Yesterday’s large anti-government protests ended peacefully in the early hours of the morning, and look set to continue for a second day.
Demonstrators danced into the night as a bodu beru band played, and were joined by a number of elderly women. Police kept a low profile.
Amid the yellow banners, capes, badges and bandanas of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters, were a noticeably large number of the formerly politically un-engaged, most of them young. Many said they were joining or had already joined the MDP, and there were reports that the party had temporarily run out of application forms.
“We never used to discuss politics around the dinner table,” one yellow-shirted demonstrator, previously unaffiliated with any political party, told Minivan News. “But after I was beaten [by police] on Wednesday, my whole family – sisters, cousins – have joined the MDP.”
Former President Mohamed Nasheed took the podium shortly after midnight, stating that all-party talks were scheduled for Sunday to decide a date for an early presidential election. He said he was confident a date would be set before Parliament resumed on March 1.
Nasheed – who said he was forced to resign under duress in a bloodless police and military coup d’état February 7 – said people had stood up against the 30 year regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom because of the inhumane treatment people suffered at its hands and had witnessed, a day after the first democratically-elected government was overthrown, a brutal police crackdown on the people who protested against the coup.
“I was repeatedly asked to unlock the arsenal and if so the mutinous police officers would have been easily arrested. But I was not elected to hurt the people of this country,” Nasheed said.
Nasheed explained that for a while after the coup he was “unable to get out of Muleeage [the President’s residence]” and was not able to call anyone to explain what had happened.
“The international community had not received word of the coup as I was unable to leave Muleeage,” he said. “It took some time for them to realised that the information they had been receiving was not genuine, and by then some had urged us to join this illegal government. But I have now informed them of the real situation.
“The coup leaders did not conceive of or anticipate the people’s reaction to the change in government,” Nasheed added.
They believed, he said, that they could consolidate their hold on power “by arresting me after the coup and beating members of the MDP and the Maldivian people into submission.”
He added the public, who had been “nurturing the country on the path to freedom”, were not willing to recognise as legitimate a government they did not elect.
The “peaceful political activity” would continue until a date for early elections was announced, Nasheed said, urging people to return the following day.
“People can swim, play sports, music and give political speeches here. Our aim is to gather people from all over the nation,” he said.
Following talks with India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on Thursday, Nasheed said Dr Mohamed Waheed’s government was supposed to announce early elections on Friday night, after which other parties, MDP and Nasheed were to welcome it.
The announcement did not come, except for a vague press conference by new Attorney General Azima Shukoor. The all-party discussions have been set for Sunday.
MDP’s President, former Fisheries Minister Dr Ibrahim Didi, said that Maldivians had voted for the MDP’s manifesto for five years, “and hence the rule of this party should remain even now. That is why we are pressing for an election and by the grace of God it will be achieved.”
Dr Didi claimed that Ahmed Thasmeen Ali’s Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DRP), the second largest party in the Maldives and the subject of an acrimonious split with Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) last year, had “given the green light” for early elections.
A statement on the DRP website said the party “welcomes and supports this important initiative because we value the importance of strengthening the democratic foundations of the Maldives and the restoration of peace and calm amongst our people. We believe this initiative would help to further strengthen the role of independent institutions in the Maldives and prevent serious distruptions to economic development and prosperity.”
“In supporting this initiative the DRP is willing to participate in a dialogue among all relevant political parties regarding the holding of early elections as stipulated in the roadmap. The DRP would also extend its cooperation in carrying out any necessary amendments to the constitution in order to facilitate such an election.”
Dr Mustafa Lufty, Chancellor of the Maldives National University, former Education Minister and one of the founding members of President Waheed’s Gaumee Ittihad Party (GIP), also addressed the crowd.
“Pointing a gun at the head of our beloved president and forcing him to resign is the same as pointing a gun at all of us,” Luftee said. “If we give up now generations to come will have to live at gun point.”
“I came here today because I could no longer bear this travesty.”
“This has been carefully planned. One plan was to force Nasheed to resign and if he did not, then the arsenal would have been opened for the opposition. That would have meant major bloodshed and military rule – they would have kept the country under such rule for a long time. Nasheed was wise enough to step aside and save the country from a massive tragedy.
