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Why Trump’s Win Could Be A Good Thing For Maldives?

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trump


The shocking victory of real-estate mogul Donald Trump becoming the 45th President-elect of the United State of America is partly being attributed to that FBI Director James Comey’s announcement of a new investigation against rival Hillary Clinton two weeks before polling day. But Clinton’s campaign was disrupted the maximum by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks which continues to publish the emails of her campaign chair John Podesta, a major Washington insider.

The whistleblowing website has published close to 56,000 emails from Podesta’s private account since October 7, sometimes more than once a day, revealing the internal communications of Clinton’s campaign staff.

And one of them is linked to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. John Podesta also owns Washington-based lobbyist firm Podesta Group run by his brother Tony. The firm signed a lucrative deal with the Maldives last September to counsel Abdulla Yameen-led government amid threat of sanctions and was paid USD 50,000 by a company implicated in country’s biggest corruption scandal.

podesta-hillary


And whether or not Trump will act against Clinton, who, he had said during a debate would “be in jail” if he became the president, Podesta can actually be investigated over its links with a money-laundering regime in Maldives.

podestaPodesta, the “superlobbyist” has been accused for “whitewashing” Yameen and his cronies’ crimes, as alleged by opposition and received its fee from state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

Podesta was hired by Abdulla Yameen-led government to provide strategic counsel to the government.

The contract with the government published by Podesta Group on the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) office’s website read, “(Podesta will) provide strategic counsel on strengthening ties (of Maldives) to the US government.”

The deal was cracked at whopping USD 300,000 for a period of six months between September 8, 2015 and March 7, 2016.

Government initially denied reports of hiring Podesta but e-mails containing details of cost negotiations with the firm — sent by Jeffrey Salim Waheed, the deputy permanent representative in New York — were leaked. The then Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon were also marked in the mails.

Adeeb, who brokered may such PR deals for his boss, was in direct communication with Foreign Ministry officials over hiring Podesta. Adeeb was also informed that Podesta wanted its fee to be paid in monthly instalments of USD 50,000.

yameen-adeeb


Even though the deal was called off in October after Adeeb’s arrest on the charges of plotting to assassinate Yameen in boat blast on September 30, Podesta received one-month fee for its services from state tourism promotion company MMPRC.

Documents filed by Podesta at the US Department of Justice disclosed that the firm was paid USD 50,000 from MMPRC.

Later, MMPRC’s former head Abdulla Ziyath was found guilty in money embezzlement USD 80 million from state coffers along with Adeeb.

Podesta, however, was not the only firm to be paid a lucrative fee for polishing the Maldives’ deteriorating image by MMPRC. Cherie Blair’s Omnia Strategy was also paid more than £200,000 for consultancy on “democratic consolidation” to Yameen by the state tourism promotion company.

The main-opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) alleged that the government was spending obscene amounts of public money for image-building.

“Government officials are clearly rattled at the prospect of facing targeted sanctions. But rather than doing the right thing and freeing the political prisoners, they are spending obscene amounts of public money on foreign lobbyists, who will try to whitewash their crimes,” Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, the party’s international spokesman was quoted as saying by Maldives Independent.

In September this year, an investigative documentary by Al-Jazeera exposed embezzlement of money from state coffers to private accounts by illegally leasing islands. The documentary claimed that Yameen and his associates

The secretly filmed interviews describe how on mopeds carried millions in cash to the and his aides with some funds amounting to as large as $1.5 billion.

The Truth Of Hillary Clinton’s USD 200 Million Mansion In The Maldives

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Hillary Clinton, the United States’ Democratic Party presidential candidate who is vying strongly to become the first woman president of the country in less than two weeks is eye of the storm following 2000 pages of email leaks by the WikiLeaks.

hillary

From her questionable relationship between the Clinton Foundation and its donors, Clinton’s ease with powerful interests on Wall Street, her ties to wealthy campaign contributors, the leaks have it all.

The emails stolen from Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta did not really unearth a major sandal, or a case of corruption but it surely created international furore making front page headlines.

