It’s a sad irony for Maldives that the country’s Defence Minister Adam Shareef, instead of portraying himself as defender of the nation, unmasked his true face of an autocrat. In a secret meeting with the soldiers of Special Protection Group subsequent to disrupted parliamentary session of July 31, Shareef was recorded voicing his violent ire against opposition lawmakers of the country. While appreciating Maldives National Defence Force personnel for showing restraint in their dealings with the parliamentarians on July 31 at Majlis premises, Shareef was heard saying he would have broken jaws of Parliamentarians, who had done nothing illegal, but had just dared to assert their parliamentary rights. Undoubtedly, this is true face of an autocrat in Adam Shareef, who is wearing the false mask of Defence Minister of a democratically elected govt.
1. What are the roles a democratic system assigns to its Defence Minister ? Foremost among them is protecting integrity of the country and thereby safety of citizens. Can Adam Shareef be seen as fulfilling that role when he said he would have broken the jaws of people’s representatives? Certainly not. By letting his true feelings of an authoritarian persona come out in the open, Shareef was in reality not only showing contempt against lawmakers of the country, but also towards thousands of people who had elected them to represent their voice at the Majlis.
2. But question arises who is Adam Shareef? Is he so powerful that he would contemplate physically assaulting people’s representatives? In his individual capacity, he is nobody. He is not even a mere politician of street variety. He is actually a stooge of President Yameen from whom he draws his power and also inspiration for contempt towards people. By harbouring the idea of breaking knuckles of elected representatives, he is actually trying to convey his master’s (President Yameen) message to people – fall in line else…
3. Ever since submission of No Confidence Motion against Majlis Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed on July 3, the might of State force under Yameen’s directions has been unleashed to crush not only opposition parliamentarians, but also the people whom they represent. All henchmen of Yameen have joined him in the ongoing crackdown to frighten people. Have they succeeded? Certainly not. Opposition lawmakers, who now represent majority in the Majlis, have successfully sustained their spirit of opposing the dictator and also conviction of courage to rise against tormentor come what may.
4. The dictator is cornered. Violent crackdown against parliamentarians using state machinery and imprisoning them on fabricated charges are nothing but last ditch retaliation from President Yameen. He is confronted with unfailing resolve of people’s representatives. He knows that his days are numbered. Will he be able to stretch it further by his violent means? Absolutely not, if people’s will to throw him out for restoring true democracy is sustained till the noble goal is achieved.