Category: Media

Maldives Police Service: a government tool for restricting freedom of assembly

by Azra Naseem

Everybody knows. Without the Maldives Police Service, the coup d’état of 7 February would not have been possible.

It is there, in Ismail Shafeeu’s premature speculation published as the CoNI Timeline. Police refused to obey orders, mutinied, took over state institutions and incited public disorder to an extent that led to the illegal demise of the country’s first democratically elected government. And, thanks to the Inside Man–MC Hameed the former intelligence chief turned whistle-blower–it’s also there in the Ameen-Aslam Coup Report, with details of which officer did exactly what.

From the very beginning, coup planners recognised how important police support was for the successful execution of their plan. The Coup Report says, for instance, that some of its masterminds met in a private apartment in Male’ at a date unknown in September 2011.

In this meeting, the Warrant Officer grade 1 stated that the only way to oust President Mohamed Nasheed from power would be for approximately 500 police and military personnel to come out and protest in Republic Square.

Now that things have gone according to plan, it is becoming clear that the police have been assigned just as crucial a role in sustaining the new regime as they had in installing it.

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‘Too many tweets make a twat’?

by Azra Naseem

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, when asked for his views about politicians on Twitter, famously replied: ‘Too many tweets might make a twat.” Cameron was discussing the instantaneousness of modern communication, and the perils of politicians Tweeting without thinking.

It should be said that neither side of the divided Maldivian political landscape are too keen to listen to Cameron right now. The authoritarians have a bone to pick with him for declaring President Nasheed his ‘new best friend’ and ‘ideal stag party-companion’ not long before the coup; and Nasheed’s supporters aren’t happy with him for abandoning his new best friend at the first sign of trouble. But, on lessons about Tweeting, Cameron’s advice is spot on for Maldivian politicians.

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CoNI ‘Timeline’: For your opinion only

by Azra Naseem

The National Commission of Inquiry (CoNI) has not been able to begin its investigations proper yet. But, its Commissioner Ismail Shafeeu and his two ‘investigators’ have seen it fit to release a ‘Timeline’ of events that led to President Mohamed Nasheed’s resignation on 7 February.

The first page is a disclaimer, saying that the released document is ‘not a report of findings’ but a Timeline ‘with omissions’ released to seek public opinion on its contents.

Since when has opinion been needed for the establishment of facts?

And what right does Ismail Shafeeu (the Commissioner) and his two ‘investigators’ have to release anything in the name of CoNI? CoNI is yet to begin its work with the approved MDP nominee (Gaha Ahmed Saeed) and the representative of the international community, yet here it is, a so-called timeline in the name of CoNI.

People are meant to read it and send feedback to CoNI before 21 June.

So here’s an unofficial translation of the 44 page document. See what you make of it, and make sure you leave your opinion. DhivehiSitee will see to it that it gets to CoNI before 21 June.

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