But, this story by Nevada Country Scooper got even the Maldives by surprise as it claimed that Clinton struck a deal of “The Imperial Maldives” for USD 200 million.

nc-scooper

The story published on NC Scooper on October 20 that quoted sources from the WikiLeaks said:

This afternoon, WikiLeaks says sources in the Clinton Foundation inadvertently leaked the details of an apparently secret deal with Christie’s International Real Estate in New York. Several recorded phone conversations between Christie’s executives and Clinton board member, Frank Guistra, clearly show that a deal for “The Imperial Maldives” had been closed. “The Imperial Maldives” is a development of 185 water villas set above the turquoise waters of the North Male Atoll. According to the recordings, the agreed price was $200 million (U.S).

It further reported:

Also according to the recordings, this deal began the morning after the last debate. The morning after Trump told Clinton he would appoint a special prosecutor and put her in prison. Mr. Guistra is heard to say, “Trump can drag his sorry orange ass down to the Maldives if he wants her so bad. There’s no extradition treaty!” [laughing]

 

The Clinton camp is very tight-lipped at the moment and no comments from Clinton Foundation board members. WikiLeaks seems to suggest that the Clintons are feeling the pressure of a world-wide criminal organization becoming frayed at the seams, and are looking for a hideout until they can hatch their next diabolical plan for world domination. Or, those fuckers just need a real good vacation.

On social media many people lost their mind over the news and took Twitter to comment about it.

But were you looking closely? Did you read the story without paying attention to the last line, “WikiLeaks seems to suggest that the Clintons are feeling the pressure of a world-wide criminal organization becoming frayed at the seams, and are looking for a hideout until they can hatch their next diabolical plan for world domination. Or, those fuckers just need a real good vacation,” good enough to figure out that it was a satire, which many did not understand.

The website known for its satirical take also added a picture captioned “Bill Clinton seen walking his dogs Buster and Frank at his mansion in the Maldives,” which is a file picture from 2015.

The NC Scooper, well-known for being mistaken as a hard-hitting news platform, even takes sarcastic tone while telling about itself:

“…the Scooper did not own a printing press, nor did they have the courage to borrow one. And frankly they didn’t have the funds either. So the Scooper relied solely on shouting at people on the street to circulate the news. Later in the 1930s, the Scooper expanded its shouting service to Nevada City, often paying vagrants to assault citizens with news.”

It later clarifies in its manifesto that it is a sarcastically website but again, with a humorous undertone,”The Scooper is a satirical website is in scope and intent. Sometimes it’s funny; often it is not. We provide fake news and social criticism in a satirical setting. Our intention is not to fool or trick anyone, but obviously it happens.”

Paradise For Honeymooners, Island Of Broken Marriages; Why Everyone In Maldives Is Getting Divorced?

in Lifestyle by

The Maldives- almost invisible on the world map, often ignored in world statistics for its tiny size in the vast Indian Ocean- has made it to the map, unfortunately for highest divorce rate!

Courtesy: The Telegraph


The Sunni Muslim island with just 3,45,023 population has the divorce rate of 10.97 per year per 1,000 inhabitants followed by Russia at the second spot with less than half the number of divorces as Maldives, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The number makes the Maldives enter the Guinness World Records, and according to United Nations, an average Maldivian woman has been divorced three times by the age of 30.

“The island of a thousand honeymoons. And … a thousand divorces,” writes journalist Shannon Sims calling it ‘the paradise where everyone is divorced’.

The reason, most arguably, points out to Islam, Sharia laws, stigma around sex, and sexuality of a woman.

Divorce- No Taboo!

maldives-marriage
Photo Courtesy: Kurumba

J J Robbinson, the former editor of the Maldives Independent, in his first investigative account of the everyday lives of Maldivians, writes that the country has exploited Islamic sentiments for subordinating women in the country by criminalising pre-marital sex or extramarital sex leading to higher divorce rate. “Tourists on romantic resort getaways blissfully sun themselves on beaches a few hundred feet from ‘local’ islands where Maldivian women are routinely sentenced to 100 lashes for the crime of extramarital sex,” he writes.

He cites observations made by famous Islamic explorer Ibn Battuta where he argues that in the Maldivian culture where people do not fix dowry makes it easier for them to married.

“It is easy to marry in these islands because of the smallness of the dowries and the pleasures of society which the women offer,” Battuta wrote in the 14th century. “Most people do not even fix any dowry. When the ships put in, the crew marry; when they intend to leave, they divorce their wives. This is a kind of temporary marriage (muta). I have seen nowhere in the world women whose society was more pleasant.”

