"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expressions in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam" - Article 27 - Constitution of the Republic of Maldives … [THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN] … 'Kratos Demos' ...
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The old man sitting on Majeedhee Magu and the unattended generation.

Last evening as I was walking down Majeedhee Magu with a group of friends, I caught my eyes on this old man sitting on the pavement near 80 no. Fihaara, as we passed by one of my friends gave him some money... the poor man gave a smile that tells a story...

This is not the first time, and probably not the last time I will be seeing this man sitting at that same spot on Majeedhee Magu, hoping for someone to lend him a coin or two for a cup of tea and maybe one or two short eats from a nearby sai-hotta.
Well I am not trying to get your sympathy to this one man on Majeedhee Magu, cause its not only him that is left out and unattended to in the Maldives. For maybe a few seconds try to step out from the bubble we live in and reflect on our situation, ask yourself; How many senior citizens are out there without a warm bed and a decent meal? How many of them even have a place to call home? Where are their families? Whats the concerned Government authorities doing about it? Who is responsible?
I strongly believe, we in the Maldives are not poor. Cannot be! But yes, our people if they are indeed poor, its sadly because of the system we live in. Its either because of careless institutions or irresponsible families. We are not poverty struck and if we really observe the condition in most of the countries around the world, we need to be grateful for our situation. If we are poor, we are poor in our understanding of the concepts of family, and the understanding of social responsibility and societal ethics.

When the government started to give 2000 Rufiya to all those above 65 years of age, it was perhaps a sign of realization of the government responsibility over its senior citizenry. But with ever emerging high inflation and fluctuating economy, is this a solution? On top of this, there are cases where money sent is not properly delivered to the person its intended to. This is sometimes due to family intervention over the money or because someone at the end of that transaction spends that 2000 Ruffiya on something else.

We are at this stage where we need to build old-age shelters and senior citizen retirement homes for the homeless and unattended. With shattered family morals, and tainted societal values, we are at this junction where everyone has a hectic lifestyle and has not much time to spare for the parents who raised them, spending all their lives and effort to make 'people' out of their children.

Modern lifestyle and way of living contradicts the conservative culture of the older generation, which makes living with grandparents, and sometimes mothers and fathers difficult to the modern Maldivian family today.

At one stage we agree that we have issues and problems concerning treatment of the older generation and when governments do not spend much on welfare of the Senior Citizenry its becomes a debate of politics, but how many of us are willing to accept and realise our role and individual responsibility in ensuring the well being and welfare of our own parents?

These are important things we need to talk about and its imperative that we find solutions to these issues. Me, I don't want to be that old man sitting on Majeedhee Magu, say in the next 40-50 years ...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Save a Mother - Save a Child , Ambulance Launch -1; can it really save lives?

So last night I was fortunate to get a glimpse of 'Ambulance Launch - 1', the mobile sea ambulance which appears to have been either donated or supported by UNICEF, and seems to belong to the Ministry of health and family.

Ones eye will get caught on to a touching quote inscribed on the launch as you pass by it, says "save a mother, save a child". So true, so meaningful and in a way explains the importance of the mobile Ambulance, then again, have a look at it, ask yourself the question; can 'Ambulance Launch - 1' really save a mother? 

This picture tells a lot about how well the first response services are in the Maldives. It becomes more outrageous when you come to know where this was left at! Not far into the many islands of the Maldives, but at Vilingili (Vilimale'), which is considered administratively as part of Male' City, takes about 7 mins (max) on a ferry from the island of Male'. 

I came to understand from the locals, that it has been on that jetty for so very long and no one actually  has bothered about it. Just by looking at it, I can be sure that it is in no condition for use, at least not until thousands of dollars be spent on repair. 

Its important to reflect on some of these questions, Is it really effective for donor agencies and financial supporters to invest in the Maldives? Is this what they were hoping for? Is this what the people in Maldives expect from their government, which ever it be? Who is responsible? What are the consequences? Who is to be at lose here? How many more Ambulance Launches are out there on how many jetties in how many Islands?

Before we go about calling "Gaumah takaa, Dheenah Takaa" there are much more serious issues we need to attend to. Call for a "one nation", a more responsible one, that is corruption free and one that is more considerate towards its people.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yes we need an Election!!!

Victory for the People - Flickr Photo: enwiie
"Kratos Demos - Power to the People " ... Simple and unambiguous. 

