17 July, 2019

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The Maldivian Parliamentary Elections 2019, Where A Happy Result Can Be Predicted

By Panini Edirisinhe

Panini Edirisinhe

The Parliamentary Elections in the Maldives on Saturday, the 6th April 2019 are likely to yield a result that will please not only the majority of Maldivians, but also most people in South Asia. All the hard work was done in the months leading up to the Presidential Elections on the 23rd of September 2018. What the Maldives Democratic Party have to now do is to reap the benefits, and pass the harvest on to the people of the Maldives. If Sri Lankans are alive to what is happening it may lead to the easing of the feeling of despondency that now hangs over our land, because that result was achieved by being as honest and transparent as is possible in this game of politics, and by playing fair.

Leading up to the September 2018 the task was to ensure that a free election was held.  In the seat of power was a non-entity who had turned into an amazingly ruthless and short-sighted dictator, Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. Ranged against him were the United Opposition, consisting of a number of disparate groups, which were bound to fall apart once the tyrant was defeated. They had all settled on just one candidate, so it was a two horse race, requiring no Second round of voting. It is not generally known, up to now, what a crucial part was played by two Sri Lankans, Rasika Peiris and Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole in ensuring an honest election.

That Yameen was unpopular was known to all keen observers but he had captured near absolute power of all independent institutions, including the elections authority, security forces, and both the judiciary and its watchdog body. He had been elected in 2013, defeating, Mohamed Nasheed, the man who had been the first democratically elected leader of the country in 2008. Nasheed had defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who had manipulated his way to thirty years of rule as a dictator who had a rubber-stamp Majlis.

How I myself, have been personally following events in the Maldives for close upon sixty years is not something that need be gone in to, but let me state that I was in Male, full time, for three years, ending in December 1994, when I decided to return to Sri Lanka, owing to the changes here. It was about mid-1994 that I met Mohamed Nasheed, a prisoner, who had been allowed to come to his home in Male for medical treatment. Nasheed and I had a quite animated two hour chat in his home. It was a meeting that I cherished even then, because I realised even then that the earnest 27 year old was a remarkable man.  He, too, probably learnt a lot. He listens.  I had followed his career from Prisoner to President to Prisoner again, when I was informed by a Maldivian friend in August 2018 that “Anni” (that’s a nickname by which he is known to all) Nasheed and his candidate, Ibrahim (Ibu) Solih were having a meeting with Maldivian voters at the Berjaya Hotel, Mt Lavinia.  I rushed there;  he acknowledged some messages that I had sent him through his website, and he remembered our meeting in Male twenty-four years previously.

That brief meeting, at what was like a wedding reception, may represent the only time in my life when I made some contribution to the affairs of a State. The campaign was pressing ahead, although convinced that the election had already been rigged. I think that I effectively communicated my fervent belief to them. I said  that Professor Hoole was going to be unlike any other elections monitor if he was the guy being sent by us.

After that, the messages to Anni’s website continued, and I began educating the good Professor about these islands which he had never visited. Some months ago, the report that Rasika Peiris and Jeevan Hoole had presented came my way. To see it, click here.

Colombo Telegraph has had three articles recently, to which I contributed comments. To see them, see here, and here, and here.

Let me take you back to the story of how the Nasheed Presidency began.

By 2008, the world had its eyes trained on the Maldives for those elections that were forced on the then seventy year old Maumoon. He was then internationally known more as Gayoom – but using that family name now causes confusion with his half-brother Yameen. The system by then in place was one which specified a 50% majority, with dates announced early for two rounds of voting. Achieving that election had been owing to the work of  Mohamed Nasheed, then forty one years of age. By the time elections came round there were six candidates, each with Vice-Presidential running mate. Maumoon easily won that round obtaining 40% of the total 177,802  valid votes. Yes, the electorate is a small one. The turn out had been as high as 85.38%. Please note here the man who was fourth: Qasim Ibrahim, the man who is reputedly the richest man in the country, but trusted by none.

