, we might forget what has happened today, tomorrow. But I believe that these ripples of mistrust would continue to gain strength, if something weren’t to give in the near future.

As always, what will happen now remains to be seen. There are talks of a new party cropping up, a “Common People’s Party” that would stand & fight against corruption that is rampant in the country, I’d say the root of all our problems to begin with. Like President Nasheed said in an article in New York Times, “The Dregs of Dictatorship“, dictatorships don’t always die when dictators leave office. To root out the corruption, to put to rights the rotten to the core judiciary of this country, perhaps that is what is required now, a third & somewhat different an ideology from mainstream ones. A party that could stir the masses into action, that would be able to walk the talk & perhaps, just perhaps, lead our country into a place where we could experience even a semblance of tthe benefits of a unified & developed nation.

My prayer, as always is that we as a country be able to prosper, without the corrupt dragging us down along with them. Amen!

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The Amendment that Brought the Opposition to its Knees

Placard used in one of MDP's rallies. Brings home the truth? Photo from Haveeru

Placard used in one of MDP’s rallies. Brings home the truth? Photo from Haveeru

2008 saw a new beginning for the people of Maldives. Or so we thought. At least that’s what happened when President Nasheed first assumed office. People were free of the shackles of fear, intimidation & dread that had bounded them, some even for their entire lifetimes. But it was a short lived happiness. All that changed when deals within the parliament and out of it, to go ahead with developmental projects, as the opposition then which was today’s government, remained stronger even then than the MDP government, which made it practically impossible to proceed if otherwise. Velezinee’s outcries regarding the judiciary, the composition of the Supreme Court went unheeded, the aftermath of which we are living through, even today.

Fast forward to February 7 2012, a day that marked the beginning of the end of the democratic process that had gained little momentum, and had started its inevitable descent into chaos. It wasn’t just MDP and President Nasheed that suffered in the aftermath that followed. Countless Maldivians who actually believed in the concept of ‘aneh dhivehiraajje’; we all suffered, mourned and were debilitated by the loss of the government we all believed would serve the people than the cronies that surrounded them. Some cried, others held them back because President Nasheed stood up and showed that there was fight still left in him. The people rose, to fight, to get back the rights that they’d fought for so hard, so long, only for it to slip through the fingers just like that.

Commonwealth intervention after the coup brought forth the report by the Commission of National Inquiry set up by Dr. Waheed’s government. Hard as it was to swallow the results of the report, the blatant untruths in it, the sheer audacity behind its justifications, we bucked up and dealt. It was frustrating, it was a blow to the solar plexus of the people who believed. But once again, I believed in the wisdom behind President Nasheed taking the higher road. Just as I’d believed that had President Nasheed not stepped down on the day of the coup, this country would’ve had the blood of its people shed on its soil, something we would never have been able to move past from. And after months of protests, people had to focus their energies on something that’d give them hope. And that was the election of 2013.

Come election time, people were jubilant. Their voice was once again going to be heard, their votes the very thing that’d break apart a government that had been put together by mutinying forces within the police and military. The tick that they’d place on the ballot paper being the one that would smash to smithereens the belief held by the corrupt circle of politicians that had financed and backed the coup that had ousted a legitimate government.

2013 yet again proved to be one that tested the patience and endurance of MDP as well as those that believed in them. Supreme Court’s high handed tactics, all well orchestrated by the people in power today, with the help of business tycoon Qasim Ibrahim who himself is cowering somewhere outside of the country at the moment, is one that continues to haunt us. People were literally and figuratively fed up by the time the last round of elections were held and once more, I believed in the path that President Nasheed chose to walk upon when he conceded defeat and allowed President Yameen to assume office. It irked, it rankled and it put a huge damper on our hopes, the sheer effort that MDP had put into its campaign enough to show who had been the most deserving of the title of Presidency.