“The second plan was to arrest Nasheed when he resigned, which would prompt his supporters to take matters into their own hands giving an excuse to beat them down. They would have charged us under terrorism.
“Freedom is a god given right of every human being and must not be violated under any circumstances,” he said.
Mathai had endorsed a ‘road map’ backing early elections “as soon as feasible”, and said at a press conference that MDP had as a result been “reconsidering” Friday’s demonstrations.
In a statement yesterday from the President’s Office, Dr Waheed said he was “disappointed” with Nasheed’s decision “to go ahead with his demonstration in Male’ today despite assurances and promises that were given to the Indian Foreign Secretary Mathai yesterday that it would be cancelled and a smaller meeting will be held in its place.”
Dr Waheed said MDP’s claim that he had not respected agreements reached in the Indian-mediated negotiations was “a completely untrue and irresponsible suggestion”.
“I can understand whilst it is easy to march your forces to the top of the hill, it is much harder to march them down again. I also understand that at this critical juncture in our country’s history that showing strong leadership can be challenge. But I’m hopeful that Mr Nasheed can show the good judgement in the future that will be necessary to make the road map a reality. It’s the very least that the people of the Maldives deserve,” he said.
Meanwhile, a member of yesterday’s crowd told Minivan News that he was “proud of everyone who came today in spite of intimidation by the military and the PPM rumor mill warning of large-scale violence. Not to mention whatever lies the media axis of evil is spewing. A lot of people were apparently scared off.
“A friend I met there who had sat in the square with Anni in 2005 said he didn’t think we’d have to do it all over again. I always tell people that the post-2003 pro-democracy movement separated the conscience-challenged cowards from those who value justice and were willing to fight for it. People are clearly not scared anymore.
“It wasn’t that long ago that they got the courage to paint their houses yellow in defiance of Gayoom. Today they are willing to wave a yellow flag under a military government.”
Time lapse footage of the crowds:
Bodu beru in the evening:
Date has been given ,it will be on September 2013, can they stay there till then, I have seen Bangladheshi's enjoying free meals there last night.
The book of coup leaders and it's members Maldives, gonna release soon.
Early elections perhaps may be an answer only if we punish the perpetrators of the coup.
We can have the most fair and free and a fairy land election in the world but it will simply be pointless and wast of money and time if we don't get rid of the junk who took part in this.
We seriously must know who paid and bought this coup, who are the planners and who helped carry out this coup.
Following are the People who paid for the Coup. I am getting more info about some more people who paid, will give out the names as I find out, for now these are the names that needs investigating: Maumoon, Yamin, Gasim, Thasneem, Crown Company Saleem and Bandos Waheedheen.
Those filthy Police and Army Personnel who took part and disgraced our national emblem and insult the proud forces who has being performing in Uniform they must and should kick out of the forces, everyone of them and we must make sure that they never be allowed wear the national emblem or the proud uniform of our forces. They must not ever hold a government position or civilian position.
As for the people who paid for this coup they should be declared bankrupt and all there assets including land should be seize by the state.
Without this deterrent this will keep happening over and over again. Businessmen having ambitions is fine but we must not tolerate this kind of evil.
Judiciary seriously need to be overhauled, and the fanatic Muslim freaks should not be allowed to spread and give hate speeches.
We all must urge the Majlis to pass a bill to this effect. without it we find this happening time and time again.
Ekaloa, Yes I have seen Bangladeshi having a free meal at the "Insaafu ge dhathuru" his name is Shahu Ismail, son in law of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
That, my dear coup perpetrators, is the voice of the people that you have been trying to drown out repeatedly in trying to legitimize the power grab.
Let them be there till 2013 September, then it would be a world record. Ex dictator anni loves world records
My 2 cents worth contribution to this discussion:
Former President Nasheed has resigned.
The VP has taken over and is the new president.
This is, according to what is prescribed by the Maldivian constitution, legitimate.
What is questioned by the MDP:
Whether President Nasheed resigned under duress.