The four candidates who were eliminated threw their combined weight behind Nasheed, and he won the second round with 54.21% of the vote, which saw a slightly higher turn-out than in the first.   The Maldives had a freely elected President for the first time, with Dr Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik (referred to as Dr Waheed) as Vice-President.

President Nasheed was hugely popular, both world-wide and at home, but he was too soft and idealistic. Maumoon lurked in the background and caused problems with the Judiciary.  The end result was a coup in which only one man was violently handled – Mohamed Nasheed. Dr Waheed was installed as President, and thought so well of himself that he contested the 2013 Presidential Election following which he is now called Mr Five Percent, since that was all that he polled in the 2013 Presidential Election.

The 2013 Election was held with Mr Five Percent as President, Ex-President Mohamed Nasheed as favourite, but with Maumoon’s brother, Yameen Abdul Gayoom, having the backing of sections of the Establishment (including the Judiciary) and the inevitable “Richest Man” Qasim Ibrahim as a third candidate.  Those elections were quite amazing in their conduct.  The first round was held and then “annulled”. So, the First Round was held again. Both times it was Nasheed well ahead, with first 45% and next close to 47% of the total votes. In both rounds Yameen was slightly ahead of Qasim with 29% of the vote in the round that mattered.  Then Qasim threw his weight behind Yameen  in the the Second Round in November 2013.  Those who wish to flavour the confusion of that election could perhaps look  here.

President Yameen who had at first seemed a quietly efficient manager of the country turned into an amazingly ruthless dictator.  He fell out with almost every person of standing in the Maldives, including his now 81 year-old half-brother Maumoon, and more obviously, Mohamed Nasheed. The jailing of Maumoon was particularly shocking.  Qasim Ibrahim had also been sentenced in absentia.  It is assumed by me that readers know the Nasheed story well enough.

Every obstacle was placed in the way of  Nasheed and his supporters, and he himself was debarred from contesting. The Maldivian Democratic Party kept insisting that Nasheed would be their candidate, and nobody else. Nasheed himself declared that there was no Plan B, but after nominations were announced and regulations were in place, Nasheed sprang his surprise. The Maldives Democratic Party nominated Ibrahim Solih as their candidate, together with Faizal Naseem a compromise Vice-Presidential candidate. Almost all foreign governments which commanded respect refused to send Election Monitors, and it was countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka that obliged.

Many things in the Maldives are strange; the existing Majlis has not been dissolved, and continues to meet.  Nasheed has played all his cards just right this time. When Ibrahim Solih was first announced as Presidential Candidate he promised to have elections within eighteen months for Nasheed to contest.  When I met Solhi at Mt. Lavinia, there was only one thing that I said to him: “Please quit after eighteen months. Don’t emulate our President, Sirisena.” Solhi’s handshake was warm, his smile pleasant. My chat with Nasheed was longer – after having waited for the thousand or more to take selfies with their hero.

Some months later, at the inauguration of Solih’s Presidency, Nasheed has said that Solih ought to complete his five years of Presidency. Nasheed will contest his home area of Central Maachangoli, on the island of Male for a Parliamentary seat. I haven’t been there in twenty-four years, but I can imagine how built up the crowded island must be. The Maldives is a 100% Islamic country. If you give up Islam, you give up citizeship. Nasheed stands for moderation, but most of the other groupings use Islamism as much as possible.

The man to watch now is sixty-nine year old Qasim Ibrahim, who was made the Speaker after the change of President. He heads the Jumhooree Party. Of his four wives, the youngest, Aishath Nahula is still a ravishing beauty of thirty-seven despite the six children she has borne. She is now the Minister of Transport. Qasim has thirteen children and a few grandchildren as well.