Since then, a lot has happened. President Nasheed decided on his own volition that to be born again, one had to die and that he’d face the consequences of the corrupt judiciary that stands ready to legitimize every single unjustifiable deed that is done by the incumbent government. 13 years in jail was what he got out of it, once more a blow to the hearts of his supporters, the people who believed in him. That President Nasheed chose to stand his ground and fight, rather than go into hiding was one that resonated within the hearts of even those that were reluctant to give him any credit. But sadly, today I find myself having difficulty reconciling with what the opposition, MDP, the party whose basic principles I have believed in, how utterly and effectively defeated they seem to stand, the values they’d preached on podiums with vigor all but lying tattered beneath their feet.

As I write this, parliament will be taking the vote that’d decide whether the constitutional amendment which would mean the age of the President and Vice President be capped between 30 and 65 would go through, meaning the current Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed would be ousted and most likely, as rumors have it, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb be brought in as our new Vice President.

None of this can happen without MDP choosing to vote yes, with 3/4th majority of parliament members required to bring amendments to the constitution. What is supposed to be the ‘sacred’ rule book that should govern the affairs of the country is now being amended at whim, to suite the political ambitions of a certain group of people, and MDP is complicit in the very act, at last bowing down to the whims of this tyrannical government that rules and maintains its hold through corruption, coercion and pressing on the pressure points that’d yield them results.

I remain in a state of chaotic contemplation, my mind unable to accept the gravity of MDP’s decision to align itself with this government, the way it so silently folded, in the face of whatever the government dangled in front of them. If one were to deduce things from what has been on the forefront of the news, MDP hopes to secure the release of President Nasheed, and perhaps foresee him contesting in the 2018’s election.

I hold no such hope. In my naivety as some people put it, I see the incumbent government for what it is. A state ruled by the corrupt rich, gangsters a part of its core, the sort of people you never ever sit down to make deals with.

There’s no point in being principled if you can’t walk the talk. There’s no point of honor if you can’t show it to the people when they need to see it the most. And there’s no point of hope, when the very party that acted as the beacon of it has just switched itself off, and not a flicker of it remains to visible to the naked eye.

PS: As I was set to publish this, the amendment was passed with a whopping 77 votes from the 85 member parliament. MPs of Kendhoo constituency Ali Hussain and Galolhu Dhekunu constituency Ahmed Mahloof were the only ones who seemed to have listened to the sentiments of the public that didn’t want the amendment passed. Thank you for listening to the people. Thank you.

Coup-versary!

coupa

The first trickle of unease and fear began in my heart when Umar Naseer came out with his ladder theory. My anxiety meter ratcheted up to a level that made me blurt out that Umar Naseer was calling out in front of an audience to topple an elected government and someone needs to do something about it. But alas, like almost every chaos inciting speech that had been made by the opposition movement that had been holding protests for longer than 2 weeks was ignored. Of course for a President that believes the best in people who was busy trying to fulfill all his pledges before the 5 year term was up, Nasheed did not have the time to spare and neither did his administration. But the protests that were started off with the arrest of the infamous Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed seemed to be the beginning of the end. Or perhaps the beginning of the end lay somewhere further along the way when Velezinee tried to bring everyone’s attention to the atrocities that were being committed by the Judicial Service Commission, the Judiciary watchdog of the country. Needless to say, everyone else to whom I voiced my worries regarding Umar Naseer’s statement scoffed off my worries.

And so on the night of the 6th of February 2012, as usual I went  to bed not knowing the next day would be one of the saddest days of my life. That I would wake up to find a level of chaos that this country has not seen during recent times and that I would see the President I voted for during the 2008 election forced to resign because the opposition had gained a far more tensile sort of momentum which had gained further strength upon the addition of mutinying police and military officers joining with the protesters to uphold the “law and order” of the country.

Since I never switched on the television or the radio before heading to work, I never knew anything was wrong until I was well on my way to work. I knew something was off when I heard people shouting. Since Velaanaage is pretty close to the Republic Square area, the shouts of the angry protesters and rioting police & military officers could be heard all over. And upon asking one of my colleagues who conspiratorially whispered to me that the police and military have also joined “the people”, I knew then and there that what I had feared that night was indeed turning into reality.