What people like me (who do not belong to any political party, and watched the events unfold on TV, in Male') are sure of is:
That President Nasheed resigned because one event led to another and there was a series of mishaps (if I may call that) that led eventually to a situation where he lost command over his armed forces.
What the MDP are now propagating:
Is that President Nasheed was ousted in a coup.
Let the independent investigators complete their work.
If there conclusion is that Nasheed was ousted in a coup, we should have fresh elections immediately.
If their conclusion says this government is legitimate, elections will be held as planned, in 2013.
I think we should all respect the independent investigators' conclusion.
Yes, There a thousands of supporters (including thousands of foreign workers)I spoke to several bangladesh labourers who took part in MDP ralley. Each of them were paid Rf/ 100 to hold MDP flag.
If President Nasheed resigned under duress, President Hosni Mubarak also resigned under duress.
MDP is behaving like a bunch of unruly kids.
Just because their 'Is Leader' is no longer the president of this country, they want fresh elections.
Who asked their 'Is Leader' to resign from his post?
I dont want my president to be a looser who cannot handle a crisis and resign. If he cannot handle the demands of his junior police , how can he handle a situation like Nov 3rd 1988 coup by PLOT.
"Who asked their ‘Is Leader’ to resign from his post?"
The police and military, if you were paying any attention.
Unfortunately, that's not how democracy works. The power to decide / appoint / remove a government and President lies only with the people - a few uniformed thugs (whether bribed or not) cannot decide that.
If the opposition of this country thought the President had crossed constitutional boundaries, they should have moved to impeach him or rally the public behind them.
They failed to do both.
Instead, it appears, they decided to undermine the most basic, sacred tenet of democracy by employing the state's security forces to overthrow the people's elected leader virtually at gunpoint.
I maintain that the coup leaders and the uniformed personnel who took part in this gross treason should be identified and severely punished.
Despite the fact that Nasheed was not a socialist, this coup was born out of the class struggle as a counter-revolutionary action by the capitalist class against the struggle by labor for better pay, working conditions, human rights, and a fairer taxation system. While the moves of the Nasheed government were very limited, they were steps forward not generally allowed by the capitalist classes of the under-developed world.
As Trotsky pointed out in the Theory of Permanent Revolution, socialism is the best cure for the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie of the under-developed world. A liquidated capitalist class no longer has its reigns on the economy to use that power to sabotage the economy and / or carry out the counter-revolution. The owners of the luxury resorts, had they been liquidated as a class and the resorts nationalized under state control, would not have been in the same position to overthrow the democratically elected president of the Maldives.
The problem with President Nasheed was not that he arrested a corrupt judge that participated in the corruption and repression of the old-regime, the problem was that he didn't do it soon enough. To take on the capitalist class of the Maldives as Nasheed did, Nasheed needed to mobilize the working class to rapidly liquidate the old capitalist state of the Gayoom dictatorship and develop a socialist economy from the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. Not being a revolutionary socialist, or even a socialist for that matter, Nasheed failed to take these basic moves. The moves he did make, however, were enough to bring about a counter-revolutionary coup on behalf of the bourgeoisie, with the backing of U.S. imperialism. As socialists in the United States it is essential that we denounce U.S. backing for this counter-revolutionary coup.
Repression since the coup has been documented by Amnesty International and has included brutal police beatings of protesters and members of Nasheed’s government and included at least one death and the hospitalization of others. .
Without giving political support to Nasheed, socialists in the Maldives would be right to oppose this counter-revolutionary coup and be in the streets demanding an end to the coup government and its brutality. Socialists should support campaigns against climate change, for union rights, and democracy, but you should be fighting for a program far more profound than anything put forward by Nasheed.
On the Class Basis of the Maldives Coup and the Internationalist Socialist Response
Oppose the U.S. Backed Coup in the Maldives!
I fully support holding early elections. This is why:
According to MinivanNews, this protest gathered 10000 people (at its peak) – This includes some people from nearby islands as well.
The number of people gathered at 23rd December protest was 25000 people (according to several sources). This does not include people protesting separately in other islands.
Now, assuming the above figures represent the whole voting population:
the percentage support for MDP
= 29% (approx.) with an error of +/- 5%.
