President Mohamed Nasheed

Nasheed under English protection: history, implications

Issues between the English Government and the Maldives sparked the Southern Uprising on New Year's Day 1959. With the English backing, a separate nation, under the banner of United Suvadive Republic, was formed on March 1959. The Republic was composed of Addu, Fuvahmulah and Huvadhoo atolls, with Abdullah Afeef Didi as the leader. The separatists announced the Republic on January 3, 1959. The short lived Republic was disbanded on September 23, 1963.

During the chaos, in what that can only be described as an insurrection, the English had transferred Afeef to Seychelles and granted him immunity.

Following the insurrection, the Governments of Maldives and UK, held discussions regarding the issue. The then Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir constantly asked the English one question. According to historian Sikkage Mohamed Naseem, Nasir began and ended every single statement with one question. "Why did [your Government] remove a Maldivian without the knowledge of the Government?" When he did not get a reply to that question he would ask again why the UK Government had wanted to divide the Maldives and steal a Maldivian. To this day, the question remained unanswered.

(Avas online plans to bring an interactive documentary on the work carried out by the UK Conservative Party and Christian missionaries, including Operation Concubine and other classified operations. All the questions we have posed here will be answered from this)

Former President Mohamed Nasheed was jailed for 13 years after he was found guilty of terror charges for illegally detaining a Judge. The sentence seemed like an apocalypse for the English. International pressure rained down heavily on the Maldives; in the end, UK had granted asylum for Nasheed. Following this Nasheed said that he had no option "but to work from exile – for now".

This warrants a deeper probe into the matter. First let's take a look at what Nasheed had said. Before that one thing.

The lower court had decreed that Nasheed was guilty of the terror charges filed against him. The upper court procedures of the case is still pending. Even Nasheed had admitted this and filed the case appeal in Supreme Court.

Nasheed had been granted medical leave to go abroad on the understanding that if he did not seek surgery, he risked paralysis. In a surprising turn of events, the media friendly Nasheed and his allies, had refrained from revealing information on his treatment. Their social media accounts are filled with updates on meetings with political figures. He has been active in criticizing Maldives, attending football matches and the like. Sometimes he says he will return back. Other times he would say that he had no intention of returning back home. Then came the news of asylum.

I have many questions for the UK government. Firstly, do you recognize the Maldivian Constitution? Does your Government recognize the laws on Maldivian courts and judges? Do you recognize the judicial processes of the country? Does your nation recognize the laws on political parties?

Your Government not recognizing these aspects is not an issue. But, when UK funded operatives chose to split four atolls and create a new state and when state broadcaster BBC made the announcement within an hours' time that they had formally recognized United Suvadive Republic, is a clear testament that your Government neither recognizes nor accepts these laws.

Extraditing Afeef after this is a logical move, as the intentions are crystal clear and we would have clear questions to pose. But without doing this, you have given asylum. This can only be seen as a direct attempt to create chaos and polarize the nation.

On to Nasheed. The statement he gave saying that "myself and other opposition politicians feel we have no choice but to work from exile – for now".

A former diplomat had jested that this was an immature statement as Nasheed had not political mandate to fulfill. His only mandate, when released, was to seek medical assistance for his ailment and file appeals in the apex court regarding his grievances on the sentence. Until the cases complete the full judicial processes he will have to serve the sentence.

The English Prime Minister can say that he is the President of the Maldives; some may agree with this statement, but does it make it true? Similarly Nasheed can say that he has a political mandate to fulfill. But until the procedures for this become clear he does not have legal right to proceed ahead with this political mandate.

We can talk about this on a legal basis. For example, Nasheed is not currently a President of a political party. He does not have an official standing. He is a convict, tried and proven guilty of charges. There is no role a serving convict can play in the nation's political sphere. So, claiming that he had a political mandate to fill and claiming asylum on the grounds that he had no other option to fulfill the said mandate, does not make sense and reeks of desperation.

Nasheed wrote a book titled "Dhagandu Dhahanaa". The book is a comprehensive look into the 100 years between 1800 and 1900 and analyzes the changes to the nation's leadership and rule. The book especially takes into account the influence exerted on the rulers of that period by the imperialist powers and how those imperialist influences shaped the nation.

The book notes the direct assistance provided by the English in various situations especially one that impacted the leadership of the nation, including the major fire that broke out in Male'. The fire led to the first declaration of martial law in the capital.

In his book, Nasheed says as follows: "When the English were running their colonial policies, they would implement a "gun boat diplomacy" from which they would seek to intimidate smaller nations to follow their will. While they implement this policy, as a ruse of diplomacy they would exchange letters. Maldives became a 'protectorate' by the successful implementation of this gun boat diplomacy."

