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#Maldives: Transfer of power from corrupt government to foreign government?

Male', Maldives.
Maldivians watch stunned as new President Mohamed Waheed calmly invites foreign interference in their domestic affairs, just two weeks after he ascended to power following the resignation on strongman Mohamed Nasheed. Claiming to be a national unity government, the inexperienced Waheed administration is falling over its two left feet dancing to Bollywood music mixed with European colonial lyrics. The Waheed government's capitulation of Maldivian national interests and national sovereignty is unprecedented by any Maldivian government at anytime throughout the country's long history.

Throughout the annals of our history Maldives maintained her sovereignty and defended uncorrupted Islam as her religion by maintaining policies of non-interference in our domestic affairs by foreign powers. A small island state in the vast Indian Ocean, overshadowed by the looming mass of India in the North, Maldives has weathered many turbulent political storms, emerging somewhat battered on occasion, but still a proud sovereign state.

Maldives was invaded by the most formidable foreign armies of imperial times in the Indian Ocean, the armadas of the Portuguese and the Malabars. The Maldivian people then were less prepared for such wars than they are today. Yet, Maldivian forefathers sacrificed their lives in order to defend the people's freedom from foreign occupation.

The Imperial British sought to colonize the Maldives using economic might and political guile. Maldivian statesmen kept them outside our gates, with diplomacy in style. Maldivian leaders delivered the country a proud sovereign state to their progeny – the Maldivian people today. Those who did attempt to sell Maldivian sovereignty in return for personal ambition, were removed from office by the citizens of the country. History is testament to this, as are the events of February 7th, 2012.

Today, in their greed for power and hegemony over their own people, political parties who invested in President Waheed's national unity government have opened the gates of Maldives to foreign invasion. The leaders of these political parties are the very people who yesterday were on civic podiums 24/7 denouncing the same acts by the Nasheed regime. Be it India and GMR, the UK and David Hardingham, Israel and Ismail Saadiq, or Commonwealth and Kamalesh Sharma, the sale of Maldivian sovereignty is untenable.

Sovereignty is the power of state to do everything necessary to govern itself, including managing transfers of government. Sovereignty is the supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.

Yesterday, much to the dismay of patriotic Maldivians, Home Minister Jameel and Attorney General Azima Shakoor blithely informed the populace that the Waheed Government welcomed Commonwealth's statement calling for foreign participation in domestic affairs of state.

Dr. Waheed's open arms welcome to the Commonwealth comes close on the heals of a week of kowtowing to neighbourhood bully India. Indian press happily report India's man-o-war backed dictating of terms to the new Maldivian Government's as masterful piece of diplomacy. Two Indian man-o-wars cruised into Male' port as Foreign Secrtary Mathai flew in to soothe ex-President Nasheed's ruffled feathers. President Waheed meekly stood aside, dancing to Bollywood diplomacy.

India's dictated solution to Maldivian domestic issues was followed by an EU statement supporting the Nasheed bid for re-instatement, again left unanswered by the Waheed Government. A few hours later, in jumped the quite irrelevant Commonwealth for its fifty cents worth.

President Waheed repeatedly assures the people that it is working "for national unity", and that Maldivian national interests are safe in his hands. Unfortunately, the fumbling and dropping of Maldivian national sovereignty on its head by these very hands does little to build the people's confidence in him. Comparing their plight against the strong defense on national sovereignty by President Mahinda Rajapakse neighbouring Sri Lanka, Maldivians bow their heads in shame.

The peoples' confidence in President Waheed is further lost as he daily takes actions that he, on Day 1 of his sudden Presidency promised not to do. Examples of these include, appointing of a Presidential Commission, appointment of businessmen to ministerial level posts, and so on.

Maldivian are on the whole educated and erudite, versed in spoken and written English. The Commonwealth action group (CMAG) statement is well understood by Maldivians. No matter what spin is put on it by the Waheed Government, the statement is in clear English. It tells the Maldives to toe the line to Commonwealth dictates or it will be expelled. Maldivians can also see that the scope of the foreign participation so welcomed by Dr. Waheed and his political allies, is not just limited to an inquiry into a domestic transfer of power, but also encompasses interference in revising the nation's Constitution, in the Judiciary and in the Legislature.

The proposed Constitutional revision, while seemingly innocuous, supports an unjustified early election, a waste of public money which could be better spent to pay heavy national debt run up by Nasheed in the Canarygate Scandal. Or perhaps to build the housing units, which although promised by Nasheed within the year, have yet to even be begun. Or perhaps, to pay the medical bills accumulated under Nasheed's medical insurance scam, Assanda. Or, even better, to finance legal action to recover the millions paid in advance to MDP supporters for mega projects which never materialized.

Maldivians will be well aware that the innocuously proposed constitutional amendment will no doubt be widened to include revision of the Constitution's strong base on Islamic Shari'a and the tenets of Islam. As past history shows us, international "expert" assistance in constitutional revision in 2004-2008, yielded a draft constitution which was secular with no mention of the state religion, Islam, or adherence to Islamic Shari'a in any section of the whole draft.

The proponents of this secular constitution were Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), led by MDP MP for Male', Ibrahim Ismail. The state religion Islam and the basis of the Constitution and laws on the tenets of islam and Islamic Sharia were only included in the current Constitution due to the efforts of MPs from President Gayoom's party, Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party (DRP).

It will be interesting to watch today's massive gathering organized by the parties in government, supposedly in support of Islam and national sovereignty, to see if any of the politicians involved have the courage to stand up and say no the sellout of our national sovereignty.

With Maldivian national sovereignty and Islam under attack from both the MDP and the Waheed Government, Maldivians may recall the famous words of a respected statesman, the late Ibrahim Shihab, describing how Maldivian sovereignty was saved by true Maldivians as it drifted out of the Gaadhookolu Passage, the major marine entry to the Maldivian political capital.

Maldivians would do well to search for true patriots who would put national interest ahead of private ambition, and rescue the Maldivian nation from domestic and foreign invasion. One such individual competing as an independent may well take the Presidency in the next elections, early or as scheduled.

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