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.
“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.
With roughly over a population of 330,000 people, one might say that events happening in the Maldives may not seem so festive. However, since the presidential election of 2013, the country is still in an unending period of festive celebrations and campaigning.
During the span of just six months, the country has seen three major elections taking place along with several rounds of ballot casting and delays. First in October was the presidential election, which extended till the constitutional deadline of November 11th in electing a President. Next in January came the local council election.
And now once again, on 22nd of March, the country’s 18th parliamentary election has taken place and the results are yet to come. Here are some of the things and people I saw on the final day of campaigning, 21st March Friday from 4:00PM to 6:00PM in different areas of Male’ City.