Ahmed Thasmeen Ali

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Honourable
Ahmed Thasmeen Ali MP.
Leader of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party
Member Peoples Majlis
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 February 2010
Preceded by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Minister of Atolls Development
In office
2007–2008
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Preceded by Abdulla Hameed
Succeeded by Waheed deen
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
14 July 2005 – 25 June 2007
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Preceded by Ismael Shafeeu
Succeeded by Abdulla Kamaaludeen
Personal details
Born (1966-09-30) 30 September 1966 (age 47)
Male'
Political party Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, DRP
Spouse(s) Visam Ali
Children one
Religion Muslim
Website http://thasmeen.org/
http://drp.mv/

Ahmed Thasmeen Ali (born 1966; Dhivehi: އަޙްމަދު ތަސްމީން ޢަލީ), leader of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party [1] is a Maldivian MP, philanthropist and a businessman. Thasmeen started his career as a civil servant and after venturing into politics he was elected to Peoples Majlis from Baa Atoll and later he served in Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s cabinet and was his running mate in the first multiparty election held in the Maldives in 2008.[2]

His first Cabinet portfolio was Minister of Atolls Development and later served as Minister of Home Affairs,(14 July 2005 – 25 June 2007).[3]

He is the current leader of the opposition political party, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, and was, until May 2012,[4] Minority Leader in the Peoples Majlis Majlis of the Maldives.[5]

Education, family early career[edit]

He holds a BA degree in Economics from University of Warwick in England and a Master's degree in Political Science of the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Thasmeen is married to Ms. Visam Ali MP for Raa. Maduvvaree legislative circle and the couple have a child. Thasmeen practices diving, snorkeling, sea sports and fishing in his free time. Besides native language Dhivehi he is fluent English and understands Arabic (having lived in Egypt for his Masters studies.) Ahmed Thasmeen Ali owns resorts and other businesses, including Reethi Beach Resort and Fonaddhoo Tuna Products. He is a philanthropist.

Mr. Thasmeen was active in student association activities in England and in Cairo, Egypt.[6]

He has been an MP for Baa atoll since the 1990s.

Political career[edit]

Thasmeen is active in politics since 1994 and was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1994. Since then he has been representing Baa Kendhoo Constituency.[7] In addition to that he has held various posts as a civil servant at the Ministry of Youth and Sports,[8] Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and later he served as Minister of Atolls Development and Minister of Home Affairs.

  • Deputy Speaker of the Parliament from 1993 to 1998.
  • Deputy Leader of DRP, elected with the highest votes in the party's first congress.
  • Represented Maldives Parliament at various Commonwealth Parliamentary meetings.

In the October 2008 presidential election, he was the running mate[9] of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was Asia's longest-serving President.

Maldives Police Capacity Building[edit]

Maldives Police Service was introduced as a separate civilian agency during Mr. Thasmeen’s tenure as Minister of Home Affairs.[10] He embarked on recruiting new police personnel and introduced Jail reform activities with the help from Western Australia Police to comply with international human rights norms. He started construction of a maximum security prison with a vision to improve the living condition for inmates.[11]

The first Police Training School, housed in Addu Atoll was opened under his patronage.

Many modern scientific methods of investigation in Maldives Police Service were introduced under his instruction, including establishing Forensic Labs and deployment of CCTV camera in strategic points in the capital of Male'. The Community Policing concept used in policing in the Maldives is introduced under his guidance.[12]

In a leaked cable titled PROSPECTS FOR REFORM DOMINATE DISCUSSIONS IN MALDIVES the followings were noted: “Home Affairs Minister Ahmed Thasmeen Ali join a cabinet that is growing younger and more dynamic as President Gayoom continues to make changes in an effort to prompt progress in the Special Majlis (parliament) that is considering constitutional reforms.

“Thasmeen Ali was keen to continue to develop the capacity of the national police force, which was split from the National Security Service (Maldives? military) late last year. He also outlined plans to develop a separate, well- trained prison service and to construct a new prison on Maahfushi Island, noting that the current prison there, in which prisoners are kept in large common areas rather than smaller cells, makes it almost impossible to control or remove individual prisoners. He noted that his ministry, as part of the GoRM decision to invite the ICRC in to look at prison conditions, will work from ICRC standards as it designs the new prison.” [13]

Party to new heights[edit]

During Thasmeen’s leadership he took DRP to a new height. Though DRP was defeated in the 2008 presidential election he managed to increase the party membership and made gains in the parliamentary election and local elections.

