Saturday, November 22, 2008

Architect of Modern Maldives Ibrahim Nasir Passes Away

Maldives Independence hero and the man widely regarded as the architect of modern Maldives, Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefaanu, died in a Singapore hospital yesterday evening. He was 82 years old and was survived by 3 ex-wives, 2 sons and a daughter.

Born in 1926 in the island of Fuvahmulah and educated in Sri Lanka, Nasir became Prime Minister of Maldives in 1957 during the Southern Crisis. He became President on 11 November 1968 when Maldives became a republic for the second time. After completing 2 terms as President in 1978 Nasir handed over power peacefully in a unique display of democratic norms.

Nasir's greatest service to the nation, and the deed that ensures him a place of honor in history, is gaining independence for the Maldives from Great Britain on July 26, 1965. While settling the Southern rebellion was also notable, it was marred by human rights abuses.

Nasir's other services to the Maldives include:

  1. Starting English medium education (1960)

  2. Starting A level education (1976)

  3. Initiating the Atoll Education Center project and opening the first center (Eydafushi, 1978)

  4. Starting nurses training (1963)

  5. Opening health centers in all atolls (starting with Naifaru, 1965)

  6. Opening the first modern hospital (1967)

  7. Building the first airport (1966)

  8. Starting tourism (1972)

  9. Establishing the first radio station (1962)

  10. Establishing the first TV station (1978)

[Note: Nasir's services are too many to be accurately listed in full. A 20-year period of rule would obviously have negative aspects too. However, it is not customary to dwell on those aspects in an obituary note.]


Anonymous said...

What we have done new in the past 30 years. Its amazing to read the list of H.E Nasir's achievements to develop Maldives.

Anonymous said...

The fisheries sector too! Introducing engine dhoani's!!

shiham said...

May god rest his soul in peace. this unprecedented event is very touching and emotional for me. again may god bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

So what did Gayoom do? I am shocked to see the truth which has been hidden for all these years. Nasir is the father of the modern Maldives!

athif said...

From the happenings of the last few monts in the politics of Maldives the new generation should learn a lesson from our great leaders who dedicated their lives for the development of Maldives.

I was studying in E.P.S schol when president Maumoon came to power.And when I was studying in 4th grade there was a procession organised by the school and all the kids were made to walk all the main roads of Male' carrying phots of predident Maumoon and horrrible cartoons of president Nasir.

The teacher who was leading us told all the students to say 'Maumoon Abdul gayoom zindabaad ' and very wors things about president Nasir.

But your article has given a total different impresion to me about Nasir.Really he is a great leader who worked to develop The maldives.My Allah bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

Nasir was everything you said and more.He was also a brutal dictator who abused human rights left and right.Freedom of speech was non existent.People lived in fear. There were many government spies who reported the smallest little thing against Goevrnment. The prisons were full of political prisioners. The conditions in jail were very,very horrible.Many , many people died in jail. The stories of cruelty in his jails were simply atrocious.There were many evil jail masters and police who were feared as much as Nasir, How he brutally 'conquered' Thinadhoo is a very dark chapter of Maldivian history.Abdulla Katheeb(Gogo latheef's father)and Hirihamanthi Kaleyfan (GoGo's grandfather] died in the torture chambers of Nasir's jails. there were many more deaths.The people many a time rose against Nasir's oppression. Kuda Buraasfathi, Bodu Buraasfathi and attempted assassination plotted by some dissatisfied Businessmen are testimony to how people struggled for their independence from Nasir.
He was later also taking over all busineesses.He auctioned off many government shops and boutht these shops for himself through his Crescent company. Tourist islands like Bandos were his . Foreign exchange was also controlled by CTA,his travel agency.Olympus and Odeon became his private property.In the last few years under Nasir people simply 'sufocated'.It was a good thing he relinqushed power when he did. If he had not, there would have been a blood bath. But like you say, now that he is dead let us remember him for the good things he did. That list is also very long. We can also say even the bad things he did were ultimately for the common good. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Anonymous said...

Maumoon is being unveiled from day to day. His own words against him. Disgrace to us all. This could be a modern humiliation for the former president Gayyoom but still the truth was hidden from us hence the humiliation and disgrace. So little were we allowed to learn about our past and now it haunts us (at least haunts mr gayyoom).

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was a day filled with mixed emotions,and a lot of lessons for past and present rulers and the public in general.
Happy because we at least got the chance to pay our last respects to a political leader who is a giant among pygmies.Sad that we never got the chance to see him or hear him when he was alive and angry that some people deliberately tried to hide his innumerable achievemants and services to this country for over 30 years.
The lesson learnt is ultimately the people will come to know or will demand to know because no one has the right to distort history and fabricate it.A position of power is an immense responsibility and this is magnified manifold when you are the leader of the country.In that position you have to rise above all and should have the grace and courtesy to acknowledge and appreciate the services rendered to the nation by your predecessors.Sadly we had a ruler for the last 30 years who actively ignored the invaluable services of his predecessor.Hope our future leaders will have enough sense not to repeat this in the future.
May Allah bless the soul of President Nasir and give his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss.

Anonymous said...

well mr gogo n his bloodline has suffered the wrath of all two (so called dictator) presidents. makes me wonder if something is actually very wrong in his blood line. Seems that they are not satisfied with the current government too. Some just cant get enough or they are mentally too exhausted to let anything good happen in this country.

Anonymous said...

'The good that men do lives after them.The evil is often interred with their bones.So, let it be with Nasir.We brought his body to bury it. Not to abuse it'.
-Not Mark Antony.

Anonymous said...

Gogo's family have an anti dictator gene. So, all ye potential dictators beware. Gogo,his children and children's children will continue the good work of opposing all tyrants.Infact, already Gogo has faded into the background and his daughter,Jenny has taken over. The torch has been passed on to a new generation,

Anonymous said...

Jenny isnt doing much. she just knows how to get attention. Its only good work if something concrete is done through the attention she recieves.

Anonymous said...

gogo's grandfather was a tyrant.. so it's really an internal struggle. they must accept the fact they are children of tyrants and get on with life.

Anonymous said...

Am so glad President Nasheed has recognized Janifa (Arabic spelling) Latheef and has given her important job.But she cannot be bought off. If ever Anni turns tyrant then she would not stick with him.

Anonymous said...

Gogo's grandpa was no tyrant. It was Nasir Goverment who killed him.Hirihamanthi Kaleyfaan was not a sultan, president,Atoll chief or anybody . He was simply an entrepreneur.

Anonymous said...

GoGo is now human rights ambassador.He is the only one in MDP who can be truly indepentent of the Govt. He will really do a good job and be ever so watchful. He will not hesitate to criticize the Government, if need be.
Jenifer's aunt Aminath Najeeb also should be given minister's job.Why the delay?