As the morning progressed, things went from bad to worse. Majority of people at work place cheered on a coup as it happened something that broke my heart and made me so frustrated with people’s attitudes. Half of them didn’t even know what was happening, why this was happening, but the fact that the smear campaign that had been ongoing ever since Nasheed’s term had begun had taken effect and gotten deep rooted in their subconscious. Even now if you ask most people who thinks Nasheed deserved to be toppled from power in such a manner would always start throwing around “Judge Abdulla Mohamed”, “unconstitutional orders” etc. It doesn’t matter that the judge in question was one who was under investigation by the Judicial Service Commission themselves for incompetency and untoward acts committed by him in his capacity as a judge. But as they say, “lies spread like wildfire, consuming everything within their path.” In this instance it was the already small minds of the people who have seldom being taught to think on their own and reason out during a 30 year dictatorship.

I never did read through all the live reporting that was done on Haveeru or Sun of the events that took place that day. For one thing my heart and emotions couldn’t take it. For another I was just too frustrated with everything that had happened, the loss of so much within just a couple of hours of the day. I don’t think that I can still adequately describe the upheaval that my emotions went through that day. And the only saving grace was the support of my family who thankfully are not divided in the opinion of what took place that day. However I did take the time to save the timeline of events on Sun.mv though because you never know when the “facts” will become distorted in a country like ours that is always ripe for storytelling.

Reading through the timeline (which I have translated and uploaded here for anyone who would like to take a look), the inability or rather the inaction by the military to uphold the oath they have taken is the most glaring failure of the night and the 7th of February as it dawned. Such inaction by the military officers as the riots first started at the Artificial Beach, acting as mere spectators of a gory event as it unfolded in front of them is simply something unacceptable. There came countless times when they could have brought the situation under control. But perhaps the command structure which had pretty much failed in an institution where following orders as they are handed down is top priority was the main reason behind the rapid escalation of the events. And when intervention did come, I would say it just came too little, too late.

The question that has always remained utmost on my mind ever since the Feb 7th is how can I trust a military that couldn’t protect the elected president of the country from a mob of police officers that had gone rogue? How could military officers give into emotion and start shedding tears like a group of wussies who couldn’t put their duty and the country first because their “friends” were the ones they had to confront? Some might say let bygones be bygones but I am someone who used to respect people who work in the armed forces but now I have nothing but disdain for the uniform they wear which is a joke unto itself.

One other question that kept poking at my subconscious when going through the timeline was where was President Nasheed when all this was happening? Why wasn’t he informed earlier on? Was he informed and didn’t want to intervene that early on? And why so much hesitation on the military’s part to do the needful, to disperse the protesting officers and restore law and order in the city when it would have been possible in the wee hours of the morning? I guess the answer lies in Tholhath, the Defense Minister then, who in reality had all along being in cahoots with the opposition.

Tholhath’s betrayal to President Nasheed and members of the party is evident now when you look at the timeline with fresh eyes and a new perspective. It was partly his doing that led the situation to the level it deteriorated then. In the end nothing justifies the toppling of a people elected government by a bunch of hooligans in uniform who chanted all over the city that they were finally upholding the law and order in the country and that they were doing it for Islam.

As we “mark” the one year anniversary of the coup that blinded international community and made countries like America and India that boasts of being the biggest democracies in the modern world turn their third eye blind towards us, the people who still voted for Nasheed wanting an end to the tyranny and injustice that has been part of the Maldivian life for too long to count still bleeds from their heart. I still bleed from my heart over the events that took place that day. My eyes still hold the tears that remains to be shed, my mind still goes crazy when I think of the absolute defiance to order and the gross misuse of power that police and military officers embroiled in on that fateful day.

There are lessons to be learned from all of this. That “hiythirikan” only takes you along so far. Patience and wanting to believe the good in the other person only works when the group of people who sit with you aren’t a pack of vultures, always analyzing which spot to pick on, which point to prick on you for you to bleed.