It would be wise indeed if Qasim is tamed. One of the main reasons for the ruin of Nasheed’s Presidency was one of Qasim’s many cross-overs. Most “educated” Maldivians speak fluent English.  So does Qasim,but he is notoriously uneducated. He probably has a valid grouse. During the horse-trading to forge the coalition that enabled the fielding of a single opposition Presidential candidate, Qasim claims that he was promised a certain percentage of seats in a no-contest pact. This was scuttled by the MDP, but probably rightly so.  Early in the Solih Presidency Qasim tried to present legislation preventing any former President from contesting for a seat in Parliament.  This is obviously not anything comparable to our aged Mahinda Rajapaksa contesting from Kurunegala, although it was reported as such in some Sri Lankan media.

The Maldivian Tourist Resorts are indeed Paradise. Usually, no Maldivians live on them, and they are very expensive. Typically, an island has been given to a favourite of one of the Gayooms for 99 years.  This Maldivian only collects the royalties that accrue from the Europeans to whom it has been leased.  Almost no money ever reaches the Maldives. It is deposited in Swiss Bank Accounts.  There is no income tax in the Maldives. The government has little money to spend. Nasheed, during his Presidency tried to impose income tax, which led to the Resort owners ganging up against him. Nasheed also began to allow “Guest Houses” to be opened on inhabited islands. So he is indeed the poor man’s friend.

I don’t think that there can be any question as to what side the decent opinion is on. Nasheed has not been acting as though he is the most important man in the Maldives, but there can be no doubt that he is that.  All the trappings of State power are with Ibu Solih.

Every aspect of the MDP Presidency is pleasing; what is now required is a substantial majority in Parliament, abuse of which is unthinkable to me, given these leaders.

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Are you ok with Maldives limiting who can become President? In their constitution, you have to be a a SUNNI Muslim Maldivian to become President. All the Muslims in Sri Lanka are silent because they too will like it if they are the majority. That is why they are silent about Malaysia having an official religion but object to even prominence to Buddhism in Ceylon. Why? There is no official religion in Sri Lanka at all; it only give pride of place due to long history of discrimination at the hands of the Christian invaders and its long long history from the time of Kings. Malaysia is only 61% Muslim but has an official religion. Despite 3 civil wars, terrorist wars and all other hiccups Sri LAnka has remained a democracy. Cannot say that about other S.Asian nations except India. India and Ceylon are the only true democracies. Pakistan is full of radicals and mostly been under military control. We are glad Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka compared to Maldives and other S. Asian nations except India.

    • 3
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      Dear SM,
      I think you are full blood fan of Maldives. I myself have not been to the country even if my friends from Europe have visited and explaining its paradise like nature. I think we the srilankens should work with the smaller island nation in order to improve lanken tourism industry.
      .
      Literacy (according to Census 2000)
      definition: age 15 and over can read and write
      total population: 96.3%
      male: 96.2%
      female: 96.4% (2000 census)

      Population
      301,475 (July 2000 est.) – 369,031 (July 2007 est.)

      Now it has been reported – not yet reached to 0.5 mio (I think Colombo’s is currently over 1 mio incl. regular commuters).

      I just checked this while travelling – I will add mine about the article later.
      Thanks and have a great weekend ( please sleep enough, you often added that you go to bed that late… please take care of you)

    • 1
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      The. Last part of the comment implies Sri Lankan are better than Maldivians.

      Are we? State religion, massacres if their is citizens, no shame among leaders who steal public money, etc.?

    • 0
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      Dear Shashitharan,

