Riots in the Maldives - 2

The following headlines were gathered from:

Miadhu Daily, Male

September 24, 2003

• President Receives Vast Number of Letters and Messages of Support from Residents of Male’ and from the Atolls

In an interview given to Television Maldives yesterday, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom revealed that he has been receiving a vast number of letters and messages from residents of Male’ and from the atolls expressing support for the actions taken by the Government to restore law and order in Male’ following the disturbances of Saturday. He also expressed his gratitude for those letters and messages.

The President noted that no member of the public was hurt in the measures taken by the Government to restore the situation in Male’. However, he said that a total of 49 servicemen of various ranks in the NSS suffered injuries in the disturbances, and that out of these, 3 had received serious injuries. He also praised the discipline showed by the NSS personnel in the face of such provocation.

The President also noted the co-operation extended to the NSS by the public and added that a number of servicemen who were caught off guard by the mob were shielded by the members of the public. He said that the acts of violence were not carried out by the general public but were the deeds of a small group of people who, for their narrow personal ends, attacked and torched public property.

Responding to a question about the shooting incident at Maafushi Prison on Saturday, the President said that investigation of that episode has also been included in the mandate of the Presidential Commission.
In the interview, the President also said that the situation in Male’ had returned to normal as was the case everywhere in the country, including Maafushi.
The President said that the Minister of Construction and Public Works has been assigned temporary charge of Maafushi Prison and noted that everything was being done to improve prison conditions.


• Prime Minister of Sri Lanka expresses his support to President Gayoom

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has expressed his support to President Gayoom in a telephone call he made from New York last Monday night. The Prime Minister said the he was concerned by the news of the disturbances in Male’ and wanted to know about the present situation. The President assured him that the situation in Male’ had returned to normal since the events of Saturday.

Noting that nobody had been hurt in the restoration of law and order in Male’, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the President for the prudent and judicious manner in which he had addressed the situation.


President Briefs Cabinet on Measures Taken Following Recent Disturbances at Maafushi Prison and in Male’

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom yesterday briefed the Cabinet on the measures that have been taken following the recent disturbances that took place at Maafushi Prison and in Male’. He also informed the Ministers that the work of the Presidential Commission that he had established to conduct a full inquiry into the events at Maafushi was proceeding well and further stated that he was in direct and regular contact with the Commission.
The President also briefed Ministers on measures that were being taken to improve prison conditions at Maafushi. At its meeting today, the Cabinet also discussed what other subsequent prison reforms need to be implemented.

September 23, 2003

• Government makes arrangements to procure medical care to those injured in Maafushi prison incident

Arrangements are being made by the Government to give full medical care to those who were injured in the disturbances that occurred at Maafushi Prison yesterday. Some of the patients have yesterday afternoon been flown to Sri Lanka in a special flight chartered by the Ministry of Defence and National Security. Medical evacuation of additional persons is also being organized and all are continuing to receive full medical care.

• President Appeals to the Nation for Calm and Civil Obedience

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has appealed to the nation for calm and civil obedience following the deterioration of the security situation in Malein the aftermath of trouble at Maafushi Prison. He made the appeal while addressing the nation via Television Maldives and the Voice of Maldives last Saturday night.

The President asked the people to return to their homes and to give him the opportunity to carry out his duties and responsibilities in his capacity as the person elected by the people to safeguard their rights and to preserve peace and security in the country. He also appealed to the people to give him the opportunity to take the measures that he must institute in order to identify those culpable, institute legal proceedings against such persons, and impose the consequent penalties in the matter.

Referring to the incidents that occurred at Maafushi Prison, the President expressed his deep regret that an inmate had died, and conveyed his profound sympathy to the parents and relatives of the deceased youth.

Describing the second event that occurred in the prison, the President said that a number of prisoners broke out of their cells, demolished the cells, attacked the wardens, and proceeded to attack the armoury in an attempt to break into it. He said that under the circumstances, the Government was compelled to take the requisite measures to safeguard the armoury. The President said that the incident was a highly tragic event and one that he, like everyone else in the country, wished would never have happened. He said that all those who sustained injuries in the episode were now receiving full medical attention, and prayed to the Almighty Allah for the full and speedy recovery and well-being of all those who were injured.

The President concluded his address by expressing his gratitude for the positive response that the people had in the past given to all his appeals, and by stating his full confidence that the people will respond fully and favourably to the appeal that he had just made.


© 2000 Miadhu Daily

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