Maldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi
Maldive Ingratitude to a Hero

The Maldives
and the Commonwealth

Maldive Refugees
in the UK

Independence from Arab imperialism

In addition to delivering the Maldives from British imperialism Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan put in much effort to free the Maldivian psyche from Arab cultural imperialism that had been gaining momentum for the best part of the century.

The emancipation of women finally became irreversible under his tutelage. The Arab-style headgear, known in the Maldives as burugaa, imposed by religious leaders and reluctantly accepted by some women since the 1930's was virtually wiped out. Since the 1980's women have again been coerced into wearing this most un-Maldivian and uncivilised garb.

Maldivian women adopted international fashions without harassment from reactionary elements during his rule.

In this regard, the Kilegefan was following the example of such historical figures as the King Kula Ranmeeba Katthiri Bavana (Iskander Ibrahim I who reigned between 1648 and 1687). During his reign he dealt decisively against all attempts to impose the un-Maldivian women's headgear and costume and other oppressive alien practices such as promoted now by the al_Qaeda. (see Divehi Tarikh pages 39 - 51).


Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (N.G.I.V)
Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (N.G.I.V)

Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (N.G.I.V) is the eternal hero of Maldive independence. He ranks alongside the only other such hero in the recorded history of the Maldives, the King Kula Ran Meeba Audha Keerithi Katthiri Bavana (Dom Bandaarain) who ended the occupation by the forces of the Ali Raja of Cannanore in the 18th Century.

Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan is a living Maldive treasure- the only Maldivian of that calibre now alive. Without a doubt, he was the mega Maldive personality of the 20th Century and the only one of his kind since the 18th Century. Arguably he was the personality of the last millennium.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan went on to become the first president of the second republic in 1968

The Kilegefan brought the Maldives screaming out into the modern world. He insisted that the Maldives gained admission to the UN against the opposition of countries that did not feel that the UN was the place for small states. The Maldives was the first state of its size (population less than 80,000 in 1965) admitted to the UN. Mini states that had long been independent such as San Marino and Monaco were not members of the UN. Western Samoa which became independent of this country only a few years earlier too was not in the UN at that stage.

President of the Republic Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (N.G.I.V) inspecting a guard of honour of Majeediya School senior cadets, accompanied by Major G.W. Amarasena. 26 July 1969.

The Kilegefan introduced a modern educational curriculum in the English medium to government-run schools.

He introduced radio and television and mechanisation of traditional fishing fleets.

He incepted civil aviation and was the pioneer of the tourism industry because of which many Maldivians have gained incredible wealth.

The Kilegefan removed many of the old draconian measures and made travel free for Maldivians. Prior to that, Maldivians travelling overseas had to obtain exit visas.

Under his leadership, the old inequitous poll tax called vaaru, levied on Maldivians who were residents of islands other than Malé was abolished. He also abolished a huge array of other taxes including duty on all personal and commercial imports. Some of them have been reimposed after his departure.

Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan did not tolerate corruption in his government. It was unheard of in his day for public servants to name a price when people went to government offices to obtain routine services.

Most of all, like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Rannabandeyri Kilegefan knew when to step down and pass on the mantle of power to a younger generation.

For all this and more, the hero of Maldive independence was vilified as soon as he left the Maldives. No one had the gall to challenge him to his face even after he stepped down and before he left the country. The cowardice of those who regard him as an adversary is legendary.

Rowdy mobs mustered with the active encouragement of those who succeeded the Kilegefan drove around in town carrying ugly placards and playing filthy songs composed to mock their independence hero. The same songs were broadcast over the regime's radio and television.

Little children whose parents had connections with the Kilegefan were publicly humiliated by their teachers in schools run by the regime.

The Kilegefan was convicted in absentia for basically petty theft. For want of real evidence it is common to fabricate charges of petty theft against real and imagined political adversaries in the Maldives.

The Kilegefan was implicated in just about every anti-government activity that came to light since he stepped down.

The kilege titles of the three other kilege nobles then alive were also revoked at the same time. They were the now late Kakaagey Ahmed Hilmy Faarhanaa Kilegefan, Abdul Sattar Faamuladeyri Kilegefan and Abdul Hannan Dorhimeyna Kilegefan.

In keeping with time-honoured royal protocol, the Website of the Maldives Royal Family does not recognise these revocations.

Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan's kilege title and the Insignia of the Most Distinguished Order of Ghazi (N.G.I.V) bestowed upon him by His Majesty the Sultan was revoked by the new regime. It was outside the traditional jurisdiction even of sultans to remove the kilege title from anyone on whom it was bestowed. In keeping with this royal tradition, the Website of the Maldives Royal Family does not recognise these revocations.

With foresight typical of him Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan took up residence in Singapore, a country where the rule of law prevails. All attempts to have him extradited by legal means or hounded out by illegal means were met with utter failure.

It is contrary to all civilised norms to have a personality of such magnitude treated in this way by his own people. History will judge those who are responsible for such low behaviour.

Those who lament the current Maldive regime's longevity in power must examine their own political maturity and attitude towards those who relinquish power via the democratic process.

The problem may not lie entirely with those who are reluctant to let in a new generation of leaders

It is hoped that future Maldivians do not find it necessary to treat their leaders who step aside, in such uncivilised manner. That is important for the democratic process.

Incumbent leaders must have the assurance (without the need for legislation) that they will not be the butt of the behaviour called "mahaana macchah madiyah jehun' (jumping on the grave) in the Divehi language.

The current leadership of the Maldives need to be assured that they too will be treated with the dignity and the respect that they deserve.

The Maldives Royal Family Website does not dispute the immense contribution of the current leadership of the Maldives to their country during their lengthy tenure in office. This will be appropriately applauded by us in these pages at a future date.

The closing scene of a previous and more barbaric transition of power in the Maldives. The president of the first republic Mohamed Amin Dorhimeyna Kilegefan was lynched by the mob pictured above, with the active encouragement of the regime that seized control from him in 1953. This Kilegefan died of the brutal injuries sustained in the attack. Following prolonged assaults on a horrific scale, his bloodied and fully naked body, still alive and reduced to a bag of broken bones, was thrown into one of the boats pictured above. He survived a few weeks and in that time he was tried by a self-appointed kangaroo court and sentenced to be put in irons for life. He was shackled and died in that sorry condition- a testament to how Maldivians treat their deposed leaders.

Transfer of Political Power in the USA
Composed on 29 January 1989
following the Inauguration of George Bush Sr as President of the United States

Power unchecked in one hand
Leads to corruption in any land.

When authority absolute is oneís plan,
It has caused the fall of many a man.

Caesars and Napoleons are not for the modern man,
Nor benevolent dictators, who are often vain.

Unrestricted power could turn a man into a ruthless Hun,
Even if he be an Abraham Lincoln.

Power intoxicates the best of men,
And itís the dream of the worst of them.

The days of the autocrat are numbered on this Earth,
Since the ways of the democrat have been better since their birth.

One man is never the property of another,
Nor a nation belongs to a particular family or its member.

The power that governs a land comes from its people,
And the notion of its changing hands is basic and simple.

Political power the springs from the barrel of a gun
Benefits no one in the long run.

One leader need not replace another by means of a blood bath,
But by the rule of law, and with a pure heart.

America that regularly transfers leadership by peaceful means
Proves its greatness without blowing others into smithereens.

October 2001

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