Food For Thought

Facing reality.......

A coup d’état is usually brought about by people who are convinced that they cannot acquire power through democratic means and / or those whose vital interests are mightily threatened without power .

Friday, November 7, 2014


The Constitution of the Maldives guarantees the personal privacy of people living in the Maldives. Yet, how much of it is guaranteed in real life?

In the various debates on democratic rights in the country, the focus appears to be on social and political rights, and who is governing. We rarely hear outrage at violations of liberty other than with respect to arrest and detention. My focus has always been personal liberty and associated rights.

I visited the doctor today, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Clinic where I usually go to see my doctor had restarted offering Aasandha. I was definitely in a good frame of mind when I entered the consulting room. However, as my consultation progressed, I became increasingly alarmed. The doctor was typing away the details of the consultation into an interface of the Aasandha server, and then proceeded to type in details of the prescription into the same interface. When I made some inquiries later from a friend, I learnt that that was a requirement to use the Aasandha service.

The cause for my consternation is this. Why does Aasandha (which is an insurance service) need all the details of my consultation with the Doctor? Isn’t that privileged information between doctor and patient? I kept asking myself: Who else is going to see this? How secure is the Internet connection? Who is eavesdropping on this connection? How trustworthy are the staff at Aasandha? Have they been vetted for integrity? Won’t the government use this information against me any time they chose to? When will I see this information splashed on my Facebook Wall?

It is not only Aasandha, I realized after much reflection when I got home. Government agencies and many private businesses are collecting a lot of personal information on people. Often, the information they collect is not necessarily related to the service they provide. It is very easy for service providers to just hand out a form and ask people to fill it. Most people would not stop to ask the question as to why the service provider needs all that information.

The danger lies in that all this information is being collected and stored without any legal obligation on the service providers to maintain privacy. We do not have any laws or regulations that govern personal data that is collected by government agencies or private service providers. Very often, government agencies ask private service providers to supply them with personal information of their clients. We have a culture where government demands are met by business very docilely and without question. But did the client authorize the service provider to divulge that information? Do all these agencies really require the information in order to provide the service?

In order for the public to be protected from potential cases of harassment, blackmail and fraud, it is essential that Majlis pass a Data Protection Act urgently. Such an Act should include three major provisions: Firstly, no government agency or a private service provider may require the client or customer to supply any personal information which is not absolutely necessary to provide the service; secondly, any such information collected may not be disclosed to a third party unless with the express authority of the individual concerned; and thirdly, any such information collected should be stored securely using appropriate means.

I understan that this is standard "best practice".

Your thoughts?

Friday, April 12, 2013

University of Western Sydney and Maldives Police Service

It was with horror that I heard that the University of Western Sydney, Australia had gone into partnership with the Maldives Police Service to offer some kind of courses at the Police College or whatever name that institute goes by.
I can understand very well why MPS might seek such an affiliation. In addition to police officers being trained by a reputed University, it would put a feather in Abdulla Riyaz's cap by being able to claim that reputed academic institutions have no problems in associating with the MPS, which is an indication that the international community does not have a problem with assisting the current coup government. However, what made me flinch was that an Autralian University, funded by the Australian people could turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by the organization they were getting into bed with. The fact that an academic institution in a country like Australia, whose people have such a strong conviction in fairness and justice, could just turn a blind eye to those values they hold so dear.
Anyway, I got so upset that I called the contact officer listed on their website to lodge my protest, and she very kindly directed me to her email. I then proceeded to write to the University in an attempt to appeal to their ethical standards and ask them to review their decision.
I have copied below my email to the University, and the contact details of the University for the reference of readers.

Dear Ms Danielle Roddick

Let me please apologise for the long delay in getting back to you. I did not see your mail until today.