And for getting divorced, a man has to say ‘I divorce you’ three times under the triple talaq Islamic law. Women, though, has to go through a legal process but interestingly there is no stigma around getting divorced, unlike pre-marital sex. “I recall one recently married fisherman boasting that his new wife had been married six times; this, he explained with a sly wink, meant she was experienced. The figure was about average for a woman in her forties,” Robbinson writes.

Patriarchy, Like Everywhere, Rules The Marriage

domestic-violence
Photo Courtesy: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Besides, the religious-cultural nexus to higher divorce rate, the much universal patriarchal mindset and the resulting sexual and domestic violence are also the reasons for the overwhelming trend.

Nearly 33 per cent women in the country are reportedly victims of sexual of physical violence and of them, nearly 20 per cent are perpetrated by their partners, and to most Maldivians it is quite acceptable or even desirable for a husband to beat his wife, or have physical or sexual supremacy.

A 29-year-old, who felt obliged to marry her boyfriend after having sex with him at the age of 15; who later became a victim of his violent nature, says as quoted by Maldives Independent,

Maldives may rank highest in the world for divorces, but at least the ease in getting a divorce ensures women or men do not stay in abusive or unhappy relationships

In December last year, the Maldives had a meltdown when a 35-year-old woman from Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo died after fighting a long battle in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Male. She was brutally raped by her husband.

Her death was followed by marches, social media activism but proved that a little has been changed since the government passed Domestic Violence Prevention Act in 2012.

Polygamy- Men’s Duty To Keep Women On Right Path

divorceIn March this year, during gender equality debate in the People’s Majlis, MP Ahmed Saleem held women responsible for infidelity and suggested that it was a man’s duty to keep them on right path.

Saleem said, ” Women drive men to mental illnesses and crime because of their infidelity. Women are fragile like glass. They can become anything if we do not know how to look after them. The prophet said if a women turns evil, she is worse than a lion… We try to guard them to reform our societies,” he continued giving example of a fellow MP who has three wives, “There is none better than Riyaz Rasheed. Look, he looks after three women to ensure that they do not stray from the right path. This is our duty.”

The PPM dominated 85-member Majlis, where there are just 5 women MPs, threw out the proposal for reserving quotas for women 36 votes that day.

Equal Pay For Equal Work, But Is It Enough?

Later in August, Social Committee of the Parliament passed the gender equality bill prohibiting gender discrimination in employment fields assuring equal pay for equal work but no effort was put in reforming social fabric of the fundamentals of Islamic ruling where death for infidelity, covert abortions to hide the “illegal” out-of-wedlock child & polygamy are rampant.

Former State Minister for Gender and Family, Haala Hameed speculates that more women entering workforce is also one of the reasons for higher divorce- as there is no basic childcare facility and working women are often seen negatively causing tension withing families leading to higher divorce rate.

UN Young Leader Safaath Ahmed Is Winning The Internet And Here’s Why

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Donning a burqa, when Safaath Ahmed Zahir- UN Young Leader for Sustainable Development Goals from the Maldives- spoke about women empowerment in New York, she won the internet.

Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ ‏@UNYouthEnvoy
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ ‏@UNYouthEnvoy

The Queen’s Young leader said more number of women in Parliament and more women Presidents will take the world closure to global goals.

More women in Parliament, in policy-making, as Ministers, and more women Presidents- that’s my vision, Safaath said while addressing the Social Good Summit in New York.


The women’s activist and a proclaimed feminist from the small Indian Ocean archipelago, Safaath is among the 17 people appointed as the inaugural class of UN Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals.

Safaath, who has emerged as one of the youngest face in the Maldives, quickly got attention over her vision and best wishes started pouring in.


Safaath also spoke about the ongoing international issue of migrants and refugees along with her fellow young leaders.


The 25-year-old could not contain her excitement over meeting the celebrities, social and political leaders who were also present at the event for the good cause, including actors Mark Ruffalo and Preity Zinta.

Selected from over 18,000 nominations from 186 countries, Safaath has been recognised for her leadership and contribution to the achievement of the 17 Global Goals, also known as Sustainable Development Goals- to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the young leaders and said,

“These 17 young change-makers are a testament to the ingenuity of youth and I congratulate them for their exceptional leadership and demonstrated commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The flagship initiative of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth comes against a backdrop of increasing efforts by the UN to engage young people in the implementation of SDGs.

