31 August 2008

Gaasim's speech. Simply failed

Yesterday night we saw the official launch of presidential candidate and the famous business man, Mr. Gaasim Ibrahim. I did notice something in his speech. When he started his speech he attacked the members who accuse him of been working for his own self interest. He said:-
އަޅުގަނޑުގެ ވަރަށް ބޮޑު އަމިއްލަ އެދުމެއް އެބައޮތް. އެއެދުމަކީ ދިވެހިރައްޔިތުން އެދޭ ބަދަލުތައް ދިވެހިރައްޔިތުންނަށް ގެނެސްދިނުމާއި ތިޔަބޭފުޅުން އެދިވަޑައިގަންނަވަމުންދާ ތަފާތު ކަންތައްތައް ހާސިލްކޮށްދިނުމާއި އަދި ރާއްޖޭގެ ރައްޔިތުންގެ ތެރެއިން ކަންތައްތަކަށް ދަތިވެފައިވާ, އުނދަގޫވެފައިވާ މީހުންގެ ދަތިތައް ފިލުވައިދިނުން

Here Mr. Gaasim says something that I like to know more about. “amilla edhun” so I went to radheef in check it out. When I checked it, unfortunately it didn’t go much in favor of Mr. Gaasim. It says:-
ހަމައެކަނި ތިމާޔަށްމޮޅުވާގޮތް ހޯދުމަށް އެދޭ އެދުން
If so, is Mr. Gaasim going to be a president of our country? Can you really eat bread so that my hunger will go away? Or is it just like many says, Gaasim resigning from Villa Business chairman to be the president of Villa Government.
photo: www.dhivehiobserver.com

26 August 2008

Worst mistake

I have been reading Jazeera online since I came to Male’ on January 2008. As someone who hopes to be in journalism everyday I try to keep commenting Jazeera in the same name as by blog ( alif laam gaaf) . As a result it has become almost like my habit to read almost all the articles every day. Here I would like to share with you the worst mistake I have seen so far in the newspaper.
Today there was an article about OPEC oil supply. It says…”OPEC ge theluge supply mimahu ithuruvaane elhumun.”
(އޯޕެކް ތެލުގެ ސަޕްލައި މިމަހު އިތުރުވާނެ އެޅުމުން )
Yes! That’s the exact quote of the topic. I was wondering what on earth should be added!! I think it should be something like this: - OPEC ge theluge supply mimahu ithuruvaane ……………… elhumun.
Maybe you can fill the blank. Had I been the given the chance to do it, I’d surely add my favorite DhiFM News, Addu Bondi, rihakuru, Onion, and of cause some Nippon paint to make it colorful. Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you will add to this. Hope I will get some interesting things to add!

note: some may not be able to see the dhivehi wordings if the Jazeera font is not available.

22 August 2008

Slipper Lock of 21st Century ( A real one)

Tonight I went to Masjidhul Bahaaudheen ( Maaveyo Miskih) for the Maghrib prayer. Just before I entered the mosque, my eyes caught something. So thought to share with you my very unusual experience of seen a slipper locked like a baggage locked for a journey. So me and two of my friends took a photo. And here it is.
I wonder what will be the comments that I get for the post!!! Maybe it reflects the situation of our country or maybe it could even mean an "act of a different guy". just lets see dho:) I thank my two friends who helped me.

21 August 2008

An Open Letter to President Maumoon.

To: The President of Republic of Maldives

Dear Sir,

I am not a member of your political party (DRP), and am not a member of Civil Service or even any other political parties. I am neither a writer, nor someone good in writing or fluent in English. Yet, as a citizen of the country I do believe I can write a letter to you in the way that I can and sent to you in the way I am able to. I politely apologize to you as I will not be able to write as nicely as the resource editor of DRP sponsored Hamaroalhi Mr. Ahmed Nihaan Hussain Manik did.