As I said when I spoke to you on the telephone, I am deeply concerned that the University of Western Sydney is in partnership with the Maldives Police Service.
 My concern rests mainly on ethical grounds, and as an Australian graduate, and as the Chairman of an Academic Institution in the Maldives, I am appalled that an Australian University could go into partnership with an organization like the Maldives Police Service at the current moment. Let me outline the reasons for my concerns.
1.       On the 7th  of February 2012, the Maldives Police Service and the Maldives National Defense Force, in partnership with certain political elements in the country executed a coup d’etat and overthrew the government which was elected by the people.
2.       On the 8th of February, the Maldives Police Service attacked peaceful protestors, severing limbs and causing great injury to a number of peacefully protesting men and women.
3.       To this day, the Maldives Police Service continue to act with impunity, disregarding the Constitution and Law, and continuously violating fundamental rights such as the Right for Peaceful Assembly and the Right for the Freedom of Expression
4.       Never has the Maldives witnessed an era of such impunity and lawlessness.
5.       The MPS is currently headed by one of the Chief perpetrators of the Coup, and he holds the post of Commissioner of Police in violation of the Law. In fact his appointment is totally outside the Law, and any decision he makes in that capacity does not have any legitimacy.
6.       The Commonwealth, the British Government, the Australian Government and the Canadaian Government, The Indian Government along with the European Union and Amnesty International and the United Nations have been continuously expressing concern in varying degrees about the situation in Maldives, and have been demanding elections.
7.       The Maldives Police Service keep continuously harassing, and arbitrarily arresting opposition Members of Parliament and key Leaders in the Opposition.
8.       The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group has Maldives on their Agenda and is considering suspension due to the lack of rule of law in the country.
9.       The Commissioner of Police has publicly stated that the MPS will NOT investigate any of the police officers who perpetrated any of these crimes, including brutality against people.
10.   The British Parliament has taken up the issue of Scotland Yard having ties with the Maldives Police Service.
 With this backdrop, it is unthinkable that an Australian University would go into partnership with this organization and give them the tools to portray to the public and the international community at large that they are an organization which conducts business with normalcy with academic institutions in Democratic Countries.
 Hence, I would like to urge th[e] ethics committee (or equivalent body) of the University to review this decision, and express solidarity with the Maldivian People.
 I await your reply before proceeding to act on this matter any further.

Thank you.

Ibrahim Ismail
Chairman of the College Council
Mandhu College, Maldives

Contact Details of UWS
Danielle Roddick  | Senior Media Officer

Office of Marketing and Communication | University of Western Sydney
Building AF Room 1.03, Penrith Campus (Werrington North) 
P: 9678 7086 | F: 9678 7089 | M: 0414 308 701 | E:

Catch up on the latest UWS news:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thoughts on the Judiciary

 Since 2005, I have thought that the major hurdle for the establishment of a democratic system of government in the Maldives was the Judiciary. Three main characteristics of the Maldivian Judiciary inhibited the promotion of democratic ideals: The utter incompetence and ignorance of judges, particularly as relates to the basic principles and norms of a democratic society; the ubiquitous corruption among judges and the rampant desire of judges to please a ruthless tyrant in return for their positions so that they could continue their corrupt practices.

The rewriting of the Constitution was an opportunity for the country to change this around. It was generally felt that if judges were given full independence, they would maintain justice in the country. I never subscribed to this notion, as I could see that most of the judges in the system would not survive in a meritocratic system based on integrity and competence. Nevertheless, in any democratic forum, majority prevails.

It must be noted that the chapter on the Judiciary was drafted and redrafted 7 times, and every time it was DRP who objected to the draft. Eventually it was passed with compromise. You may ask why. The simple answer is DRP (essentially Qayyoom) controlled all but 27 of the 113 seats in the Special Majlis, and had those compromises not been made, the Constitution would never have seen the light of day.

The JSC was put in as the oversight body of the Judiciary and the composition was made up so that all three branches of the state were equally represented in it, making it the pivotal point of the Constitution.

The composition of the JSC has since become the centre of much debate. Many do a very shallow analysis of events and come to the conclusion that the whole problem within the Judiciary lies in two MPs sitting in the JSC. But that is only 2 out of 10! In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Three major factors contribute to the problem.

Firstly, the Judicature Act and the Judges Act, which were passed by the Majlis in 2010, violates the Constitution and democratic norms by a large margin. The Supreme Court has taken maximum advantage of this and abused the system to undermine the Constitution.

Secondly, the Majlis, which is the oversight body of the JSC and the ultimate oversight body for the entire Judiciary is full of compromised MPs. So many MPs have cases before the courts, and their personal stakes in the courts are so high that MPs in general simply turn a blind eye to the misdeeds within the Judiciary. The Supreme Court was constituted to ensure that these corrupt politicians and those MPs who had committed serious crimes or had colluded in criminal activity would be protected through cronies on the Bench.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the battle for the political survival of Qayyoom and his loyalists started in the Majlis and spilled into the Judiciary and the JSC. The final battleground will be the Supreme Court, and controlling the JSC to protect the Supreme Court and the Qayyoom brothers is essential.

