Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri
Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (N.G.I.V) is the eternal hero of Maldive
independence. He ranks alongside the only other such hero in the
recorded history of the Maldives, the King Kula Ran Meeba Audha
Keerithi Katthiri Bavana (Dom Bandaarain) who ended the occupation
by the forces of the Ali Raja of Cannanore in the 18th Century.
Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan is a living Maldive treasure- the
only Maldivian of that calibre now alive. Without a doubt, he was
the mega Maldive personality of the 20th Century and
the only one of his kind since the 18th Century. Arguably
he was the personality of the last millennium.
Minister Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan went on to become
the first president of the second republic in 1968
Kilegefan brought the Maldives screaming out into the modern world.
He insisted that the Maldives gained admission to the UN against
the opposition of countries that did not feel that the UN was the
place for small states. The Maldives was the first state of its
size (population less than 80,000 in 1965) admitted to the UN. Mini
states that had long been independent such as San Marino and Monaco
were not members of the UN. Western Samoa which became independent
of this country only a few years earlier too was not in the UN at
President of the
Republic Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (N.G.I.V) inspecting
a guard of honour of Majeediya School senior cadets, accompanied
by Major G.W. Amarasena. 26 July 1969.
Kilegefan introduced a modern educational curriculum in the English
medium to government-run schools.
introduced radio and television and mechanisation of traditional
incepted civil aviation and was the pioneer of the tourism industry
because of which many Maldivians have gained incredible wealth.
Kilegefan removed many of the old draconian measures and made travel
free for Maldivians. Prior to that, Maldivians travelling overseas
had to obtain exit visas.
his leadership, the old inequitous poll tax called vaaru,
levied on Maldivians who were residents of islands other than Malé
was abolished. He also abolished a huge array of other taxes including
duty on all personal and commercial imports. Some of them have been
reimposed after his departure.
Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan did not tolerate corruption in his
government. It was unheard of in his day for public servants to
name a price when people went to government offices to obtain routine
of all, like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Rannabandeyri Kilegefan
knew when to step down and pass on the mantle of power to a younger
all this and more, the hero of Maldive independence was vilified
as soon as he left the Maldives. No one had the gall to challenge
him to his face even after he stepped down and before he left the
country. The cowardice of those who regard him as an adversary is
mobs mustered with the active encouragement of those who succeeded
the Kilegefan drove around in town carrying ugly placards and playing
filthy songs composed to mock their independence hero. The same
songs were broadcast over the regime's radio and television.
children whose parents had connections with the Kilegefan were publicly
humiliated by their teachers in schools run by the regime.
Kilegefan was convicted in absentia for basically petty theft.
For want of real evidence it is common to fabricate charges of petty
theft against real and imagined political adversaries in the Maldives.
Kilegefan was implicated in just about every anti-government activity
that came to light since he stepped down.
titles of the three other kilege nobles then alive
were also revoked at the same time. They were the
now late Kakaagey Ahmed Hilmy Faarhanaa Kilegefan,
Abdul Sattar Faamuladeyri Kilegefan and Abdul Hannan
with time-honoured royal protocol, the Website of
the Maldives Royal Family does not recognise these
Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan's kilege title and the Insignia of
the Most Distinguished Order of Ghazi (N.G.I.V) bestowed upon him
by His Majesty the Sultan was revoked by the new regime. It was
outside the traditional jurisdiction even of sultans to remove the
kilege title from anyone on whom it was bestowed. In keeping with
this royal tradition, the Website of the Maldives Royal Family does
not recognise these revocations.
foresight typical of him Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan took
up residence in Singapore, a country where the rule of law prevails.
All attempts to have him extradited by legal means or hounded out
by illegal means were met with utter failure.
is contrary to all civilised norms to have a personality of such
magnitude treated in this way by his own people. History will judge
those who are responsible for such low behaviour.
lament the current Maldive regime's longevity in power
must examine their own political maturity and attitude
towards those who relinquish power via the democratic
may not lie entirely with those who are reluctant
to let in a new generation of leaders
is hoped that future Maldivians do not find it necessary to treat
their leaders who step aside, in such uncivilised manner. That is
important for the democratic process.
leaders must have the assurance (without the need for legislation)
that they will not be the butt of the behaviour called "mahaana
macchah madiyah jehun' (jumping on the grave) in the Divehi language.
current leadership of the Maldives need to be assured that they
too will be treated with the dignity and the respect that they deserve.
Maldives Royal Family Website does not dispute the immense contribution
of the current leadership of the Maldives to their country during
their lengthy tenure in office. This will be appropriately applauded
by us in these pages at a future date.
closing scene of a previous and more barbaric transition of
power in the Maldives. The president of the first republic
Mohamed Amin Dorhimeyna Kilegefan was lynched by the mob pictured
above, with the active encouragement of the regime that seized
control from him in 1953. This Kilegefan died of the brutal
injuries sustained in the attack. Following prolonged assaults
on a horrific scale, his bloodied and fully naked body, still
alive and reduced to a bag of broken bones, was thrown into
one of the boats pictured above. He survived a few weeks and
in that time he was tried by a self-appointed kangaroo court
and sentenced to be put in irons for life. He was shackled
and died in that sorry condition- a testament to how Maldivians
treat their deposed leaders.
of Political Power in the USA
on 29 January 1989
following the Inauguration of George Bush Sr as President
of the United States
Power unchecked in one hand
Leads to corruption in any land.
When authority absolute is oneís plan,
It has caused the fall of many a man.
Caesars and Napoleons are not for the modern man,
Nor benevolent dictators, who are often vain.
Unrestricted power could turn a man into a ruthless Hun,
Even if he be an Abraham Lincoln.
Power intoxicates the best of men,
And itís the dream of the worst of them.
The days of the autocrat are numbered on this Earth,
Since the ways of the democrat have been better since their
One man is never the property of another,
Nor a nation belongs to a particular family or its member.
The power that governs a land comes from its people,
And the notion of its changing hands is basic and simple.
Political power the springs from the barrel of a gun
Benefits no one in the long run.
One leader need not replace another by means of a blood bath,
But by the rule of law, and with a pure heart.
America that regularly transfers leadership by peaceful means
Proves its greatness without blowing others into smithereens.