Saturday, November 15, 2008

Theemuge as City Hall?



Ever since President Nasheed announced he will not occupy Presidential Palace Theemuge, people are wondering what to do with the house. This question is pertinent because Theemuge is arguably the finest building in Male. It was constructed at phenomenal cost to the exchequer (estimates vary from $ 30 million to $ 60 million) and has immense historical value. Considering all this, it could serve very well as Male's City Hall


A city hall or town hall is the chief administrative building of a city or town's administration and usually houses the city or town council, its associated departments and their employees. It is also usually the base of the city, town, borough, or county mayor.


Under the new Constitution, Maldives will have a system of local government by mid 2009. Under the system Male is likely to have an elected Municipal Council headed by a Mayor. Such a prestigious body will need a correspondingly prestigious address.


If one looks around the world, city halls serve as symbols of local government, and usually have distinctive architecture. They also frequently occupy historically significant buildings. This description fits Theemuge very well.


Theemuge started its life as 'Athiree Maafannuge' in the 2nd quarter of the 20th Century. It was built by Abdul Majeed Rannabandeyri Kilegefaanu as a home for his second son Hassan Fareed. After Fareed's death during World War II, Abdul Majeed donated the house to the Government. During the regimes of Nasir and Maumoon, the house served at different times as presidential residence as well as prime ministerial residence. It also housed ATA (the fore-runner of STO). Finally, in the early 1990s, it was rebuilt and renamed as Theemuge.


In addition to housing the municipal offices, Theemuge could also host a cultural center that showcases Male as the historic capital of the Maldives.


[Note: This article simply expresses the author's personal opinion as a citizen of Male.]

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

under the current finacial crisis it would be immensely important to auction off the whole building (theemuge)to a best buyer, perhaps to a famous and wealthy multi billionaire like david beckham or one like him. by doing so, we can get beck the money spent on theemuge and consequently more doors will open for foreign currency to flow into the country. it would be a stupid idea to turn the building into a town hall when the head of the current government has set an example of living so humble, thinking day in and day out for the well being of his fellow citizens first.

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea.

nynyny said...

Auction off the building! why don't you sell your religion!

bummer.

Anonymous said...

I think this makes more sense than auctioning the furniture in the palace in exchange for a couple of million dollars!!!....and who in his right mind will come to maldives to buy expensive interior decoration esp when it has no historic value???

and who think the people david beckam lack of options in luxury destinations is such that, he would come to the mostl desnely populated city on the face of the earth just so he could spend a few nights in a mansion(its not even a palace by the standards of the rich and famous, we fantasize will line up to sleep in theemuge)that is nestled next to a local market?


hilarious some of some of the suggestions that are coming our way, on this matter..... the presidential palace is a government building... it is an investment we cannot get full returns from by simply dismantling it!.... it would be best put to use by letting it fullfill its function!!..as a presidential residence!!!...that would be more befitting a president of a country than the Mayer of the local city....... i think we all have a problem with the president getting to stay there and not all of us......

Instead of this talk of selling off bits of it, or turning it into something it is NOT, why not think of ways to bring the cost of maintain it as the presidents residence down??...why not make it eco-friendly, energy conserving, climate-friendly??....

can we also dismantle the defense ministry building, the stelco building, the MMA building, the presidents office???..... abuse of power is not bu the buildings built by the other government, but by those from this government who will be residing it!!!!!...lets talk about that

are dhivehin this shallow and infantile??????

Anonymous said...

Anni to stay in Theemuge after Dec 1.

Yaamyn said...

'Multi-billionaire' like David Beckham?

:-/

I think sometimes we Maldivians speak too much. Ridiculous.

Town Hall - not bad idea. But useless one.

Bushree said...

This is my idea. Please make it my own idea if this happens. I like to claim ideas.

Anonymous said...

noway Anni should make the building as the National University as he said repeatedly. now its important not to deviate the things differently as he said. He said that he didnt mention anything about the Aarah so i dnt wanna talk abt Aarah though he is now spending nights in Aarah with his friends to have his way of "FUN". But let the Theemuge be the National Univesity..

Mr. Karma said...

First of all, its sad to see people trying make an 'impact' with their comments, but remain to be anonymous. You might as well just say loudly you are a coward before you comment.

Town Hall? Better than what it was used for all this time. A play house of Gayyoom Family and his cronies.

Maybe it could house the people that are still living in tents after the tsunami.

I thought Anni said he is going to build a University there?

afraz said...

interesting idea. But Local administrative building's or town hall's are built by the respective town's budget. Not out of the national budget. So this magnificent building should belong to the maldivian people. It kud house offices for different Atoll's and Island councils.

Anonymous said...

best to get the return is to rent rooms from theemuge. we can market it by saying " Experience royalty in a slum city" ...this would sell...

Sleepy Society said...

There was a lot of rhetoric in the debates and in the heat of the moment they say silly things.


The palace could still stay as palace.

We dont need a University in the crowded Male' let it be build in Addu or Laamu Atoll.

Let people move around the country. For God Sake 99% of Maldives is Ocean, and we find it a daunting task just to go on a 10 minute boat ride to Villingili.

Let Development spread around the country, so that people will move around the country (which is good for our economy)

mymymy said...

Rumor has it that there are 40 rooms at Theemuge! No, there are NO 40 rooms in theemuge! How can you turn a residential palace into a University?

You talk about expenses! 60% of the expenses of theemuge was spent for public welfare!

Stop that and you get a 'haradhukuda' palace.

Anonymous said...

theemuge should be hotel and open air restaurant under the mango tree.then there is employment for former theemuge staff and praps more. you get income and create employment for many Maldivians.It can be given to the highest bidder to run as hotel or for any other good proposal. Does anyone know for sure how many rooms there are.Even the buildings on the other side of theemuge are part of theemuge, I think. and connected by secrtet paasage.

Maldiveshealth said...

what a bunch of losers we all are. phew.

Anonymous said...

Every state, big or small, has a state house (residence for its head of state and head of government)and similarly Theemuge in the Maldives is the official residence of the head of state (and government). We have put alot of efforts and money to erect Theemuge and it is not appropriate to transfer Theemuge as a Museum, university or for that matter town-hall. Though Presiden Nasheed would not want occupy the facility, it should be looked after well and continue as the most prestigious state house of the Maldives. Given land scarcity and demand in Male' we cannot build another Theemuge. So it is the citizens' right to safe guard and continue Theemuge as our state house. Actually what we cannot digest at the moment is the way ex-President used Theemuge and since many hate ex-president, they too hate the things used by ex-president. This is particularly evident in the pictures we see even from the President's Office. This is not appropriate for any administration just for hate sake throw away the furniture and things at the PO. This is just wasteful hate and islam does not allow these to happen in any community. Forget the past and use state property properly and it is not Maumoon's property. We should learn to live like decent people.

Anonymous said...

yup i'd go for the highclass Hotel idea and then tax it!

It would also be great to have maumoon there in a cage, glass cage to be exact. People can go ask questions and if it helps maumoon can write the answer on paper as his mouth will be ducktaped to his eye balls.

but that would remain as a fantasy, i'll go for the Hotel without the glass cage.

Anonymous said...

All these maldivian students who live in overseas for 'studies' and know nothing other than eating from the money recieved from 'rent money' from Male and hitting the keyboard 24 hours a day are very fond of terms they hear from the countries they live in.Stop this sloganeering,give fresh ideas