Thus, the real problem is not the composition of the JSC. The real problem is the battle between Good and Evil. Justice and Injustice. You can change the JSC. You can change all the Independent Institutions. But as long as the Qayyoom brothers remain in a position to call shots in the political arena, you will not see justice prevail in this country.

The reader is referred to my previous writings on the Judiciary in this blog for some details of events as they happened.

The status quo today is that with yesterday’s two rulings by the Supreme Court against the Majlis, the Supreme Court has effectively declared Supremacy over the people, nullifying article 4 of the Constitution.

There is no Constitution in the country any more.

Question is, what will the Majlis do? Will they understand their folly and act? I call on Speaker Shahid to uphold the Power of the People by defying the Supreme Court rulings on both accounts. He should call the secret ballot for the impeachment motions, and he should call for nominations to fill the vacancy in the Civil Service Commission.

If any state official or body challenges the Speaker’s decision and action on these two issues, the Majlis must move a motion to freeze the remuneration/budget of such official or body.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

President Nasheed and the Courts

Many of my friends and colleagues, especially my “twitter friends” have been inquiring me of late, about my view of President Nasheed’s decision to disregard a summons by “Hulhumale’ Court”. I myself have been pondering over it as my initial reaction was that President Nasheed should not have done it. However, when I looked at the issue dispassionately and in the context of many anamolies in the Criminal Justice System of the Maldives, the case does not appear to be so simple. In fact it is rather complex, and adds to the myriad of convoluted issues we are being forced to grapple with.

It is so complex that the 140 meagre characters that twitter gives us is barely enough to expound on this particular problem. At best, it is a unique and delightful academic issue to ponder on. What I write below is not meant to be a legal discourse, but more an academic and intellectual approach to analyze a social problem.

It is not helpful to consider President Nasheed’s decision to ignore the court summons just by itself to fully understand the phenomenon. One needs to consider a host of other issues to grasp the enormity of the situation.

On the face of it, anyone who is summoned by the courts should willingly do so, and anyone disobeying an order by the court should rightfully be held in contempt of court and punished for it. This is necessary for the upholding of the rule of law.

However, one needs to also consider the basic assumptions underlying these powers of the courts and the reasons for granting the courts such powers.

Among many, the following assumptions are made in relation to the courts:

·       The courts will not act outside the jurisdictions granted to them by law, and any ultra vires orders by courts do not constitute a valid order which falls within the concept of contempt of court
    The courts will apply same procedures to all, and are bound by law to do so, and will not be selective in the application of law and procedures
        The courts shall not display any bias in any way towards or against any person, and most importantly will not be seen or perceived to be biased in any way

There are many other such assumptions, but I limit this discussion to the above three assumptions.

Firstly, on the matter of jurisdictions
·       There is huge contention whether Hulhumale’ Court has been granted powers by the law to try ANY case whatsoever. The Constitution says very clearly that trial courts will be defined and created by Law. When Parliament created courts by the Judicature Act, there was no “Hulhumale’ Court” designated as a Magistrates Court. The Supreme Court itself is still sitting on the case of the validity of the Hulhumale’ Court. It was created by the Judicial Service Commission, without authority derived from Law. Therefore the validity of any orders or judgments issued by this court is questionable, and the Constitution says no one has to obey any unlawful orders, i.e, orders which are not derived from law. THEREFORE, PRESIDENT NASHEED’S DECISION TO IGNORE THE SUMMONS HAS MORE THAN REASONABLE LEGAL GROUNDS.
·       The Judicature Act does make some provision for Superior Courts (Criminal Court, Civil Court, Family Court and Juvenile Court ONLY) to appoint a panel of judges for some cases. Such panel has to be decided by the entire bench or Chief Judge of THAT court. In this case, a panel of judges from other courts was appointed by the JSC to Hulhumale’ Court. JSC does not have that authority by Law. If Hulhumale’ Court is legitimate, and is a Magistrate’s court, it would be the only Magistrate Court in Male’, and per the Judicature Act, would not have any other court to tie up to in order to convene a panel of judges. If it is considered part of Kaafu Atoll, then the panel should be convened from among magistrates assigned to Magistrate Courts operating within Kaafu Atoll, and the Chief Magistrate for Kaafu Atoll should convene the panel. The panel of judges convened now was convened by the JSC, and the panel includes judges from other atolls.
·       The Hulhumale’ court issued a travel ban order to President Nasheed, without ever summoning him to court, and in his absence, before any charges had been presented before him. No court has the power to issue such an order under any law. The court could have issued such a bail condition after the first hearing, if there was reasonable justification to believe President Nasheed might flee the country or he might present a security risk for the community through further criminal activity.

