A MALDIVIAN ambassador living in Bedford has resigned from her post after the government was overthrown by the army and police.
The democratically elected government of the Maldives, which came to power in 2008 after a 30-year dictatorship ended, has been overthrown in a coup masterminded by former dictator Abdul Gayoom.
Former ambassador Farah Faisal, who moved to the UK on self-imposed exile when her brother was imprisoned in the country for campaigning to overthrow the dictatorship, has received death threats and has received support from Bedfordshire Police. But she has vowed to fight for the Maldivian people who she believes deserve a democratically elected government once more.
She said: “I just want to make people aware the Maldives is a paradise for a lot of people but not for the people living there.
“People need to know the truth. The people of the Maldives know about Bedford because our Olympic athletes came here, if the people of Bedford could show their support that would be good.”
Farah’s grandfather Mohamed Amin Didi, was the first president of the country. But in 1953, during a similar coup he was overthrown and beaten to death. And in February when the current troubles began Farah was forced to watch events unfold on the internet link and feared for the safety of her brother, a national security officer and other close colleagues. These included president Mohamed Nasheed who was forced to resign from his post.
She said: “Since the coup 600 people have been jailed. Amnesty has reported that women have been beaten on their breasts and been told they can never breast feed again. For me it’s a long hard struggle but when you look at lasting democracy it doesn’t come overnight.
“It is very disheartening when people at high levels still support this kind of regime.”
Farah has also been receiving support from MP for North East Beds and Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt.
He said: “Our government remains unclear about the transfer of power from the democratically elected president Nasheed to the current president.”
To support Farah’s cause go to www.avaaz.org and sign the petition.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 24 C
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