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What lies ahead for the reform movement in Maldives?
A. S. I. Moosa (Sappe'), 16 October 2004
Although Gayyoom does not recognise the Maldivian Democratic Party, it is now a full political party and possible shadow government. Maldivians and the outside world, including the American, EU, Canadian and Australian governments, have recognised the party as the formal opposition to the Gayyoom regime.
It is therefore essential for the party to begin operating like a political opposition party with a shadow government. This will provide much-needed experience for members who want to be part of a MDP-led government in Maldives. They will need to understand the complex demands of government portfolios. Gayyoom has prevented any alternative leadership emerging in Maldives to ensure that power remains a family inheritance for his intellectually limited family and associates.
From the recent activities of the dictator, it is quite obvious he will not negotiate with his opposition nor accept popular demands for real democracy in Maldives. He will not give Maldivians the opportunity to make Maldives a great country, but will continue to maintain his 'secret' and stifling dictatorship.
Confirmed reports say he has sealed himself off from the public even further by putting black film on his car windows because he does not want people to see him anymore. People hate him so much that their anger and hatred is obvious in their faces, even though they dare not make any gestures for fear of torture. Gayyoom is reportedly training 50 new bodyguards to strengthen his personal security. It is also believed that he will not be going to his office on a daily basis because he is paranoid about security. Among the non-violent population of Maldives, this is seen as proof of his madness and guilt.
Gayyoom does not want to accept that he must go. He fears prosecution and imprisonment. He knows he has committed many crimes.
Gayyoom has lost the little support he once had in the islands because of his brutality in the jails of Maldives and during his crackdowns this year. The NSS violence he has ordered in this latest two month bogus 'emergency', which includes torture and raping of detainees, has made him despised and hated even more. Locking up some of the most respectable and courageous people in Maldives, is seen as a crime against the people themselves. Gayyoom has angered thousands of Maldivians and created a rajje of enemies since Black Friday.
The MDP should capitalise on this and start acting like a shadow government. The opposition leaders must continue to give hope and support, and empower the people to transform the country into a place where honest hard-working citizens can aspire to live a happy and prosperous life, free from tyranny, ignorant and fear.
© Dhivehi Observer 2004