On the basis of the above, there is more than ample grounds to contend that the summons was issued by an Unlawful Panel of Judges, sitting in an Unlawful Court, which had already issued an Unconstitutional restraining order which was ultra vires

Secondly on the matter of selective application of procedure
·       Deputy Speaker of the Majlis Ahmed Nazim defied 11 summons and only appeared in court for the 12th summons. No action was taken against him.
·       An order for Abdulla Hameed (Gayyoom’s brother who now resides in Sri Lanka) to be brought to court was issued by the Criminal Court a long time ago. However the Court has not provided an English translation of the Court Order to be submitted to Interpol. Nor have the Police contacted Sri Lankan authorities to repatriate him under the bilateral agreement which allows that. It should be noted that Sandhaan Ahmed Didi was repatriated from Sri Lanka airport under the same agreement, without even a court order, or charges being laid against him.
·       There are numerous cases of prominent politicians and business tycoons disobeying court summons, and to date no one has been convicted for contempt of court for this offence. This leads to the argument that not appearing before the court on account of a summons is not an offence for which people are prosecuted even though it is a prosecutable offence. By past practice and hence precedent and customary practice, no one has to appear before the court every time a summons is issued.

Based on the above, there is more than ample grounds for President Nasheed to claim that there is no need for him to appear before the Court at the Court’s convenience and his inconvenience. Further, there is a rightful claim that the court has already exercised bias against him and that it is unlikely that he will receive a fair trial. More importantly, the fundamental principal of equal application of law and procedure has been seriously compromised.

Thirdly, on the matter of bias
·       Ample demonstration of bias has been made in the above paragraphs to start with
·       One of the three judges on the bench has wrongfully authorized detention of President Nasheed before, and can be considered as biased against him
·       One other judge already has cases of misconduct being investigated against him by the JSC
·       The third judge is reportedly a classmate of Abdulla Mohamed in the Mauhadh Dhiraasaathul Islamiyya
·       Thus there is a widely held perception that President Nasheed will not be accorded a fair trial. One of the Principles of Natural Justice is that not only should justice be done, but it must be seen to be done too. 
·       When over 2000 cases are waiting to be prosecuted (including murder, rape, child molestation, child abuse and other serious white collar crimes) at the Prosecutor General’s Office, one asks the question why has this case been expedited beyond normal protocol.

Thus there are grounds to argue that a panel of judges who issued ultra vires restraining orders on no demonstrated reasonable grounds cannot be expected to give a fair trial or judgment.

Thus, it would appear to be a reasonable decision on the part of President Nasheed that since he is not being summoned by a legitimate court, by legitimate judges through legitimate procedures, he is unlikely to get justice; and that his appearance before the court will simply whitewash a huge injustice to him, and therefore he will not appear before the court and face the consequences and fight it in his own way.

This is just a very summary description of what I think are some relevant issues surrounding the situation.

The legitimacy of courts and their orders and decisions lie in the courts and their actions being within the framework of the law, which is applied equally to all. An ultra vires decision of the court is no different from a decision by an individual to disobey the decision of the court itself.

Hence my tweet : Impunity can only be matched with impunity.

When legal systems breakdown to the level we are seeing, laws are not worth the paper they are written on. Anarchy rules, which comes from a very primitive instinct within human beings : survive any which way one can. We enact laws and try to uphold the rule of law to move away from this and live in a civilized fashion. For rule of law to be upheld, ALL PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND OFFICIALS have to abide by it. It is extremely fragile. If just ONE disregards the rule of law and the issue is not rectified quickly, it spreads rapidly like a cancer and destroys the whole system, paving way for anarchy. I think we are fast approaching that point. The final signs, that of treating human life with impunity on account of difference of opinion is already here. The rest is likely to follow soon.