Joseph A. Schumpeter, the famous Austrian-Hungarian-American economist and political scientist, describes in short the Classical Doctrine of Democracy in his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy as:
"The Democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions which realizes the common good by making the people itself decide issues through the election of individuals who are assembled in order to carry out its will."
Democracy is in theory simple and justifiable, let the people choose and let the people decide. 

In the Maldives we are very new to this concept. In fact we can come to a conclusion to say that we are an infant nation when it comes to democracy, social, civil and human rights; pillars necessary for a people State. 

We came up with  a new constitution to support a democratic nation. We got rid of a long serving President, who dictated a nation for 30 long years. We, for the first time had the freedom to establish and participate in Political Parties. We struggled and we achieved the right of Freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful Assembly. We held the very first Multi-Party Elections in the country. Yes we did that all.

Unlike other countries, who struggled for generations and shed blood for their cause we were lucky to embrace democracy the easy way and yes it was a miracle. But with the new freedoms and gift of democracy did we have the necessary felicitous institutions, organizations and people ?? Have we made the right choices?? Is the Nation progressing or heading further back down in the drain??

As of now we are still struggling. Struggling to get back on our feet as a nation. And what we seriously need now is an overhaul in the system. Especially the Judiciary!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coup d'état in the Maldives ??

President Nasheed writes his resignation letter

Maldives observed a change of government on 7th February 2012. Continuous protests brought  Nasheed's Presidency to a brink, and the 7th February Mutiny became the end for the first democratically elected President of the country. With Mohamed Nasheed's resignation, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Maniku, took oath of office as the President. Of course as per the Constitution

The following day Maldives woke up to hear allegations and conspiracy of a Coup d'état. "By all definitions it was a Coup" Nasheed spoke out. 

By definition, a Coup d'état is a strike against the State. It is a sudden and decisive change of government illegally or by force. Question is: 'was this the indubitable setting in Maldives on that February Tuesday'? 

The Events - End of a Presidency

Events that led to his resignation was bloody to some extent. After the continuous series of protests against the 'enforced disappearance' of Criminal court Judge Abdulla Mohamed, by Anti-Government protesters, factions of the Maldives Police Service mutinied over what they called 'being given unlawful orders' and demanded Commissioner of Police Ahemd Faseeh to meet them and assure them that they will not be given unlawful orders anymore. 

Article 64 of the Constitution: Non-compliance with unlawful orders state that "No employee of the State shall impose any orders on a person except under authority of a law. Everyone has the right not to obey an unlawful order". The mutinying Police were requesting that this Article be honored.

At this point Police did not call for the President's resignation, very clearly their only demand was an assurance by their Commissioner. This never happened. Instead what we witnessed in the Maldives were confrontations with Pro-Government supporters and mutinying police, followed by clashes with the Maldivian National Defense Force (MNDF) who were trying to take control of the situation.

As morning broke, President Nasheed came to the scene, must say a brave attempt, faced the mutinying Police and tried to address them, he was responded by "Sir, No Sir". With that failed attempt he was moved into the Maldivian National Defense Headquarters (adjacent to the Republic square)

Frankly, it is unsure when and how the demands to meet the Commissioner of Police changed to the call for Nasheed's resignation.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Maniku, a legitimate President?

Dr. Waheed takes oath of office as President
The third President of the second Republic of the Maldives, Mr. Mohamed Nasheed was forced to step down, after what appeared to be a historic Mutiny of the Maldivian Police Service. Nasheed resigned in his office, in front of media and on television, people of the island nation witnessed Nasheed as he humbly said those words,

 "I resign because I am not a person who wished to rule with the use of power ... I believe that if the government were to remain in power it would require the use of force which would harm many citizens"

Second in command that day in Maldives was Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Maniku. 

Elected Vice President

2008 was perhaps the most important year in modern Maldivian history. The first ever Multi Party democratic elections were held in the country, after a 30 year long autocratic rule by then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. A nation stood divided, Pro-Gayoom supporter on one side and Anti-Gayoom elements on the other. 

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the first registered political Party in the country, the beginning of the modern democratic movement in the country, nominated Nasheed after a party primary.

Dr. Waheed was then (and still remains) leader of the minority political faction, Gaumee Ittihaad, that emerged out of MDP. He himself  also had declared his intentions to run for the Presidency. 

Nasheed making the friendly gesture to his old colleague, invited Dr. Waheed as a running mate. After the first rounds of election, it was a battle between Gayoom and Nasheed. Naturally all political organisation other than that of Gayoom's Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) and his younger brother Yameen's Peoples Alliance, joined hand in hand and allied behind Nasheed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Indian Ocean Tsunami: Seven Years, Yet memories fresh ...