With Thasmeen at the helm DRP secured more seats in the parliament than Nasheed’s ruling MDP. This is a major victory to DRP, especially since this came during the honeymoon period of the new government.[14]

During the split of the party there was much criticism leveled to Mr. Thasmeen by Gayoom supporters accusing Thasmeen of the 2008 defeat. However, DRP issued a statement reflecting of the past success in elections under Thasmeen saying “we note with regret that the party was unable to win a single election under President Maumoon’s leadership when it was in the government.”

“One of the main reasons for DRP having to face one of its biggest defeats (2008 Presidential Election) and MDP coming to power and causing despair for most citizens was the fact that the whole presidential campaign was run by Gayoom’s eldest son Farish Maumoon as a family matter,” said DRP statement.[15] However, the gains DRP made in the parliamentary election[16] did not last long.[17] With the internal conflict [18] it took a toll on party in terms on numbers in the parliament [19] and Gayoom formed a new political party.[20] With the formation of PPM, DRP accused PPM of poaching members [21] and later in the parliament it paved way for President Nasheed’s MDP to gain majority on the floor.[22]

GMR Issue[edit]

With the internal strife going on in DRP the Deputy Leader of DRP Mr. Umar Naseer alleged that Thasmeen and Speaker of the Parliament met GMR, new operator of Maldives International Airport, and the company had bribed them. Speaking to Miadhu daily [23] Thasmeen said there is no reasonable motive for GMR to hold secret talks with him and the leasing of the airport came in a time when Peoples Majlis is tirelessly working on securing state assets. Replying to a question on what can be done Thasmeen said “The matter is in judicial phase. Then what else can be done? It is impossible to hold demonstrations in the airport and cause strife there. Should we destroy the tourism industry of this country?” [24][25]

The Anti-Corruption Commission investigated the matter and questioned Mr. Umar Naseer and Mr. Gayoom and issued a report saying the commission was not provided with any solid evidence to make these allegations. In his testimonies to ACC, the Honorary Leader of DRP, Gayyoom said that he was informed about the trip of Thasmeen and Shahid from the media and he got a SMS message stating the same. However, he said that he does not remember the sender.[26]

Political positions[edit]