Mr. President. As you are more aware of than me, there are just two schools in this country where Arab language is been taught. And these two are in the capital Male’. Since my parents are not from Male’, I was living and studying in my home island, Addu atoll Hithadhoo. Therefore I was unable to get the chance to study Arabic language. Been a Muslim it is sad, yet the truth that I don’t know Arabic. Although many blame your 30 years rule as the reason for this sad reality, here I am not writing to you on that topic. As a kid I did go to Edhuruge but unfortunately, there, the importance was given not to teach the reading of the Arabic words, yet to learn by heart. Even then, there were many who were not able to read by looking at what it written. And I am sure this is the case all around our small country.

Yesterday, I was very keen to hear about the new Dhivehi Translation of Nobel Quran. I am writing this letter to bring to your attention two things I noticed regarding this translation. I am not going to ask if you’re using a 60-60 or even 80-80 numbered spectacle. Indeed I will not ask you to go to Eye Care or Singapore to get a new spectacle too. But I kindly request you to give us (The Maldivians who are not literate in Arabic) a solution to the problems that I mention below.

· It was good news that the Dhivehi Translation of Nobel Quran came to a reality even though after so many years. However, there are many words written in Arabic in the translation. As far as my knowledge is concerned, a language may differ the meaning of something but not the dialect that we use to write it. It would have been much easier for us, (the Maldivians who don’t know Arabic) if the translation was written fully in Dhivehi. There are many words that could be easily written in Dhivehi. Example: Inkaaru…Aadham…israafu…salaam. According to my knowldge only the word Allah cannot be written by Dhivehi dialect (Thaana).

· The translation was sent as soft copies to the radio channels of Maldives. And it is in the president’s office website too. However, I do believe it will be easier if the soft copy is available for us to download in an easy way so that we could refer anytime anywhere. Maybe your concern was that it maybe changed by some “naughty people” but I do believe that can be done even now. So it will be much better to leave it for free and easy down load to everyone.

I thank you for publishing the Dhivehi Translation of Nobel Quran in your office site and hope it will not take another 30 years to reach our doorsteps as you have promised several different times in many different occasions.

Thank you and may peace be on you.

Alif Laam Gaaf.

20 August 2008

Economizing in the best way...12 new cars

Maldives is going thorough one of the biggest setbacks of economics situations in the recent history. The prices are rising more than ever before. One thing for sure is that prices are increasing. Since I don’t know the real figure I will not say that our inflation is at this particular rate. However, according to IMF they forecasted it to be at 7% (IMF site); MDP says it is 9 %( MDP site) and the government put it as just an increase of 1.40 by June 2008(ministry of planning and national development website). Now which one is right? I leave it for you. My point is simple. There is inflation in Maldives and it is increasing.

If we don’t want to make another Zimbabwe case here, we need to be more responsible than we are. Zimbabwe already has a record inflation of over 165,000%, according to IMF. I am not saying that we are in such a situation. But are we going to act on now or will we also, make the same mistake of wait and see?

Very often we hear about economizing these days. But the question is, are we really doing it? I don’t think so. We did hear about a government announcement to cut back the cost where ever possible. The president and the government seniors did advice to stop spending wherever it can be done. In this case the teachers who were claiming for a better pay was given a nice excuse that there is no money. But within few days we did see the very colorful celebrations of the July 26th (Independence Day). As huge amounts were spent from both the government and the people, none seemed to be bothered about the economic status of the country. No one really seemed to be seriously thinking about the economic situation. Money politics is becoming the new fashion.

Yesterday, I was shocked to see the government announcement for a bid to buy 12 cars. This comes after government bought 11 cars already in this year. This is the biggest mistake from the side of a government. The concept of spending the money that is generated on luxury goods rather than the very much needed basic goods and services for the people. Very often this concept is seen as a sign of mismanagement of the economy. If then, where is the future of us and our economy, which is mainly based on the very vulnerable services sector???
Every single effort made will have an impact. Now my last question for you is…did you do your part?

