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Majlis

Indian Star Katrina Kaif Is In Maldives But Let’s Talk About Maldivians & Their Love For Bollywood!

in Lifestyle/Tourism by

In the Indian media, the Maldives can be a rage when Indian celebrities post their vacation, honeymoon or shooting pictures. This time, it is Katrina Kaif – one of India’s leading actresses – who is making the Maldives trend in India.

The 33-year-old star is here for a photo shoot by Harper’s Bazaar Brides India. and a selfie posted by her designer friend Manish Malhotra on Instagram is being shared widely.

#ShootTime #maldives #beautiful #KatrinaKaif .#MyFirstTime in #maldives #Exciting #SeaPlane #Journey #Experiences #SliceOfLife

A photo posted by Manish Malhotra (@manishmalhotra05) on

Did you spot seaplanes in the background?

The picturesque Maldives has always been one of the top destinations to capture in camera for the Mumbai-based Bollywood industry.

Taking cue from Bollywood’s interest in the country, in 2010, the then tourism minister Toyyid Mohammad proposed turning one of the nation’s islands into shooting studios.

“We have already proposed that one of the islands could be turned into a studio to shoot movies,” Toyyid was quoted as saying in an Indian newspaper in 2010. Though, the plan never took off but Bollywood continued to shoot movies in the Maldives.

Here are five movies shot in exotic locations of the Maldives


Ek Villain

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Ek Villain was shot at Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island where the entire beach looks like starry night sky due to a natural phenomenon known as “bioluminescence”.


Kites

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This Hritik Roshan starred movie was shot at the Sultan of Blues yatch.


Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya

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Salman Khan who has a huge fan base in the Maldives as well shot his home-production Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya with Katrina Kaif at Coco Palm Resort. Sea Plane again!


Fight Club- Members Only

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A song from the movie Fight Club – Members Only was shot at the Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa in Meemu Atoll


Samundar

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This 1986 release starring Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon was shot at the Bandos Island Resort & Spa now known as Bandos Island.


The love between Bollywood and the Maldives is not one sided. While in mainstream media, the narrative begins and ends with sharing pictures of stars and movies being shot here, the love for Hindi movies, songs and even TV soaps among the Maldivians is fascinating.

Sometimes, this love also translates into a tool to protest against the alleged dictatorship in the country. Last year, some of the MPs played a song ‘Ye Andha Kanoon Hai’ (The law is blind) from 1983 drama starring legendary Amitabh Bachchan to protest against the state-controlled judiciary in the People’s Majlis.

Maldivians are also hooked to radio stations playing Hindi songs.

Even Maldivian Idol – an adaptation of popular British show Pop Idol which became a hit in its maiden season – also witnessed the love for Bollywood when the top three contestants sang a Hindi song with a popular Indian singer Abhijeet.

One can also spot Maldivians dancing on popular Hindi songs. In this video, Suneetha Ali is seen performing the iconic steps of Bollywood heartthrob Madhuri Dixit’s ‘Ek Do Teen’ at a function organised by Raajje TV.

According to a report, not only Indian movies, the ‘saas-bahu’ sagas made by Ekta Kapoor are also popular among Maldivians, especially women.

Mohamed Salih Hassan, General Manager Operations and Project/Director for Adaaran luxury resorts said as quoted in the report, “Local people really like to watch Hindi movies and serials. Stars like Shahrukh, Aamir, Salman and Aishwarya are quite popular among them, including kids.”

The government-owned Olympus Cinema used to screen Hindi movies along with Dhivehi films even it had just a projector and a DVD player. Now, state broadcast network Television Maldives (TVM) screens Hindi movies to entertainment-hungry Maldivians. With home entertainment and cable TV, the love for Bollywood rose in the Maldives.

Gayoom Brothers’ Rivalry Rips PPM Apart; Yameen Govt Set To Fall As Maumoon Withdraws Support?

in News/Politics by

After over a six-month family feud, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom withdrew his support from his half-brother Abdulla Yameen-led government with immediate effect followed by Supreme Court verdict that upheld the High Court’s decision to make later the head of the party.

gayoom brothers powerplay (5)


The rift between the brothers that led to division of party into two factions escalated on Thursday during the fifth anniversary celebration of PPM when Maumoon was stopped by security forces from attending the event at the party’s office.

