Sunday, March 11, 2012

Just My View: The Maldivian Political Crisis

I have been the quiet eyes in all of the madness that has been going on. I have listened to the activist, the protector and the unbiased. And to come to a conclusion after hearing the countless echoes of wailings and warnings and wishful thinking was quite a task. Further more, I did not want to be misinformed so I decided to do a little digging up myself; even so I hope that you will accept my apology if I may not be able to provide you with a magical solution from this. Truth is, there is rarely a situation in real life where everything is written in black and white and the solution could be a glass slipper fitted in just right. Sometimes, the glass is tainted and the slipper fits them all.

In the case of our current situation, it seems Nasheed’s glass slipper has been stolen before the clock struck midnight. Whether or not it was a coup d’etat is not the question that I’d like to probe. Given the world’s history of coups, it is no surprise that the international community isn’t rushing to our rescue in their shining armor. Most successful coup d’etats that have occurred in the world have been brought as an uprising towards remedying grievances and to implement ‘correct’ orders with a small group of politicians or military generals under the whole operation. Also, it is not uncommon to seize power over the radio and television services and proclaim themselves in power.  Sound familiar?

I truly believe that the police mutinied against the government on the 7th and hence brought about the resignation and change in government. This could be established by a simple test of causation. If not for the police mutiny would the former president have resigned? Of course, the causation should not be stopped there. If not for the illegal orders that were brought on to the police, would they have committed the mutiny. Now causation would only be a valid point if the action had been the necessary and right course that should have been taken by a reasonable person. In the situation of illegal orders, the police had clear procedures to deal with such situations included in the Police Act of 2008 in which it states that illegal orders need not be adhered to, and they can be ignored without repercussion. The fact that they used this situation to call out for the resignation of the president by using state resources against the government shows that their reaction to the situation cannot be justified.

As for nasheed’s resignation, I do not believe that a president or any other citizen should have to fear the defence and security forces of the country. In fact, up until he resigned I hoped that he had some other means of amending the situation. Even so, he did resign and later on announced that he had been forced to do so at ‘gunpoint’. Now, there could be two ways to go about this; If he was held at ‘gunpoint’ or coerced and intimidated into doing so with no other means, this would be justifiable causation for him to resign. If not, and if he did have other means of controlling the situation at hand….simply put, he must have been out of his mind to give up the presidency that he had worked so hard for. I know that it is not very scholarly of me to say that, but I see no logical scenario in which a person who has suffered and been tortured in his strife to be where he was, just simply give it up when he had any other way. Even so, I would like to address this unlikely situation as well, and in such a case, he would have done so without duress and ultimately be seen as just a president resigning from his post and the vice president taking over it under a presidential succession. Even in this scenario, the mutinous police and mndf cannot be justified.

So, where does this leave us? I don’t see how the international community will be able to help us out of this mess when we are not willing to do so ourselves. Shows and publicity stunts will get us so far. The Inquiry Commission, enacted by Dr. Waheed is currently undertaking the responsibility of determining whether this was a coup d’etat or not. In the somewhat unlikely situation where they work completely unbiased and draw out the conclusion that it indeed was a coup d’etat, what would happen then? Would there be another election? I suppose the answer is yes. Even so, when we are probing into the question, the Inquiry Commission should not stop just there.

They should also be probing into the context of the coup and whether or not it could be justifiable. Even though, there can be no justification for the brutality by either side as well as the security forces, there have been numerous occasions in th history of the world where coups have been accepted as a sort of 'necessary evil' in order to get rid of dictatorships and such. Also, after the inquiry there must be harsh penalties for whoever was responsible for the crimes that had been committed, Maumoon, Anni, MNDF, Police or otherwise. Even though we do not have a law that governs mutiny, we do have terrorism laws that could help to ensure that none of these crimes go unpunished. It is a dangerous thing to allow what happened to be set as precedence for it may lead to the kind of situation that plagues other countries like Pakistan in which the military acts as a ‘savior’ of the nation everytime there is a political turmoil. The people elect their president, the people should be the ones taking the responsibility to ensure that the president and the elected members work in their best interest. And if it is not so, they must be the ones who rally and protest and if need arises, force their resignation. Not the security forces who are under oath to protect and serve us and our leaders alike. Who should be serving the public in general, not just the ‘90%’ or whatever the percentage may be.

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