A New Crime In Paradise

Oh well…the same old dark side of Maldives, another prominent political resignation, prisoners having their own way, bunch of foreign prostitutes getting caught and police follow through on the drug issue. Yawn…nothing new. But….OH SHIT!!! Crack my nuts in half, the cops caught a paedophile. Not JUST a paedophile but a five star one. A child porn director/producer. My my. Now this is news.

This guy, apparently, lured 35 children into having sexual acts with him. Oh wait…CRAP! They were all male children, in other words-boys. According to police, this guy had taken high resolution pictures and videos of the boys while in the act, with him and with other boys. Shit…this is so disgusting that I could feel my gastric remains up my neck. Here we go guys, something new, a homosexual child porn network in paradise.

Police website states that they identified only four children out of the 35 boys. They ask all parents who know this chimp-faced guy to contact the police. This number could actually rise. The worst thing is that most boys were 10-11 years old in the pictures and videos and some of these boys have turned eighteen since then. Meaning this has been going on for ages.

The man was caught on allegation of taking part in alcohol trade. But his computer hard disk had a lot more than that to say. He lured the boys using alcohol, money, movies, video games and other similar means. This is disgusting but not surprising at the rate our crime rate has sky-rocketed fuelled by money, alcohol and drugs.

Hey that’s ok though. He will end up in Maafushi Island Resort. Our newest five star resort where prisoners shower with mineral water, eat dates on gold plated skewers and take drugs at will. He wouldn’t have to worry about being banged by guys as he will enjoy it. Hooray for the Maldives justice system?

Anyway people, we have a new coin added to our criminal piggy bank. Paedophiles ain’t nothing new, but child homosexual pornography is. Our parents have been so ignorant letting their children trust strangers and letting them stay alone with distance relatives and friends. Things have changed. A repeated word of caution parents, WAKE THE F**K UP!!


References:

http://www.police.gov.mv/?n=2701&lang=dh

http://www.haveeru.com.mv/?page=details&id=79746


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Obama Did Not Make History

Well…Obama would be sitting in his Oval Office punching numbers on his phone right now. After an inauguration attended and watched by a record number of crowds, boy would he be proud. Being the first African-American president of the United States is a real change in the marginalised US of A. Oh, I’m sorry! Let’s get back to that. Is Obama African-American?

In fact, Obama is as Caucasian as he is Black. He is as Irish as he is African. It’s a bit unfair for Caucasians to classify Obama as an African-American rather than an Irish-American isn’t it? So when Americans chant that history has been made, is it true?

obama-taking-oath-of-presidency

If we classify Obama as someone of mixed race, would he have made history? Actually Abraham Lincoln was the first mixed race president of the United States. Not Barack Hussain Obama. So why is the media so frenzy about Obama being elected as president of the US of A? Why such a fuss?

We all know that the former president of US of A messed things up pretty bad in his eight years. Well, Obama is the saviour, the Messiah. He came to save the Americans from a war-torn Iraq, the crippling economy and all the injustices bestowed by G.W.Bush. Much like how Mr. Nasheed saved us from Mr. Maumoon. Obama is the Messiah who would lift America as a popularly credible World leader once again.

Why is the World so interested and excited about who takes the Oval office? I’ll tell you why. If America tumbles the World falls over, if America sneezes the World catches a cold and importantly if they make an error the World gets punished. So we all wanted a change in the US of A’s domestic and international policy.

Lets see how Obama waves his magic wand and get the US economy running, lets see how the marginalised ethnicities in the US will prevail, lets see how democratic Iraq would be when he removes the US forces in 16 months, lets see how crippled the Talebans and Al-Qaeda get when he injects troops into Afghanistan, let us see how the US would rank in human rights when he closes Guantanamo Prison, lets see how Israelis and Palestinians would find an everlasting peace and lets see how a defying Iran is befriended and tamed.

Obama is a politician, politicians only say what people want to hear. It is apparent he is an excellent orator, a thousand times better than G.W.Bush. Obama obviously didn’t make history by being the first mixed race president. But actions speak louder than words; let’s inspect him after he really makes history by cleaning the mess left by G.W.Bush.

Welcome a Hazy 2009

As we look around the corner to the year 2009, the world’s crisis points have erupted into uncertain highs. As us, the Maldivians, sceptically go through the honeymoon period of a new government, 2009 doesn’t look so promising with the financial tsunami that has been ravaging the world expected to hit us hard. With the financial crisis at hand the security situation around us and beyond seems to have pressed the collapse button.

As long expected the Sri Lankan capital has been hit with a suicide attack, killing five civil defence personnel. This would, unfortunately, be one of the many attacks which would terrorise the island nation, as the fall of the LTTE is inevitable. The LTTE has opened their war on all fronts it seems. Sri Lanka and the World hope to see an end to this long running civil war  in 2009, which could be a great achievement wh2009 closes down.

The two giants of South Asia, India and Pakistan have been flexing their military might since the terror attack on Mumbai. Pakistan has been re-deploying over twenty thousand extra troops from its Afghani war front to its eastern border with India. Pakistani Air Force has also been conducting aggressive air space patrol after an alleged Indian Air Force violation of the Pakistani air space. The two nuclear armed neighbours had fought three wars in the past and 2009 comes as another is imminent.

