Practising criticism is a matter of making facile gestures difficult

– Michel Foucault

Maldives, a paradise for tourists, is often the opposite for its own people. Islamist radicalisation, which began in earnest following the US-led 2001 ‘War on Terror,’ and took off at breathtaking speed following the 2004 Tsunami, is rendering unrecognisable and impossible the laid-back and religiously moderate life once lived by these islanders. Facilitating the regressive changes is a government which (if taken solely at face-value) was democratically elected but appears to have little interest in furthering democratic principles or building a society of educated, progressive and tolerant people able and ready for the globalised and inter-connected 21st Century. Dhivehi Sitee [meaning Maldivian letter] is a chronicle and a critique of the radicalisation and regression that is so rapidly changing the Maldivian society from within. At the very least, it makes today’s difficult Maldivian life an examined one.


Dhivehi Sitee was originally launched in April 2012 as one among many voices against the 7 February 2012 coup which ended the country’s first ever democratically elected government and the subsequent illegitimate government led by Mohamed Waheed. Under the banner ‘Life in the time of coup d’état: Maldives’ it reported on, analysed and critiqued major political, social and legal events that made possible what should have been impossible: widespread national and international acceptance as ‘a legitimate transfer of power’ the illegal overthrow of a democratically elected government. In August 2013 Dhivehi Sitee launched a special sister site to cover the long-overdue election which was finally held on 16 November 2013 and ended in victory for the coalition which had planned and executed the 7 February 2012 coup. After stopping coverage at the end of election day, Dhivehi Sitee was relaunched, and returned to the original site, on 21 April 2014.

Author: All content on this site is written and published by Azra Naseem unless otherwise specified.

Dhivehi Sitee welcomes contributions from other writers, and their pieces are published with byline in the Guest Contributors section.