Friday, November 19, 2004

The Maldivian Mandate: Its time for Sappe and Crowd to back down

The Maldivian: "The Maldivian Mandate: Its time for Sappe and Crowd to back down
by Rasheed
Ever since its conception the DO has operated on the assumption that Maldivians are innocent gullible people who could be molded like putty in their hand. They have fed us lies after lies to fool us. Similar to a medicine tablet whose bitter inside is covered by a colorful sweet coating their articles are outrageous lies laced with just enough truth to make it palatable to the average Maldivian.
Perhaps we Maldivian are really na�ve because DO has never bothered to make this fact a secret and still a few of us got fooled by their propaganda. Their philosophy is very well outlined in their website which says in bold letters � Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit atrocities �.
The last few months they have been testing out this philosophy. Sure enough they managed to draw out a significant crowd in August although most of them were onlookers. Encouraged by this they moved into deeper territory. But fortunately for Maldivians they were left with egg on their face. The DO's repeated call for demonstration in the Tripod Square fell on deaf ears. Mr. GoGo Latheef's call for a Tourism boycott was not heeded by the international community. Failing this, they tried to organize a demonstration in London through Friends of Maldives for which less then a dozen Maldives attended. Their plan to disrupt the Eid celebrations in Colombo was received with no better success.
The Maldivian community world wide has spoken. They have given their decision in very clear terms. They have not left anything for doubt. The Maldivians are all united behind their Government. We are not going to let these dissidents disturb the harmony and peace that exist within us. The message is very clear. It is time for Sappe and crowd to fold their game and back down. "

The Lies Wear Thin! MDP will never win an election!

We have always said that MDP were always opposed to democracy. Why do we say that? The reasons are many, but the following stand out.
1) The fundamental reason is that MDP is owned, funded and directed primarily by the mass murderer Sikka, who was convicted on 25 counts of murder all carried out in a single day, on 3rd November 1988.

2) The other major reason is that their leadership comprise filthy rich people who want to make sure that their ill-gotten wealth is not lost-eg: Gasim's resorts which are creaking under his huge debt burden; and the notorious case of Villingili.

2) The most presentable face these guys have is Gogo Latheef, because he had won a seat in a small constituency that his resort money bought up in 1989. But in 1990, he lost his seat after conviction for ordering a hit on a fellow MP, Mr Ibrahim Shareef, and for advocating torture on Ameel Jaleel, Abdul Sattar Ali and Abdul Wahid.

Writing under the pseudonym "Uthuru Thari", Gogo called for violent acts of torture to be performed on these people who were arrested by President Gayyoom under the suspicion of embezzling public funds.

The two people who carried out the hit on Ibrahhim Shareef, MP were paid by Gogo Latheef out of funds he earned out of Rannali Resort. They attacked Shareef as he was walking home from the Mosque, breaking two ribs. The men arrested for this bloody deed were Makun Falah and Ilyas Husain Ibrahim.

3) Sappe has now said that even if elections were monitored by the EU, MDP will reject elections. Lets face it. MDP will never get to office through the ballot box. That's why the bullet is so close to them.

4) Sappe keeps posting fabricated pictures of a peaceful rally on 13th August. In truth, he has admitted to sending Fareed and his band of terrorists into the Maidan. So what are people like Zaki, Munavvar, Qasim and Ibra doing in the company of fundamentalists terrorists outside the police headquarters? Surely, these are not the acts of people who are likely to win a general elect ion.

5) Without rigging and intimidation and false voting, MDP goons will never win an election. MDP have compiled lists of dead people. people living abroad, and bedridden and elderly, just so that they can fake those votes.

6) Sappe had given some names. Like him, all arc being paid by Qasim or are his employees.

7) When Sappe cries that there is no campaigning he has forgetten what his paymaster ADK Nashid has been doing all these months giving free medicare only to those from Dhaal Constituency; that Mohamed Shihab provides free postage to his supporters, that Gasim has bought of 7 seats with II filthy sums of money.