      There were four frightened little boys who came into our house in Bandarawela in early 1960, together with a Dhivehi and Islam teacher, Mohamed Raffieu. Raffieu lasted only a few months. The boys didn’t like him, and so a younger, more personable football playing, pushbike riding Hassan Mohamed replaced Raffieu.
      .
      Since then I have been familiar with Maldivians, although I still don’t know Dhivehi. Actually, I got to know these people mostly during the three long vacations and the occasional week-end when I came home from the other S. Thomas’ school at Gurutalawa, eighteen miles away.
      .
      Twenty-seven years later, in 1987, I was to meet these six people again when I went across to Male to teach English Literature in Aminiya (Girls) school. I soon took a dislike to the Principal, Mrs Narangoda, and left at the end of the year. So did the “Literature Teacher” in the Boys’ School, Miss Ratnanesar, although she got on all right with her Principal, Mr Samuel, a man whom I got to know fairly well.
      .
      How is it that the Girls’ School got a man as teacher, and the Boys’ School a woman? We had been interviewed in Colombo, and when each Principal was presented with the details, it was ethnicity that mattered rather than gender. And most of our teachers took our Sri Lankan quarrels across to the Maldives.
      .
      At least that sort of quarrel was not there in the Maldives.
      .
      Comments on this “story” have to cease on Saturday afternoon, but before that I am to set out for Arugam Bay with one of my pupils, Tissa Liyanage, now a bachelor lawyer of fifty-four.
      .
      I’ll try to give you more of this chat tomorrow.
      .
      tbc
      .

    • 0
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      No, won’t really continue.
      .
      Many thanks to those who commented. There may have been others to whom this overview was useful. I hope so.
      .
      I’m partly to blame. My article was too long. Of course, I’m glad that my predictions were confirmed and that my warnings about Qasim were confirmed.
      .
      I really messed up the use of bold and italics – sorry readers.
      .
      But poor Professor Jeevan Hoole. Please, readers, study that report of his. It’s good. Please take the trouble to locate where to click, and you will have access to it all. The level of integrity demanded by Hoole augurs well for us. Why did it result in him being blacklisted? I just don’t know.
      .
      However, let me confirm my faith that the Nasheed-Solih duo will provide good leadership, albeit in a small theatre.

  • 6
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    Panini Edirisinhe points out ~ “……… The Maldives is a 100% Islamic country. If you give up Islam, you give up citizeship. Nasheed stands for moderation, but most of the other groupings use Islamism as much as possible……..”.
    How can Islam be an issue in 100% Islamic Maldives?
    If ‘Nasheed stands for moderation’, what is it?

    “The Maldivian Parliamentary Elections 2019, Where A Happy Result Can Be Predicted”.
    Will be happy result for some and unhappy for ‘others’. Hope the margin will not be slim.
    .
    In SL, there is this language/religion-divide.
    Of the two sides, both bad, one side is for reconciliation between the ‘divide’ while the other side campaigns that reconciliation will lead to dilution of the importance of Buddhism.
    Some of the leaders, in both sides, have become filthy filthy rich.

  • 2
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    Dear K. Pillai,
    .
    I think that you have countered perfectly what Shashitharan had said too hastily. Not that I resent what Shashitharan has said. On the contrary, I’m very glad that he values the good things that still exist in Sri Lanka.
    .
    However, there’s something that you also have missed. It looks as though Nasheed & Co. can canter to victory tomorrow mainly because of something that two Sri Lankans have done on the 23rd of September, 2018. Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the then incumbent President appears to have successfully rigged the Election in his favour. All his calculations seem to have been upset by Prof. Jeevan Hoole, who must have disregarded all the orders issued to him.
    .
    The author of this article ought to have found some way of drawing your attention to these words that appear above:
    .
    “the report that Rasika Peiris and Jeevan Hoole had presented . . .: see it”
    .
    Yes, it’s that man Professor Samuel Ratnajeevan Herbert Hoole again. I have looked at that report on seven pages. It’s a stunner. He starts lugubriously enough, then excoriates the entire then establishment, gives examples of rule violations, then speaks of fraudulent practices plus harassment by Yameen of the (then) opposition from the time elections were announced.
    .
    Basically it’s vintage Hoole, and we can be proud of the guy.
    .
    This time round they seem to have been able to get election observers from more respected places.
    .
    https://caribbeannewsservice.com/now/bruce-golding-led-observer-team-gears-up-for-maldives-2019-parliamentary-election/
    .
    However, I don’t think that any of them will better the performance of Jeevan Hoole and Rasika Peiris.
    .
    The latest update we have seems to be this:
    .
    http://www.newsonair.com/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=361821
    .

