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Maldives President Nasheed takes strong arm measures against JP leader Gasim Ibrahim

Male', Maldives.

In more strong arm measures to intimidate his political opponents, President Nasheed has sent his police officers to Jumhooree (Republican) Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim's resort, Paradise Island.

Maldives Police Service officers tonight raided Paradise Island, using as a front the trumped up charges by the Nasheed Government last night that Paradise Island spas were engaging in prostitution services. A Maldives Police Spokesperson tonight confirmed that the police raid was at the request of the Ministry of Tourism, and that police were even now active on Paradise Island.

Media report that the Manager of the Paradise Island resort has been summoned to appear at the Police Headquarters.

Popular philanthropist Gasim Ibrahim today vehemently denied the Nasheed Government's allegations about his resort spa, stating that "these are heinous lies trumped up by the Government because I have spoken out against them in defense of the judicial system".

"Intimidatory attacks such as these are not new to me", said the JP leader, who last night said that he would not be deterred in his opposition to President Nasheed's destruction of the country, evenn if his property was confiscated by the Government.

In a press statement issued tonight, Gasim Ibrahim said that "even though the Government has made these false allegations against five of my resorts, all these are operated under agreement with the Government and in accordance with the laws of the country".

"The Ministry of Toursim ordered the closure of my resort spas, citing "reports" of prostitution at these places, without even investigating these so-called reports", he said.

"Such harsh action based on allegations and without a shred of proof are against the law and are clearly politically motivated personal attacks on me", noted Gasim in his press statement.

President Nasheed's strong arm attack on Gasim Ibrahim's business interests come immediately after Gasim's condemnation of what he termed "Nasheed's systematic attempts to destroy and discredit the country's judicial system".

Speaking on a political analysis program (Fasmanzaru) on VTV last night, Gasim said, "Enough is enough". Gasim stated in strong terms that he would not stand by and watch Nasheed's "sale of national assets, crushing of the judicial system, using the Maldives Police Force and Military in any which way ...".

Gasim concluded his press statement tonight, saying, "I assure all Maldivian citizens that I am a person who has always abided by the constitution, laws and regulations of the country, and work diligently towards the betterment of our nation and our people, through established governance institutions and in my individual capacity. I further assure all Maldivians that our country and people will always receive my services".

The highly popular philanthropist has an unmatched record of social responsibility and assistance in his individual capacity and through his various business and non-profit organizations. Every year, Gasim's privately owned Villa Foundation awards about 150 scholarships to young Maldivians to pursue higher studies. Scholarship recipients are selected by an independent panel on purely objective criteria, with no influence whosoever exercised by the Chairman, Gasim. More than 1000 students have benefited from this scheme so far. Thousands of Maldivians have received funding for medical treatment abroad through Gasim's welfare scheme. Funding is received based on applications made to Villa. Most recipients of Gasim's philanthropy have never met Gasim.

With his strong populist following, Gasim Ibrahim can be a strong opponent to President Nasheed in the Presidential Elections 2013. Nasheed himself is the recipient of Gasim's voter power, riding into the presidency in 2008 on the crest of Gasim's gift of 60,000+ votes in the second round of the Presidential Elections 2008.

More updates coming up.

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