So if we are hearing Sappe right, MDP is admitting that previous elections were rigged. It is just that they will not win no matter who ho monitors elections. We just saw the extent of public support for MDP-some 20() drugs offenders, some 12 MPs who are so corrupt that they had bought their seats, and 7 persons in the UK and none in Colombo.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Maldivian Mandate: Its time for Sappe and Crowd to back down

Ever since its conception the DO has operated on the assumption that Maldivians are innocent gullible people who could be molded like putty in their hand. They have fed us lies after lies to fool us. Similar to a medicine tablet whose bitter inside is covered by a colorful sweet coating their articles are outrageous lies laced with just enough truth to make it palatable to the average Maldivian.

Perhaps we Maldivian are really naïve because DO has never bothered to make this fact a secret and still a few of us got fooled by their propaganda. Their philosophy is very well outlined in their website which says in bold letters “ Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit atrocities ”.

The last few months they have been testing out this philosophy. Sure enough they managed to draw out a significant crowd in August although most of them were onlookers. Encouraged by this they moved into deeper territory. But fortunately for Maldivians they were left with egg on their face. The DO's repeated call for demonstration in the Tripod Square fell on deaf ears. Mr. GoGo Latheef's call for a Tourism boycott was not heeded by the international community.

Failing this, they tried to organize a demonstration in London through Friends of Maldives for which less then a dozen Maldives attended. Their plan to disrupt the Eid celebrations in Colombo was received with no better success.

The Maldivian community world wide has spoken. They have given their decision in very clear terms. They have not left anything for doubt. The Maldivians are all united behind their Government. We are not going to let these dissidents disturb the harmony and peace that exist within us. The message is very clear. It is time for Sappe and crowd to fold their game and back down.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A BIG LIE

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) made a big lie after all. A party founded on the pledge to bring better days to the Maldivian people vowed to bring woeful days to the country just a few days ago. When it pronounced that it will boycott Maldives what does it mean?

We are enjoying good times and hope for more in the future. From the very beginning we had a hunch for what MDP is exaggerating on. MDP declared that it’s fighting for peace in the country, but the following facts prove that their intension is not the same as what they say.1. Asking the Maldivians to protest against the elected government and they remained abroad some 1000km away.2. Organized rallies and such other illegal activities in the country.3. Their websites are is full of rumours.4. Most of the members of MDP are black listed Maldivians for major crimes (nothing related to politics).5. Some of their members’ loved ones were those perpetrators who made our ancestors face many problems. (eg: case of Swadeep Islands)6. By persuading some members of the European Union tried to apply trade sanctions on Maldives.7. Made possible for certain international bodies to visit the country on void causes.

These are only a few to mention, but any of these acts carry collateral damages to the country. Imagine what fate any of these acts will bring to the country? Visualize what will happen to our fragile economy? Envisage what will happen to the ordinary citizens of the country? Nothing, but the doom of a nation.

This is what the so called brothers of the nation are committing and finally they have fully come out of their ghettoes revealing their very truth. They have called for boycotting Maldives and are aimed to spread whatever rumours they could to prevent tourists coming to Maldives. After all who is going to suffer from this? The very people for whom MDP is said to be fighting for.

Isn’t MDP aware that Maldives is quiet dependant on tourism and any dreadful blow on tourism will affect the country badly? It will cut down our national revenues by almost half, it will lift the unemployment rate, all public services will be affected and so many other problems. Finally for what some few Maldivians residing in abroad is doing, the whole innocent Maldivian public is to pay the price and those members of the MDP will remain in sofas watching the TV to see how Maldives is starving to death and be euphoric over their success.

Maldives remains steadfast in its sovereignty and have learnt to challenge such culprits. It is our vow to them now, “we will not let the image we took so much time, effort and money to build be destroyed, specially by a freak organization like MDP.

Down and Out MDP Puts Mahir on the Forefront

It is know well known that Anni's visit to the UK to address the House of Commons on 26 October turned out to be a big fiasco. First of all, they did not allow the convicted thief anywhere near the Commons chamber. Thus, Anni had to confine himself to a small room for MPs private meetings.

