Maldives : A Coup ; Not Power Transfer


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 13 , 2012           12.15 P.M.

Last few days were really fluid in the neighbourhood of India . Tibet is burning and self – immolations continue unabated . World community is watching silently . I posted a blog about Tibet and was watching and reading about Tibet and was trying to get more information about the land of HH Dalai Lama . Suddenly Maldives was in the news and that too for all the wrong reasons . Democratically elected president was removed in bloodless coup and world is again watching with stoic silence .

Map indicating locations of India and Maldives

Map Indicating Location of India & Maldives

First news flash informed us that a group of policemen have revolted and have taken control of some government installations and TV station . Then came news of the resignation of The President of Maldives , Mohamed Nasheed . The then Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed took charge immediately and thus became the new President of Maldives . Later on it became apparent that it was a well orchestrated PR exercise of the coup leaders that  some policemen revolted and to quell the unrest and to avoid the bloodshed President of Maldives has resigned .

English: Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Mal...

Mohamed Nasheed ; President of Maldives

English: Profile picture of Dr. Waheed - First...

Mohamed Waheed ; Vice President of Maldives

Everything , in the beginning , looked innocuous and democratic . But news started filtering after few days . Things were not as simple as they looked or made out to look . It was a pre – meditated and pre – planned coup . President Mohamed Nasheed was trying to root out corruption and obviously some of the beneficiaries were aggrieved  and agitated . Moreover President Nasheed was considered a liberal and was close to India . So the hard-liners and some loony-fringes of the island  country were not too happy with him . And so they conspired , staged a coup and deposed the president . It was not a police revolt as it was made out in the beginning for the world community . It is the work of fundamentalists and some jehadi hard-liners . It is also alleged that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom  is the architect of the coup , a charge ,  he vehemently denies .

English: Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of th...

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom - President 1978 - 2008

It would be pertinent to re-visit some of the incidents preceding the coup . On January 12 , 2012 President Nasheed removed and got arrested Abdulla Mohamed , the Chief Justice of the Maldives Criminal Court on the charges that he was protecting the corrupt officers of President Gayoom’s regime . It was also alleged that the Chief Justice was blocking human rights cases of the Gayoom supporters . After arrest of the Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed , opposition started agitation for President Nasheed’s resignation . Soon President Nasheed’s supporters were also on the streets and situation became grim and volatile . President Nasheed ordered police and military to control and quell the anti – government protests . Instead of following his order , some section of the police and military disobeyed orders of the President and joined the opposition instead . According to me it is dereliction of duty on part of rebellious policemen and army soldiers . You are not supposed and permitted to disobey the orders of the head of the government of the day .

Rebellious soldiers took control of National TV station and called for President’s resignation . Soldiers took President Mohamed Nasheed under custody and gave him the choice of stepping down or to face consequences . President of the day Mohamed Nasheed rsigned and went home . Vice President Mohamed Waheed was immediately sworn in and thus became the new and 5th President of Maldives . And thus the first elected President of Maldives was forcefully removed and the world remains a mute spectator as they are in the case of Tibet . It is also alleged that he was removed at the gun point and was beaten blue and black .

maldives

maldives

Enchantingly beautiful , Maldives consists of approximately 1190 coral islands , which are grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls . Maldives is the lowest country in the world and the smallest in Asia in both population and land area . Maldives was a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965 . On July 26 , 1965 Maldives became independent and remained a Sultanate under King Mohamed Fareed Didi [ 1965 - 1968 ] , who became 1st president . In 1968 monarchy was replaced by a republic and Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan [ 1968 - 1978 ] became the 2nd  president . This period is known as Second Republic of Maldives .

Mohamed Fareed Didi President 1965 - 1968

Ibrahim Nasir President 1968 - 1978

After Ibrahim Nasir , Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party became the 3rd president of 2nd republic in 1978 and remained President till 2008 . During his 30 year tenure , there were several attempts to topple him . In 1988 , Indian soldiers were airlifted into Male , the capital of Maldives , to save President Gayoom and restore order and normalcy . The operation was named ” Operation Cactus  ” .

In 2008 a new constitution was approved and first direct presidential election occurred . Mohamed Nasheed of Maldivian Democratic Party won the election and became president . Mohamed Waheed of  Gaumee Ittihaad Party  became Vice President . Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s departure was greeted with much fanfare . Following board is the ample proof of the widespread jubilation .