That is predicted MDP support will be between 24% and 34%.
Interestingly this figure closely rally with the last presidential election – i.e. MDP only got 24% at that time.
Based on my calculation, I do not think it is advantageous for MDP to call for an early election.
Coup leader Waheed, please refer to the interview you gave on 16 February 2012 prior to MDPs demonstration. You have clearly made every excuse not to hold an election before 2013.
1.When Snake is alive, Snake eats Ants.
When Snake is dead, Ants eat Snake.
Time can turn at any time. Never neglect anyone in your life.
2. Never make the same mistake twice.
There are so many new ones, Try a different one each day.
3. A good way to change someone's attitude is to change your own.
Because, the same sun that melts butter, also hardens clay!
Life is as we think, so think beautifully.
4. Life is just like a sea, we are moving without an end.
Nothing stays with us, what remains is just the memories of some people who touched us as Waves...
5. Whenever you want to know how rich you are?
Never count your currency, Just try to Drop a Tear and count how many hands reach out to WIPE that.
That is true richness...
6. Heart tells the eyes “See less, because you see and I suffer lot”.
Eyes replied, “feel less because you feel and I cry a lot”.
7. Never change your originality for the sake of others, because no one can play your role better than you.
So be yourself, because whatever you are, YOU are the best.
8.Baby mosquito came back after 1st time flying.
His mom asked him "How do you feel?"
He replied "It was wonderful, Everyone was clapping for me!"
MDP is using banhalhees in this protest to increase the numbers infront of the eyes. Typical MDP drama.. what a laugh. Do whatever you want, there will be no elections before 2013 and you will never win the next election because the majority of this country is not with you. We dont want a terrorist party like you win the next election again.
JJ is a propaganda reporter. Paid well by the masters and Do the dirty job! Minivannew spread false information and twisted news! It takes the side of MDP, which is now controled by a mob lead by Rekko Moosa, Sarangu Adam, Mariya and Co. Dr.Didi the MDP party President has no say nor status at party. He and his supporters are sidelined by Nasheed and his girl friend Mariya. Dr.Didi is some how a dummy. Dr.Didi cannot step up and speak of the undemocratic values and mob controls. JJ (fake reporter) cannot independently report the faults of MDP as Mininvan news is controled by MDP mobs! The whole MDP is hijacked! Its the same story repeating as DRP! MINIvan news is a joke!! International community if you want some "independent news" please check www.haveeru.com.mv
Some things are missing in your short analysis.
Whether it is underwater cabinet or free health care, Mr. Nasheed crafted himself as a populist (domestic and international) over and above anything. So you find many socialist and conservative features in his approach, which do not match. There were major contradictions.
His policies were largely aimed at improving the condition the under privileged masses in the atolls and that is why he continues to enjoys popular support. This includes housing and free healthcare.
However he adopted a neo-conservative privatization approach (perhaps on advise of British Tory's who supports him). Also he surrounded himself with conservative types people who often had nothing but their own business interest at heart.
Basically Mr. Nasheed tried a populist grassroots approach using conservative tactics borrowed from Margaret Thatcher, whose policies he admired as a student in Liverpool at the time.
@ Retired, I agree with your view but want to add to it!
Most of what i want to add has been said by @Yaamynon Sat, 18th Feb 2012 12:25 PM.
In my view having a Vice President (who contested the election with the President and the manifesto) take over in case the President resigns is to ensure continuity of the Government and policies (manifesto) until the next election. Dr. Waheed did not do that but changed the Government including Ministers, Chairmen etc. He then installed the very people who were removed from Government after the 2008 election. In my view Dr. Waheed does not have the mandate, from the Maldivian electorate, to do this! Perhaps someone more familiar with the Constitution and relevant laws could comment!
@ Mohamed Rasheed on Sat, 18th Feb 2012 4:16 PM
"I agree with your view but want to add to it!"
I am confident you will agree with me again.
Dr Waheed is not from MDP.
Dr Waheed may have been the VP and elected with Anni.
But because he is from a different party, it becomes a little difficult for him to implement MDP manifesto as such.