Former Autocrat Gayoom Joins Democracy Bandwagon, To Work With Nasheed To Remove Half-Brother Yameen

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History might be created in the Maldives soon. The Indian Ocean archipelago, which is witnessing political turmoil, international condemnation and an expected coup plot, may soon get both the ex-Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed on board against President Abdulla Yameen to counter his “autocratic” government.

gayoom-nasheed


Nasheed, who was jailed more than 20 times in Gayoom’s regime for his criticism, said that he is in agreement with the ex-strongman alias Gayoom to fight his half-brother and President Yameen, Fox News reported.

The first democratically elected President, who is currently in London, refused to give any further details but expressed hope that they will work together to bring down Yameen in a “legitimate” way.

“And so the position of the Maldives United Opposition, of which I am a member, is that for democracy to be restored in the Maldives it is essential that President Yameen be removed from power,” he told Colombo-based reporters via Skype from London on Tuesday.

“…He has lost the support of the Maldivian people, security services, international community and his own party. He has even lost the support of his own brother, former president Gayoom,” he was quoted by international news agency Reuters as saying.

Nasheed also claimed that he also was in talks with his faction of the ruling PPM  “for a new political alignment”  insisting on a “non-military” coup in the archipelago.

Calling “military-coup” illegal, the 49-year-old leader although said that he want security forces to cooperate with him as when the transition through “legal” and “constitutional” means happens.

“The opposition was expecting Gayoom to get a section of his party to withdraw support for Yameen late last month, but for some reason that did not happen,” said one western diplomatic source in Colombo, speaking on condition of anonymity, as quoted by AFP.

nasheed colombo


“It is not easy for the opposition to organise any agitation inside the country because all their leaders are either in jail or in exile.”

Nasheed is, however, looking to capitalise on the rift between the half-brothers that came out in open over the controversial tourism bill which Gayoom strongly opposed. Not just Yameen’s supporters defied Progressive Party of the Maldives’ leader whip to pass the bill but also rallied against his son Faris Maumoon Gayoom for not supporting the bill in the People’s Majlis.

The current government, which is facing overwhelming accusations of corruption, human rights violations and dictatorial approach, has lost many of its cabinet ministers in past one year. While ex-Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was impeached, ex-Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ex-Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim have been jailed on terrorism charges.

Jameel leads the MUO and the other two have their representations in the rainbow coalition formed with the aim to oust Yameen.

Recently, Gayoom’s daughter and ex-Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon and his one of the loyal party members and ex-Home Minister Umar Naseer resigned from their posts after heads on with Yameen on several issues.

Rio 2016: Maldives Fastest Sprinter Hassan Saaid Creates History At Olympics, Wins Heat

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Hassan Saaid, popularly known as Maldives’ fastest sprinter, has created history on Saturday in the “carnival” city Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

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He has become the first Maldivian to to win an Olympics heat and qualify for the next round.

Saaid, won first place in the second heat of the men’s 100m preliminaries in Rio Olympics, completing the race in 10:43 seconds.

And here’s the winning moment that every Maldivian wants to cease:

saaid olympics


All You Need To Know About Saaid


saaid 1 (2)
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@Saaidkalhe

Competed with Ussain Bolt

  • Saaid is Maldives’ fastest sprinter. He has broken the 100m National sprint record back in 2015 while competing with Ussain Bolt from Jamaica.

Gold At Olympics

  • He is the first Maldivian athlete to have a gold medal in his name in a multi sport Olympic event.

Silver At South Asian Games

saaid 1 (3)
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@Saaidkalhe
  • He made another record in February this year at the South Asian Games held in India by winning silver medal for the 100m sprint.
  • He reached to the finals of 100m athletic event in the South Asian Games. He secured the second position by finishing the race in just 10:45 seconds.

History At Indian Ocean Island Games

  • Saaid made history by winning gold medal in Indian Ocean Island Games under the category of Men’s 100m. He is the first Maldivian athlete to win a Gold in an International Athlete Competition.

saaid (2)
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@Saaidkalhe

Other National Records

  • Saaid had also broken national 200 metre sprint record at the Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association Championship by finishing the race in just 20:81 seconds.
  • He has broken his own record at the ‘MVP Track and Field Meeting’ that was held in Jamaica in April. He completed the race in 10:30 seconds breaking his previous record of 10:41 seconds.
  • He even broke the 100m sprint record at a sports event in Jamaica.

