Waking up to read news that a well-known writer and blogger is missing, is news to me. It is distressing news to me. I have read moyameehaa ever since I started my blogging journey. I have never been as outspoken as him, but almost all of his writings reflects my thoughts and my beliefs. I have never spoken to moyameehaa and I don’t recall commenting on his blog much. For me, his writings were a bit on the bold side. More importantly I was in awe of his boldness and ability to write on such matters. I always made a point of reading his rants. I started blogging in 2007 and even before that moyameehaa was blogging and from his follower-base, it looked as if he was already a very established and well known blogger with a great many outspoken followers.
I am spooked to read that he has been missing for a week. He is such a heavy twitter user and I can’t help wonder if people didn’t notice his absence after a couple of days even? I am not much of a twitter user. But I do read @moyameehaa from time to time. Ever since the twitter craze came in, moyameehaa also diverged to tweeting, abandoning his blog. I had no idea who moyameehaa in real life is or was. But today, with all the tweets about him going missing, I am now aware that moyameehaa is a prominent journalist at Minivan news. I have read Ahmed Rilwan’s pieces from time to time and they are always relevant and hits the nail on the head when it comes to our societal and political atrocities.
I can’t help feel pessimistic about his going missing given the death threats that has been going around on journalists critical of the gang operations in the Maldives. He is highly critical of the religious extreme groups that has been getting a strong hold of the Maldivian culture and society. I can’t help but think that something has really gone wrong and his life has been endangered. I hope I am wrong. But it is difficult to explain a missing person of his calibre on social media. It is difficult to explain a missing person in the tiny island nation. It is difficult to be positive given the recent stabbings that has been reported in the Maldives media back home. I am sitting far away from home and yet I feel a dread and fear travelling up my spine.
The rest of you outspoken journalists out there, please do take extra care of yourself and your safety. Share your whereabouts with your family and close ones. Try to have people around you at all times. I know when death has to happen it will happen. But it should not happen like this. It should not leave family hanging somewhere in the dark not knowing whether to mourn or just keep on praying.
I am going to reproduce just one of his articles from his blog. I haven’t read this before. And only now I realize what a young thing he is. And that increases my respect for him and his nationalistic and humanistic view points.
I am still bz..but i have forced my self to write some thing on this day…yes.. about the tsunami….
One year have passed after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami.
Here in Maldives, close to one third of population were severely affected, with eighty-two confirmed deaths, over 1,300 injuries and around 12,000 people (7% of the population) made homeless.
People of maibaadhoo island being transported to safer places;before being taken to the temporary shelters-some of the victims are still (after one year) living in these temporary shelters.
After one year…they are ‘celebrating’ that horrible,and dark day…(the most tragic event in my 19 year ‘long?’ life).Today the celebrations began early in the morning..with some special dua’ (prayer after the morning fajr prayer).This special dua was created by dictator maumoon ; according to him,every one is supposed to participate in this ‘maumunic ritual’. Anyway..after that;there was a ‘minute of silence.’ at 0920 ,today…(It was chosen as the time the first wave struck on 26th of december 2004.after finding many clocks and wrist watches..which showed (almost) that time…with slight differences).
I didnt takepart in todays ‘celebrations’.I was with some friends enjoying a continental breakfast (it’s two toasts,one fried,and two sausages,plus a black coffee.for only Mrf15/-) at north cafeteria..when it was 0920.we were talking about rastafarians,photography,cartoons and ofcourse about the tsunami.and then i went to maafannu madrasa (my pre skool..oh… the childhood memories) get the MR vaccine (coz there is an outbreak of measles and rubella in Maldives now.).
