Maldives Democracy Watch



2 September 2006

Whatever happened to “separation of powers”?
From its inception, the catch-phrase of the Maldives “democracy” movement has been “separation of powers”. The movement seems to believe that the easiest way to topple the government of the incumbent president of the republic is to establish strict demarcation between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. It looks like this self-righteous objective has limits when it suits the purposes of the “democracy” movement.

The Maldivian "Democratic" Party (MDP) legislators in the constitutional plenary of the Maldives parliament (called People's Special Majlis) have recently argued that it is parliament and not the executive that ought to conduct a plebiscite to determine as to whether the Maldives should have a parliamentary or a presidential system of government. The MDP lawmakers are clearly of the opinion that it is fine for them to usurp a function of the executive.

The MDP’s media release MDP/2006/PR-97 dated 29 August calls for the president of the republic to surrender executive powers to parliament on a temporary basis.

It is clear that for these people, legal niceties are subject to self-serving ends; that they regard themselves as exempt from such niceties. If the current Maldive president of the republic placed himself above the law, he probably waited to do so until he gained power. The Maldive "democracy" movement appears to be seeking to place themselves above the law before gaining power.

A recent visitor to this site called the MDP "Munaafigunge Divehi Paatee", which translates as the "Maldive Party of Hypocrites' ". On reflection, we are increasingly of the opinion that there is some justification for such a label.

Has the Maldives “democracy” movement finally abandoned censorship?
It was not so long ago that Dhivehi Observer (DO) the main media organ of the Maldive “democracy” movement censored our web site by removing the link in their site to ours. Someone very closely connected to DO, on condition of strict anonymity, said that their readership was too sensitive to our position on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Evidently censorship was required to appease the public. International mores on human rights are anathema to the shadowy mullahs behind the Maldive "democracy" movement.

The Maldives main opposition party, the Maldivian "Democratic" Party (MDP) has a written undertaking to oppose any moves to adopt these two international human rights instruments.

Section 3.3 (a) of the MDP Rules of Procedure (provisional constitution) states that the party shall endeavour to protect and preserve the "esteemed religion of Islam" and that the Party shall not permit any religion other than Islam. This undertaking by the MDP directly contravenes Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Although a permanent constitution of the MDP still remains to be formulated and adopted, the party’s extraordinary general meeting (called Congress) convened recently in Malé passed a remit confirming the above position.

Given this, it is surprising that DO and at least one other Maldive opposition web site called Sandhaanu has recently been repeatedly allowing someone who claims to be an American Christian to enter overtly Christian posts in their sites. Some of the posts include passages from the Bible in the Maldive language. DO has since blocked the person who claims to be the American. However some of his and similar posts by others are still online (the links in this paragraph remain uncensored on 2 September).

Perhaps the secretive Westminster House Accord brokered by British diplomats between the MDP and the Maldive Government includes clauses against censorship and for permitting religious freedom. The anti-freedom Maldivian “Democratic” Party could well be opening up to what they would regard as a rather quaint, infidel, Western concept called democracy.

It was only earlier this year that the MDP passed a resolution bordering on a call for press censorship in Europe.

In its resolution 2006/3 of 2 February 2006, the Maldivian “Democratic” Party had condemned press freedom exercised in Denmark. The condemnation relates to cartoons that were first published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

There was no condemnation by the MDP when Muslims in London demonstrating against the cartoons called for the murder of British and European nationals and threatened to take women as war booty. The MDP’s strongest Internet ally the Dhivehi Observer (DO) operates out of the UK. There are several staunch MDP supporters based in the UK who live off the generosity of the British taxpayer. The MDP also uses the good offices of British diplomats to broker deals with the Maldive Government. Despite all this, it is clear from the party’s failure to issue a resolution condemning the Islamic calls for violence that, for them, British lives are probabaly worthless.

In the video clip below, Islamic demonstrators in London openly call for murder. Many of them are refugees who have been granted asylum by the British people and are on welfare benefits funded by the British taxpayer. They are threatening to kill their male hosts and take their wives as war booty. They are also referring to an Islamic war that Mohamed fought against the Jews of Arabia amongst whom he had earlier taken refuge. In that and other wars the Jewish men were beheaded and their women taken as war booty.