Trains Under Ussain Bolt’s Coach

He is getting trained under sprinting coach Glen Mills at Jamaica’s High Performance Centre.

MUO’s Date With Ruling BJP In India, To Brief On Increasing Islamic Radicalisation Under Prez Yameen

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The Maldives United Opposition, the rainbow coalition or the coalition-in-exile- which has come together to against the “dictatorial” regime of President Abdulla Yameen spent their first day in the Indian capital to make their point to the media.

MUO2


The second day, though, is where the real political dialogue begins, and where else to make a start but for the ruling party in power in India. So, they have a date with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday where they meet General Secretary and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) point person Ram Madhav with a hope to enlighten the current government on the increasing Islamic radicalisation in the Maldives and the overt Chinese engagement with the present regime in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The eight-member delegation of the shadow cabinet of Maldives United Opposition (MUO), which is on a three-day visit, will also brief the BJP leader the abuse of human rights in the country. “We are meeting Ram Madhav and other leaders of the BJP to seek greater Indian engagement on the current political scenario,” Hamid Abdul Gafoor, Maldivian Democratic Party spokesperson said.

2.Ram-Madhav-21The MUO said that they are hopeful that they will be able to cash the friendship with Madhav and get India “intervene” to overthrow the “authoritarian” rule of President Abdulla Yameen’s government.

“We met Ram Madhav in Columbo in February this year, when BJP formally joined the International Democratic Union (IDU) and we connected well during that meeting. Now that we are in Delhi, we are meeting him and hopefully few other leaders to seek more support,” Gafoor said expressing the wish to meet the Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj later in the day.

The delegation is most likely to highlight the issue of radicalisation and alleged involvement of President Yameen in funding the extremism in the meeting- which remains one of the major concerns for India.

The MUO has alleged that besides the obvious collapse of democracy and judicial system in the country, President Yameen is also involved in funding the radical groups in the country.

“Extremists are being funded by Sun Siyam who is a leader of Maldives Development Alliance, He is also a big time resort businessman. He owns the Sun Group. Yameen’s closest coalition partner and extreme radical activities are taking place in some of the atolls of the Maldives,” said Ahmed Naseem, former Foreign Affairs Minister of the Indian Ocean nation.

Shadow minister of Defence and National Security Abdullah Ameen said, “If India and the members of international community neglects us on this critical time, the results could be dangerous beyond imagination. The Indian Ocean might fall under unforeseen perils.”

“Today the friends of the Maldivian government are not its neighbours. Neither are they the close friends of India. For the safety and security of the region, we look for the support of India to rectify the course of Maldives,” Ameen said.

Without mincing words, he said, “We ask India to support the hard work of the Maldivians to bring back democracy to the Maldives.”

MUO india


Shadow minister of Health, Social Protection and Gender, Shidhatha Shareef, said the Maldivian economy has become the “second worst in the South Asia region, next to Afghanistan, with only 1.9 per cent growth”. She said while 40 per cent of the population of the Maldives is youth, 12 per cent of them are unemployed, according to a World Bank report.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on several occasions, has urged the countries around the world to stop advocating the concept of “good terrorism” or “bad terrorism” and come forward to unite against any kind of radicalisation.

Interestingly, Indian had also negotiated a counter-terrorism agreement with President Yameen to deal with the issue of Maldivians leaving for Syria and other countries to join the biggest terror group ISIS.

However, the MUO insists that the policies will remain just policies as President Yameen is not sincere in eliminating radical elements in the country and highly undermining the numbers.

“We believe in Narendra Modi’s ‘region first’ policy without reservation and we want to uphold the traditional friendship with India,” Naseem said.

The government officially announced that 49 Maldivians have left the country to fight foreign wars while the opposition claims the numbers to be more than 300. The MUO also urged the need to have a detailed profiling of the radicalised youth to ensure that it is stopped at first step.

The MUO is also likely to meet other stakeholders in the country before heading to the United States early next month.

Here’s How International Media Reported Ex-VP Adeeb’s Sentencing

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One of the biggest developments in the country this year was the verdict of Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb who was found guilty of plotting President Abdulla Yameen’s assassination attempt on Thursday in a “closed door” trial.