  • Supported to streamline the civil service and supported civil service bill in the parliament.[27]
  • Advocated to pass the media bill by the parliament and criticized the government of suppressing media.[28]
  • A month before President Nasheed’s resignation Thasmeen described Nasheed saying 'who claims to be the vanguard of democracy is becoming more and more despotic'.[29]
  • Thasmeen scolded President Nasheed’s government’s violent demonstrations and corrupt practices describing than ruling party as “drenched in corruption” [30]
  • Criticized the government of exerting political influence upon Maldives Police service and asked the officers not to obey the unlawful orders issued by the high command and not erode the aspirations of Maldives’ reformers.[31]
  • Thasmeen criticized Mohamed Nasheed’s government of transgressing upon the values of democracy and causing intimidation against state institutes.[32]
  • Thasmeen criticized the government’s failure in strengthening the economy and scaring foreign investors and eroding business confidence.[33]
  • In his Islamic New Year Statement Thasmeen said that President Nasheed’s government has promoted aniti-Islamic ideology for the past three years.[34]
  • Thasmeen defeated a no confidence motion against President Nasheed which was initiated by 47 MPs in October 2011.[35]
  • Thasmeen criticized PPM of following a political system which follows personalities instead of democratic rule.[36]
  • Thasmeen criticized President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for going against DRP charter.[37][38]
  • After party in-fighting Thasmeen asked anti-party elements to resign from party if they act against party charter.[39]
  • Thasmeen called government to support for a Palestinian state.[40]
  • Raised concerns against Nasheed’s government’s fiscal and economic reform program.[41][42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maldives Today (30 September 2011). "Its party time in Maldives again!". Maldives Today. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Thasmeen.org (2010). "About Thasmeen". Thasmeen.org. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Ministry of Home Affairs (2010). "Previous heads of the ministry". Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Abdulla Yaameen named Minority Leader". Raajje News. 31 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Peoples Majlis (2010). "Majority and Minority leaders (in Dhivehi)". Peoples Majlis. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Thasmeen aspires to be the President of Maldives". Dhivehi Observer. 7 March 2005. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  7. ^ Eydhafushi Times (2009). "Parliamentary Elections 2009: Interim results for Baa atoll constituencies being announced". Eydhafushi Times. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  8. ^ ESCAP (1–5 June 1998). "Youth Policy". ESCAP. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Miadhu Daily (10 August 2008). "Gayoom campaign kicks off". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  10. ^ Maldives Police Service (11 March 2008). "Graduation ceremony of 14th police recruit training course held at Police Training School Addu". Maldives Police Service. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Human rights training for Maldives police". Miadhu Daily. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "Minister of Home Affairs and Commissioner of Police meet UK Expert". Miadhu Daily. 3 June 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  13. ^ US Embassy Colombo (21 October 2005). "PROSPECTS FOR REFORM DOMINATE DISCUSSIONS IN MALDIVES". WIKI LEAKS. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Maldives Today (11 February 2011). "Maldives Today". Maldives Today. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Ahmed Nasih (3 October 2011). "DRP condemns Gayoom’s remarks on losing ground to MDP". Minivan Daily. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  16. ^ IPU via Majlis (2009). "MALDIVES Majlis (People's Majlis)". IPU. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Fathih Hussain (23 May 2011). "MDP winning Majlis". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  18. ^ Maldives Today (7 April 2011). "DRP Internal conflict will be solved, assured Leader Thasmeen". Maldives Today. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  19. ^ Poorna Rodrigo (4 July 2011). "News Analysis: Numbers game in Parliament". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  20. ^ Neil Merrett (14 May 2011). "Gayoom expresses "disappointment" with Thasmeen’s DRP, upon his return". Minivan Daily. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  21. ^ JJ Robinson (22 February 2011). "DRP accuses PPM of using cash incentives and development funding to poach members". Minivan Daily. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  22. ^ Ahmed Hamdoon (4 October 2011). "DRP MPs number drops to 17". Haveeru Daily. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Abdul Latheef (22 April 2011). "No reasonable motive for GMR to hold secret talks with me- Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Miadhu Daily (21 November 2010). "Thasmeen denies meeting GMR". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  25. ^ haveeru Daily (20 November 2010). "Thasmeen, Shahid deny meeting GMR officials". Haveeru Daily. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  26. ^ Staff Writer (25 June 2011). "I don’t know if Shahid and Thasmeen took bribes from GMR or not- Gayyoom". World Freedom Watch. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  27. ^ Via Haveeru (27 October 2005). "Civil Service Bill Presented to People's Majlis". Haveeru Daily. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  28. ^ MJA (25 February 2010). "MJA met DRP". MJA. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  29. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (25 January 2012). "Govt is becoming more and more despotic: Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  30. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (31 October 2011). "Govt does nothing but padlock every office that they do not have an influence upon- Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  31. ^ Maldives Today (30 October 2011). "Political influence in the top leadership of Maldives Police: Thasmeen". Maldives Today. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  32. ^ Murshid Abdul Hakeem (1 November 2011). "Govt wants to hijack all the three states of power- Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  33. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (20 November 2011). "Foreign investors don’t trust current regime- Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  34. ^ Abdul Latheef (27 November 2011). "Anti-Islamic ideology promoted in the country for the last three years repeatedly – Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  35. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (14 October 2011). "Initiative of to take no-confidence vote against Nasheed was called off by Thasmeen- Mahloof". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  36. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (18 October 2011). "DRP didn’t adopt a system which follows personalities- Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  37. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (5 September 2011). "Thasmeen rebuts Gayoom in less than 3 hrs after Gayoom’s resignation". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  38. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (5 September 2011). "Gayoom resigns from DRP". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  39. ^ Abdul Latheef (8 September 2011). "More people will join DRP when those who oppose party charter resigns- Thasmeen". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  40. ^ Abdul Latheef (21 September 2011). "AP and DRP calls govt to give full cooperation to Palestine to establish a viable sovereign state". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  41. ^ Abdul Latheef (22 August 2011). "Nasheed Answers Concerns Voiced by DRP-Opposition on Govt’s Fiscal and Economic Reform Programme". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  42. ^ Shaheeda Saeed (23 August 2011). "No opposition leader other than Thasmeen was brave enough to meet Nasheed- Shareef". Miadhu Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012.