For a man who had researched and so publicly decried English policies, to follow suit of the English so willingly and tout the English as the trump card this is a complete U-turn. This negates the very statements he released on the day he was sentenced to serve time, pledging to patiently serve time.

"The most astounding aspect is that he had researched all this, wrote all this, and then the English becomes his biggest ally and helped him govern. In the two years, the English influence spread across the whole country. In the same manner the English Ambassador [Arthington Davy] governed the Naadhee [club for civil servants], English influence was rampant in the President's Office, Nasheed had governed as the English wanted. So them granting him asylum is not a surprising move," a former journalist, who had worked alongside Nasheed and spent time in jail said.

Mahathma Gandhi is one of the most revered figures in history, for all but the English. Though Gandhiji had won the hard battle against English imperialism, the nation is yet to rise from the lasting legacies of conflict the English had sown in the subcontinent.

Even today, the biggest challenge facing India is the divide and rule policy instilled by the English which had manifested in the form of the Kashmir conflict. The issue continues to plague both Pakistan and India; the conflict in kindled by the English.

Whatever the underlying geopolitical reasons, the English always had a vested interest in meddling in the Maldivian affairs.

The direct attacks against Maldives began after the Suez Canal incident. Maldives was labelled as the "dust of Cairo"; attacks against Maldivian scholars and supporters of President Nasir began in earnest at that time. Previously the attacks were somewhat covert.

All incidents that had occurred since 1800, can be directly and indirectly attributed to the English. The biggest such incident was the UK backed Suvadive Republic. To this day, the nation struggles from the severe effects of it.

While the history of this extends to over years, UK had done scant but to impact the nation's progress. When they left Addu and their army base in the island, they destroyed most of the infrastructure they had created. What they could not take away, they demanded compensation.

When President Nasir decreed that those assets were part of the country, the English interference grew even more. They boarded a ship with all assets and gunned it down.

To cover up the transgression, they built a small hospital in Male' and paid some reparations. To rub salt on the insult, they said they cannot build roads in Maldives, even if they did so in Tonga.

History had clearly demonstrated that the UK is no friend or ally to the Maldives. The gun boat diplomacy was effectively used in forcing Ibrahim Faamdheyri Kiligefaanu to hand over Addu for 100 years and all incidents since then. Their modus operandi is intimidation, political interference.

In reality, during the two years of the Nasheed rule, the English reigned free. But what had they really done in the two years?

"Nothing, none. All they did was turn Nasheed to a charismatic character politically. All other actions were carried out to foster division. We can see the results. Take Dr. Shaheed as an example, all we were able to do was clash with the Arab world," the aforesaid diplomat said.

Following his asylum status, followers of Nasheed had claimed on various platforms that "asylum has been granted to the Mandela of Asia". How can one compare Mandela and Nasheed? Mandela was motivated by peace, public security.

Contrast with Nasheed. Had he taken part in any protest that was peaceful? Even in leaked phone calls, he had called for violence; this applies to his protests. Defeat in polls is vented by torching public places. On public podiums he defies the public, saying that he will demonstrate his power and reach. Given these circumstances how is it possible to liken him to Mandela?

Mandela remained in jail for 27 years. For the duration of his jail term, ANC protests shook the nation. The South African Government gave him two choices; control your supporters, gain amnesty in turn or completely serve his 27 year jail term. He chose the latter, saying that he did not want amnesty.

Rick Stengel, who spent almost two years with Mandela working on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom had reported this story. In 1994, during the presidential-election campaign, Mandela got on a tiny propeller plane to fly down to the killing fields of Natal and give a speech to his Zulu supporters. When the plane was 20 minutes from landing, one of its engines failed. Some on the plane began to panic. The only thing that calmed them was looking at Mandela, who quietly read his newspaper. The airport prepared for an emergency landing, and the pilot managed to land the plane safely.

After the landing Mandela had talked to the pilot and said that he had not reacted as his reaction could have sparked hysteria within the plane passengers and South Africa itself. He added that he never wanted to see any person or the nation in confusion or chaos due to his actions. Mandela said the nation's security and safety was paramount to his. The nation was the nation.

Many say that Nasheed will lie when given the chance to reveal the truth. To those who call out on his lies, he will say it is a philosophy. This is directly an English philosophy. Following the English philosophy to a T, Nasheed had applied for medical leave, begged for clemency and gained asylum. Hardly surprising.

Foot note:

We had erroneously wrote that the British had loaded all assets to the British Loyalty. The assets were not loaded to that ship. We have corrected the mistake and sincerely apologize for it.