    • 2
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      Panini,

      “However, I don’t think that any of them will better the performance of Jeevan Hoole and Rasika Peiris.”

      Thank you for your article and letting everybody know how Jeevan and Rasika saved the elections.

  • 0
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    Dear Mr K. Pillai,
    .
    The immediate reason for this update
    is to rid subsequent comments of the italics that had not been cancelled by me.

    https://www.euronews.com/2019/04/04/maldives-president-hoping-for-election-majority-to-probe-china-deals
    .
    K. Pillai, do you remember how you wrote these words to me?
    .
    “May I say, in mitigation, that the above apology was written before your Part II?”
    .
    This was the article:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/an-open-letter-to-the-high-commissioner-for-human-rights/
    .
    Other details. K.Pillai / March 30, 2019 ; I’m sure that you’ll remember them. You are an intelligent and sensitive writer who makes very responsible comments.
    .
    Unfair for me to make any more comments for at least another twenty-four hours (I think that you’ll be able to work out why! ). However, let me report a short chat I had this afternoon with Prof. Hoole. I’m in Bandarawela. He was getting back to Jaffna from Vavuniya.
    .
    I told him about the perceptive comment that you had made. Also that these exchanges with you confirm you an extremely decent man, who recognises the many good things that he does. He then told me that it is only a general feeling that he has that you criticise him unfairly.
    .
    Basta! Now put your thinking cap on. I’m sure that you’ll be able to work out much more about my identity. Hopefully, much good will flow from this exercise.
    .
    Please pose all the questions you wish to, but answers only on Sunday morning, after we have the results of the election. I’ll know them before midnight tomorrow (Saturday). You may see wheels within wheels! No, not really! All will be explained, and I’m sure that all will be well among the three persons named here.
    .
    Oh, that it would be as easy to solve the multitude of other problems that beset our country!

    • 0
      0

      Cancel italics. It may be that I must repeat: Cancel italics.
      .
      If I haven’t succeeded, please help out, brothers Rajan and Jeevan!

  • 1
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    Dear SM,
    I wouldn’t be so hasty to heap praise on any politician (Nasheed included) if I were you. We all know what happened to that much-hyped paragon of democracy Suu Kyi in Myanmar.Or even our beloved My3. I don’t think Nasheed will be foolish enough to allow other religions if he wants to survive.

  • 3
    0

    There are three countries in the Maldives : 1. the world-wide reputed high-end “paradise” accounting for over 60% of the direct foreign exchange earnings, established in the 100+ luxury resorts built on so-called uninhabitated islands, enjoying a de facto extra-territoriality, where international tourists can enjoy nearly everything the place has to offer 2. Male where 1/3 of the total population of the Maldives is concentrated on an area of less than 10 sq. km, where in sharp contrast with the resorts, Islam is strictly enforced, but also where the middle and upper class section of the population, live from the 20% indirect income generated by tourism. 3. The about 200 inhabitated and isolated islands forming the rest of the archipelago, facing permanent hardship, as result of the traditional fishing resources having been depleted. In the current democratic perspective of the present elections, the real hope for the future and challenge of the present election for the contesting political parties, will be to see how they will have convinced the voters that they will be able combine the indisputable need of continued support to Tourism (Maldives’ Milk Cow) with the imperative duty to develop and implement an economic model for the islands capable to provid decent income as well to the two thirds of the (poor) Maldivians, 8.5 percent of whom still suffer from undernourishment and poverty, according the Asian Devlopment Bank. As usual some political opportunists have been seeking in this election campaign to exploit religion and nationalistm for their personal agenda. Hopefully Maldivians have become mature enough not to be fooled that easily any more. Ashok Fernando

  • 1
    0

    Preliminary results are expected by tomorrow, reports All India Radio.

    I hope this will mean a return to full democracy by the Maldives.