18 August 2008

The Wheel is turning backwards… We need to fix soon. (2)

Development is what everyone looks forward to. It is the dream of every person, family, society and nation to develop in one way or the other. However, achieving development is easier to be said than done.

Social values...as if it never existed.

Maldivians have been living on their small island peacefully for several centuries, with their own values, beliefs, customs and a way of life. Yet things have started changing quiet fast.
Talking about any change is no a simple job. So, I'd rather get to the safe side and talk about myself. Myself here i mean not who I am but what I am. As a youth of this country, I like to share my views about the state of social values that the youth of today believes in.

A whistle to a girl on the street makes you cool. Yo man!! A dyed hair with a good spike makes you smart. Been a part of one group or another makes you powerful. If not drugs, at least a cigarette will make you a real man. Respecting elders and parents lets you down and shouting and scolding at them makes you a free guy. stabbing someones neck with a knife makes you a real hero. If you are neither of these, according to their terms your an out dated person.

It will not be an overstatement for me to say that a very large percentage of today's youth doesn't have or doesn't even believe in social values. But why? why did it go so wrong? very simply due to the change in behavior. According to experts, there are four major reasons for changes in behavior. If we could look at these four reasons, and try to correct, maybe we could hope to breath to a better society tomorrow.

1. Family. "A wild goose never laid a tame egg." Family of cause is the foundation of life for every single person. There are many problems with the family systems of our society. If you wont to see the scale of it, i will give one such example which could be enough to persuade you. Maldives was named as the country with the highest rate of divorce in the world record book. The next problem is that most of the time the fathers are believed to be simply the breadwinners who have no part is the looking after children. Yet the reality is that they are the ones who can have an impact. Moreover, in our society, parents and kids have a very "professional"relationship rather than a friendly relationship where the children feels free and safe to ask and tell what they want. If our families become more responsible thing may turn around once again.

2. Peers. "A bird of a feather flocks together". That's what they say. The pressure of friend does play an important role in personality of a developing child. That is why we see the "horns" growing in once our little innocent boy/girls just after they join their secondary schools. In their young age they will get new friends and shift themselves from family oriented to friends oriented life. It is here that we need to show them the right path, right friends, and the right way.

3. Society. "How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?*1 ". It will be like expecting a miracle to happen if we expect a better generation without bringing about a change to our society. Today our society are showing disrespect to elders, rules and regulations. Unless it changes it will be a joke for us to expect the youth to be better than us.

4. Media. "I don't think anyone in the media thinks strategically about society."*2 If i say Kasautii Zindagii taking our zindaggi of our girls, will you mind? what about the TNA wrestling. and how about the very many movies, sites, pictures, etc... which are morally wrong. At last the biggest mistake the media makes is to show the youngsters that rights...rights...rights...and rights without ever mentioning responsibilities.

I am sure this went too long. Hope i could make it shorter next time. After all it went so long because this is so much a big issue of our society today.

note:1 and 2 are taken from: http://www.brainyquote.com/

WHO will get the big seat?

This is the big question everyone is asking now. Here I am giving you a chance to give YOUR SAY and share your views about this. Just be free to give a vote to the person whom you really think will win the Maldives 2008 Elections. Give a vote. Share with your friends too. After all this is our country and every single vote counts a lot. No matter how much you want it to be, a 99 will never be a 100 unless you add another 1 to it!!!

