Global Issues

Mohamed Nasheed: Stamping out the dregs of dictatorship (VIDEO)

Posted by: Bgiussani

Three weeks ago, the first democratically elected president of the island nation of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, was ousted in a coup that brought back to power supporters of the past regime.

One of the TED’s curators, Bruno Giussani, had been in discussion with Nasheed and his entourage about a possible talk on climate change and the vital challenge that rising sea levels represent for the Maldives. Indeed, the group of islands in the Indian Ocean are the lowest country on Earth, with the highest point at just 2.4 meters (7 feet and a half) above sea level, and Nasheed has been a very active and vocal proponent of serious measures. At the end of March “The Island President“, a film about Nasheed and his environmental fight will open in American theatres and, later, in other countries. It was finished before the coup, and it’s a must-see for anyone interested in climate change, but also in the situation of small countries and in the way the global decision-making process functions.

When Nasheed was forced to resign, the discussion between TED and his team remained open, but another theme became more urgent: what Nasheed, in an op-ed article a few days ago in the New York Times, called the “dregs of dictatorship”. On that topic, yesterday, in a makeshift “studio” in the Maldives, Nasheed recorded a short talk that was shown this morning at TED in Long Beach. It’s a powerful and important cautionary tale for many countries that are transitioning to democracy. In his words: “I believe that the events in the Maldives represent a warning for other Muslim nations undergoing democratic reform: dictators can be removed in a day, but it can take years to stamp out the lingering remnants of their authoritarian rule.”

Here is Nasheed’s recorded talk:

Comments (5)

  • Sobah Rasheed commented on Feb 14 2013

    We elected Nasheed with a lot of hope. But he disappointed us all Maldivians. He may give pre written speeches like this on global fora including TED. But the fact is that he is a stuntman and just use these tools to fudge reality and bring forward his own agenda. So it may be worth the global community to really do a background check on this person. Here are the reasons why he disappointed us Maldivians.

    1. We elected him to uphold our constitution – He ridiculed and ditched our constitution
    2. We elected him for better healthcare – he ruined the health system
    3. We elected him to for better education – he messed it up
    4. We elected him to for a better economy – he made maldives poorer
    5. We elected him to uphold religious values – he challenged
    6. We elected him for the freedom he talks about in this video – He took our liberty away
    7. We elected him for national unity and social well-being – He decided the society & created polarization
    8. We elected him to uphold rule of law – He didn’t give a dam to law. Continuously broke law
    9. We elected him for better distribution of wealth – He gave our wealth to his cronies
    10. We elected him for a decentralized government – He failed to establish decentralization
    11. We elected him for social harmony – He made gangs thrive
    12. We elected him to stop entry of drugs – He openly advocated freedom of drug use
    13. We elected him for better human rights – He and his cronies established human trafficking business and violated human rights
    14. We elected him for better democracy – He turned a brutal Dictator (went to the extent of abducting judges and political leaders)
    15. We elected him to bring an end to violent gangs and Drugs – He established a network of gangs and began the lucrative trade if drug dealings and made Maldives a safe haven for drug dealers.
    16. We elected him to provide us safety and security – He created fear and unrest through gangs and thugs.

    The list is endless. So I am sad to say that it is a shame for a reputed web portal for spreading “ideas worth spreading” like TED to have included in their portal video of the most undemocratic, brutal dictator the peaceful Maldives have ever seen. He is a disgrace to the Maldives. Nasheed clearly suffers from Antisocial personality disorder and I am not surprised he’s able to fudge things beyond notice to sane and reputed people like those who run TED.

  • Yameen Rasheed commented on Apr 7 2012

    I see that the apologists of the brutal Gayoom dictatorship in the Maldives are flocking to websites to distort the nature of the coup d’etat that overthrew the country’s first democratically elected President, Mohamed Nasheed.

    The truth is simple. After just 3 years, forces loyal to the dictatorship have once again stripped the Maldivians of the liberty to rule over themselves.

    Among these are corrupt businessmen, a corrupt judiciary, rogue police and military and characters in various so called independent commissions and panels.

    Nasheed had a huge challenge in rebuilding the inherited disaster of an economy, and educating the people against the the interests of the powerful oligarchy that has for years been nourished and sustained by the 30 year long dictatorship to protect itself.

    Nasheed is a champion of democracy, and he will continue to be. Apologists of the coup have no business, nor moral right to label him otherwise.

