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Maldives Civic Protest: Nasheed's offer - accept blasphemy against Islam and receive blessings of free health care.

Male', Maldives.

President Nasheed has played what he hoped was his trump card against the December 23rd civic protesters. In a twin play, Nasheed stated that he would not ask UNHRC N. Pillay to apologize for her blasphemous attack on the Qur'an, timing it with the start of a program of "free" health care for all Maldivians. The equation he offered the thousands of Maldivians who protested against his regime was: Accept blasphemy against Islam, and receive "free" health care.

Its interesting to follow the Nasheed Government's logic in the Assandha medical program. It begins with a sale of national assets to foreign interests. This is accompanied by inflationary government budgets and huge national debt. The two together then form the justification for a revised foreign exchange rate and its basis. The rising dollar is followed closely by the introduction of GST. GST is then almost doubled, squeezing the impoverished economy dry. GST earnings are then fed back to the starving poor in the form of "free" medical care.

In preparation for this, the health care system is "privatized" in the form of state owned enterprises, cleverly opening the doorway for arbitrary award of contracts to MDP leaders and big business. The Aasandha program funnels business towards the SEOs and clinics of friends, family and allies. The Government quickly pays its health bills, rapidly clearing out the national coffers into MDP's dirty little paws.

In more "free" initiatives, medical care costs are raised both by SEOs and private health care providers, adding up nice profit margins to be again funneled into MDP paws to finance its re-election. SEOs award contracts worth millions of MRF for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to Home Minister Hassan Afeef, Afeef pays back 50% into MDP.

MDP Interim Chairperson Reeko Moosa receives million dollar contracts for building health centre and hospital extensions, 50% of which goes directly to MDP.

And where is the so-called opposition during all this "free" health care to Maldivians? DRP is happily leading the cheer leading squad for Nasheed. PPM is screaming about a failing economy which might as well be Latin to Maldivians rushing to receive their free health care. Adhaalath remains stumped, entangled in a spa fiasco from within its ranks.

And so ends the civic protest against Nasheed and his corrupt government, until perhaps when the mismatch between GST receipts and Aasandha payments to MDP grinds the "free" health care to an untimely death.

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