Anni began by addressing the MPs with his typical litany of lies about Maldives saying that Gayyoom was a vampire, that there is an oil rig in Aarah, that Blair had buried at Checkers the monies that Gayyoom gave him as bribes in July 1998, that the real Saddam Hussain has been given asylum in Maldives, that Anni did not steal valuable property belonging to the former President because Anni was the rightful heir of all property belonging to the former President, that NSS people wore berets to conceal their horns, that Fareed is actually gay and not misogynist and that Anni himself believed in gender equality and was in fact a transvestite.
What Anni and David did not reckon was a strong government presence in the meeting. Anni's presentation was shot to smithereens by Ambassador Sobir accompanied by Iru Adams and other representatives of the Government. Yet, worse was to come. After Sobir exposed the lies that Anni was harping about, everyone agreed with Sobir on the following:

1) That Gayyoom is actually a human being.
2) That Sikka has tried to violently overthrow every government since 1967.
3) That Sheikh Rasheed did not turn away from a Cross because he was a vampire. 4) That Anni won the Male seat by a campaign of intimidation and false votes.
5) That Torquemada did not have a cult following in Maldives 6) That there were neither wolves nor sheep in the country.


Anni Pleads Sobir to Love Him as His Neighbour and Not Reveal Damaging Secrets
There was stunned silence among MPs when Sobir revealed that he lived next door to Anni and that he knew all that was happening in Canary House and the lavish and morally decadent lifestyle that Safari Tours resorts allowed Anni to indulge in as a youth.

Ambassador Sobir also said that all that horrific torture allegations were actually tales that Anni as a toddler heard instead of a lullaby when his father was in Vilingili jail under the previous President. They were shocked when they heard that Anni had attacked the elderly brother of Jaadhoo Manik, the jail warden at Vilingili in 1967-71.

The audience was also stunned when Sobir revealed that as a youth, Anni used to throw tantrums and kill goats with bare hands, and beat his girlfriends black and blue.
There were sighs when Sobir revealed that Anni's father-in-law had always been an accomplice of Sikka in attempts to overthrow the government violently.

There were more sighs when Sobir said that what was common to Latheef and Anni was that in both cases their parents had suffered terrible ordeals in jails under previous governments while both had prospered under the current government and that despite their treasonous activities, they were still being awarded government contracts without prejudice.

He told the audience that Anni's favourite pastime as an adolescent was to catch dragonflies and torture them until they died.

Sobir said that as Tourism Minister, he pleaded with Anni not to destroy tourism because his family had lost its chain of 5 resorts due to mismanagement after Sikka was locked up on 24 counts of murder in 1988.

Sobir also told accounts of how Anni tried to dig a well in his house and bury some of those killed on 3 rd November in order to hide evidence before the Indians arrived.

Sobir said that his house and Anni's house were separated by a fence that was barely 5 feet high and that you could hear everything that went on each other's house.
He said that he could smell dope floating in from Anni's house.
Sobir also confirmed that Anni's younger brother, Nazim Sattar was a
committed haabie, who worked in the islands to convert small island communities to fundamentalism.

Sobir said that he was speaking not as an Ambassador, but as a next door neighbour who was fully informed of all the goings on in the Canary House and that his house was called Pink House. He said he was testifying as an eye witness and not as an envoy of Government.
He said it was he who reported the conversations between Sappe's elder brother Mohamed Shafeeg and Anni between September and October 1990, when Anni was paying Shafeeg to buy distress flares to be fired in to the Convention Hall of the SAARC Summit and other tactics to terrorise the President's family.

Sobir said that Anni dared not deny before him that Anni ordered Shafeeg to steal dynamite that was brought to Male to dredge a new harbour by blowing up sections of the reef.
Sobir said that Anni was a little man with a big mouth, who was obsessed with the Great Arson of 1880s which brought the British in to the country to change the government.
After this inevitable and irretrievable defeat, Anni flew back to Colombo in total humiliation and devastation. It was now up to Dave the Knave to stir things up. He begged Sobir to love thy neighbour as thyself and not to beggar thy neighbour. Sobir responded that it was FoM and Anni who were trying to turn Maldives in to beggars. That is why FoM has now decided to call off the Tourism Boycott.