12 August 2008

Party Vs Partey

Parties and Parteys may be the most well known words that we have in our society today. Party, I am sure I don’t have to explain any more. Parteys of cause is a new word that we started using recently as a nick name for drug addicts. Quiet different terms, you may think. But when I look at the two words, or the groups I do see more than enough similarities.
Parteys are very common in Maldives. There are a large percentage of youths involved in the using of drugs though it is not something good in anyway. Likewise, so many people are involved in politics, though just few of them reach their destination.
Parteys are famous as gangsters who have very good relation among themselves. Indeed that is why we call them Parteys. If so, how about the many factions of politicians joining and forming their own interest groups? And simply like Parteys we call their groups Parties!!
In Maldives we see politicians moving from one party to another just as if they are changing their shirts. They fail to settle in a particular party and accept the ideas of others. The same thing is found among Parteys! They keep shifting from one gang to another and they also keep one struggling for power which sometimes ends in disasters. The state this country now in is enough as an example for a disaster due to power struggle among politicians.
Next is the so called dark side of the two sides. When Parteys takes bribes very openly for fight and other “missions”, parties (its members) takes the bribe very secretly for the votes. Good example will be the wining of the Peoples Majlis presidency by an opposition candidate. Here the point is not who won, yet how they won or lost counts. The sudden turning of the result to an entirely different angle is surely not a coincidence.
At last, we will never know what they will say, how they will talk, where they will be tomorrow. Whether it be a Party or Partey, the trend is the same.

07 August 2008

Too many foul in the first half

“Politics is a dirty game.” I still remember this sentence as a teacher of mine said seven years back.
If politic ever was a game, surely that game is been played here in Maldives in the past 3 to 4 years. Unlike before, now there are two teams on the ground; the government and the oppositions.
Today as the president ratified and the country adopted the new constitution, let’s look back and see how well we have done. We are trying to bring democracy to our country. In order to achieve this goal, we need to change the constitution and implement the changes to the political system accordingly. Now the constitution is rectified, we have reached the half time of the match. Let’s look back! There will be more than enough to talk about what went well, so I’d talk about what didn’t go as it should.
The announcement of the Reform Agenda by the president Maumoon Abdul Gayyom, on 9th June 2004 was followed by days the history of this nation cannot afford to forget. The huge protest and the iron fist showed by the government and the military against the protesters is a big icon of this change. At least there were many incidences where police and the people confronted. This wasn’t a very green signal for a democracy. Many questioned about the faith of the government in the process. The mysterious death of Ivan Naseem happened to be the beginning, which later followed by late Hussain Solah. The arrest of the MDP chair person for a ‘security reason’, the use of the government employees as an indirect weapon were mistakes that never should have occurred. It will be a big mistake for any government to ignore a part of the population. Even if I don’t want to say, all can see the difference between Male’ and the rest of the Maldives. Unfortunately the people were given the right to express without letting them know what it is. Many people were misleading, either by the government or the oppositions, simply because people were not aware enough. At last but not the least, the failure to switch away from the old pattern of one family system was the big barrier which still exists and will continue to happen so in Mr. Maumoons’ government even though it is the root of all the problems he faced. Finally, the very ugly roles played in parliament by the appointees of presidents and the members of parliament will remembered by the people.

The reform agenda according to many of the opposition members is not a choice but a must. Therefore, the opposition was not in any means ready to accept this as a grant from the government. The party system that was introduced was used to criticize the government to an extent that was almost unbelievable to many Maldivians. The effectiveness of the mass protest is something that’s we can think of. Was the outcome valid in comparison to the social problems?
In anyhow, the failure to make a strong bond among the oppositions is something that was bad yet true. The leadership of the main opposition party changed too often. Dr Waheed was said to lead the party first, Ibra was elected and stayed for a short period. Also MDP was unable to keep hold on with the MPs they got. Many MPs who left the party gave the autocracy of chairperson Anni as an excuse. So who made the fault? Was it that the members were unable to digest the difference in opinion or Anni failed to act in a democratic way? In either case, the issue was a setback to the opposition. Attempting to gather people to Male’ to pressure the Majlis, been unable to maintain a specific system in the riots and failing to show to the public some responsible and capable figures to lead the country were mistakes that’s opposition made. Moreover, the opposition also did not show a very good picture in the Majlis. Finally, even now as the election gets near, the opposition seems to be unorganized and in a state of power struggle which may bring about a result that they don’t want.