Three tweets followed by the incident within three hours apparently opened Pandora’s box of Maumoon’s resentment wherein he finally announced withdrawing his support from the ruling government.

The announcement was made following this tweet:

Later Thursday night, Head office of PPM under Maumoon’s faction was found chained allegedly by supporters of Yameen, however, police did not confirm who the culprit was, Sun Online reported.

Maumoon, meanwhile alleged that some of the properties of PPM was also stolen.

Earlier on Thursday, eight MPs from ruling party had joined Maumoon’s faction and said that they will work independently defying Yameen’s diktat in national interest.

It is yet to be ascertained if Yameen would be able to prove majority on the floor of People’s Majlis.

MDP Cries Foul Over Election Commission’s Removal Of MPs Eva Abdulla And Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

in News/Politics by

In a deteriorating political climate in the Maldives, the Election Commission has struck off nearly half of the Maldivian Democratic Party’s members from its registry after the parliament approved a law requiring all political party members to submit their fingerprint records.

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Some 18,803 members were removed, reducing the main opposition party’s membership to 27,805 members.

The Election Commission on Thursday, effectively removed MDP MPs, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla from the Party’s membership list. MP Ibu Solih is a founding member of the MDP, and is also the Party’s Parliamentary Group Leader. MP Ibu Solih is currently serving his fifth term in Parliament, whereas MP Eva Abdulla is serving her second.

The Election Commission, whose independence has been compromised since the appointment of individuals politically aligned to the Yameen Government, began their insidious meddling with Party membership lists in July 2014.

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MDP MP Eva Abdulla is the first women to be elected to the governing council of the Maldives first democratic party.

A fingerprinted form for political party membership was first introduced by a regulation in 2010, and by law in 2013. Then in July 2014, the elections commission gave all parties a six-month deadline to re-register all members whose fingerprints were not on file.

Other parties affected by the law include the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party. The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives, which emerged as a breakaway faction of the DRP in 2011, will not be affected.

The PPM, with 37,633 members, is now the largest political party in the country.

The DRP lost nearly 10,000 members, and now has only 3,966 registered members. The JP’s membership was reduced by 3000, while some 1000 members were taken off the AP’s registry.

The JP now has 10,989 members, and the AP has 9,009.

The MDP and the DRP challenged the order at the civil court, arguing that the requirement cannot be applied retroactively, a view the attorney general has supported.

The case moved onto the High Court, which granted an injunction on the Election Commission’s order. In reaction to the injunction, the ruling party used its majority to circumvent the courts and passed an amendment to the Political Parties requiring all members to submit fingerprinted membership forms or be taken off the lists.

MPs Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Eva Abdulla have submitted fingerprinted forms twice to the Election Commission only to be repeatedly rejected. Their forms were submitted prior to the deadline and following the second submission they were not informed of the cause of rejection.

MDP’s International Spokesperson, Hamid Abdul Gafoor said, “it is slightly suspicious how keen the EC were to inform Parliament of the removal of MDP MP Ibu Solih and MP Eva Abdulla when they and the Parliament have repeatedly refused to acknowledge the MDP’s requests to remove MP Moosa Manik as a member of the MDP’s Parliamentary Group. The EC’s actions continue to obstruct peaceful political activity, making a mockery of our constitution and the hopes for a free and fair election.”


Although the PPM claims the law is necessary to prevent fraud, MDP MPs said it was aimed at reducing the party’s membership, and cutting off its state funding, as the number of members in a party determines the size of the annual grant it receives from the state budget.

The elections commission has meanwhile withheld funding for all political parties citing leadership vacuums and mismanagement by some parties.

This comes at a time when there is growing disillusionment in the institutions of the Maldives, including the independence of the Election Commission.

In July, former President of the Elections Commission, , had said that the people of the  have lost confidence in the institution and that there was no need of introducing in the island nation.