Anyway, the scale of the defeat was evident last Monday. David Hardingham called for a demonstration to bring democracy and reform to the Maldivian High Commission in London. The new High Commissioner had arrived just last month. It was unthinkable for FoM that Gayyoom would send as High Commissioner the next door neighbour of Anni. The whole point of the demo is to get Sobir out of London, because he knew just how to handle Anni and to neutralize Anni completely. Sobir knew too many of Anni's dark secrets.

But the demo was a disaster. Who heeded David's call? Only the granddaughter of Sikka who masterminded the mercenary invasion of 1988, Abujee's daughter, another Sikka clan member, and a German airhead called Sarah Mahir.

After the fiasco, FoM and MDP have changed their tactics. They have decided to play good cop/bad cop. Sappe and DO will be the bad cop - so he calls for the starvation of the people. Dave will come down as the good cop to save the people-so he rejects DO's call for Tourism Boycott. But even this has not worked.

So now their last card. They want to make Mahir their leader.
MDP has been repeatedly accused of being misogynist. This has not been helped by Sappe openly acknowledging that he has close links with Fareed. The only way to repair the damage with women now is to put up Mahir, a hedonist, licentious, character known in Maldives as the Maldivian Jonah Falcon. For church goers, the name Jonah is appealing.
For women, the name Jonah Falcon is also appealing. For more information visit www. hypocrites. com/article l 2580. html

A ladies man, Mahir is going to win over 50 % of the country, and also lay to rest all accusations of MDP being misogynist, that Anni, Sappe, and Latheef and others have abandoned their spouses, and that Fareed is putting the veil on girls in the name of MDP. Another thing: Mahir will scare away Sheikh Rasheed, for Mahir wears a huge iron cross. With Mahir at the helm, the MDP can also dismiss accusations of being hostile to tourism, because Mahir cannot live in Maldives like a local, but as a tourist, and must have a bartender as life support.

One more thing: Mahir is also expected to win the support of the pro-Arab lobby in Maldives. This lobby has just lost their hero of the past 40 years, Yasir Arafat. Mahir is known not only for his bedroom fireworks, but also for his love of fast cars. MDP hopes that they can draw a link between Arafat's love of fast cars and Mahir's love of fast cars. Mahir is also a revered name among those who were educated in Egypt.

Mahir can also be linked to the other great dynasty in this country-the Velaanage dynasty. After all it was the father of the great Mahir clan who brought Coolies from Peshawar in 1915 as mercenaries. Watch out Two-two Zahir. Not only is Mahir the brother of Rado Zahir, but also the brother of the retired Colonel.

The emergence of Mahir has finally solved the problem of MDP's leadership. Gasim is too faint hearted. Zaki has done cardiac bypass. Munavar is not from Male'. Rado Zahir has no charisma. But Mahir has Zaki's sex appeal, Munavvar's audacity, Gasim's duplicity, and Rado Zahir's finances.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: GO GO LATHEEF PART II

In 1978 when President Gayyoom came to power Go Go Latheef occupied himself travelling between Singapore, Colombo and Male’. His main business was smuggling. Smuggling goods from one country to another was a typical method of earning some extra cash for seamen. They would buy some products from one port and sell it at a higher price at another port. Go Go Latheef also had strong connections with the Endherimaage family. Apparently Latheef and his brother Dr. Abdul Samad Abdullah stayed at Endherimaage when they were younger. Latheef got on well with the Endherimaage ladies. But even during those times he did not get on too well with Mr. Abbas Ibrahim. It is said that Latheef got to know President Gayyoom on a personal basis, and often conversed with him in the relaxed family environment in Endherimaage.

Latheef had the opportunity to befriend the Endherimaage family due to his parents’ connections with them when they were alive. At the time it was rumoured that President Gayyoom even wanted him to join the government. He was offered a number of jobs, mostly jobs in the field of commerce, including a job in S.T.O. Somehow it did not materialise, possibly because of the difference in demands from both sides.