The verdict got coverage in almost every major international newspapers and news agencies. While each of them chose to highlight the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation which had earlier said that it found “no conclusive evidence” of a bomb blast, here’s how differently they covered the verdict of Adeeb:

BBC

bbc


BBC quoted Adeeb’s second wife, Mariyam Nashwa as saying, “This was by no means a fair trial. The investigation was nowhere near complete. I think they closed the trial because they are afraid Adeeb might say something.”

It also added a point that Adeeb’s involvement in the blast was quickly rumoured because he was the first beneficiary of the President’s death as “under the Maldivian constitution, the vice-president succeeds the president if he dies, is incapacitated or resigns.” Read full report

The New York Times

nYTImes


New York Times said that Adeeb’s sentencing came “against the backdrop of what some see as a larger crackdown on dissent here, including a ban on protests, the introduction of a bill that would criminalize defamation, and the closing of the country’s most popular newspaper, Haveeru.”

It further mentioned that former prosecutor, Muhuthaz Muhsin “who refused to press charges against Mr. Adeeb, was also convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to 17 years” highlighting severe kind of crackdown on dissent. Read full report

The Associated Press

ap


The Associated Press paid attention on Adeeb’s profiling by mentioning him as Yameen’s “once trusted protégé” and said he is the “fourth high profile politician” to be jailed on terrorism charges

It also reported that the court had barred Adeen and his lawyer from speaking on the fairness of the trial even though they were allowed little time to prepare their defense. Read full report

AFP

AFP


One of the largest international news agency AFP highlighted the point that the Maldives has been “rocked by political turmoil in recent years” and the verdicts mean “almost all of Mr Yameen’s key rivals are in jail or exiled from the Maldives.

They also quoted Adeeb’s lawyer as saying, “The Criminal Court has barred me from calling the trial unfair, but we have concerns and intend to launch an appeal immediately.” Read full report

Reuters 

reuters


Reuters highlighted the fact that the verdict of Adeeb “came a week after exiled former leader Mohamed Nasheed, now in exile in Britain, formed a united opposition group aimed at toppling Yameen” which also witnessed the participation of Adeeb’s representatives.

It further said that the Maldives “once seen as a future leader of the Indian Ocean atoll whose popularity as a tourist paradise is at odds with its deeply troubled politics”

It further added that the Maldives has a long history of being ruled by autocratic leaders. Read full report

Tourists’ Paradise, Maldivians’ Inferno: Chilling Truth Of Sex, Divorces And Covert Abortions In Maldives

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The Indian Ocean archipelago, a paradise for tourists, overshadowed by its continuing political turmoil also has heart wrenching ground realities. Maldives, the same paradise island when opens the door to the regular people living in the congested capital Male, the inferno awaits.

In a report published by Vice from the first hand investigative account of the JJ Robinson, the first editor of Maldives’ first independent English language news service, spill the counter narrative of ruthless conditions in which Maldivians are surviving.

According to the JJ Robinson’s book ‘‘Maldives: Islamic Republic, Tropical Autocracy’, Maldives which offers zero intrusion in the private affairs of its tourists, has drug abuse, Islamic radicalisation and violent crimes ladled out for its own citizens.

The capital city Male, which is also the political centre of the island, has more than more than half the population residing with banned alcohol and limited entertainment. However, a bottle of vodka, costing up to $140 USD in the black market and brown sugar heroin reaches ‘faster than a pizza’, Robinson writes in the book.

Islamic Nationalism, Sex Crimes And Divorces

The country’s constitution which mandates 100 per cent population to be Muslim is enforced by not only by the authorities but also due to the threat of social ostracism. “Tourists on romantic resort getaways blissfully sun themselves on beaches a few hundred feet from ‘local’ islands where Maldivian women are routinely sentenced to 100 lashes for the crime of extramarital sex,” he writes.

He also highlights the how the country exploiting Islamic nationalism and sentiments of defending Islam from other religions are paving way for inhuman practices like criminalisation of extramarital sex leading to higher divorce rate.

Citing the observation by the famous Islamic explorer Ibn Battuta, the book underlines the complex issue owing to conservative ideas and culture being adapted by the people. “It is easy to marry in these islands because of the smallness of the dowries and the pleasures of society which the women offer,” Battuta wrote in the 14th century.