 

The Maldives’ Story Of ‘Leave. Leaving… Left’ Commonwealth: All You Need To Know

in News/Politics by

September 18

CHRI: The nations is sliding into a dictatorial system once again and the situation will soon push the island nation into the brink of violence and anarchy. Suspend, exclude and halt the current government.

September 23

CMAG: Deeply disappointed in lack of progress in the Maldives and now on a formal agenda and threat of suspension in March.

Ruling ‘Defamation Fame’ MP Jaufar Dawood: Commonwealth is ‘camel fart’. If we haven’t any advantage as a member of the Commonwealth, why shouldn’t we leave them?

September 25

Ruling Riyaz Rasheed: Now is the time for Maldives to leave Commonwealth. People’s Majlis would deliberate over the matter and make its decision when it re-opens.

September 27

Willy Mutunga: The country is facing severe democracy deficit.

October 6

Majlis reopens

October 13

Foreign Ministry: Maldives has decided to leave the Commonwealth.


October the 13- the day when President Abdulla Yameen-led government, taking forward its isolation policy and dictatorial behaviour, slayed 34-year-old tie with the Commonwealth. The government alleged that the group was deliberating “punitive actions” following the situation that led to ouster of former President Mohamed Nasheed in 2012. Foreign Ministry said it was “difficult, but inevitable” step as the 53-nation group has been treating the current government “unjustly and unfairly”.

yameen-cabinet


The development came weeks after the rhetoric from all the President’s men -who asked the government to flex its muscles – to leave the group after Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) put the Maldives on its formal and gave another six months time to work on the six-point threatening suspension from the group. That time, too, the ruling party MP Riyaz Rasheed indicated to “a group of individuals living in self-exile in UK” who were influencing the group’s decision.

The Foreign Ministry scuffling at the group further said that the Maldives was being used as an object for organisation’s own relevance.

(Maldives)… would be an easy object that can be used, especially in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the organisation’s own relevance and leverage in international politics

The decision to quit the Commonwealth created international furore within minutes with many expressing not just disappointment over it but also suggesting that consequential international isolation will adversely affect its citizens who are already fighting a long battle with human rights abuses, high-level corruption and crackdown on dissent.

One of the first reactions came from President Yameen’s half brother and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who has been at loggerheads with the former over a number of issues. said he was disappointed on leaving the group as he was the one who “led the country into Commonwealth”.

The 78-year-old President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) said he was disappointed on leaving the group as he was the one who “led the country into Commonwealth” and that “isolation will not solve problems”.

gayoom

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said members of the Commonwealth will share his sadness worldwide.

I have received news that the Maldives Government has today decided to leave the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth family at large – its member governments and its peoples worldwide – will share my sadness and disappointment at this decision.

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives James Dauris said that he was saddened by the decision.

davis

Former President Nasheed took social networking site Facebook to express his anger and said:

Removing the Maldives from the Commonwealth is an act of desperation by a President who doesn’t like the truth and is unwilling to be held accountable for his authoritarianism.

Internationally acclaimed human rights watchdog Amnesty International suggested that instead of lashing out at international criticism, the country should address the situation.

Instead of complaining about unfair treatment, the Maldives government should look at engaging more constructively with the international community.

Former foreign minister Ahmed Shaheed told New York Times that isolation will bring more criticism to the country.

He is getting deeper and deeper into isolation. He would think he’s insulating himself from Commonwealth criticism, but he will receive more and more.

David White, the chief of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative called October the 13th as sad day.

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Other stakeholders- MPs, journalists, politicians and activists – took Twitter to express shock and disappointment.

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jameel


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The government also received flak worldwide for severing ties with Iran to become a part of the league of Sunni nations to join Saudi Arabia in setting diplomatic agenda against the country.

President Yameen is also facing in-party isolation as most of his former cabinet ministers are either jailed, a part of rainbow coalition Maldivian United Opposition (MUO), have resigned citing differences. And, most importantly from his half-brother, mentor and party chief- Maumoon Gayoom.

capture

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson – the Brexit rival of Nasheed’s good friend David Cameron- who is currently the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom said:

(The UK will) continue to work with the Maldives Government to help strengthen democracy, particularly freedom of speech and the media and independence of the judiciary.

