| Main | News | Dhivehi | Editorials | Opinions | Guestbook |About Maldives |Downloads |About us | Links | 09 December 2005 07:53
Fellow Maldivians - wake up and face your responsibilities
10th Dec 2003 (was originally published on www.maldivesculture.com )
It is sad to find so many young people who appear to be backing Gayyoom's regime. What could be the reasons behind it? Surely, the gross violation of human rights in the Maldives needs no further elaboration.
People are being killed and tortured, but many are refusing to point the finger at the person responsible. It cannot be possible that these people are content and happy with the abuses their fellow citizens are being subjected to. Personally, I cannot comprehend the thought of any righteous and humane person praising and supporting Maumoon.
The risks are extremely high when one is confronting this regime and criticising Maumoon, but if these pro-Maumoon individuals were scared of any misfortunes that may be inflicted upon them, they could simply stay put and get on with their lives rather than start expressing a view that is being imposed upon them.
Some of these people have been arguing that I am a traitor and that I betrayed my people. They go further and say that I should be grateful to Maumoon for providing me with the opportunity to get educated in UK.
My answer to them is that I did not, even for a minute, think that I was betraying my country by telling the world the truth about Maumoon. It is his job to provide education for all Maldivians, not just a few lucky ones like me. My father was not a politician nor was he a rich man. There are quite a few graduates in my family and we have all won scholarships. Just because Gayyoom was head of the government when I got my education, I do not have to be loyal to him when he abuses his power and makes my countrymen suffer. My loyalty lies with the people of Maldives and to the nation, not to Maumoon. I just hope that soon these people will come to their senses and promote the betterment of the people of our beloved nation, rather than prolonging a regime that has lost touch with its people.
We all know what its like when people of a country are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of life. Constitutionally, Maumoon is an elected president. Therefore, we the people have every right to voice our concerns and express our feelings. If we can express feelings of gratitude and appreciation towards him, why can't we also express our outrage and anger as well? Why is it always a one-way thing?
In the October 2003 referendum, we didn't see a single person walking on the street telling people not to vote for Maumoon, while the whole of the Maldives was flooded with his YES campaign and posters. Our people have a right to know who Gayyoom really is, what he has failed to do and why they were voting for the same candidate for the sixth time.
In a fair referendum, I would have campaigned more openly for a NO vote and many would have joined the NO camp. In this age of global communication, we hear and see a lot of the international news. Recently, a government lost a referendum because of a public NO campaign.
Has anyone seriously thought about why no credible candidate is running against Gayoom for the post of the highest public office in the country? In the words of an ex-cabinet minister 'Oh! My God, are you crazy? I will never see daylight again if I stood against him. No one will have a chance.'
There are hundreds of very able Maldivians who can do a far better job than Maumoon in running our small country. Another prominent figure told me that much as he would love to serve his people as president, he does not see a chance because even if the votes of the members of the Majlis were in his favour, he would still loose the fight. In a dictatorship, nothing is legitimate except what the dictator believes or wants.
I can promise you that the days of dummy candidates for public elections are over! Maumoon will have to play it by the book and respect the constitution of the country when 'we' challenge him in the upcoming Majlis elections. Maumoon still thinks that he can get away with humiliating us time and time again. World media giants like BBC and Time are criticised by the government because they did not portray Maumoon like Haveeru or Miadhu or TV Maldives.
I would like to make a very clear statement here. My decision to give an interview to the BBC was my way of expressing anger and outrage, mainly about the events of last September. I believe it was my national duty to tell the world about the brutal regime which has overpowered and continues to oppress our people. Maldivians deserve a much better quality of life and a much more prosperous future, equal opportunity, education for all and better health care. It is our duty to ensure that these dreams are realised sooner than later.
Happiness in this life is just as important as happiness in the afterlife. We must all think hard and justify what we do each day. In the words of Socrates: 'Make you chief concern not your body nor your possessions but the highest welfare of your souls. And, let no day pass without discussing goodness and examining yourself. This really is the best thing a man can do. The real difficulty is not to escape death but to escape from doing wrong.'
Fellow Maldivians, wake up and face your responsibilities towards yourself and others. Enough of talking, it is now time to act!
© Dhivehi Observer 2004