Keeping up Appearances over Keeping up Democracy?

As expected, Thursday’s events at the Majlis divided opinion. On one side you have the colourless and the coup leaders stating that MDP MPs behaved like monkeys. On the other, you have thousands of protestors celebrating them as heroes. On which side do I stand? With the thousands that peacefully protested on the streets of course.

It didn’t happen without warning. MDP’s Parliamentary Group announced on Wednesday, 29th February that they would not permit an illegitimate leader to address the Parliament, and they didn’t. Did people really expect a simple, polite walkout? Surely as ‘unique’ a coup as this one, deserves as unique a response? So, they shouted, they danced, they held up ‘baaqee’ signs, they physically blocked entrances, they sat on tables and they got beaten up by MNDF’s SPG officers, and in one instance by Mahloof. Worse than engineering and legitimising a coup d’etat? Worse than the brutal beating of protestors on the 7th, 8th of February? Worse than the lack of condemnation over police brutality from Dr. Waheed, the so called life long supporter of democracy and human rights? Absolutely not.

What is it that riles up the colourless and coup leaders so much about the mobilisation of people on the street? Why is that an armed mutiny of a few hundred MPS and MNDF officers can be so easily condoned but a dancing MP is so easily condemned? The colourless bang on about peaceful dialogue, due process and alignment with the constitution. Do they not realise that the right to assembly is guaranteed by the constitution? That, that very constitution came about as a result of the combination of mobilisation of people AND dialogue?

The real crux of the matter may not be that they are squeamish over the behaviour of MPs, but the fact they find it more convenient to criticise real people who care enough to come out on the street, who face riot police and coup leaders and who tell the so ‘called government’ what they think, rather than hiding behind the jargon of etiquette. Or they really don’t realise, unlike many others the severity of the current crisis. Maybe they don’t feel scared, as I do, when they see a MPS/MNDF uniform, they are able to overlook police brutality and they are able to justify a coup as Anni’s just rewards for his dealings with Abdulla Gaazee. Quite simply, they don’t miss the freedoms that 3 years of democratic rule allowed us, because they took it for granted.

There is a reason for protests. It is to show the Abbas Adhil Rizaas and the KDs, and the Jangiya Nazim’s and the international community that it is not just Anni, not just Ibu at the all party talks and not just MDP MPs, calling for an election, but thousands of people. Call the MDP MPs shameless, call the protestors disruptive, call it what you want, but also have the nerve to call a coup a coup.  Condemn violent protestors, but also have the courage to condemn police violence. 7th February’s mutiny was shameless. 8th and 9th February’s brutality was despicable. Worse, is over 24 days of military government legitimised by a puppet dictator and his ‘educated’ supporters.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Keeping up Appearances over Keeping up Democracy?

  1. Yoga

    True reflection of what i feel. Just so you know colourless is anything but colourless led by Nabreesha shafiu (daughter of Ismal Shafiu), Yethrib (son on Hamdhun Hameed), Shafraz and iujaz Hafiz (sons of Ahmed Hafiz)

    • naby

      I advise u to get your facts right. Everyone has a mind of their own regardless of their family. And who is shafraz and iujaz?
      Colorless will continue to work on what it stands for.learn to be intolerant and act civil whiteout pointing your finger to a group of ppl who doesn’t belive in what u may believe.leave the attitude of if u are not with us ,then u are against us. Cheers

      • Shafiya Ali

        “learn to be intolerant and act civil” probably a typo but, as they say, a slip of the [fingers] is that of the mind? 🙂
        perhaps that’s what you’re doing? being intolerant, but acting civil. i don’t care who the creators of the colourless group are, in fact, i don’t care about the group. what i do care is that there are people in this country who are indifferent to the fact that an elected government has been ousted under suspicious circumstances. I’ve never been a member of a political party, nor have ever been to any political rallies. but i do want an elected president, and call for an immediate election!

  2. Ija

    How is it possible we don’t refer these outside sources as coup supporters and when some people from your own nation supports these values they are being labelled as so? Lets think for a minute before we make judgements shall we 🙂

    CMAG recognised the need for healing in Maldives. It called on all concerned to show restraint and mutual respect in their statements and actions, and to take immediate steps in the national interest to seek an inclusive agreement on the way forward.