The world’s longest ongoing conflict has resumed again. The fighting erupted as a fragile Egyptian brokered truce collapsed as Hamas and Israelis started pointing fingers and breaching it since November 4th. The included continuous Gaza blockade which angered the Palestinians, which followed Qassam rocket attacks into the State of Israel. Finally, this has met with aggressive IDF air strikes on selected targets in Hamas controlled Gaza Strip  from Saturday.

Since Saturday, IDF air strikes has taken over 270 Palestinian lives and this conflict is expected to further expand as IDF ground troops prepare for an incursion into Gaza. Analysts predict that the mission of this IDF operation is to overthrow the Hamas lead government in Gaza. It could also be high time before Hezbollah slaps IDF troops in support for Hamas. 2009 might open another deja vu of the 2006 summer conflict in Middle East.

It looks like 2009 is a bit hazy in terms of peace, stability and security. Anyway, all we can hope for is a happy new year.

Bordering Conflicts and Instability

The conflict and terror infested South Asia has taken another major down turn by the terror attacks in the industrial capital of India, Mumbai. Media reports over a hundred deaths and over two hundred injured. Officials claim that these numbers could rise, since the situation is still not under control.

mumbai

The attackers were known to pin point westerners, specifically British and US citizens, as their targets. These Al-Qaeda hallmarked attacks on westerners in Mumbai would be a blow to its economy as well as the tourism industry of the Maharashtra state and India as a whole. The failure of regional and global intelligence agencies to warn off such an attack is appalling. After 9-11, everyone would expect at least one intelligence service roaming around the region to pick up an attack of such a scale.

SRI LANKA-UNREST

This disturbing development is not appealing news for us in the Maldives. We are surrounded by conflicts which may directly or indirectly affect our economy or even national security. As the fall of Kilinochchi is imminent in Sri Lanka; the LTTE would be expected to give a never seen before defensive which may go beyond northern Sri Lanka. Pakistan tries hard to curb terror influences with slow progress and while facing strict resistance. Much further west in the Indian Ocean, pirates from Somalia are carrying out their piracy operations further and further out into the open sea, while International naval vessels are on patrol.

Although far away, the Maldives is not immune from the conflicts in the region. The gun running vessel sunk by our Coast Guard early last year was evident enough of that. These remnants of regional conflicts and instability will trickle down on us in various forms. Examples could be unexpected effects on our economy, influx of escapee combatants disguised as civilians, flood of refugees or illegal immigrants before or after the conflicts ends.

With so many resorts being operated in the Maldives, it is in our own interests to protect the tourism industry from similar or an attack inspired by the one on Mumbai. We know that there are Al-Qaeda sympathizers in the Maldives and we could expect a similar attack, maybe not of such a form or scale as Mumbai, on our tourist islands targeting westerners. Contingencies need to be put in place on how to cope and curb such an attack. Most of all preventative measures should be taken from this point onwards as our surrounding proves to be unstable and plagued by terror attacks.

extremist

These warning signs need to be taken into consideration while evaluating our national security strategies. In a time when the world is going through the worst economic crisis in modern history, we cannot afford to loose our tourism industry to a terror attack. I assume that the concerned authorities are monitoring the events surrounding us closely.

Military Training under the Stars and Stripes (Part-1)

Military training is not easy and definitely not fun. Some experiences are worth sharing but some are so humiliating that these experiences remain on the training facility after we leave. None other than the ones who’ve gone through a grueling military boot-camp would know what I’m talking about. The harshness of going through the training among fellow country men is one thing, but imagine going through this among foreigners in a foreign country.

academy1It was eight years ago, I arrived at New London, Connecticut at the US of A. Home to the US Coast Guard Academy. I was received at the airport by a very nice young African-American woman. On the way to the Academy we did a good amount of chit chat which I had to cut short when I found out she was going to be my instructor for the next four months. Choosing my words carefully I made friends with my new instructor, who was a Lieutenant (a captain in our rank structure) in the USCG.

After spending my night at a visitor accommodation in the Academy premises, I was woken up by the knocks on the door. The same instructor was standing in full uniform. She told me to pick up my luggage and follow her asap. I thought it could be the uniform, but she wasn’t the nice woman I met the day before anymore. I changed, washed myself and packed my luggage and followed her. I didn’t have time to look around the foreign environment of the academy as I was struggling myself with the luggage, which was heavy as hell. I have over-packed as always.

I was taken to a storeroom where I put away my entire luggage. She then directed me with a drill sergeant gesture into a hall. The hall was filled with confused looking faces of to-be future officers of the USCG. It was a mixture of gender, race and color. We were not allowed to say a word. They gave us a bunch of forms to fill. The environment was so intense. I was given a name badge with my last name ‘Mujuthaba’ written in capital. Underneath my name was engraved ‘United States Coast Guard’. From this point on I knew I was one of them and was I right.

ocs

When our self introduction to Officer Candidate Class of 04-00 was over, I found out that I was one of the two international students taking part in the training. The other guy was Haitian. The class had a blend of academic degrees. Officer Candidate School (OCS) was for civilians as well as military enlisted personnel from all the military branches of the US. We had personnel from USCG, USMC, USAF and US-A. Me? I was from the Maldives National Security Service (Now, Maldives National Defence Force). After being addressed by the Chief of OCS, we were taken to the barber.

