This Week in Maldives: December 11

Filed in This Week In Maldives by on December 12, 2016 1 Comment

Because I finally could sleep, but now I feel old. This week I look at easily impressed youth, judicial colloquiums, another human rights day of holding posters, and setting the record straight on Shigella and Cholera.

These are short takes on the headlines of the week gone by

Gender Minister shares message to Persons with Disabilities.

A surprisingly thoughtful Minister Zenysha shared her message in sign language, and also tweeted out a short video clip.

I have no idea what she said, but still, kudos to her. This is the single most classy thing anyone in this regime has done since grabbing power almost five years ago.

But then, it is also the only classy thing they’ve ever come up with, so…

Maldives has achieved a modern judiciary, says Chief Justice

According to media reports, the judiciary organized a colloquium this week called ‘Doing Business in Maldives – A Judicial Perspective’. Speaking at the colloquium, Chief Justice Saeed claimed that Maldives had “a modern day system that enables swift justice”.

At this point, I had to stop and google the word ‘colloquium’.

It apparently means ‘an academic conference or seminar’ and not – as one might reasonably deduce from context – ‘a stand-up comedy event with lousy jokes’.

Concerned about leaking of bank details: YAG

Someone invited President Yameen to this colloquium thing too.

Image source: Maldives Indepenent

There he made two primary complaints, both of which – on the surface of it – seem quite heartfelt.

a) He complained about bank details being leaked by employees. (By which, I assume conscientious employees like Gasim Abdul-Kareem, who just spent several months behind bars for revealing the theft of state funds by YAG’s regime)

b) He said anti-money laundering mechanisms are an unnecessary burden.

Of course. So are citizens, I imagine. We are all just giant, nasty flies in YAG’s soup. Think about it. All these laws and democratic practices, and people and whistle-blowers and foreign governments and things getting in his way. No wonder the man wears a perpetual scowl.

Inflation soars due to subsidy cut

In other words, Magoofaiy will soon become unaffordable. No matter, we still have endless aqeeda to fill our hearts, if not our stomachs.

Katti Hivvaru youth festival concludes

Hipsters from all over the country descended on Billabong school this week for a four day youth festival – with music, art, craft and poetry.

I mistook myself for a young man, and foolishly decided to visit the festival. I paid a 25 rufiyaa entrance fee, got a paper wristband in return, and bravely ventured forth.

Seconds later, surrounded by an ocean of easily thrilled, loud, hyperactive kids in strange clothes, it dawned on me that I was probably too old for that level of excitement. (Bloody kids would throw their hands in the air and scream in excitement just seeing each other. Back in our day, we used to shake hands, or politely ignore one another)

I fled within minutes with my ageing ear drums barely intact. Just in time too, because cops arrived soon after and shut the event down. Apparently, some goons took exception to a map by (the excellent-) #nufoshey campaign against street harassment, on which visitors stuck pins to mark locations where they had been harassed.

Image source: @nufoshey

Quite evidently, harassing girls (often younger than 14) on the street is way more fun than being called out for it.

If you are old and boring like me, though, I would recommend you stay at home and watch future festivals via web streams. In fact, before you do anything else, watch this brilliant spoken word poetry by Aisha Hussain Rasheed.

 

Maumoon calls for free media, investigation in Rilwan case

Maumoon is the Gary Oldman of political stances. He slips into any role he wants so perfectly, it is hard to recognize the actor behind it.

This man ruled with an iron fist for decades, and then styled himself the father of democracy. For decades, he stifled free media, censored newspapers and websites, and imprisoned and tortured journalists. He created an entire generation of slimy, disgusting PR agents (who these days mistake themselves for ‘senior journalists’) – and now talks about free media.

He remained silent for 850 days about Ahmed Rilwan (despite our past appeals for help), and now suddenly expresses deep concerns for our abducted friend.

And you thought Gary Oldman was the only brilliant actor to have never won an Oscar.

Human Rights day is all about Rilwan

I was invited to participate in a two day long Human Rights conference late last week – just the kind of place where you get smothered by thoughts of a forcibly disappeared human rights defender. This December 10 marked 855 days since Rilwan’s abduction – and the police inaction continues.

On Human Rights day, social media burst again with renewed calls for justice for Rilwan, with the hashtag #FindMoyameehaa. Aishath Aniya of Minivan Radio would read out the tweets during her morning show. I happen to know that Rilwan’s family listens to the show regularly – and sometimes it gets overwhelming, and it makes them cry.

I miss him a lot too.

This human rights day, I got to record a special podcast dedicated to Rilwan with Muju Naeem as part of his #FikureeIngilaabu series.

The conversation is partly in English (because I still can’t dhivehi very well), and partly in a language that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike dhivehi (because I try)

You can watch it in its entirety here.

 

“Was PSM any different under MDP govt?”, asks Umar Naseer 

This isn’t the first time Umar Naseer’s seemingly confused about shigella and cholera. As good citizens, we must help this man. I’ll flesh out the answers here, and you print a copy and fax it to him.

Let’s tackle this one thing at a time.

1. Was PSM any different under MDP govt? 

Yes. Primarily because there was no PSM under MDP government.

2. Can’t tell the difference between shigella and cholera

I had to look up WebMD for this.

Shigella, it appears, is a a type of food poisoning caused by bacterial infection that primarily affects toddlers with no toilet training. It could also result from swimming in sewage contaminated water.

Cholera, on the other hand, is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death. This is due to a bacterium called vibrio cholerae, which is most frequently contracted from municipal water supplies and street food – and also from seafood caught in waters polluted with sewage.

To put it in terms even a Muizzu can understand: if you swim at Rasfannu, and come down with fever, stomach cramps, and bloody diarrhoea, you probably have shigella.

On the other hand, if you recently ate a fish you caught from Rasfannu, and experience dryness in your throat, low BP, and severe dehydration – then you probably have cholera.

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  1. aadhu says:

    Minister Zenysha video has subtitles… 🙂 just saying…

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