For one thing letting the media have free reign without any thought to the consequences of spreading vile untruths and half truths and spreading malice amongst society was a grave mistake. It was President Nasheed’s pledge to give the country and its people the freedom that they deserve, but perhaps the one glaring mistake his administration did was to leave this freedom unchecked. With great freedom comes also a great responsibility to do what’s right which somehow went unheeded by the media channels in their frenzy to create an environment of hatred towards the President of the country, of course with the backing of the old cogs of the previous regime whose hatred for a simple man who rose to the position of the President of this country had unleased an ever growing sense of jealousy and hatred in their hearts.

I blame President Nasheed for landing us in this position as well. He should have known better than to put his trust in the cogs who have been oiling the 30 year old regime machine better than the rest of us. He who suffered too numerous times to count from the injustice of a regime that was notorious for inhumane torture of the dissenting voices; Nasheed should have known better.

I blame MDP MP’s too. They should have stood by Velezinee when she was the lone voice that stood up against the beginning of the elements of the coup that was being put into motion within the walls of the so called judicial system of ours. Everyone stood by, let her scream her voice and the walls down, some turned their back on her in shame, others just laughed it over, made deals that would benefit them, and look where we are now? If everyone had stepped up to the plate, done what they were supposed to do and given Velezinee the support that she had needed so much then, maybe, just maybe we wouldn’t have ever had to see the atrocious events of the 7th of February 2012.

I’ll end this post with a poem I came across on Twitter, penned by Mickail Naseem for the one year “anniversary” of the coup, that struck a chord deep within me. Let’s hope that the day of reckoning for the traitorous lot is not too far away, that they face the punishment for the heinous crime against the votes and voices of the people of this country that would not drown out and fade away in its resonant call to restore democracy and rights of the people in this failed country of ours. Long live democracy! Long live people’s power!

“Surrounded by armed mutineers,
He stood with his resolve unwavering,
Constantly reminded of his family at risk,
His presidential self deemed duty most supreme,
Friends, colleagues and women beaten all the same
His cousin, his family, bleeding before his eyes
Years of sacrifice for liberty and freedom,
Still engulfed his selfless mind
A plea for mercy
Bellowing across the chaotic ground
The commander in chief
Begged from the rank and file
Pleas ignored, all hell broke loose
A general said, it’s time to shoot
Decided he was
No one should die
Resigned the president
In a blink of an eye

Nasheed’s Downfall – My Thoughts

President Nasheed was the first democratically elected president of the Maldives who was sworn into office on the 11th of November 2008. He was a man who came forward with a manifesto that promised a lot of things that most of us did not believe in, because lets face it, 30 years of most of our lives had gone by and nothing for the betterment of our lives had really been done by President Maumoon through that long period of time. Though President Nasheed worked 24/7 to deliver on his promises, there were glaringly obvious mistakes that his administration made as well. So what gave the then opposition the fodder that they needed to spin their tales into gigantic proportions, to make people lose faith in Nasheed’s administration and finally gave them the “courage” needed to topple his government?

As it turns out, this morning I found myself having a discussion with my Twitter peeps, the first time I guess I have had a meaningful discussion with people who had different views on Nasheed’s administration and his time serving the people as the President. Opinions varied on different matters but it was both invigorating and informative at the same time and I really enjoyed the different viewpoints that came into light throughout the discussion. So, here are some of my thoughts borne out of the discussion as to why Nasheed’s administration started going downhill, perhaps a lesson to be learnt for anyone and everyone who aspires to lead this country one day.

1. Nasheed’s policy of being “hiythiri” or too forgiving for his own good. Perhaps this trait of his is a double edged sword that somehow got him into the “tight spot” and also the reason why thousands of people rallied behind him after he was forced to step down. I was someone who vehemently opposed Nasheed’s way of turning a blind eye towards the atrocities committed by the people in power before him. In my opinion, the major reason why people wanted a change and voted for one was because they wanted justice. And justice they did not get because Nasheed decided to do the “kind” thing and forgave and forgot everyone who basically made life a living hell for anyone who did not agree with Maumoon’s presidency. Nasheed had the right to forgive people for the torture and punishment that he received at their hands, but he had no right to forgive and forget on behalf of the rest of us, of whom I still believe that we deserve justice from the perpetrators of the atrocities that were committed then. If Nasheed cannot deliver that even if re-elected, I don’t foresee a different ending to his next “term” as well.

