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Is Assassination Next?
Selected article - MDP newsletterIssue 20; 15 - 30 September 2004
Gayyoom has taken care of the home front very well. Almost all who resist his brutal and corrupt regime are safely in custody - either through the tested and proven method of torture or (as in the case of those with businesses) through the fear of confiscation of property. Gayyoom is quietly confident of keeping his hostages under control. Perhaps, in the process, give a further boost to the family business by confiscating (and retaining for family use) Gasim’s assets. This is not too difficult an act for Gayyoom – all he has to do is tell his judges to find Gasim guilty of high treason or confiscate the property on grounds of national security. No excuses asked, none given.
With the hostages secured, all that stands between him and assured continuity of his brutal oppression, are just five people in exile. So Gayyoom has declared in an interview with the Hindu of India. It has been some months since the talk of assassinating key people opposed to his dictatorial rule has been bandied around. If pro-Gayyoom hate websites (controlled, reportedly by Gayyoom's two sons, his Executive Secretary Shahid, brother Yameen and the NSS) are anything to go by, the process seems to have reactivated in earnest. Intimate details about the dissidents in Sri Lanka, including the whereabouts and movements, are known to Gayyoom's people and assassination seems imminent. Two questions come to mind:
(a) Will assassinating a few (or even all five) of the dissidents help Gayyoom to continue with his brutal rule forever?
(b) Presumably the potential targets would have taken some steps to let other concerned people know about the threats to their lives and from where such threats are originating. Is Gayyoom so desperate that he no longer cares?
It is understandable that a dictator with a pathological hunger for power could take some unorthodox steps against the few who he sees as obstacles. Custodial death through torture and endemic human rights abuse does not seem to bother the despot too much. A couple of assassinations would not unduly upset a megalomaniac bent on preserving his tyrannical rule.
© Dhivehi Observer 2004