Now, the first part is done, it’s high time to make sure we rearrange the lines and start playing the next half in a more meaningful and responsible way.

04 August 2008

26th July …a lie in history

26th July is the independence day of Maldives. A day we have celebrated since 1965. As it is very well known, it is the day the country got independence from Britain.
Let us first look at what independence is. According to the Collins Concise Oxford Dictionary, the word independent means, “free from the controls in action judgment etc…” in this case we can take the independence of Maldives in two ways.

Either we are not independent even now, or we were independent even before 1965.

If we look at the part of control on others, I wonder how many countries are having the control of their actions. Are we really in control of our actions and reactions or are we simply having a puppet show of independence? One thing is sure. Maldives has signed many treaties requiring several obligations to be fulfilled. We are also part of the international community. In this process, there are times that we don’t act the way we want to and times where we act in the way that we don’t want to act. If then are we really in control of our actions? If not we are not independent. As we celebrate the Independence Day every year, I hear the politicians saying that the real independence is the sustainability of a prosperous economy. Well, we eat what the international community gives as grants. Build the home when they give us the ‘soft loan’, govern the country on their advice and even teach the kids when they show the text books and give the exam. Are we independent??? No comment from me.

The second view that I mentioned is that we were independent even before the 26th July 1965. Here I don’t have much to tell you.
Whereas by letters of 16th and 3rd December, 1887, exchanged between the government of Cylon on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Wictoria and His Highness the Sultan of the Maldive Islands, an agreement was made for the protection of the Maldive Islands by her Majesty.

And whereas His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom and His Highness the Sultan of the Maldive Islands desire to enter into a new agreement for this purpose.
Therefore it is agreed between His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom and His Highness the Sultan of the Maldive Islands as follows:-
His Majesty’s government in United Kingdom will recognise as Sultan of the Maldive Islands the Sultan duly succeeding to the throne in accordance with Maldivian laws and customs.
The Maldive Islands shall continue under the protection of His Majesty and his Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom will at all times to the utmost of its power take whatever steps may be necessary to protect the Islands from hostile attack.
Relation between the Sultan and his Majesty’s government will be conducted through the High commissioner for the United Kingdom in Cylon unless some other arrangement is at any time made by his Majesty’s government by agreement with the Sultan.
Relations between the Maldive Islands and other countries will be conducted by the Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom or in accordance with its advice; and His Majesty’s government will, so far as is compatible with its other obligations and interests, support the interest of Maldive Islands in any negotiations directed towards the furtherance of their trade and commerce.
His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom will have the right to establish and maintain in the Maldive Islands such facilities for his Majesty’s forces as His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom may after consultation with the Sultan determines to be required for the defence of the Maldive Islands or of any part of His Majesty’s dominions, and the Sultan will afford every assistance to this end.
His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom will refrain as heretofore from any interference in the internal affairs of the Maldive Islands.
Annual tribute heretofore presented by the Sultan to His Majesty shall cease.
Done in duplicate at Male, this twenty fourth day of April, 1948.
Signed on behalf of His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Ireland.
Sgd. W. G. Hankinson
Signed on behalf of the Sultan of the Maldive Islands,
Ibrahim Ali DiDi,
A. M. Amin DiDi
24th April 1948

Now that was the treaty signed between Maldives and British, which lead them to stay in Maldives. If we take this as excuse to say that we were not independent, how could we claim to be independent when even today there are countries to give protection to us? Getting a protection is not losing the independence. Indeed it adds to our freedom.

So it will be a good idea to think once again about our independence day. Either we are not independent still or we were independent even before 1965, which let me feel that 26th July as the Independent Day of Maldives could simply be a lie in history. Of cause my views may contrary with yours.

note: since I got a copy of this agreement from a teacher, there is no reference available. Also this agreement is been typed(without any alteration) for this post and is not a scanned copy of the origin