2. Lack of good PR from Nasheed’s administration. President Nasheed was a man who was always focused on achieving his dream of a better Maldives for the people of this country. Maybe it was this reason that caused him to experience “tunnel-vision” when it came to all the bad publicity that his administration was receiving from left and right. Yes, President Nasheed remained steadfast in delivering his Friday radio speech religiously to update the public on his take on events related to governance and well being of the general public, and I guess he believed that people would see what his administration was so busy trying to accomplish even with most of the media channels trying to label him as the next Mugabe in line. Nasheed should have invested a bit more effort in good PR, in answering those questions that flared to life whenever accusations were hurled at him across the table, some of which when went unanswered caused irreparable damage to his administration.

3. Creation of too many political posts in the government. This could be argued in favor of him as well. Since I am in a position where I am able to observe the “attitude” of civil servants and its governing body towards Nasheed’s administration, which I should add is not a very favorable one; needless to say there were conflicts between Maumoon loyalists who remained at the top level posts of the civil service layer and the political appointees loyal to Nasheed’s administration. I am one who will steadfastly believe that the Maldivian civil service is not a very professional one, because to put their differences aside and work towards accomplishing the mandate of the government in place is not a concept that many civil servants adhere to or understand. Tabling that for a whole other discussion, I will point out that Nasheed was at times “forced” to put in place people he could trust to deliver and not drag their feet, because lets face it, Nasheed certainly didn’t have 30 years to sit around and discuss road maps while the country falls apart at its seams. But the truth of the matter is, there were appointees that didn’t serve any purpose, that just reflected Nasheed’s “poor” judgement and inevitably directed a lot of criticism towards him as he was one who advocated for a small administration to run the government during his campaign for presidency.

4. Tackling the issues about the incompetent judiciary. Ms. Velezinee was President Nasheed’s appointee in the Judicial Services Commission and her many outcries regarding what was taking place wasn’t dealt with very effectively. There might not have been much Nasheed could have done, but in my opinion, the administration could have put in a bit more pressure on the judicial governing bodies as well as its Attorney General Husnu Suood who at the time must have been snoozing through the whole thing. Nasheed’s swift response in ordering the arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed came too late, and by that time, the opposition had already stated their point and brainwashed the people with the concept of “upholding” the very constitution that they refused to abide by. So in the end, the one thing Nasheed did to “save” the judiciary or rather the people from an inept and corrupt judiciary was the pivotal reason behind the events that took place on February 7th, 2012.

5. Too many policies, too little time. As humans, we always resist change whether it be good or bad. Very few of us embrace change wholeheartedly. When Nasheed’s administration came into place, a lot of new policies came into effect, some of them which the general public weren’t very much aware of. With most of the media controlled by the opposition, there was perhaps little that the government could do to drive their message across. And so as it happened, people continued to receive information on the undesirable effects of such a policy being put into place and thus the resistance to change became multiplied by tenfold which sometimes led to conflicts between the governing body and the people.

6. The religion card. In my opinion, religion is always the best way to stir things up and play with people’s emotions most effectively. There is nothing that would enrage a collective society more than being “mocked” for their beliefs and in my opinion, Nasheed should have let the sleeping dog lie. His message that radical elements were growing within the Maldivian society was one that wasn’t well received, and this in turn brought about the December 23rd Alliance which played a very major role in the coup that was executed to bring down Nasheed’s administration. The concept that “people” would understand the message that Nasheed was trying to drive across didn’t work out so well because how do you teach an old dog new tricks? How do you make someone who has already made up his mind think and come to his own conclusions based on the facts when the facts itself were distorted until nothing remained clear anymore?

7. Raised concerns of increased corruption in his administration. I believe that the government failed to address these concerns whether it be founded or unfounded allegations which still remains to be seen. But Nasheed’s policy was what would have worked in a country where all the governing bodies and watchdogs of a democratic nation do their jobs and exercise their authority with fairness and integrity which lets face it, is not the case in the Maldives. So Nasheed being at the helm of the government should have addressed these concerns, once again, this also pointing towards the government’s lack of answerability in issues of this nature.