Subsidy Cut In Staple Food Stirs Majlis

in Mas-Huni Brief by

The People’s Majlis was stirred with the controversy of subsidy cut in staple food after the floor of the house opened after a recess of one month.

majlis-1


  • The decision to subsidies from October 1 doubled the prices of staple food overnight
  • All 52 MPs voted in favour to debate the price hike calling it national concern
  • PPM MPs also criticised the government for the abrupt decision to hike prices
  • A few defended the move saying that 40 per cent of beneficiaries of subsidies are expatriates
  • Some MPs citing World Bank and IMF recommendations hailed President Yameen for unpopular decision for the good of the economy
  • Opposition MPs lashed out at the government over the cut and raised issue of stolen money in the MMPRC corruption scandal

Read full story at Maldives Independent

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.

‘Leave Commonwealth Before It Suspends Maldives’ : All The President’s Men

in News/Politics by

After Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) put the Maldives on its formal agenda and gave another six months time to work on the six-point agenda threatening suspension from the group, the rhetoric within the government is to flex its muscles and leave the group instead of bowing down.

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However, the People’s Majlis is yet to deliberate on the matter and decision is likely to be taken when it reopens.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed was among many other MPs who demanded the same after the group in a highly critical report after a meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) threatened suspension by March next year.

Rasheed declared that “now is the time for Maldives to leave Commonwealth, and that People’s Majlis would deliberate over the matter and make its decision when it re-opens,” Sun Online reported.

Another MP, often known for his outspoken attitude, Riyaz  said that even President Abdulla Yameen is in favour of leaving Commonwealth and asked for advice from Majlis .

Alleging that the decisions of CMAG was influenced by “a group of individuals living in self-exile in UK”, Riyaz said that the time of leave Commonwealth has come.

Defamation bill fame MP Jaufar Dawood, in a reply to a Twitter user said that the Maldives was not getting any benefits from the Commonwealth and so the country should not be “afraid” to leave the group.

He, further, went on to continue with his opinion and rather offensive and compared the group to “camel fart”.

CMAG took its decision on the basis of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative’s (CHRI) report which said that the situation in the Maldives is sliding to dictatorship and if the situation continues the island nation will be on the brink of violence and anarchy.

Gayoom & Nasheed, Together Or Not? PPM Says They Are Not!

in News/Politics by

Mohamed Nasheed took the Maldives and rest of the world by surprise when he, in a high profile Skype interview to the foreign correspondents from London, said that he has got the old rival and ex-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on board to topple his half- brother Abdulla Yameen.

gayoom-nasheed


But soon, his claims were refuted, directly and indirectly.

Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), which Gayoom heads, denied his claims and accused Nasheed of lying.

“… (Nasheed is) lying to bring President Maumoon into disrepute and to create discord among PPM members,” Abdul Aleem Adam, the PPM’s deputy secretary-general was quoted by Maldives Independent as saying.

And, Gayoom indirectly via a tweet also indicated his party’s claims and called Nasheed a liar, Focus Maldives understands.
Two days after Nasheed’s claims Gayoom said in his tweet that “Truth will be truth even if you say it once. A lie will be a lie even if you repeat it a thousand times.”


Nasheed, who was jailed more than 20 times in Gayoom’s regime for his criticism, said on September 12 that he was in agreement with the ex-strongman alias Gayoom to fight his half-brother and President Yameen.

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

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“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.
“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.

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

in News/Politics by

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.

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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.

Govt In Hurry To Pass Defamation Bill & Calls It “Media Friendly”

in News/Politics by

The government is all set to introduce a fast track system for the proposed defamation bill to “set the limits on freedom of expression” in order to protect people from committing the act of defamation.

In an apparent smart move, the government in mid-July made ruling MP Ahmed Nihan to withdraw his version of defamation bill- dubbed as “death knell” for media freedom by critics- to introduce a “media friendly” bill. The government is planning to push the bill through people’s Majlis in a day.


