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On this day September 20, 2003

Maldives civil unrest broke out in Malé, the capital city of the Maldives, provoked by the death of Hassan Evan Naseem at Maafushi Prison and the subsequent shooting at the same prison, that killed 3 and injured 17 others.

Hassan Evan Naseem

Hassan Evan Naseem

Many government buildings, vehicles and other public properties were set on fire, some were destroyed.

The government controlled the unrest and declared a State of Emergency in Malé and nearby islands. Late night curfews were enforced from 2200hrs to 0430hrs in Malé for more than a month following the rioting.

On Friday September 19, 2003, Hassan Evan Naseem, who was serving at Maafushi Jail for drugs abuse related offenses, was beaten by the NSS personnel of the security unit in the jail.

This led to Naseem’s death the following day. The beating came about as punishment for the disturbances from complicated disputes between Naseem’s inmates and “neighboring” prisoners. Read More…

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Coup in Madagascar

Gunfire, believed to be shots into the air by celebrating soldiers, was heard in Antananarivo today as the army of Madagascar forced armored vehicles into one of the country’s many presidential palaces in an apparent military coup.

Marc Ravalomanana

Marc Ravalomanana

Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana, whose I Love Madagascar party controls an overwhelming majority of seats in the National Assembly, was not in the palace and is said to be taking shelter in another palace six miles (10 km) from the site.

“The President of the Republic, the National Assembly and the Senate, and the government are removed from their duties,” announced declaration signed by opposition leader Andry Rajoelina which also said new elections would be held within two years. Read More…

Maldives world’s first carbon-neutral country

Mohamed Nasheed, the leader of the Maldives, has announced that the country will become carbon-neutral within a decade by completely switching to renewable energy sources.

“We aim to become carbon-neutral in a decade,” he said.

Mohamed Nasheed

Mohamed Nasheed

“Climate change threatens us all. Countries need to pull together to de-carbonize the world economy. We know cutting greenhouse gas emissions is possible and the Maldives is willing to play its part,” Nasheed said, adding that he hopes his plan will serve as a blueprint for other countries.

“We understand more than perhaps anyone what would happen to us if we didn’t do anything about it or if the rest of the world doesn’t find the imagination to confront this problem,” Nasheed told Newshour in a telephone interview from the Maldives’ capital of Male. Read More…

Presidential election in the Maldives

With no candidate winning a majority in the first democratic presidential election in the Maldives, the incumbent Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed move on to a second-round runoff. Read More…