A tribute to the victims of Indian Ocean Tsunami 
26th December 2004

Seven years ago it happened, 26th of December never it be forgotten, Seas rose and waves crashed, on the People of the Sea.

Fifty-seven Islands, infrastructure damaged. Fourteen Islands, totally evacuated. Twenty one resorts, forced to close.

$400 Million, estimated damage and loss. Hundred and Eight people, reported dead.

The tsunami that came, left with the pain. Memories fresh, dwell in our hearts.   

*the statistics are Maldivian 

YusufIslam - CatSteven 
Indian Ocean
(Indian Ocean is a song recorded by Yusuf Islam formerly Cat Stevens in aid of the countless children orphaned in tsunami-hit Indonesia.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chaos: MDP version of Free Judiciary, if innocent #FreeGhassanNow and the 17-year-old

Ghassan Maumoon, son of Gayoom the long time serving former Dictator/President and current interim President of Progressive Party Maldives (PPM), was detained early this morning by the Maldivian Police Service after he was summoned to the Police Headquarters 'for further questioning', concerning the disturbance that took place around his residence on Thursday.

The mob that gathered around the former Presidents residence were mostly seen as Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), senior figure heads and activists.

What began as an MDP nationwide protest against the Judiciary, which ironically "coincided" with the verdict delivery scheduled in a case filed against their MP Mohamed Musthafaa, requesting his candidacy be invalidated, took a different turn when the mob headed towards the residence of the Former President, Alivaage and Enderimaage. Protest turned from a “Free Judiciary” campaign to a “Bring Gayoom to Justice” protest. Protesters were seen to have verbally harass Gayoom, disrupt peace, damaged property and "terrorize" the neighborhood. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

09.09.2011: A mourners day to the students of Hiriya School.

A day to remember... 5 very lives lost... Four students, One very extraordinary Principal, lost their last breaths to the mighty waters. 

I was at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, when Haneef rang me on my cell and told me of this very unfortunate incident. "Its not clear how many died, no exact figures no official statements were issued by any authorities" he told me ... 

With no internet, no IDD facility nor STD facility in the "International" Airport.  I depended on the different people I spoke on phone. Haneef, Zambe and Azan kept me informed with the updates while Babaa (in tears) and Ahlam Miss confirmed me other details. I was terrified to hear of the death of Ali Nazim and the four students. It was one very sorrowful news I had to digest.  

I knew Nazim Sir as the Principal and Group Scout Leader of Hiriya School. He was a kindhearted gentleman who always met me with a warm smile. During the brief encounters we had, he would always ask me how I was doing and how my studies were going on. He would speak very politely, with respect in his tone, to who ever he addressed. I have never seen him say anything loud or seen him rage at anyone.  

Last I saw him was in August, while I was on vacation. On road late night while I was heading home with Azan ... he comes up on the side on his Motorbike very calm and informal, actually it was the very first time I saw him not in a formal wear and in shorts, says hi in his very cheerful tone. There he was with his warm welcoming smile greeting me and Azan. (I remember this last meeting with him all too well because he was taking home some Coconuts.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Have we have elected "Blood suckers" in the name of our people?

They raised their salaries from MRF 4500/- to MRF 18,000/- ... Not enough they say ... They decide that they needed to be paid MRF 42,500/- with an additional bonus of MRF 20,000/- as allowance etc , a total of MRF 62,500/-, to serve the people of Maldives. 

later in December 2010, they come to agree MRF 62,500/- is not just enough a salary for them to make laws in a country that barely has a population of 400000, so they agreed among themselves "lets get an extra MRF 20,000/- ... ummm and we shall call it Committee Allowance".

"Scumbags", "Blood suckers","Opportunists" ... One will call them ... Its indeed Daylight robbery !!! 

With the pressing economic crisis in the country with its people going bankrupt every day, the Parliamentarians we elected are finding themselves enjoying life in Maldives the 'lofty style'. Opening more coffee shops and more businesses with what they seem to call money of welfare funds for their constituencies.

Apparently one very amusing fact here is that they say these earnings they get are earnings of their constituencies (of which they spend on the people) ... wonder how many out of the 77 constituencies in Maldives have been blessed with such 'glee'.

Friday, August 19, 2011

11 things to know about Anna Hazare 'n Jan Lok Pal Bill.. !

1. Who is Anna Hazare?

An ex-army man. Fought 1965 Indo-Pak War

2. What's so special about him?

He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra

3. So what?

This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills.

In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest village in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.

4. Ok,...?

This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.

5. Really, what is he fighting for?

He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.

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