Go Go Latheef also kept in touch with his former school mates from Sosun Villa (the Maldivian government hostel for students in Sri Lanka). Amongst his colleagues, Ahmed Zahir (the current Speaker of the Majlis) was publishing "Hafthaa" at the time, and later on Husney Mohamed, Mohamed Farooq (who was not in Sosun Villa but one of their colleagues interested in journalism), Go Go Latheef and Ahmed Zahir published "Dhuvas". Jesus Afeef acted as a correspondent for these young journalists. The paper covered politics and a lot of other aspects. Poor Jesus Afeef (the current MP for Thaa Atoll and one of the Special Majlis walkouts) was banished for an article he published which apparently lacked facts. However, "Dhuvas" was short lived not due to the type of materials that it published, but due to time, financial and management constraints. It was never able to make the mark it desired in the Maldivian community. That was the end of Latheef's interest for journalism.Latheef used to be a smooth talker. His speciality was gassing – all talk and no action! Latheef tried to get involved in politics, as many of his school friends and hostel friends abroad were into Maldivian politics. People like Ahmed Zahir and Husney Mohamed were close friends of Latheef. Both Ahmed Zahir and Latheef hail from the same atoll. Both of them left the atoll at a very tender age. Ahmed Zahir became an MP for the atoll. Latheef won a seat for the atoll with Ahmed Zahir during the early 1990s. As mentioned in part I of this article, he could not handle the pressure in parliament. When he was in Parliament, the members had newly attained their Parliamentary immunity.

There was a free flow of ideas, criticisms, challenges and even questioning the speaker on the way he conducted the sessions. Nobody was saved of challenges.For budding politicians, in a democracy parliament is the spring board to jump high for a political life. It is on this floor when you expose yourself to the people and other leaders, by voicing your ideas and opinions of governing the nation, and the way to reach your goals. This is why parliament is so important for the capable politicians. Many made their mark in the Maldivian parliament even after President Gayyoom came to power. You get recognition for what you are worth in parliament. You do not have to hail from Endherimaage or Kaamineege or be an employee of SHE. You only have to look at the lives of a handful of MPs to see this. For instance, take Jesus Afeef (who by the way acquired that name because he bore some resemblance to Jesus Christ). Afeef may be a member of the MDP and one of the MPs to stage the walkout. However, he has not gone by unrecognised for his values and opinions in politics. So far, Afeef has been far more tactful than Go Go Latheef in dealing with the sensitive issues in the Maldives. Or how about Mohamed Shihab or Husney Mohamed? Look at Ahmed Zahir. All these people began their careers together. They did not have any special privileges. They certainly were not sycophants. They were not boot lickers. They got the recognitions through their hard work in parliament.

Why didn't Latheef get it? The answer is simple. He is not a leader. He is just an ordinary businessman whose speciality is smuggling. Of course he made many people rich through his businesses, such as former MP Thinadu Rashad, who owns quite a few shops in Male’. Go Go Latheef married his wife, Wafiyya, without her father’s permission. His father-in-law, the late Mr. Ali Najeeb felt that he was a weird character, who did not live up to their standards. He felt that his eldest daughter should have her priorities on completing her education from Aminiya School. However, Latheef had other ideas. He felt that he might lose her if he waited. As it turned out she was pregnant carrying his baby. In order to escape from the law, and save the family from embarrassment, Latheef married Wafiyya. When Wafiyya’s due date was approaching, they felt that the delivery in Male' was too risky. They ended up in a boat to escape from Male’. The baby was delivered at sea. That is how Jennifer saw the world.

