Due to the fact I don’t have access to my first blog anymore, I am republishing content from my previous blog here. This post also appeared in my previous blog here on Monday, November 24th, 2008.
According to NOOR spokesperson Thanzeela, everything was going according to plan to hold the show on the night of 21st November 2008 (originally it was planned on the 2th but was later changed to the 21st) until the Home Ministry stepped into the matter to complicate things.
One Rishwan speaking on behalf of the Chief of Staff of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Moosa Ali Jaleel, according to NOOR spokesperson, gave full assurance from the MNDF to uphold the constitutional rights of the citizens for peaceful gathering before the music show was planned. MNDF even went a step further in promising to provide electricity from their HQ and a large tent in case it rains.
On the morning of the 21st, a spokesman from the Maldives Police Service called Jenny Latheef, and that that the show cannot be held in that area as it was and area that could provide a national security risk in the event a large gathering of people did attend the show. Now we all know that the Police falls under the Home Ministry currently headed by Hon. Gasim Ibrahim. This leaves a lot of people to believe that Hon. Gasim Ibrahim using his powers as the Home Minister had blocked the peaceful protest from taking place.
A little while later on the same day, Hon. Shafeeg, MP for Meemu Atoll, who works closely with Gasim Ibrahim called NOOR organizers and said that a permission had to be obtained from the Male Municipality. Despite many attempts the permission was unobtainable.
At this point major politics had come into play and the MNDF also withdrew their commitment to provide electricity for the show. NOOR, not to be defeated easily, decided to rent a generator, for as they say “the show must go on”. Male’ rental company, RKL was on the only people who can provide a generator of that capacity at such short notice and they agreed to rent the generator for MRF 1000 for the single nights use.
Personnel from NOOR went to collect the generator from RKL to collect the generator and make payments. RKL, broke their commitment to lease the generator to NOOR with no reason given as to why they will not be renting the generator to a cash paying customer. Again according to NOOR it was confirmed that major politics was at play here.
At this point NOOR changed its strategy to make it a protest against Gasim from the initial protest that was planned. On the NOOR face book group “Due to Home Minister denying us our right to gather peacefully for a musical gathering at Our public park, led to an impromptu musical lorry round calling for a better Home Minister who Understands the constitution.”
On the 22nd, the very following day, Maldives Police Service in their website published a press released which I will publish in full. It reads;
Old Prison cells to be demolished
Police have taken the decision to terminate some of the old cells in Dhoonidhoo, a place where suspects are held temporarily during investigations.
The decision was made after the Home Minister’s visit to Dhoonidhoo prison today, in which he declared that some of the older cells in the prison was not in a good enough condition for people to be held in.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Qasim Ibrahim, visited Dhoonidhoo prison upon the request of the Prison Committee of the People’s parliament.
A total of 29 prison cells have been selected for termination including 2 cells from no. 1 Jail, 8 cells from no. 2 Jail and 19 cells from no. 6 Jail.“
Speaking exclusively to ”Random Thoughts on Paradise“ Thanzeela, NOOR spokesperson asks a direct and confronting question to Gasim Ibrahim;
“Dear Mr. Home Minister, what are you trying to cover up? – does this have anything to do with your long standing connections with the Endherimaage clan who ruled the Maldives until recently for 30years as a dictatorship? – How can we as a nation face our dark and torturous past and achieve reconciliation if you are going to demolish the same cells that we wanted to be made open for the public and try and hide the atrocities committed by the Gayyoom Regime that you seem to have direct connections with?”
Now this is a tough question for a beloved dictatorial leaning Home Minister to answer. Lets see if the man has guts to respond to this question.