Welcome to a Maumoon Free Maldives

Welcome to a Maumoon Free Maldives

Apart from being the 1st democratically elected president of Maldives and being the 4th president of the 2nd republic , Mohamed Nasheed has several other distinctions to his credit . He is a fighter for democracy . He was imprisoned for writing an article in a political magazine . That is why he was made an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience in 1991 . He was arrested repeatedly in 1990 , 92 , 93 , 94 and 95 . In 2000 , he was elected as a member of parliament . In 2001 , he was tried and sentenced for 2 and half years for theft  of government property . In 2003 he formed Maldivian Democratic Party in exile in Sri Lanka and Britain . He was recognized a political refugee by Britain in 2004 . In 2005 Mohamed Nasheed returned to Maldives from self – imposed exile and  was again arrested for terrorist activities .

In 2008 he ran for presidential election and won . He is the 4th president of the 2nd republic and the 1st elected president of Maldives . As a president he held one of his cabinet meeting underwater . It was first in the world .

Under Water cabinet Meeting of President Nasheed

It is sad that he was deposed in a coup. He sought India’s help but our government was not very responsive . Indian government launched ” Operation Cactus ” to save a despot and totalitarian like Maumoon Abdul Gayoom but failed to lauch similar operation to save a democratically elected president . I am sad . Maldives will not be same again without Mohamed Nasheed . There are reports of rampaging mob entering the museum and destroying Buddha statues . Ominous signs are there for everyone to see .

Supporters of Mohamed Nasheed are protesting . They are being attacked by police and army personnel . Biggest town of Maldives , Addu , which is also a stronghold of Mohamed Nasheed , is under virtual seize . House to house searches are going on and people are being arrested and tortured .

Supporters of President Nasheed

World leaders should put pressure on the government for the inquiry , as demanded by Mohamed Nasheed . According to me he should be immediately reinstated . If it is not feasible then election should be immediately declared . Arrest and persecution of Nasheed supporters should be stopped immediately . And I would like to add that I am not casting aspersions of any kind on Mohamed Waheed  , the then Vice President .

According to my personal view , Maldives come under the natural area of influence of India . And if the elected president of a friendly country seeks help , it is our duty to rush . Few days back similar coup was averted in Bangladesh . And now news comes of the coup in Maldives .

Our neighbourhood is becoming restive and volatile by each passing day . Inimical forces are at work but we are complacent as usual . I feel ominous days are ahead for India .

I am nobody but I denounce the coup in Maldives in strongest terms . I pray for the safety and well – being of Mohamed Nasheed and his supporters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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6 Responses

  1. Thank you! You have done justice!

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  2. It was not only a coup, the events were preceded by a campaign of virulent slander spearheaded by hardline religious figures.

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  3. this is bullshit nasheed has got no decipline to be a president. but u indian cannot sleep if ur neignbours having peace

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  4. Sir, you end with the words “I am nobody”, but the way you have presented a case for Mr.Nasheed, you seem to be somebody who has been shown one side of the coin. . As a Maldivian, I would like to point out some important fact that may help readers to reached an informed decision on the circumstances of Mr.Nasheed’s resignation.

    President Nasheed resigned at 1pm on 7th February 2012. He was at his home that night with his supporters. The first indication of the illegality of the transfer of power came from Interim Chairperson of MDP Moosa Manik at a meeting of MDP National Congress on 8th February 2.42pm in front of thousands of MDP members. The allegation and the fiery speeches created the atmosphere for what followed on the streets of Male and some of the islands. Until then the public were under the impression that even MDP will be taking part in the National Unity government announced by the President Waheed, based on MDP’s President Didi’s interviews.

    The million dollar question is why didn’t President Nasheed announce that it was a coup as soon as he was back with his supporters on 7th? Surely he was safe then. This would have given the International community something to ponder before accepting the new Government.

    On the 6th night, the Police did disobey commands, are you aware of what the first disobeyed command was? From then on the Police who disobeyed has to hold ground or get arrested. This was the beginning of events that led to his downfall. Whatever I have mentioned above can be easily verified by you.

    Nasheed is a good man who fought for justice and liberty. Sadly In the end his downfall was because he went against what he himself preached, the arbitrary detention on the “rouge Judge”!

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  5. This is all crap to get sympathy. It is Dr Waheed’s constitutional right as the vice president, to step in when president Nasheed stepped down. Why did former president Nasheed, not tell the media at the time of his resignation, that he was forced at gun point and that it it is a coup? Why did he meddle with the justice system? Why did he go out with his men on the streets crying out for violence and disobedience when what the country needed at the time was peace?The first and foremost priority of a good leader is to listen to the voices of his people. He failed his people when he ignored their pleas to release the chief justice. He gave a deaf ear and did not hear the people and did not negotiate or come to a compromise. If he did, he would still be in power today. His downfall is his own doing brought upon by stubborn and inflexible, undemocratic policies

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