What Is A “Media Friendly” Bill


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  • The new “media friendly” bill has been proposed by the MP for Ungoofaaru constituency, Jaufaru Dhaaood on behalf of the government.

  • The new bill proposes lower fines and jail sentences. The defamation will go to court as civil offence and if a person fails to pay the fine, he/she would face criminal charges.

  • The fine has been reduced from MVR 5 million to MVR 2 million and if a person fails to pay the fine will land up in jail for six months as against jail term for one year mentioned in “not so friendly” bill introduced by Nihan.

  • The bill has two parts; the media part which covers rumours circulated by media and the individual part which covers defamatory speeches at public platforms.

  • The bill is on the floor of the parliament for debate and voting but PPM Parliamentary Committee has decided to push the bill in a day.

The Never Ending Tale Of Media Clampdown


Press Freedom


Ex-Haveeru Employees Banned


The Civil Court recently ordered ban on ex-Haveeru employees for two years from working in any other organisation. Court ordered the Home Ministry to ensure that the ex-employees do not work for any other media house for two years stating that it was leding to massive loss to Haveeru- the oldest newspaper of the country.

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What Really Happened?

  • On March 31, the civil court ordered to halt the publication of country’s oldest newspaper agency Haveeru Online after shareholding dispute between two parties.

  • This led to mass resignation of Haveeru’s employees and they started working for the new newspaper agency Mihaaru- owned by one of the stakeholders.

Reason For Ban

  • Court ordered ban on ex-Haveeru journalists for two years from working in any other organisation stating huge financial losses due to mass resignation from Haveeru Daily.

  • Court also found out that assets of Haveeru Daily were being used illegally by ex-Haveeru employees.

What About Others?

CNM Closed! Ahmed Rilwan Still Missing! Raajje TV Journalists Facing Trial!


CNM Expose That Led To Its Closure

CNM

  • CNM was forced to shut down on political pressure after it exposed First Lady’s misuse of state funds for personal profit.

  • CNM had exposed First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim for misusing the dates donated by Saudi Arabia for the personal gain through the NGO owned by her.

  • CNM also exposed the letter sent to Finance Ministry by Islamic Minister to transfer half of the Abu Dhabi donation to Fathimath’s NGO, the Sadagat Foundation.

  • The Editor-in-Chief , Ismail Rasheed called it a forced shut down by the influential government official. Howvever, one of the shareholders of CNM, Mohamed Ali Janah, dismissed the claim of political pressure.

Ahmed Rilwan Still Missing


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  • Close to two years now, but there is no sign of Maldives Independent journalist Ahmed Rilwan who was abducted in August 2014.

  • Two suspects have been arrested but the main suspect Mohamed Suaid had fled from Maldives last year while the family of Rilwan accused police of delaying investigation leading to discrepancies.

  • Government was summoned by the United Nations seeking response over his disappearance. Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon refuted allegations and said that there is no involvement of government in his abduction.

Raajje TV Journalists Facing Trial


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  • Two things common between Mohamed Wisam, Leevan Ali Naseer, Hussain Fiyaz Moosa and Adam Zareer, were first, they all are Raajje TV journalists and second, they all are facing “vague” charges for obstructing law and order on different occasions.

  • State prosecutor claims they defied police orders and crossed a barricade set up near the central bank building in Malé during an anti-government protest on March 25 last year.

  • While they pleaded not guilty by saying that they were doing their duty as journalists.

  • Judge presiding over the trial questioned the legality of the charges against the Raajje TV CEO Moosa and why he was charged with inappropriately touching a person instead of more serious offence of assault

Journalism, A Crime In Maldives?


journalism

  • 18 journalists were arrested during the sit-in protest against Court’s decision for shutting Haveeru.

  • 183 Maldivian journalists signed a petition and submitted it to the President’s Office, the People’s Majlis and the Supreme Court requesting to drop the charges against 24 Journalists arrested since President Abdulla Yameen came in power.

  • Maldives has been ranked 112th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2015 World Press Freedom Index, after falling 60 places since 2010.
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