Letters to the Editor


To Royal Majid:

You have lost your right to criticise MDP by leaving your motherland. We Maldivians may criticize MDP, because it is one of our Political parties but we will not tolerate any outsiders critisising them as we also do not like our Government being criticised by outsiders. MDP may have their faults, but they represent a large part of our community. While they have their shortcomings, they have contributed a hell of a lot to the changes which are being brought. Do you think that this Government would budge so easily without their pressure ? So I would politely ask you to remove the article you ahve regarding MDP.

An Independent Maldivian - Monday, October 24, 2005, 9:35 pm [EST]

25 February 2006

MDP admirer demands censorship even before gaining power

It is good to know that Maldivians are faithfully reading and discussing what I publish in this web site. Today I was forwarded the above entry posted in the discussion forum of another web site. It is addressed to me and appears to be referring to an opinion published in this web site in October 2005.

I always knew that Maldivians are unique in many ways. People in less peculiar parts of the world do not write letters addressed to the editor of one publication and send them to a different publication.

What is the problem with these people? Do I conjure up so much fear in the hearts of these Maldivians that they feel intimidated to write directly to me? My progenitors may have ordered the ancestors of some of these people to be whipped with the cat-o’-nine-tails but I have neither the authority nor the inclination to execute such a punishment on their descendants. So fear not folks!

This nameless and faceless individual who calls her/himself "An Independent Maldivian" says that I have lost the right to criticize the MDP (Maldive opposition Maldivian Democratic Party) by leaving the Maldives. What is the legal justification for such a statement? S/he also has the gall to call me an “outsider”. According to Article 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Maldives, it is a fundamental right of every Maldive citizen to leave the Maldives. Exercising that right, as I have done, must not result in the denial of any other basic right such as being treated equally, as provided for in Article 13. So if this nameless and cowardly individual proposes to deny me a fundamental civic right simply because I have exercised another fundamental civic right, then s/he is the one who is on the wrong side of the law. Under the new MDP order, does s/he propose to create classes of citizenry?

From what one reads in MDP-affiliated sources, the party is big on what it calls the “rule of law”. I always had the suspicion that many people, such as this individual, in the party’s bandwagon if not the party itself, do not have the foggiest idea as to what the “rule of law” means. This faceless coward certainly has lent weight to that suspicion.

This person seems to be giving undue credit to the MDP for political changes in the Maldives that have occurred over recent years. While that may be true to some degree, it must be remembered that the changes are primarily driven from the outside. Without pressure from the civilized world, the Maldive authorities will still be associating the word “party” with an occasion in which tea is served rather than with political movements. No, I do not believe that the Maldive authorities would have budged a millimetre if only the MDP were applying pressure on them. In such a scenario the only way they would budge would be to handcuff and throwing them in gaol.

If the MDP and most of those in the upper echelons of its structure were not as sleazy and corrupt as those in the government that it proposes to replace, then their mandate would have a moral basis. If they feel they are not making headway in their pursuit for power and are failing to impress the rest of the world, then I suggest they do a serious soul search and purge itself of those who have minted incredible wealth on the gravy train of the incumbent government.

It would indeed be presumptuous on the part of the individual if s/he thinks that it was primarily the MDP that brought the Maldive situation to the attention of the civilised international community. Does s/he realise that in 1998 the Maldive authorities arrested and unjustly deported several innocent Western nationals for exercising in the Maldives, a basic human right that every Maldive citizen living or studying in the West takes for granted? That is the right guaranteed in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In section 3.3 of the MDP’s Rules of Procedure (provisional constitution) the self-righteous party proposes to deny that human right.

So no, I will not remove any article that I have in the web site regarding the MDP. The mind set of these self-proclaimed “reformists” is still rooted in the dark ages. Otherwise they would not be demanding censorship.

If “An Independent Maldivian” or any other of his/her compatriots wishes to reply to me I suggest that they write directly to me giving sufficient personal detail that would be required to establish their identity. “An Independent Maldivian” will be well-advised not be a worthless coward and hide behind a pseudonym!

Perhaps s/he ought to be as brave and forthright as her/his compatriot who wrote to me giving his name, physical address, three email addresses and national identity card number!