  • 6
    0

    India boycotted the Presidential Election when invited to observe and objected then to Sri Lanka going as an observer. But now for the Parliamentary elections India is engaged as an observer but Sri Lanka was not even invited because of the Hoole-Peiris report.

    I have it from the horse’s mouth that the Election Commission asked why there is no invitation and was told it was because of the report. When the Commission Chairman offered to send someone other than Hoole, he was told it was too late as it was already the 3rd and the election was on the 6th.

    Is that a reprimand by Establishment Powers for writing that report that almost everyone praises so much?

    • 0
      0

      Dear Sad Lankan,

      Let us not under-estimate the significance and importance of your revelation about the Hoole Report.
      .
      It’s up to the people of Sri Lanka to read, understand and then request explanation
      .

  • 2
    0

    Yes, it seems results tomorrow evening. For the September 23rd Presidential Election, it must have been a case of counting the votes for each of two guys, Yameen and Ibu, so counting box by box. That is what was observed personally by Prof. Hoole himself.
    .
    This is more complicated. I’m not sufficiently tech savvy to describe how exactly to get here, but a Maldivian friend asked me to Google which landed me on a page displaying only Dhivehi. My browser is Firefox, search engine is Google. Dhivehi is an Arabised script; used to be old Sinhalese lettering. We cannot read it. All Maldivians can. But from there I was guided on the phone to the letters “ed” in a box (top left of the screen), and well-written English articles on Maldives appear. Sophisticated:
    .
    https://edition.mv/features/9913
    .
    and

    .
    Don’t Google that – you’ve got to put that in the bar above that – address bar? You know, the place where I got that link from in the first place.
    .
    With so few voters, each is mollycoddled. Lots (mostly Nasheed supporters) have voted in Melbourne Avenue, Bambalapitiya, but their votes have to be tallied to their island etc.
    .
    Sad Lankan – tragic indeed, and confirmed. Decision of the Elections Commissioner himself, not of President Solih? The former was a close friend of Yameen, but he played it straight during the poll. Solih wouldn’t interfere, I feel. Me mystified! Old codger warning understood.
    .
    LEELAGEMALLI, thanks. Sampled 5/55 minutes of the video. The bearded guy at the beginning, given importance above Nasheed is Qasim who’s switched back to Yameen today. That’s his youngest wife, Minister of Transport, Aishath Nahula, who is supporting Nasheed. Another tragic figure: she is said to own nothing.

  • 0
    2

    What kind of a “democratic” country is this where every influential politician reaching seats of power direct most of their substantial earnings/windfalls to bank secret accounts in Europe. This has been going for decades now. How else can Nasheed afford to retain a super-expensive firm of London Solicitors that pays millions of dollars mnthly to their employee Amal Clooney, wife of the American Hollywood star. Sharia???

    Popular democratic elections??? Are the nearly 300,000 people taken for cattle.

    What happened to the many Buddhists and Christians that lived in the Islands before this wonderful system of Sharia came along.

    Carol A. Teldala
    Teldeniya.

    • 2
      0

      Teldala,
      If Buddhism could provide the prosperity that Maldives has nowadays, don’t you think they would have converted overnight?
      Maybe it is less taxing on the economy to support the oligarchs and politicians than to feed thousands of parasites in temples as well?

    • 1
      0

      Dear Carol A. Teldala,
      .
      I think that Amal Clooney appeared for free.
      .
      Nasheed’s family was wealthy, but his policies are pro-poor. Maldivians are blessed with a leader of his calibre.
      .
      The Maldives was 100% Buddhist many years ago. Christianity never got a foothold there. Tolerance and Liberalism are things that I believe in; but let’s not launch ham-fisted campaigns. Please read up in Wikipedia or the like. I’m no historian.
      .
      The Maldivians had Kings (Sultans). Then members of the Royal Family opted to be Presidents. President Ibrahim Nasir modernised the country. Velana International Airport reflects his family name.
      .
      Nasheed and the Gayyooms are not Royalty. They are “Beyfalu” (spelling?) – a grouping confined to Male elites, I think. There are other degrees of status. What fussing in a teacup one might say!
      .
      Good wishes to all Maldivians!
      .
      Sri Lankans, now let’s put our country right!