“Most people do not even fix any dowry. When the ships put in, the crew marry; when they intend to leave, they divorce their wives. This is a kind of temporary marriage (muta). I have seen nowhere in the world women whose society was more pleasant.”

The weddings are done in few minutes by just exchanging rings and a token dowry while the divorce owes to patriarchal laws allowing mean to follow triple talaq Islamic law (I divorce you- three times), but a woman has to go through court proceedings. Interestingly, there’s no social taboo associated with a divorced woman. “I recall one recently married fisherman boasting that his new wife had been married six times; this, he explained with a sly wink, meant she was experienced. The figure was about average for a woman in her forties,” Robbinson writes.

Clothing Shops to Sex Shops

While, in normal societal terms, a woman is under pressure to wear headscarf also gets the liberty to wear rather revealing western cloths, easily available in clothing shops in the capital, however not for long.

“16-year-old girl who bought and actually wore one of these in 2013 was swiftly taken into custody under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.” He explains how the girl was not only directed her how to dress but also involved her parents.

And, even when Male had a sex shop, the trouble was in the name ‘G-spot’. The Ministry of Economic Development kept insisting how the G stood for Girl eventually leading to a ruling by civil court alleging the name “inappropriate for viewing by women and children,” while Nizam, the owner of the shop kept defending that the G-Spot did not exist.

The Not So Curious Case of Covert Abortions

According to the report, Maldives has highest number of unprotected sex and high promiscuity. The problem becomes complex when stigma surrounding divorce is negligible but an out-of-wedlock child is a symbol of shame. “As long as the illusion of Islamic conservatism was maintained, as long as the boat wasn’t rocked, as long as nothing was stated, written down, admitted, or confessed to, as long as you weren’t caught—ordinary people could be surprisingly accepting,” Robinson states.

He also complies several incidents of barbaric abortions in which either a mother ends up throwing the foetus in a swimming pool, bushes or a bucket. These abortions are often covert because getting caught may lead to even death sentence.

“Abortion was an issue that should concern all Maldivians, the party (Adhaalath Party) declared, and people should be “very afraid” given the “rising popularity of fornication.

Afraid they were. Most often the mothers were caught, quickly confessing under police interrogation,” Robinson writes.

Ex-Prez Nasheed First Interview After Imprisonment: Here’s What He Had To Say

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Sanctions should be placed on Maldivian officials for alleged human rights abuses, says Maldives former President Mohamed Nasheed adding that his “battle for democracy” is not over yet.

nasheed pc


Nasheed, who is currently in United Kingdom for medical treatment, in his first interview after being imprisoned in March last year has urged the world that to impose targeted sanctions key government officials for flouting human rights in the Indian ocean archipelago.

“We want people who are abusing human rights in the Maldives to be banned from travelling to the other countries. Their assets and funds should be held, until they relent,” said Nasheed in an interview to BBC.

He also asked current President Abdulla Yameen to fee all political prisoners while expressing his concern on political situation escalating to dictatorship.

Meanwhile, when questions on his intention to return to the Maldives after the treatment surfaced, he said that he would like to return to a “free” Maldives but vowed to return to contest the next election in 2018 which is an “unfinished business” to him, his lawyer Amal Clooney told CNN.

“I’d rather sit and read and watch a film. But I think there’s lot to be done,” said Nasheed.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron, coming out in support of Nasheed, warned that sanction would be imposed on Maldivians if the government fails to free political prisoners. “… and yes we are prepared to consider targeted action against individuals if further progress isn’t made,” he said in parliament,” said Cameron.

According to media reports, Nasheed, earlier, had said that he had not decided to whether to return to the Maldives at a press conference Monday. “I know the question you all want to ask is will I go back. This has been more eloquently answered by The Clash in 1982 when I was doing my A-Levels — ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?'” Nasheed told reporters.

However, he also added, “Let me be clear. I will go to the Maldives. I will definitely go to the Maldives, there is no doubt about that. But only the question is how and when.”

Nasheed is the Maldives first democratically elected President who was ousted from power in 2012 in an alleged military coup and later in March 2015 was sentenced to 13-years in jail on alleged terrorism charges. After high political drama and diplomatic pressure from UK, US, Sri Lanka and India, the government allowed him to travel to UK for an urgent surgery after his brother agreed to act as a guarantor on his behalf during his 30-day visit.

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