8. The issue of MNBC. Again this is an issue that could be argued in favor of Nasheed’s administration as well. I say this because, a democratic nation ensures that its citizens are entitled to free and fair media in the country. With that in mind, Nasheed certainly never imposed any restrictions on any type of media that was circulating in the country. However, halfway into the 1st year of his government, DhiTV owned by one of the richest resort owners loyal to Maumoon decided to campaign against Nasheed’s administration and from then onwards there was nothing good that the government did for the people. It was all about negativity, spreading half truths that would embed themselves into the brains of its audience which would create discord amongst the people. And soon VTV followed suite, once again a TV channel owned by another notorious resort owner loyal to the previous regime. With media in the opposition’s stronghold, what possibility was there for Nasheed other than to “exploit” the media that was at his disposal? But that also proved to be one of the major points of criticism that the opposition had for Nasheed’s administration, and we all saw how the military and star force “freed” MNBC which was in the clutches of the “bad men” all along, which is again a “discussion” for another time perhaps.

I guess I could go on with a few more, but in my opinion these are some of the key reasons why people rallied behind the December 23rd Alliance, which then gave rise to the elements of a coup which was executed on that fateful day of the 7th of February.

There are lessons to be learnt always from our mistakes, and I hope that Nasheed has learnt his and would come out as a stronger and a better leader in spite of and maybe because of the continuous pressure within which he had to operate both during his presidency and now as the leading force behind those that cry out for democracy, elections and a competent and unbiased judiciary.

Long live democracy!

Increase in Salary? Nope, not really…

From the moment that the Circular No 2009/16 was published on the CSC website stating the reinstatement of salaries of civil servants effective 1st of January 2010, its the only thing anyone can talk about. I guess like everything else, most Maldivians do not have the proper information at hand to begin with, thus the surprise and glee on most of the faces of civil servants. And the funny thing is, most people mention this in terms of an increase in the salary when in fact what the CSC is doing is bringing back the salary level to its original state from the pay cuts that were enforced in October 2009.

If any of the civil servants had taken half the time to find out what the Civil Service Act which supposedly protects the right of all civil servants as a whole, they would have understood from the moment pay cuts were made that this reinstatement would take place after the three month period as mandated by the Civil Service Act.

Maldivians have the tendency to shoot off their mouths without half knowing what it is they are actually talking about. When the pay cuts were first enforced there was a lot of outrage from the general public which is quite understandable when you take into consideration how the general population especially living in Male’ barely survive on what they earn with the outrageous rents they have to pay for housing. However what I find highly disturbing is the fact that most do not even bother finding the reason why certain policies are brought about and how or what are the reasons why such a policy may have been implemented in the first place. And of course with the current crop of politicians who are divided on the minutest of issues taking things into their hands and spouting off whatever comes to mind, creates a greater rift in a society of ignorant people who do not even want to be enlightened in the first place. Of course partially this blame lies on the shoulders of the Civil Service Commission itself since they haven’t really done enough on making the public aware of what the Civil Service Act is all about.

With the opposition creating the ruckus that the positions of the upper management in the CSC are being held by wimps and are under the mastery of President Nasheed, the happily ignorant crop of civil servants acted as if a red flag had been waved in front of them, which in turn led to bad publicty all around which could could have been prevented in the first place if someone had thought of explaining what the Civil Service Act says regarding such pay cuts which amounts to something in the form of “If the country faces financial problems a pay cut could be imposed after discussions between the government and CSC for a period of three months, upon the end of which pay should be reinstated. If the need to impose pay cuts for a further period of time arises, this can only be done after re-evaluation of the financial situation of the country and further discussions between the CSC and government.” I bet if someone had explained this to the intended or if the intended had had the foresight to read the Act which protects them, the surprise everyone is expressing over the circular today could have been prevented.

Now let’s wait and see whether the government wants to impose pay cuts for a further period of time and whether the situation is deemed dire enough by the CSC to once again impose the same for another period of 3 months which I bet with everything I have no one is going to be ecstatic about with the rising costs of everyday life which has become the norm recently.