The Whole World is Watching

Or at least it seems like it. The UN, the EU and the Commonwealth all have observers In Maldives, as well as tsunami relief organizations like the Red Cross and numerous NGOs. Top ministers held a briefing on the progress of constitutional and legal reform, which missed another set of deadlines in November 2007. India’s high commissioner questioned whether it will be possible for parliament to pass all the relevant measures in time for elections to be held later this year.

The Information Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Attorney General fielded most of the foreign observers’ questions in English and held a q and a session for Dhivehi and English-speaking reporters afterwards. I simply don’t agree with those who interpreted this as a snub of the press or an unwillingness to answer questions in front of the international community. I think the officials felt it would be discourteous to the diplomats to make them sit through a lengthy q and that mostly wasn’t in English. It got heated at times, especially on

issues like police reform and human rights. Any observers who wanted to stay would have been welcome.
Back in the newsroom, people who are accustomed to simply running all two hours of the event have a hard time breaking it down into reasonable soundbites, so I wrote a script in English which was translated into Dhivehi. The package covered the major points, made its slot and only ran 1:47. Now if I could only get the cameramen to shoot more cutaways!