‘Three blind men, see how they cheat!’
Thursday Review by Upul Joseph Fernando
The appointment of Ranil Wickremasinghe was a surprise not only to Sri Lankans but also to the entire world. However, the first foreign diplomat who paid a curtesy visit to him was Mohamed Nasheed, who is the speaker of Maldives’ The People’s Majlis (Rayyithunge Majilis)’. Ranil nominated him as the intermediary to canvas loans for “bankrupt” Sri Lanka. A day after Nasheed’s meeting with Ranil, a Maldivian newspaper carried a somewhat different article.
A few excerpts of that article are produced below.
According to the news source, Nasheed had visited Sri Lanka recently and met some Sri Lankan political strong individuals and had talks. Mahinda’s first telephone call after his resignation as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has been to Nasheed. Mahinda has requested him to allow his family to stay in the Maldives until Sri Lanka is peaceful.
Nasheed accepted the job. He had initiated talks through a Maldivian multi-millionaire to purchase a US $12 million valued palace for the Rajapakse family and another US $3 million valued palace for his security personnel and office staff. Prior to this, Mahinda had discussions with one of his close friends, billionaire Mohammed Musa, a tourist industry giant in the Maldives, about keeping Mahinda’s family in one of his palaces.
On refusal of this, Nasheed informed Mahinda that Musa was not a trustworthy individual. Mahinda turns towards Nasheed after this. Nasheed’s billionaire, whom he reached out to buy the safe palace for the Rajapakse family, is an associate of their financial fraud. The palace consists of many luxury facilities, which include swimming pools and gyms. Mahinda has given an assurance to Nasheed that in return for the help he and the Rajapakse family will give him, with colossal financial consideration.
Nasheed and the Rajapakse families’ friendship has a long history. Nasheed’s political party was established in Sri Lanka. Then-Maldivian President Abdul Gayoom prohibited the formation of political parties in the Maldives. Nasheed came to Sri Lanka and got hold of the foreign media, established his political party and got media publicity. That was in 2003. Then Sri Lanka’s prime minister was Ranil.
The opposition leader was Mahinda. The friendship Nasheed had with Ranil and Mahinda was a great strength for Nasheed’s political activities. In 2005, when Mahinda became the president, Nasheed got more strength for his political activities. During the 2008 election time, Nasheed’s party provided financial support to Mahinda. The Rajapakse and Nasheed families dominate the political landscapes of Sri Lanka and the Maldives by appointing family members to senior and powerful positions in the governing mechanisms.
This was the article that was published in the “Maldivian Journal” newspaper. After reading this article, Nasheed tweeted that its contents were not true. But today it has surfaced as true on a Maldivian website, “Empire on Line News”, which reported it last week. They reported Gotabaya’s safe passage to the Maldives was facilitated by Nasheed.
The Maldives Civil Aviation Authority had objected to Gotabaya’s landing in the Maldives on a Sri Lankan Air Force flight. But due to Nasheed’s intervention, it was made possible, the website reported further. At the moment, the Maldives is rife with anti-Nasheed sentiments and by sheltering a dictator who destroyed Sri Lanka, according to media reports, Nasheed has tarnished the country’s good name among Sri Lankans, who consider the Maldives to be their second home.
By what Nasheed did, the Maldives are seen as a country that turned its back on Sri Lankans’ “aragalaya” campaign, launched to get rid of corrupt politicians.
How a single man become important when millions starve?
When millions of Sri Lankans are starving, how does the security of a single man become important to the Maldives…? The chief editor of a leading newspaper is supposed to have said this.
The Maldives’ chief opposition has condemned the provision of shelter to Gotabaya. National Party questioned the government’s basis on which the government provided security to Gotabaya and brought a motion in parliament opposing this move.
Mahinda and Namal were close friends. Nasheed facilitated a meeting between the Maldives president and Namal when Namal visited the Maldives to participate in water sports. When the incumbent president of the Maldives took his oath of office, Mahinda was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka due to a constitutional coup. But Naseed extended a special invitation to Namal to participate in their oath ceremony.
Like Nasheed like Rajapaksa
On February 07th, 2012, against Maldives president Nasheed, Maldivians staged a huge protest similar to the Sri Lankan protest against Rajapaksa’s today. When he ordered to arrest the chief justice, the public gathered in the streets. This is what happened to Rajapakse today in Sri Lanka.
Nasheed had to resign as the President. During that time, he fled for security to Sri Lanka. In 2015, when he was to be arrested for charges levied against him for aiding and abetting terrorists, he came to Sri Lanka for safety. In 2012, Mahinda helped him as the President. In 2015, Ranil helped him as prime minister.
The Rajapakse family, Nasheed and Ranil triangle’s intention is now clear. The ambition of this triangle is to crown Namal and bring Rajapaksa into a royal circle. When Gota was taken to safety, Ranil became Sri Lanka’s acting president because of this motto. In ancient times, when a king was dead, they were supposed to entrust some devils known as ‘bahirawaya ‘to protect their wealth and hidden treasures. The Rajapaksa family has entrusted a local and international ( bahirawaya) devil to protect their wealth and treasure. The local devil is Ranil. The international devil is Nasheed.
Upul Joseph Fernando