No, we didn’t have a say in the style of our hair cut. They just trimmed the sides and the back of the head to zero. I didn’t mind this, as I knew this was something coming. It was sad to see some of my new classmates losing their well cared hair. So we walked back again in a single line, hands by the sides (not swinging), eyes front and squaring corners. It would be a funny scene to watch an OC walk but wasn’t funny when we actually did it. I was then taken to the uniform area, where I was given the USCG uniforms. Officially I’m OC Mujuthaba of the USCG. To be continued…

Victory Day: One Sacrifice Dwarfed by Another

And reckon not those who are killed in Allah’s way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord” (Al-Imran:169)

As we celebrate the birth of democracy, today is another day which deserves commemoration. It has been twenty years since a number of Maldivians shed their blood for the independence which we rejoice today.

In the dawn of November 3, 1988, funded by a few power hungry Maldivians, Sri Lankan mercenaries belonging to the ‘PLOTE’ attacked the capital Male’. The chaotic images of the day are still visible to me. The thunder of gun-fire that woke me up is still ringing my ears. Living under-attack is not a pleasant feeling.

The mounted offensive by the NSS forces inside the headquarters repelled the ‘PLOTE’ attacks. The RPG blown wall of the battered NSS-HQ is a reminder of the strength in which the enemy attacked. We have to remember the courage of eleven soldiers lead by Capt. Moosa Ali Jaleel (now Brigadier) who went out on a recon mission outside the side gates while still under fire. The section lost four of their colleagues to enemy fire. These soldiers managed to complete their mission and re-enter the HQ still under fire.

Today we honor Cpl. Hussain Adam for the brave return of fire, which gave the HQ personnel time to get over the surprise attack of the enemy. Instead of hiding inside the guard-post, he opened fire at the enemy, pushing back their advance and giving our forces time to plan and retaliate. Cpl. Hussain Adam did save our independence on the day by giving away the advantage of surprise the enemy had.

We should not forget the courageous civilians who lost their lives in the line of fire during the attack and the hostage crisis which followed. They are truly martyrs who gave their life for the benefit of others. It saddens me to hear stories which accommodate the cowardly acts of few soldiers when much can be said about the brave. Our forces actually fought and protected this nation. Even under the hail of bullets and explosives, the soldiers inside fought bravely; the NSS-HQ was never taken.

Let us not forget the soldiers of the 50th Independent Para Regiment of the Indian Army under, Col. S.C. Joshi, who landed in the Maldives, knowing the threat. The Indian Naval vessels INS Godavari and INS Tir did a commendable work in capturing the mercenaries and securing most of the hostages. On a military training to the US in 2000, I met a Malaysian Naval commander, who told me the story of how his ship was diverted to assist the Maldives in the wake of the attack. After the intervention by the Indian forces, the ship was told to abort the mission. Sri Lankan STF commandos and the Diego Garcia based US Marines were also on stand-by to assist the Maldives.

The day, 20 years ago told us a lot. It is us who writes history and remembers the courage of the brave men and women (military or civilian) who sacrificed for our prosperity and independence. Just as we remember the sacrifice some of us made to re-install democracy in the country five days ago, we should not forget that some of us did sacrifice a lot 20 years ago.

As the Victory Day is dwarfed by our celebration for a new era of democracy, we should take a moment to thank those who saved, protected and assisted us on 3rd November 1988. As we pay tribute to the eight soldiers and eleven civilians who fell for us twenty years ago, we should not forget the fact that heroes of that day still live among us.

Embrace this Example of Democracy

In the run-off, as most expected, Mr. Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) has won the race for presidency. After 30-years of presidency, current president, Mr. Maumoon Abdul Qayoom has about fourteen days left in office. This election has in a number of ways been a landmark election in our history.

The main reason for this election to be marked is the non-existing election violence or disruption. In politically volatile countries and those ruled by long-serving and undemocratic leaders exchange of power is rarely peaceful. Today, our political leaders have set out a great example for our future.

On behalf of current president Qayoom, for accepting defeat and lending a hand to the future government; all before official results were announced. Credit is also deserved by the in-coming president Nasheed, for never looking back at the past, forgiving and giving the repute and honor for the out-going president.

Today, we cannot forget the political leaders, specifically of the Wathan Edhey Gothah coalition, for their denunciation for any type of political violence. The act by these political leaders and the out-going and in-coming president has set out an example that needs to be embraced for futures to come.

The political cohesion is crucial for the nation to overcome the hurdles of developing it. This unity and co-operation is needed to overcome the tsunami of the financial crisis which may hit us any time. Other secondary challenges facing us are immense. Hence, as a nation we have all held hands to march forward, as brothers and sisters showing the world the beautiful example of what democracy is all about.

I’m proud that I’m witnessing this, far away it maybe, but this sure is a moment I can never forget. Everyone should embrace this example of democracy and never let go.