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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- Maldives: ‘Pro-Israel President booted out’ (therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com)
- Maldives court orders arrest of ousted president: party official – Reuters (reuters.com)
- US seeks to clarify Maldives power transfer (alternet.org)
- I quit at gunpoint‚ says Maldives ex-prez (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Q&A: Maldives crisis – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Maldives court ‘arrest warrant’ for Mohamed Nasheed – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Maldivians arresting deposed Indian puppet Nasheed (rupeenews.com)
- ‘Yes, I was forced to resign at gunpoint,’ former Maldives President says (news.nationalpost.com)
- Judge held by Nasheed released (thehindu.com)
- Former Maldives president criticizes US (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Filed under: Neighbours - Maldives Tagged: | Abdulla Mohamed, Acting Trainer, Addu, Atolls, Atolls of Maldives, Bangladesh, British Protectorates, Coup in Maldives, Dalai Lama, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, Diction Trainer, First Republic of Maldives, Gaumee Ittihaad Party, Gayoom, Hindi Teacher, Ibrahim Nasir, Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan, India, India's Neighbourhood, Kamal Nayan Chaturvedi, Maldives, Maldivian Democratic Party, Male, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Mohamed Fareed Didi, Mohamed Nasheed, Mohamed Waheed, Nasheed, Operation Cactus, President of the Maldives, Second Republic of Maldives, Self Immolations in Tibet, Tibet, Vidur, Vidur Chaturvedi, Vidur on Twitter, Vidur's Blog, Waheed