Chapter 03 of my work in progress book "Sinking Streets".
The message this election from all sides of the Maldivian political spectrum has been clear. We do not want you. We do not respect you. We will not tolerate you.Read More
Here is question for Maldivians: Can you name your constituency and your elected official without having to check it somewhere?
These are some visualisations of the public voting records of the people's Majlis session in 2015 that amended the constitution to allow for foreign ownership of land or freeholds. Land is an incredibly scarce resource in the Maldives, with the majority of Moldavians living in cramped quarters, never getting to access most of their own country.
I initially began this post as an interactive timeline of Yameen Rasheed's best tweets, but it soon became too inaccessible due to the sheer amount of relevant posts that he was putting out.
So instead, here is a collection of some of his best writings. He deals with topics that very few people in the Maldives have the courage to openly write about. More importantly, the fact that he talked about these issues is being erased from the conversation about his murder.
Furthermore, the dangers and threats that he faced were not a characteristic unique to the current administration. He faced these same threats under Mohamed Nasheed's government as well, who is arguably the best and worst president that the Maldives has ever had. Nasheed promised freedom, but ended up granting those liberties only to religious extremists; and in the process condemned those who opposed those extremists to their fate. In an open letter to Nasheed written in March 2009, Yameen says that he was under investigation by the Maldives Police Service, and accused the president of failing to protect the rights of secular liberal minded Muslims like himself.
He was not your average journalist, blogger, or rights activist. He was of the rare breed that promoted secularism and actively acknowledged the existence of minorities within the Maldives such as LGBTQI people and apostates. There is absolutely no way that the work he was doing was comparable to the output of people who to this day deny the existence of such minorities.
He was a staunch opposer of the Maldivian constitution, which he called intolerant, for it's lack of the basic right of freedom of conscience. There is absolutely no way that he is comparable to the people who, even in their articles about his death, have failed to mention this extremely important fact of life in the Maldives.
Challenging religious radicalism was not some one off thing for Yameen. It was his bread and butter. His mashuni and roshi. To say Yameen didn't write a lot about religion is like saying Stephen King doesn't write a lot of horror. Post after post on his blog deals with these issues directly. Yameen was also the founder of the Facebook group "Ban The Adhaalath" - arguably one of the first ever online groups formed to directly tackle religious extremism within the Maldives.
How can there be a genuine democracy in the Maldives, how can there be genuine freedom, if the right to think differently is illegal?Read More