Dr Waheed and Anni along with many others formed a coalition.
The pair was elected as a result.
Such a coalition is like a rainbow of colours.
With time, for various reasons, all colours of this rainbow got faded and only two were remaining before the time Anni resigned.
When one out of the last two of these colours also left the rainbow, the only remaining colour is shining now.
You cannot expect it to shine as yellow or blue or red or anything else but its own.
So why expect Dr Waheed to carry out an MDP manifesto with MDP ministers, chairmen, etc.
How foolish is it to think he should now do all he can to get along and work with the same people who did not give him a rat's ...?
"“Who asked their ‘Is Leader’ to resign from his post?”
The police and military, if you were paying any attention."
So Hosni Mubarak also resigned under duress?
As some one said in here, I don't support any particular party or business persons.
Those who paid for this coup need to be identified, when they are they should be declared bankrupt and all there assets siezed.
As for the Police and the Army personel who took part, they should never ever wear our national emblem or the proud uniform of the forces Plus they should never wear our proud national uniform with the emblem and they should be discharges in the most disgraceful way and they should never hold a government job or civil service job.
As for the people who paid for this they has to declared bankrupt and and their assedts siezed.
@Rafiqul Alam on Sat, 18th Feb 2012 5:29 PM
"So Hosni Mubarak also resigned under duress?"
Mubarek killed his own people. He ordered the use of live munitions against his own people. Big difference, in case you didn't notice!
@Anthu on Sat, 18th Feb 2012 1:50 PM
"the percentage support for MDP
= 29% (approx.) with an error of +/- 5%."
This is not how one would do such a statistical test. There are well defined ways to do political polls! Please do your research and use valid statistical methods.
Let us know if you need any help.
After listening to the audio in the below article, it clearly proves that it is not a coup.
WHERE IS YAMEEN IN ALL THIS?
When he is silent, he is pulling the strings. How stupid can we be not to realise this!!!!!!
By being too focused on foreign policy, Anni lost touch with 'local policy' and lost trust of the people. People who can vote. International community cannot vote for Anni.
DRP or PPM they are still dhivehi people who shall be respected. Anni lost many opportunities to be nice to DRP and PPM people thereby gaining their life time enmity. I know of one situation where a drp council from an island came to Male' to meet the president. They stayed in Male for 3 weeks without being able to get an appointment with the president. They have prepared a video tape of their island to show to the president, and bought new clothes, ties and coats to meet his excellency, but his excellency did not have time to meet them. so the counsellor left dejected and mocked at by MDP people for being uneducated, uncivilized and unsophisticated. Whatever they are, Anni as a politician has lot a golden opportunity to charm them and win their trust.. just one of many mistakes Anni did.
No need of Bla Bla bla! you have eyes have look.
But still they cant believe in their eyes!
All the terreor oganisation will be demolished soon.We are in process.
You have called the MDP a terrorist party. I don’t agree.
I am a member of the MDP. I don't consider myself a terrorist.
Repressive regimes always call their opponents terrorists. Why Yasir? The wealthy and the powerful do not like to share their wealth or power.
The African National Congress (ANC) was labelled a terrorist organisation by the Apartheid governments of South Africa, if you recall, but the ANC won the first democratically elected government in South Africa. The United States called the Palestinian Liberation Organisation a terrorist organisation when it was Israel with the support of the USA who terrorised the people of Palestine and dispossessed them of their land.
I joined the MDP because I believed in the ideals and the promises of the party and I wanted to contribute to make a difference working within the framework of a party that stands for a better life for our people and has demonstrated it has the will and the capacity to bring change in our country.
If you recall, it was the MDP who stood for human rights, freedom of speech, democracy, distribution of wealth and up lifting the lot of the people. The MDP stood for us to have a better life, our children a better future.
People were tortured for calling for freedom of expression, democracy and justice in Gayoom's regime. Families went through unbelievable suffering while their family members stood for our rights. The least I could do was to lend my support to the brave warriors who liberated us from the tyranny of dictatorship.
Yasir, look at what the government of President Nasheed has achieved in three short years in parliament being a minority in parliament for most of these three years. In three short years we have done more for our people than Gayoom did in 30 years.
