Wednesday, 08 June 2016

'The Economist' strategically misrepresents facts on Maldives

Issued By 

8 June 2016; The Economist newspaper’s 7 June 2016 article on the Maldives entitled: ‘Go west, deposed man: The President of the Maldives Gets Asylum in Britain’ is a misrepresentation of facts. If The Economist was intending to refer to Mr Mohamed Nasheed, he no longer is the President of Maldives; he resigned from office on 7 February 2012, and the Economist should be well aware of that as well. Mr Nasheed is now a member of the political opposition. He was granted medical leave while serving a sentence for ordering to abduct a judge. 

In seeking to consider these issues however, The Economist falls into the same spiral of conjecture, misinformation, and blatant factual inaccuracies so as to further an agenda that has, as its central aim, the unconstitutional removing of a democratically elected President, and thus subvert the very process it suggests ought to be upheld.

The Government of the Maldives is not seeking to ban public banners, it is merely clamping down on acts that could be arguably be seen as ‘flyposting’, not so dissimilar to rules in force in many other nations. Further, there is no harassment of any employee of any media outlet; there is an ownership dispute, but it is not one in which the Government seeks to involve itself, it is an issue for the courts.

The Government readily accepts that there is distance between it, and the opposition, and yet it is the opposition that has thus far refused to engage in talks that the Government suggested; the continued reference to ‘political prisoners’ is one which again is not backed up by any credible evidence and one that was dismissed by an independent delegation of MPs from the UK Parliament as lacking any credibility, and thus The Economist has adopted the same position as certain others, in that an allegation is enough for it to print as fact, rather than seeking to investigate and confirm.

These so called ‘facts’ and the further use of the “laughable terrorism charges”, highlights The Economist as being yet another media outlet that has allowed itself to be manipulated, that no longer considers investigation appropriate insofar as journalism is concerned, and is instead content to publish scurrilous rumour and conjecture masquerading as fact.

The fact that none of these matters were put to the Government is indicative of its mala fide intent. 

The Government of the Maldives welcomes debate on a range of political issues that are in the public interest, but a disingenuous smear campaign does not constitute professional journalism nor will it be tolerated. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Republic of the Maldives

Website: www.foreign.gov.mv

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