      • 1
        0

        Sinhala Man/Panini Edirisinghe

        Don’t believe what, possibly, Nasheed told you about Amal Clooney appearing for Summa. Surely, if she admitted being paid then the question is how much and how. That can be quite a can of worms, eh!!

        You have not written much about the Manikku family of Shipping fame who were the first major Maldivian Group to venture into Shipping – the Island’s transformation out of the Marine industry.
        I had business connections with them in the 1970s.

        Carol AT
        Teldeniya

        • 1
          0

          Thanks Carol,
          .
          My chats with Nasheed were not so extensive as to discuss Amal C. in detail. In fact I didn’t discuss such details at all in 2018. 1194 was so long ago!
          .
          Manikku is a common name and title. Today’s famous one owns the Universal Resorts AND the British School in Colombo. I’m sure that he’s proud to own it, but he hardly visits it, and never interferes.
          .
          Obviously, there’s much that I don’t know, but it’s too late to discuss. I’m in Arugam Bay, on a mobile phone.
          .
          Thanks for query.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Shashitharan
    .
    Now that I’ve told you so much, can you not explore on your own?
    .
    Things are improving now, as K. Pillai has observed. I’m not OK, with all this Islam, but greater tolerance has to emerge gradually. It was a Buddhist country; I won’t make any effort to bring back Buddhism. If you make such an effort, there’s bound to be a backlash.
    .
    I mean this seriously: if we can see an end to Islamism, I’ll be content. Trying to achieve more will be dangerous. We have to be sincere in the tolerance and reform we wish to encourage.

  • 2
    0

    Sinhala_Man
    Re: your comment elsewhere – Yes. I kept my word by reading the article the second day it was published. Some articles are reading materials to me so I don’t post any comments.
    Your article is interesting. I read all the comments and your replies to them. You should write more. Cheers!

  • 3
    0

    The Maldives is known for its pristine sandy beaches and attraction to tourists. However, what goes on in the domestic issues of the country are lesser known. We all knew of the longstanding President of the country Maumoom Abdul Gayoom who was in office for donkeys years. Little did we know that all was not well within. Recently the country has been in the news and we heard of President Nasheed being assaulted whilst being in custody and how all was not well in this tiny island-state. Happily though the polls which took place recently have resulted in the ‘better man winning’ and there is light at the end of the tunnel today for Maldivians. Let us hope that this will be the dawn of a new era which will usher in peace and happiness for all.

  • 2
    0

    Interesting piece SM alias Panini!
    Madives once upon a time was a Buddhist[ Sinhala?] country. Afghanistan too was a Buddhist country several centuries ago.
    To-day Donald Trump has put the Islamic State of Iran as a terrorist outfit.After almost 40 years of the Islamic revolution led by Ayotolla Khomeni[ I am not sure of the spelling].and onlyafter a few hours of heavy flooding in practically all the Provinces.
    Many friends [ Both Sinhala and Tamil] in the Eastern Province are concerned that the day is not far away when the place would be Islamised!

  • 1
    0

    Latest from Maldives before comments must cease.
    .
    I’m sure that President Ibu Solhi and Anni Nasheed are firmly in control. However, the Majlis is meeting tomorrow: the members are the old Majlis, which for instance, will not have Anni in it. Qasim still Speaker- no I don’t think that he will try to do anything untoward.
    .
    Carol, the shipping Manikku you’ve asked me about is the late elder brother of the Manikku whom I have told you about. The Maldives has no shipping of it’s own to talk about today.
    .
    There’s been much talk about the Nugegoda Branch of Royal Institute. There are some Maldivian students there, and quite happy with the place. It may not therefore be irrelevant to tell you some things there.

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