What happened on the 7th February to overthrow the elected government of President Nasheed by the armed forces was a violation of rule of law.
If President Nasheed has committed crimes against the people he should have been impeached. Not forced to resign under duress. This is a huge setback for our efforts towards democracy.
MDP stood for all those values before the before President Nasheed became the president and till the end of first year! Once he started gaining the MP's in the parliament he was corrupted by key MP's and he started corrupting them with bribe, alcohol and girls. President Nasheed has no values. All we are saying to him is to arrest Judge Abdulla if need be constitutionally and as he (Nasheed) himself was arrested one mid night and the family did not know where about of him for weeks when he was a Male' member during Gayoom regime. We are also asking him to serve justice to his own MP's who were acting above the law like MP Mustafa, Mariya and Rekko Moosa openly defying courts and laws and regulation. Shafeea, you are one respected citizen of this country! BUT Nasheed his mob controling MDP was acting in a very corrupt manner. The very Chief of Staff of President was collecting money for the party and himself (I suspect) from businessmen after a bid was successful. What do you call this? Shafeea, IF YOU STILL BELIEVE NASHEED IS SINCERE, THINK AGAIN!
Thank you for your acknowledgement, really appreciate that.
All I am saying, Nihan, is that President Nasheed should have been questioned in parliament and impeached if he has done anything wrong. I cannot support the armed forces putting pressure on an elected leader to resign. This is not about Nasheed its about the democratic process and our institutions (all our institutions) observing rule of law.
If MDP leaders are abusing the priviledges of their positions in government and parliament and no action is taken against them by party leadership, then the members of the party will use our vote to make our decisions accordingly. Don't you think?
Parliament members have to recognise that they are elected by the people and are responsible for the people who elected them.If they don't, they will be tossed out in the next election. Thats how democracy works.
@ Rafiqul Alam.
Lets put things into perspective. If sum Thugs came into your house, (im assuming you'r married and sum perv is after your wife) put a knife to your throat and demanded you divorce her. ask yourself what the hell you'are gona do. U gona Play the Rambo card? or will you divorce her?? Pres nasheed claimed his life was threatened.. Dumb ass Umar Naseer himself confirmed this when he claimed anni had no choice but to resign or his life would have been at stake. so cut this whole bull crap about "who asked him to resign". He selflessly resigned without even thinking of holding on to power. it could have ended in a blood bath if he chose otherwise.
@ rafiqul Alam..
BTW, you can marry her again when the shit storm passes muahahahaha
Shafeea!!! are you serious that naive to understand whats happening in parliament? Ex President Nasheed bought 3 members (Alhan, Ali Waheed and Abdul Raheem) in the open market and they all now are rich beyond the imagination and they are barely 33 years old kids!! Current DRP (Shahid and Thasmeen) is controlled by Zaki and Nasheed! You must be kidding when you say any one could even imagine taking a no confidence motion against Nasheed!! When you also question the current political drama played, you could have question Nasheed breaking law? Why didn't you? Accually Nasheed was not in control. rather corrupt Rekko Moosa and Mariya was spreading their corrupt wings across the whole country!! Shafeea, you stand for justice..then speak just!! critize Nasheed for his weakness and not worship personalities as PPM members does for Gayoom!! we need to free this country from these corrupt thoughts!!
So what are you saying here? That we have to bypass the impeachment process which is what is stipulated in the constitution? Force our elected presidents to resign under duress?
How does that not become a coup?
And how does a small group of people have the right to remove a President elected by the people?
In a democracy, a President elected by the people must be removed by the people. In other words. By parliament, the Peoples Majlis.
As for where I stand personally with President Nasheed, the party has to be bigger than personalities. I have never been someone who worshipped The Leader and I am not going to start now.
I am very glad the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers group is in the Maldives investigating the events that led to President Nasheed's resignation. Let us hope that everything will come out in the wash, including actions President Nasheed, Marya and Reeko Moosa have taken as you suggest to break the law and hurt our people.
Comments are closed.
Protests to continue until date given for early elections: Nasheed