The elementary basis on which any free, democratic regime stands tall and functions is its freedom to make and amend policies around its political, economical, social structure, which in politically correct terms is termed as sovereignty. A liberated nation must be free from any external influence ( read interference) but if it is not , it can in some way lead to the leakages in the system of the nation followed by the drowning of its citizens in every possible sphere.
In the year 2017, the Maldives has been suffering through the same above mentioned crisis. It started from a small cut and gradually it got worsened and transformed into a wound. The responsible elements in its cut to wound transition phase is its own government who has put up the body of its country as collateral to its allies, Saudi Arabia and China. In the near future, the wound might lead to the collapse of its all organs.
The long list of loans taken by the Maldivian Government includes US$ 126 Million for the Maldivian Bridge Project which was given to a blacklisted Chinese company, CCCC and US$ 373 Million granted by EXIM Bank for upgrading and developing the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. These loans by China have been given on high interest rates and vital information about them have been kept away from media. Not only China but the second alley of Pres. Yameen i.e. Saudi Arabia has also heavily financed the country. Saudi has invested US$ 50 million for the military housing project and US$100million to finance the expansion of the Maldives main airport’s terminal. The project to build the terminal was granted to Saudi’s Binladin group at the cost of US$300million. Interestingly, this company was founded in 1931 by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Ladin, father of Osama Bin Ladin. These are few loans among many which are still being taken by the Maldivian Government.
Economy is not the only region where these allies are influencing Maldives, even the actions of China and Saudi Arabia in the world are influencing our Government’s Policies. First, we distorted our foreign policies by cutting ties with Qatar and Iran. Recently On September 15 of this year, Maldives remained absent when United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) conducted a vote on “Responsibility to protecting and the prevention of genocide , war crime , ethnic cleansing , and crime against humanity” keeping in view the recent violations of many forms in some countries. While being the sufferers of this dictatorial regime we understand their embarrassment, we also noted that China voted a big NO to protect the Human rights.
Talking about Human rights, In past 3-4 years the level of Human Rights in Maldives has gone drastically low, the people are distressed with corruption,crimes,injustices etc. There have been a large number of protests, many opposition leaders are imprisoned, parliament is hijacked, journalists are harassed and people speaking against the Government are even murdered. But on the other hand if we take a look at the Human Rights situation in China and Saudi Arabia then these two countries are like Maldives too. Or maybe we can say that the present Maldivian Government is walking on the foot steps of China and Saudi Arabia. The beautiful island country is definitely in the wrong company.
The condition of human rights in Maldives has become so worse that in October 2016, it took an exit from the Commonwealth because it felt pressurized after being accused over corruption and deteriorating human rights. According to the World Press Freedom Index, Maldives, China and Saudi ranks 117, 176, 168 respectively, which shows its severe approach in the case of humanity and basic rights of people.
This blind friendship is leading Maldives not only into a demon for its own people but also a loan ridden country. Before the high tide would do its work, it itself will drown its people and the state in debt. For how long will we be able to escape from this Government made disaster in Maldives?