The person disparagingly referred to as 'Velaanaagey Ibrahim Nasir' no longer owns Velaanaage. In fact, former President Ibrahim Nasir no longer owns any house in the Maldives, which he freed from British Colonialism in 1965. However, if a bill recently presented by Meemu Atoll Member Aneesa Ahmed to the Majlis is passed, Nasir is likely to get a house after 30 years of being homeless.
Nasir belongs to the dynastic house, 'Velaanaage', founded by his great grandfather Malingey Hassan Velaanaa Manikufaanu at the beginning of 20th Century. Descendents of Velaanaage Dynasty include former Vice President Ibrahim Mohammed Didi, President Ibrahim Nasir, Prime Minister Ahmed Zaki and current Defense Minister Ismail Shafeeu.
Velaanaage was legally expropriated in the 1990s and was demolished. Today a 15-story office complex is coming up in the plot of land, which happens to be in a prime location of Male.
With the passage of the bill Nasir will also get security befitting an ex-president after living in exile for 30 years. Nasir left the Maldives soon after relinquishing power in 1978 because he felt it was not safe to live in the country. His fears appear justified when one recalls what happened to his sons Mohamed Nasir and Ali Nasir and how his cabinet ministers were abused and paraded along the streets of Male. Earlier a former president Mohamed Ameen was lynched by an angry mob in 1953 (see photo above).
The bill currently in the Majlis is expected to close a sordid chapter in the history of Maldives. After that the door will be open for Nasir to return to the Maldives and live in safety. However, given his advanced age and ailing health it is uncertain how long he will be able to enjoy the opportunity.
But one thing is certain. No Maldivian living today would want to see an ex-president suffering for 30 years the way Nasir suffered his years in exile.