Dear President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom,
I write to, respectfully but urgently, request your intervention in the very troubling situation unfolding at and around the Faafu Atoll and Islands in Maldives. We write today to address the national threat of “Sale of Faafu Attol and Islands” to Saudi Arabia.
The Government’s first priority must be protecting the land and heritage of our beautiful paradise. The second priority is suspending all Government contracts for “Sale of Faafu Attol” project until the public unrest is completely answered. To my mind, the ruling PPM(Y) government should have never approved “Sale of Faafu Attol” in the first place. Moreover, it is deeply distressing to me that the ruling PPM(Y) government is putting the profits of the Saudi Arabia ahead of the sovereign rights of local Maldivian communities. To my mind, it is simply unacceptable to even think of a project like this, without the approval of the local Maldivian residents who live there.
We all Maldivians do unanimously agree on inadequate address to the concerned voices raised by thousands of different Maldivians, and the youth of various local communities residing in Faafu atoll. Furthermore, while the government’s official statements represents your administration’s lack of interest in answering the queries of concerned Maldivians, the youth of Maldives wonder if the ruling PPM(Y) government is thinking good about the Maldivians and questioning whether or not this country’s ruling government truly cares about us. Especially when the President cannot voice his own support with our efforts of Maldivians to save our country’s land and heritage. As a result of your silence and lack of action on this pressing issue, we would like to express our feelings of concern and disappointment.
Mr. President, you have failed to take a bold and principled stand against the economic down-spiral, curb of media freedom, and various such issues crippling Maldives – I ask you to at least take a stand against the sale of Faafu attols to Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, I urge you to take all appropriate measures to protect the safety of the local Maldivian protesters and their supporters who have gathered peacefully to oppose the sale of our nation’s attols and islands.
Suppression of Maldivians rights for the exploitation of land is nothing new. The ruling party PPM(Y) government has repeatedly violated the rights and sovereignty of the Maldives through examples such as the selling of attols to foreigners, Corruption of national judiciary, Money laundering, the violations of the human rights, and the displacement in national wealth caused by awarding contracts without bidding. The fight against the “Sale of Faafu attol” is today’s manifestation of Maldivians old struggle for our rights to be heard and our children to be safe.
We are not just fighting for the land because of sustainability values and economic benefit– the land has much more meaning to us than dollar signs. We are protesting because our ancestors spent centuries fighting against dictator-style authorities and their selfishness. For us Maldivians to back down and remain silent on “Sale of Faafu attol” would wipe away all the blood and sacrifice we, as a democratic nation made; to back down would be a step back in our Indigenous narrative. It is our modern day fight against colonization of our nation.
Maldives, as a nation, places to this world a nation where the land – the environment – is the most precious resource. Maldivians hold onto its land and territory most fiercely because our lives are so connected to it, we rely on it, breathe because of it — we exist because this land exists. Maldivian youths are all too familiar with PPM(Y) political leaders and representatives going back on their promises. Please help us Maldivians to define a new narrative by sharing our views against “Sale of Faafu attol” on a national scale. Our voices deserve to be heard as Maldivians are the original caretakers of this land and national democracy.
Concerned Citizens of Maldives