Category Archives: Children

Indelible Moments from an Islander’s Life: Thinadhoo Genocide

Havaru_Thinadhoo_people

Thinadhoo Island is the capital of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and has its own dialect of Dhivehi and its own unique history. This island was formerly known as Havaru Thinadhoo. ‘Havaru’ refers to the bloodstained attempts by a Sultan in Maldives to capture the island during the 16th century. After years of prosperity and fortune, the ‘havaru’ events of the 16th century recurred in February 1962.

In 4 February 1962 Thinadhoo was completely destroyed on the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir to end the separatist movement of the United Suvadive Republic. The islanders were told to go to the shallow reef, where they were forced to stand for hours in water up to their necks. Meanwhile all houses were destroyed, all wells broken and filled with rubble, all trees were cut down and much property was looted while the islanders watched.

The island was then depopulated and its people dispersed. Women and children were raped in front of their families. Between 200 and 300 prisoners were taken back to Malé City, where they were tortured and most killed. Here is the unforgettable life story of one woman who endured the pain and agony during the 1962, Thinadhoo Genocide.

The Young Pilots

Seen in Alifushi
Seen in Alifushi

“We are going to become pilots when we grow up.”

“What do you find most fascinating about becoming pilots?”

“Flying over the Bermuda Triangle.”

“How much do you know about Bermuda Triangle?”

“We googled it. We know that planes disappear over the Bermuda Triangle.”

“What do you think happens to those planes?”

“It could be a portal to an alien world. We are going to find out when we grow up.”

Haseen and Iaadh are two kids I met one day on Raa Atoll Alifushi Island. They were sitting on the door step of the island’s petrol shed when I saw them early in the morning, engaged in a very thoughtful conversation. I found out that these two nine year olds, studying in grade 3 of the island school were talking heartily about the Bermuda Triangle, gateways to alien worlds and the latest strange disappearances of flights which they have seen on the news. Unfortunately, I was not able to ask these little guys what they thought of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. But I’m sure their theories would be pretty much related to aliens and the extra-terrestrial world.