    Pasted from

    “These are very serious times for Maldives. Co-operation and a shared sense of national interest are required, as well as restraint. Our Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group is understandably deeply concerned, and is committed to working with Maldives in a constructive and positive way. The Commonwealth at large is fully committed to assisting Maldives,” said the Secretary-General.
    “Maldives has committed itself to the Commonwealth’s values and principles, which include constitutional democracy, the rule of law and separation of powers, and human rights. Our principles include consensus and common action, mutual respect, legitimacy, transparency and accountability. These are the foundations on which an enduringly prosperous and peaceful future for Maldives can be built.

    Pasted from

    “Parliament is the heart of a democracy. The Commonwealth finds it unacceptable that the State Opening of the Majlis of Maldives has been disrupted, and the offices of the President and Speaker have been seriously disrespected.” – Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma
    The leaders of all political parties in Maldives have a solemn responsibility to promote and exercise the utmost restraint.
    The Commonwealth encourages all concerned to pursue the swift and dignified State Opening of the Majlis so that pressing national needs can be debated and advanced.
    The Majlis is the nationally and internationally recognised place where the representatives of all Maldivians come together to debate responsibly their country’s future and to pass the legislation necessary for that future.
    While freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are core Commonwealth values, so too is constitutional democracy, including respect for the dignity of office-bearers appointed under the constitution and enabling those office-holders to perform their responsibilities fully and freely.

    Pasted from

  3. ahmed

    I feel your say, it is a threat, when even it is a little not on your side. That’s okay, when your so up beat on a cause it happens.

    But don’t just blame “Colorless” alone by saying “also have the nerve to call a coup a coup”. Commonwealth also have no nerve to call this a coup, they rather recommended mutual respect and independent impartial investigation. Should blame Commonwealth.

    I don’t think anyone disagreed to the fundamental right to protest, even if some believe the way MPs did is shameful. And don’t you think it’s way immature of you to blame a group of 3433 members in respect to 6 or seven comments?

  4. Thank you for your comments.
    For those from the colourless group who are slightly offended, apologies, but I was under the impression that you respected all opinions.

  5. ahmed

    the opinion is that a coup president cannot give the presidential address, who doesn’t respect that? . But it’s not an opinion to throw national flag, juggle the chair, put a dustbin over ones head, get on the table on suntan position or pause like “scooby doobi doo where are u”. That some kind of eruption emotions deli-ma.

    It’s okay to sit on the door way of the entrance to stop the majlis. I would have done the same if i believed there was a coup. But not the extra drama. I mean, i don’t think there is a law that forbids people from being stupid but I would not show that to my daughter and say that is ok. This is just my opinion.

  6. Ija

    I have actually referred to ur article as beautifully written which it is ,,,i only wish u got the facts right…the problem with our nation today is that we always assume things…assume they are wrong…assume because this is this then that shall be that…assumptions can leave us marred and scarred…i would love for u to be present in the group and take a real look to see if we are condemning anyone from participating in any political activity…we aren’t …we only asked people to take non violent measures…to reduce some of the offensive tactics like name calling and labeling…not to give in to the sentiments at the rawness they occur to u…a little less of hate inciting which isn’t doing anyone any good

    By the time this ordeal is over i don’t want us to have crossed boundaries that would take years to mend..lets mend it before we take the next steps…no matter who comes into power he doesn’t only lead his party …he leads an entire nation…and how do u think he would find when part of it is unwilling to follow him because of the way his party has behaved towards them? I am sure every leader would end of the day want to be loved by everyone in the nation he is leading.

  7. Nashith

    Dude,

    I can understand what your trying to say. I do however wonder why such a nice article wasn’t written when Anni locked the supreme court? Or force detention of Abdulla Gazi?. He might be an ass, but he does deserve the same treatment as the murderers and drug addicts get. Which Anni didn’t provide. So why wasn’t the “peaceful” protesters of MDP out with the Ithihaadh? You think it was ok to interpret the constitution as Anni sees fit and have no repercussions? I said it was wrong when Anni did all that, I said it was wrong how he resigned. I say to everyone, have common sense to see right or wrong and irrespective of which party you belong.

  8. Maldivian

    I have been wondering about this very point for a long time now. I dont want to simply reap the fruits of a freedom earned by a person on the street, with their sweat, time and blood. That makes me a coward.

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