Her first glimpse of the world was while her parents were on the run from the law. (Apologies to Latheef if he is reading this, but from the way you have been ranting and raving, surely you must have known that this would have eventually come out?) History repeats itself. Jennifer appears to be following her parents. Latheef’s son landed himself in a scandal by getting married to an under-aged girl in Sri Lanka. They lived in Sri Lanka until she was of age and returned to Male’ to solemnise their marriage. Latheef’s son was just short of being branded a paedophile. The point here is that while DO/MDP delights themselves by reporting scandals on personal lives of certain government officials (and in the case of no scandals, by fabricating stories), they only have to look at their own people for ignominious records. President Gayyoom was kind enough to give Go Go Latheef two tourist resorts, namely, Rannalhi and Bathalaa. He used the legitimate income from these resorts to support his more dubious side businesses.

Even today he collects rent from the lease holders of these resorts. Due to his decent tourism earnings, Latheef was able to provide the best education possible for his children from the likes of Hollywood and Switzerland. Today, this nasty unpatriotic man is trying to deprive many Maldivians from their simple livelihood - tourism. Boycotting tourism won’t have any effects on the business tycoons, the ministers and President Gayyoom. However, it would affect the average Maldivian who relies on their meagre salaries. Everything in our economy relies on tourism. Government services could deteriorate (the kind of services that we take for granted at the moment). It would affect health services. It would affect education projects. It would affect all types of businesses.

It would even affect the price of an onion! These power hungry megalomaniacs want nothing but the Maldivian wealth, namely tourism, for themselves. Their behaviour could be likened to a bunch of small children with their favourite toys, which they would rather destroy than give anyone else. Go Go Latheef criticises others for their lack of democratic norms. But does he have any? Under what kind of a democracy does he get the freedom to write whatever he desires or what his stooges want, on the senior civil servants of the Maldives? Which democracy gives them the right to distort facts and spin lies? To the average Maldivian, democracy may bring about wholly new concepts, but what gives Latheef and DO/MDP the right to mislead Maldivian citizens? At this stage, not too many Maldivians understand the meaning of freedom of speech. DO flourishes daily on market gossip.

Latheef himself revels in conjecture. This is not freedom of speech! This is not contributing in any way to any reform that would ever take place in the Maldives! Latheef was shameless in joining the Christian missionaries to reach his goal. Buruma Gasim may be a wealthy man, but could he support his puppets as well as air space for a radio show that lasts an hour? A few minutes of advertisement on the radio could easily cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. We are all craving for proper reform in the government.

But do Latheef and his goons expect to receive a warm welcome in the Maldives after attempts to destroy our fragile economy? MDP and these “Friends of Maldives” could appropriately be titled as “Enemies of the Nation”. Would readers regard Latheef and his associates as fit to rule? Would you regard them as fit to advocate for our rights? For a country that is predominantly Moslem and holds Moslem values, can these guys bring us what we want? Will they be genuine in their “promises” when they happen to be hypocrites?

No Amount of Democracy will bring MDP to power

12/11/04

Let us face it. Dissidents are exiled in Colombo and London not because there is no democracy in Maldives . It is because they have no space in our society-at least, not as men and women of integrity, respect, and honesty.

Many of these people have been social misfits for years before they became political dissidents. And they are thriving today on a younger generation of social outcasts-the yobbos that we call "partey" (which by the way is a corruption for "partner".)

Latheef had always been a social misfit, the result of the tragedy that befell his family as a result of a British-fomented secessionist rebellion in Suvadiva from 1959-63. Reputed for being an alcoholic who did eccentric things in a traditional Muslim society, there was mutual rejection between Latheef and society. Never a man of much moderation, naturally, Latheef kicked the bottle and took up Wahhabism, or fundamentalist Islam. He may be too ill-disciplined to follow the devotional rituals that a "haabie" follows, but he has retained the political ideology and the crusading mentality of the habbies.

It would take decades before a habbie was embraced as a mainstream politician in this country, especially in an age of satellite Television and proliferation of western graduates.

Of course, Latheef having punched and kicked his old friend Ahmed Zahir, MP just outside the Parliament building in December 2000 does not improve his image as a politician. His recent outbursts in the media, calling President Gayoom a "congenital liar" and a "brute" in a BBC interview, and calling people in the Maldives "animals and dogs" and the President a "sadistic animal" and trying to puke in an interview with Rediffusion.com has not helped improve the way society views him.