  • Pingback: » Anni’s Op-Eds (Maldivian Winter, Maldivian Spring)

  • Aisha Shamma commented on Mar 2 2012

    The real message and warning for Arab Spring Countries is to be aware of leaders like Nasheed who comes to power in the name of democracy and maintained the status quo of the previous dictator. Nasheed used democracy merely as a tool to come to power. His 3 year rule was no different to the dictator Gayoom’s characterised by high profile corruption (including a 21m$ project awarded to one of his MPs for reclamation of land/awarding of islands to his party officials without bidding for resort development), arbitrary arrests of opposition leaders (2 in july 2010 n several soon after the new year in Jan 2012), continuous intimidation and threats to media including warnings to revoke broadcasting liscences and his party mob setting a local tv station on fire while broadcasting live), systematic sidelining of law and the democratic constitution we adopted in 2008 and recently in the detention of a chief judge in an undisclosed location without charge indefinitely in Jan 2012. As for human rights and combating extremism, Nasheed offered the religious Adhaalath Party to join his government, created the first ministry of islamic affairs and formally endorsed the Party to manage this sensitive portfolio. Last year, Nasheed also arrested a human rights campaigner in the Malidives who called for religious freedom in the Maldives. Nasheed is celebrated globally as the champion of democracy but he was never able to live up to that with his people. The people of Maldives is yet to see true democracy, a sincere leader who can change the status quo. So here it is, THE REAL MESSAGE TO ALL NATIONS AND PEOPLES FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRACY, BE AWARE OF LEADERS LIKE NASHEED, OPPORTUNISTS WHO USE DEMOCRACY AS A TOOL TO COME TO POWER BUT MAINTAIN DICTATORSHIPS THAT LASTED 30 YEARS BY RULING IN THE SAME MANNER.

  • Maldives 2030 commented on Mar 2 2012

    I am writing from the Maldives.

    Pls read my small text here. I just want to describe you the facts on ground about Mohamaed Nasheed (the former


    (1) has no respect for the law, the constitution, and enforcement authorities of the this country

    (2) has no respect for (a) parliament (b) the judiciary. pls see headlines before 7th September for details

    (3) his party is not even democratic. none of the senior leaders are elected. are being called for violence. put

    fire on public properties including a dozen police stations and a dozen court houses. Nasheed made no public

    condemnation on these illicit and barbaric acts of his supporters.

    Nasheeed in past has been jailed on a number of occasion while calling for democracy, and for which he got a lot of


    in the first round of presidential elections Nasheed got only 25% of voting. in the second round he formed coalition

    with most of the member in the current government including Waheed, and he got 52 percent in this round

    soon after, due to extremist elements within Nasheed’s party MDP [e.g. Reeko Moosa, Maria, Zaki, Sarangu,

    Musthafa...] he slowly became autocratic removing almost all members from the said coalition, while Waheed remained

    still as the VP.

    While in power had given many unlawful and unconstitutional acts, such as the lock down of the supreme courts,

    disobeying to court rulings, employing corrupt people around his, not obeying guidance from independent institutions

    .. such as Anti Corruption Commission, Human Rights Commission, Auditor general, continued to go on this…

    then, mass protests went on street for a 22 day period [till 7th February], due to kidnapping of supreme court judge

    by the police and keeping him in isolation in a military island, not allowing him to meet his family…police were

    given orders to forcefully to disperse protests in this 22 day protests.. gave orders to allow MDP activists to

    attack the protesters protesting against Nasheed. the police were upset for this, they joined the protesters. btw

    the constitution allows, the police just like any other individual to peacefully protest, and not obey unlawful

    orders from any one under any circumstance.. all of this lead to the fall of Nasheed, and his regime…

    importantly Waheed has more respect and interest for democracy to work in the Maldives. For decades he had been

    working in the UN system, prioritizes on mitigation in times of conflicts, he holds a a Master’s and Doctorate

    degree in Political Science, plus there are almost none, of questions of integrity before the said coup, and these

    facts are incomparable to that of Nasheed.

    So i here by urge to verify all of this, from the relevant authories, such Elections commission, human rights

    commission, the parliment president, judicial service commission, auditor general, anti corruption commssion… just
    by listening to Nasheed cannot bring out a report.. we need to know there’s always two sides to a coin. so pls pls,

    times of india, the guardian, Sunday times, Forbes, the economist, AP, Reuters, or any other international media…

    see these facts before writing up your reports…

    Thank You!

    Former president Mr. Mohamed Nasheed gave 6 reasons for his resignation so far. They are:
    1. To prevent the Country from chaos and avoid pressure from the International community. ( 07.02.2012)
    2. He was forced to resign at gun point. (08.02.2012)
    3. In order to have a mid term election which he promised the country before he came to power. (09.02.2012)
    4. Government was overthrown by a coup organised by Yameen and Gasim (10.02.2012).
    5. Because of his calls for drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, was forced to resign—at gunpoint – NGC

    6. Sheikh Ilyas gave a religious speech turned police and MNDF to an Angry Mob, forcing him to resign (27.02.2012).
    waiting for more……………..


    I remember why the supreme court was locked by Former President Mr. Nasheed in the first place.

    Thank god we are having justice now. To stop kind illicit acts, corruption and bribery in the society we need to

    respect and abide by the law and follow court orders accordingly. In the same instance, we need to ask ourselves:

    (1) who is more corrupt?
    (2) who has broken the legal institutions framework of this nation?
    (3) who lies more?
    (4) who has better capacity? current or former?

    undoubtedly Mr. Nasheed has been popular in the past for being jailed on numerous occasions for which he got a lot

    of public support. later when he got into power he slowly changed. removed all members who helped him to gain power.

    broke the constitution multiple times including kidnapping of the supreme court chief judge.

    surely, Nasheed is no longer democratic. and he no doubt needs to pace for better changes.