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#Maldives in Constitutional Crisis: An Open Letter to Vice President Dr. Waheed

Male', Maldives.

Dear Vice President Dr. Waheed,

Firstly, welcome to the Maldivian struggle for human rights and freedom from oppression. Your interview to AP and your blog today maybe a little too late and a little too self serving, but it does add weight to the protest we Maldivians have been engaging in from November 11, 2008 when you stepped into power one step behind President Mohamed Nasheed.

Secondly, please do not trivialize the daily struggle of the Maldivian Youth by decrying their efforts. No. We have been protesting since 11 November 2008 against the human rights violations by the regime in which you share and which you worked to put into place, against the poverty and economic degradation brought about by policies and programs run by the Cabinet in which you sit, and the reversal of democracy that you and your colleagues have propagated.

Thirdly, it is with great disappointment but no great surprise that we note that the level of your protest against President Nasheed's military arrest and forced disappearance of Judge Abdulla Mohamed is mere lip service. The most you have said in your blog is, "I have expressed my reservations about the way the Government has allowed the disappearance of a citizen, a Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, for the reasons I mention above". Expressed "reservations"? Is that the most a Vice President of the country can do in this hostage situation?

Fourthly, it is interesting that you feel that "the Government has ALLOWED the disappearance of one citizen". Does this mean that you do not hold President Nasheed and your Government responsible for deliberate actions to make Judge Abdulla 'disappear'? Do you mean to tell us that it a military act of which your government had no knowledge? Please do clarify that statement in your next blog.

Fifth, can you honestly say that you have raised this matter directly with President Nasheed? Can you tell us that you have demanded of President Nasheed that he immediately and unconditionally release Judge Abdullah Mohamed? Have you tried to lobby support from your other cabinet Ministers and your Senior Advisors to bring about the release of Judge Abdulla? Have you demanded a Cabinet meeting to deliberate on the issue? If you have not, then you have not used your position as Vice President of the country to back your statement of being "ashamed and totally devastated by the fact that this is happening in a government in which [you are] the elected the Vice President".

Sixth, please do not try and use this tragic reversal of democracy in Maldives to try and further your own interest in the Presidency. With all due respect to your learned background and valuable service to the UN System, you have failed dismally in your avowed duty before Allaah when you took oath of office as Vice President.

To jolt your memory, please find reproduced below the words of your Oath of Office as Vice President:

"I, …(name of person)…, do swear in the name of Almighty Allah that I will respect the religion of Islam, that I will uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives and the fundamental rights of the Maldivian citizens, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic of Maldives, and will discharge the duties and responsibilities of the office of Vice President honestly and faithfully in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Maldives".

Thank you.

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