Of course, radicals like Che Guevara carry an aura of mysticism and romance that have earned them international reputation. Likewise, foreign diplomats in Colombo , desperate to find even one Maldivian who would want to reject the dominance of Islam in the country, have been drawn to aid and abetting Latheef.

These interfering diplomats are yet to learn that a pathological hatred of President Gayoom does not translate to alternative political leadership or vision. Just as a person who articulated a pathological hatred for George Washington, calling him a sadistic animal, a congenital liar, and brute, would not have been offered to succeed the Father of America.
Nor would the British even dream of handing over No 10 Downing Street to some hooligan who calls Blair a "brute" "congenital liar", "sadistic animal," "dog" and pukes in an interview, after Blair retires.

Why should the people of this country not have the right to choose our own leader from the ranks of respectable people? Why do foreigners insist on imposing on us the likes of Latheef, Sappe and Anni?

What people forget is that President Gayoom enjoys the status of "father of modern Maldives." Personal insults on him, a rejection of his successes, and a campaign to vilify him would earn little support in a country that has gone from rags to riches in just two decades. His successor would be not be a venom­breather, but someone who could fill his shoes with dignity. We are also a nation. We have happy families. We have thriving businesses. The people have a positive outlook. In such a situation, only a decent man or woman can succeed a man as decent as President Gayoom.

Such a person does not exist in the ranks of the dissidents. In their deluded analysis which holds that the country is being "brutalized", and in their eagerness to embrace that view regardless of the facts, they forget that we are an upbeat country whose people will not handover their future to a bunch of "parteys" or to eccentric dissidents out on a personal vendetta. This country has 87 resorts. Soon that number will become one hundred. We have the potential to become a very rich nation. That is a future that every rational person in this country will want to protect and place in safe hands.

Che's "Mini-manual on Revolution" may be alluring read for the dissidents. But we have not yet become Fanon's "the wretched of the earth". But hobnobbing with parteys, the dissidents may not notice that.

Apart from Latheef, who else is there? Not one person who has any reputable social standing. Gasim is a super businessman. But his wealth was handed over to him by people with influence. Everybody knows that with over 80 million dollars in debt, Gasim can only survive as a businessman by taking more loans or getting some written-off or by getting a permanent lease on his resorts at low rents. Not everybody may yet have woken up to the unsustainable basis of Gasim's debts and that his interests ultimately are diametrically opposed to those of society at large, but we all know that he would not give up his wealth for political office. He wants a sympathetic government to ward of his impending financial meltdown, not to give up business and run the country.

Zaki and Munavvar were removed from office because the public would not have them even in the Gayoom cabinet. They had become so unpopular that MDP would not even elect Munavvar as a Councillor, and Zaki was shouted down by MDP persons in the town meetings in June and July. In fact, they were so certain of losing their re-election bid in the parliamentary elections scheduled for this year, they did not hesitate to spend nearly 10 hours in the Jumhoree Maidhan on 12-13 August, in the company of some 200 drug parteys and Fareed's band of religious extremists, exposing themselves to arrest and being charged under the Criminal Code.
Who else is there? Anni? He is scion of the Sikka family who has opposed every government in this country through violent means, including funding the invasion of Maldives by Tamil mercenaries in 1988, resulting in the loss of some 50 lives.

Mujuthaba? He is a signatory of the MDP petition in 2001. His pedigree is certainly impeccable. People also believe that he has magical powers and can walk on water. Whatever the truth about his presumed magical powers, he is decidedly short on commitment and tenacity, having resigned from parliament in just a matter of months. Besides, what has he done in the past 30 years?

This therefore leaves us with David Hardingham. I think if MDP is to run this country, they would have to be led either by the British High Commission of the Friends of Maldives. That is because no amount of democracy, transparency, election funding or monitors will cause the people of this country to hand over the reins of this country to Gogo Latheef, Buruma Gasim, Zaki, Munavar, Anni or Mujuthaba, and other social misfits and political rejects.
So David? Do you want to start where Sir Arthington-Davey left off in 1965? Do you really think that we are cannibals?