The attitude of Maldivians over
Minicoy, which was echoed in the Maldive ministerial speech
of 1982 claiming sovereignty over Minicoy, is summed up
in the comment below. This is an extract from the Guestbook
Goboligothi's Minicoy web site. The writer
who appears to be from a southern atoll of the Maldives
starts off by congratulating Shri Goboligothi for his site.
||3/3/2003 6:30:32 AM
||United atolls of Suvadheeb
||"thah hama saabas, ma hithah
araaa thafirin dhivehi rajje aai vakivegen, india ge alhuvethi
kami dhashugai thibaa men thiya thibenee kiyevve ba? aharen
||"Congratulations to you. I
wonder why you have broken away from the Maldives to be
under the slavery of India? I feel sorry..."
Until the 16th
Century, Minicoy may have been under the jurisdiction of the Maldive
kings and queens. In the late 16th Century, a Maldive
rebel leader, Mohamed Thakurufan, Kateeb of Utheem made a pact with
the Ali Raja of Cannanore to displace the ruling House of Hilaaly
from the Maldive throne. Thakurufan operated out of Minicoy.
The nature of the pact
Thakurufan and the Ali Raja of Cannanore was outlined
in a letter sent by a later Ali Raja, Mariambe Ali-Adi Raja Bibi,
to the Sultan Mohamed Mueenuddine I, King of the Maldives. The letter
was dated Friday 17 Jamada-el-oula Anno Hegirae 1243 (7 December
AD 1827). According to the letter Mohamed Thakurufan had entered
into a treaty ceding sovereignty of the Maldives to the Ali Raja
of Cannanore in the event Thakurufan was established in power in
Malé. (Refer page 294 of Divehi Tarikh).
The Coat of Arms of the Ali Raja of Cannanore, Amina Adi
Raja Beebi. The Ali Raja of Cannanore was given the title
of Sultan in 1909 by Edward VII, Emperor of India. This
was in return for ceding sovereignty over Minicoy and the
Laccadives. It was not customary in those days for Muslim
rulers to ask for and be awarded with. crosses
eventually gained control in Malé by assassinating Andiri
Andirin, the Regent of the Hilaaly King Manoel Siri Dhirikusa Loka.
However Thakurufan tried to backtrack on the pact with the Ali Raja
and entered into a deal with the King Siri Dhirikusa Loka, under
which Thakurufan and his brother Hassan Thakurufan became joint-prime
ministers in Malé of King Siri Dhirikusa Loka who remained
Minicoy never returned
to the sovereignty of the Maldive kings after it was passed on to
the jurisdiction of the Ali Raja. The Ali Raja ceded Minicoy to
the Emperor Edward VII of India in 1909, with retrospective effect
from 1905. India formally annexed it on November 1, 1956.
The fact is that Minicoy
is now not part of the Maldives.
Maldive Minister lays Claim
On 26 July 1982, a
minister of the Maldive regime, a brother of the Maldive President
who is still in power since before then, made a public speech claiming
Minicoy for the Maldives. That precipitated a diplomatic crisis.
must be remembered that Minicoy islanders live in a representative
multi-party democracy where the rule of law prevails. They have
the right to redress their grievances before impartial courts and
have the benefit of a mature and reliable legal system. They are
assured that their persons and property are not subject to arbitrary
arrest, torture or confiscation. Minicoy islanders are not subjected
to totalitarian regimes that have life expectancies of a quarter
of a century or more.
Click logo to view
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Malayalam,
the official language of Lakshadweep of which Minicoy
is a part. The language of Minicoy called Mahl, also
known as Divehi, is not an official language of India,
but the official language of the Maldives.
Although the Maldives
has been a member of the United Nations since 1965,
there is no official Divehi translation of the Declaration.
Even today many Maldivians
privately harbour sentiments such as expressed in the Maldive ministerial
speech of 1982.
to remember that, in the civilised world many of us live in, what
determines international borders is neither geographic proximity
nor cultural affinity.
I uploaded this page more than one Maldivian have contacted to congratulate
me for putting the historical record straight about, what they call,
Maldive rights over Minicoy. I am sorry to disappoint them and others,
but I do not subscribe to any such claims.
who contact me have rather quaint ideas about international borders.
A Maldivian recently wrote to me asking if I would make a statement
claiming Maldive sovereignty
over the Chagos Islands which is part of the British Indian Ocean
Territory. Diego Garcia in the Chagos is the site of an American
military facility. The person who wrote to me said that there was
a Maldive name for the Chagos (Foalhavahi) and this would
indicate that it was part of the Maldives. There are Maldive names
for other parts of the world too.
of this site is not to placate the ego or contribute to the territorial
aggrandisement of the Maldive Republic.