The outlook is appears to be rather bleak. But from a systems theory perspective, this had to happen. All vestiges which held the faulty system had to break before reformation could take place. There will be chaos. There already is. It may worsen. And then, if we are lucky, out of chaos will emerge order. But what kind of order it will be depends on which paradigm wins. At this point in time, I would tentatively suggest it may be religious extremism.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On A Personal Note.......

I have always accepted that being in the political front line, I am always a target for libel, innuendo and damned outright lies aimed at character assassination.  I have had my fair share of mud slung at me, but none have ever really stuck. As such, I have never felt the need to explain those “creative” claims against me or reply to them. Rather I have taken the attitude that it is “all in a days work”. I know that I have never done wrong, and my morality is intact, and I continue to lead what I believe is an ethical life. Most of the general public, and especially those who support my work have never questioned my integrity, and that was enough. Before I go on, I would like to thank all those thousands of Maldivians who have held my character in high regard, and who at times, have even spoken and acted in my defense. I truly appreciate your support through thick and thin. That is one thing that helps me to keep going. Thank you, indeed for your trust and belief in me.

However there is one accusation which is being repeatedly thrown at me, which, by the sheer number of repetitions, is almost on the verge of “becoming a truth”. You see, sometimes, when even the biggest lie is repeated like a mantra oft enough, people start thinking “there must be some truth in it”. I refer to the claims made by my political opponents that President Nasheed “gave me the MES building without a bidding process” and that he also authorized 3 million rufiyaa from the education fund for me, outside the law. Both are outright lies, and I feel the time has come for me to break the silence on both issues and make public the truth.

Firstly the case of MES building. The government never gave me, or Mandhu College any rights on this building. Both EPSS and MES buildings were initially allocated to those schools for a 10 year period. After the period expired in 2006, a cabinet decision (Qayyoom’s cabinet) was made in 2008 to renew the lease agreement for another 10 years. The lease for the MES building was again signed between the Ministry of Education and Ali Mustafa and Seena Zahir. President Nasheed’s government honoured and executed a Qayyoom cabinet decision made prior to November 2008 by signing this agreement. Subsequently, Mandhu Learning Centre sub-leased the premises from Ali Mustafa and Seena Zahir. So the government never entered into a contract with me or Mandhu College. Just as Billabong School sub-leased the EPSS premises from the proprietors of EPSS school.

Subsequently, a business dispute arose between Ali Mustafa and Mandhu College, which was eventually settled with a transfer of lease agreement. I PAID 4 MILLION RUFIYA TO ALI MUSTAFA to secure that transfer, which was perfectly legal, and did not involve the government. The lawyer advising Ali Mustafa in that transfer agreement was none other than the current Attorney General Azima Shakoor.

Therefore, in essence, President Nasheed’s government, nor President Qayyoom’s government or any other government ever “gave” the MES building for me or Mandhu College, with or without a bid. Allah is my witness on this. I hear on the grapevine that the Ministry of Education and the Attorney General are in earnest discussions now, to find some way of terminating the agreements and kick Mandhu College and its students onto the streets. So be it

Secondly the 3 million rufiyaa loan.  The story goes as follows. In 2009, Mandhu College applied for a loan from the Thauleemee Fund because a great deal of repairs and reconstruction had to be done on the building. After consideration, the Ministry of Education rejected the application. End of story.

Then, in early 2010, when we were preparing to launch a high school, and teachers had been recruited from the UK, Arabiyya School building collapsed and the Ministry of Education couldn’t find a suitable place to house Arabiyya until a new building was constructed. The Minister requested me over the phone to help out, and I agreed on the spot, no strings attached. We put our project on the back burner (where it still remains!) and housed Arabiyya under an agreement, for 2 years. No rent, nothing, All we asked was that they pay their share of the electricity and water bill, and maintain the areas that they use. The agreement has since been extended another year. Our business has been on hold for three years now.

However, the MES building was in poor shape, and for Arabiyya to start using it, a substantial level of repairs had to be done. The building was leaking from the entire west wall, modifications on the higher floors had to be made to make it safe for primary aged children and so on. The government did not have funds for it, and we proposed that if the Ministry would approve the loan we had requested, we would repair the building for Arabiyya, and WE WOULD PAY BACK THE LOAN from OUR funds. It was the Thauleemee fund committee, and NOT President Nasheed, who authorized the loan. And as far as I know, President Nasheed never issued any instruction regarding the authorizing of this loan.  Frankly, none of us had any other choice at the time. The priority was that Arabiyya School should resume operating as soon as possible.

