Good to be the Chiefs?

With all of the great hospitality we have experienced in Maldives, one group stood out as distinctly UNwelcoming. The officials we met on Kulhuldhufushi. They called us into their office for a long meeting entirely in Dhivehi. This was the only time when we were not greeted in English with an apology for conducting the rest of the business in the native tongue. News director Rameez acted as interpreter and each of my team members was asked to make a short statement about the changes in the news media. The “chiefs” seemed totally disinterested in whatever we said. We met them again the next day as we were leaving the airport. Same reaction.
There has been a lot of concern among foreign observers and the opposition that island chiefs connected to Gayoom will have too much influence over the fairness factor in the election. After meeting these guys, the concern is understandable. However, there are others who are more open to the reforms. Read on.