Why didnt i take part in the ‘celebrations’? :first of all; these celebrations are not of any benefit to the Tsuanmi victims…it is only used to move public attention to another direction..after the ageold authoritarian regime..have to face intense political tesions regarding fraud in the recent by-elections.The regime is wasting our money and international aid on these events.It costs a huge sum of money for today’s celebrations,and the so-called tsunami monument.But where are the victims..are they remebered on this day??One year after the tragedy..many are homeless and still continue to lodge with host families, others lives in temporary shelters (which i believe are not even suitable for animals to live in)…these tents…:(.. at the camps which are at hulhumale’ island -the gayom’s billion dollar project(he wasted from our money) .all the families living in tents are given only one bathroom (with toilet) to use.And they are kept far away from the luxury apartment houses at hulhumale’ island.Like refugees not belonging to this nation.According to Dhivehi weekly magazines; none of them are comfortable with how they are treated. Many victims (still..after one year) are not very happy about how they are treated..Living in tents they have to face difficult circumstances when it rains heavily or during the ‘udha erun’,..like this and this.The people of kandholhudhoo island living in hulhudhuffaaru island have faced inhumane crimes from the people of hulhudhuffaaru.They have warned the government previously that they are rivals to each other and something like this might happen.Still after these incidents where many people where hurt..and also the minority (about 740) kandholhu dhuans have attacked.Their relatives from nearby islands came and attacked the original inhabitants.(the hulhudhuffaaru natives)..in these attacks they didnt make a difference between old or young,male or female.The people were hiding in the woods..from about one day or so.now the island is supervised by the army.But still the government dont want to change the people to a safer place. This is how the people of Kaafu atoll ,Huraa island are living their life now…in these tents.
I can still remeber when i went to huraa just after 3 or 4 days…with a group of volunteers (friends)…after 3 days..they didnt get any help from the government..we went there ..helped them (specially the old..and people who dont have relatives) bringing down the houses which were damaged,cleaning the mess made by the waves..
something like this…
Could u sleep comfortably when the house next door is something like this?? so we needed to bring em down and make the neighbours safe until help comes.
i wll post some pics of it later (coz it was an emergency trip, i forgot about the camera..so i have to get em from a friend.)…after about some 5 days we came back..the people of the island were asking us to stay..but we have no choice..we have to work 24X7 if we want to survive in these so-called paradise islands where we get less (no labour rights..but have to work very hard to survive) and have to spend more on basic needs and others.On the second day of our trip ..a visiting official from the international red cross came ..to our camp..and met us.. he was surprised that the people of huraa are treated this way despite being one of the worst hit Islands and one of the nearest island to the capital.There were people living in houses with the roof almost coming down..there were only one well which people can use to drink water( we cleaned almost all the wells before we left)…every one complained about the foods supplied to them (it was the same in many other islands.)….on our last day in the island..we saw two NSS (army) guys going around the island.. there were no one before that..but about two days before that we saw the president gayoms daughter and many ‘royal’, capitalist class, elites going around photographing the scenes.How the hell they managed to spend money on the photography trip (in highspeed launches) of the ‘princess’ but cannot send the rescue and army teams to this island??…And also we witnessed many tricks from the dirty politicians on our trip..some politicians campaigning for elections..wrote their names on the aids provided by the concerned local citizens of Madlives and other nations.And the Island Chief of huraa, announced that there were a team of volunteers sent by the youth ministry..(he was reffereing to us)..but we were not related to any ministry or government body…we only used wheelbarrows, and shovels which we borrowed from the youth ministry.And on the same day we left ..the island chief announced from the loudspeakers…’we have decided to give poulet, pillow, (bottle of) water -one piece to each house’..is this some kinda joke???!!!…
And about this day being marked as the ‘Unity Day’.Its just another trick of the dictator gayom.He is trying to make the most of this ‘golden opportunity’…where every one goes hyper-emotional.He is trying to bring forward the nationalist propaganda..and picture himself as the leader…who will protect this ‘unity’..’which he describes is threatened by ‘some,very few people’..(reffering to the opposition MDP) or describes that as the unity ‘which have been among maldivians since the begining’…
but i wouldnt call..what we witnessed on the 26th of december 2004…national unity..or Islamic brotherly love or unity..no..its mere humanity..no one can wait and see humans suffering like that…no matter what country or what religion they belong to…Thats why the Maldivians watched live scenes of Iraq war,Srebrenica massacre (we donatedd for em..but the corrupt government swallowed all the money) and the recent hurricane katrina in America..we are concerned..because we are humane…
it would be better this day is marked as the national day of humanity or ‘insaaniyyathu kamunge dhuvas’.It would be better if we rembered the victims rather than remebering the waves or how the Maldivians responded to the catastrophe.Lets make the lives of the victims better ..rather than joining the gayoms propaganda celebrations and showing off.stuff…lets include them in our private prayers.
God will surely hear and listen to us; even if we dont use a microphone..
Lets remember the dead among the victims…but not forget those still alive,suffering under a brutal dictator.If we all want them to live a better life; we need act now.Not just wait and think of em only for one minute…