This is the truth behind the MES building lease agreement and the thauleemee fund loan. I don’t think I, or the government did anything wrong here, I would do it all over again without any qualms.

Those of you who have stood by me all these days, I would sincerely request that you help me to clarify the truth about these issues to those who spread the lie unknowingly. As for those who do it deliberately….well let them carry on.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Time to Think and Act

More than a year since I penned anything on the blog, now. Many a times I have thought of sharing a thought, but somehow I never got around to it. And then…the world collapsed, throwing me into utter despair. The pain was so deep. What I saw happening was so fearful it made me speechless. Thrust into a time machine and in the blink of an eye, we are hurtled back 2 decades. Only thing is we remain two decades older and somewhat wiser than then.

I must admit, it has taken sometime to shake off the weariness and pick up the pen again. But I feel I must. I have to. The least I could do was to try and make some sense of what was happening and to put it out for anyone who cared to read.

The last couple of years had made my conviction stronger, that a change of leadership was insufficient to bring in lasting democracy. Readers of my blog would recall that even before the Presidential Election in 2008, I had been advocating that Qayyoom simply epitomized a system and that it was the system which propagated oppression. What became more apparent was that even though Qayyoom himself was ousted from office in the 2008 election, his tentacles which had been bred over a period of thirty years were strongly rooted in the civil service, in the judiciary, various commissions, in the military and the police force. All these elements were working in concert, first to maintain the system which had served their personal interests so well in pecuniary terms as well as privilege and in some cases impunity, and when change became inevitable, with the bedrock of the old system, the Judiciary, coming under direct threat of being reformed, it was time to pull the coup, before all was lost.

Now that I have recovered somewhat from the blow, and the self pity for seeing what I had worked for and sacrificed all my life going down the drain, I can finally start thinking clearly. I must admit the first few weeks since the coup I felt a rage that I had never experienced in my life, and it was difficult to think rationally and clearly. Rage and clear thoughts don’t see eye to eye, I suppose. Anyway, that phase is gone, and now it is time to fight this tyranny again. It should be done with clarity of thought, a cool head and cold logic which is exacting. The enemy must be sprung with what he is least expecting (Old Chinese war philosophy). The vulnerable spots must be identified (and there will be many, I can assure you).

What is heartening is that a great proportion of the general public does not seem to be accepting this atrocity. Compared to 2004 – 2008, there are less people now to be convinced of what has to happen. It appears that the Maldivian public is no longer prepared to timidly accept a dictatorship. Will we have an election this year? I can see no reason to doubt that this will happen. If the public do not relent, the rest of the world will not simply turn a blind eye. Their engagement looks set to get stronger by the day.

The eternal optimist, I believe that much good also has come out of this. We now know who is who and what is what. This will make it much easier for us to complete the work we have started.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hope and Pray The Dogs Will Be Kind On Us

Not much left to say really. The coup-de-grace is almost complete. Just the trimmings remaining, I suppose. We tried. I tried. Sigh! The rampant corruption, greed, self serving fiascos are almost palpable. A nation wretched for eternity? I am reminded of a parable I read in primary school. I think it was in “Kudakudhinge Bageechaa”. The book, not the park, silly! Anyway, the allegory goes as follows.

One day two cats stole a boakibaa (fish cake?). The two cats tore it into two bits, and one bit was bigger than the other. The cats started quarrelling as to who should get the bigger half. Along came the monkey who offered to adjudicate (the operative word in the current context). The monkey started eating from one bit, and then the other, supposedly trying to get the two bits equal. Eventually the monkey managed to eat the boakibaa down to two tiny bits that were equal. Just when the two cats thought they were finally going to get at least a tiny bit, the monkey claimed that he was entitled to a fee for adjudicating and claimed the remaining bits as the fee.

I am also reminded of a verse from a poem I learnt while in primary school, which goes as follows (if I recall correctly):

“Haama vee reethi manzaru thakey nethi dhanee
Maamalun eyge thaazaa kamey gellenee
Dhaamagun dhuniye hin’gamun miharagen dhanee

Oh! Mother! More of your sons have raped you yet again! How deep will these wounds be? Why do you not desert us and look out for yourself? Of course! You are Mum, after all, silly me! The country has surely gone to the dogs. Let us hope and pray that the dogs will be magnanimous and kind to us all.