Last night’s opposition Progressive Congress Coalition’s “Addana” rally has sent a strong message to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s divisive and weakened administration. The rally which saw thousand gather at the Carnival area is the largest political gathering since the 2020 Local Council Election Campaign launching event also by the opposition coalition.
While ruling party activists have alleged in recent weeks that support for the opposition coalition has waned as the opposition leader and Presidential Candidate former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom continues to serve a jail term, last night’s rally proved otherwise.
While the current main ruling party MDP or any of its coalition partners are yet to hold any rallies, the last rally held in 2020 by MDP saw little support from the public even though they hold absolute control over the parliament and the executive branch.
Moreover, former Vice-President and advisor to the opposition coalition, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed spoke on the upcoming Presidential Election. He stated that the 2023 Presidential Election can only be held with the opposition’s candidate former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s name on the ballot. He also stated that he hopes that the current appeal case of the former President lodged at the Supreme Court would be conducted fairly and justly.
While former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom is the sole opposition Presidential candidate, the current administration continues to deny acknowledgement of the fact that the opposition leader and Presidential Candidate is jailed. While it is unclear whether President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will grant the opposition leader the right to contest for the Presidential Election, political analysts say that the former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s immense popularity amongst the public would mean that he poses the obstacle to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih serving a second term as the President.
The opposition coalition also spoke on the recently leaked audio tapes regarding former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s case. Opposition Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shujau stated that Judge Ai Rasheed who passed the guilty verdict on the opposition leader and currently sits in the apex court, would be subjected to an investigation.
Judge Ali Rasheed was the subject of controversy after the leaked audio tapes revealed that Judge Ali Rasheed has allegedly had passed the guilty verdict as instructed by the President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir and President’s Legal Counsel Ahmed Abdulla Afeef.
Acting Opposition leader PNC President Abdul Raheem Abdulla also spoke at the rally. The former MP accused the current administration of colluding with India to win the 2018 Presidential Election. Abdul Raheem Abdulla’s comments on the current administration colluding with India come at a time when locals are protesting against growing Indian influence on the domestic affairs of the Maldives.
They also refer to the controversial interview given to “India Today” by current main ruling party President, former President Mohamed Nasheed. He stated in the interview that “ First of all, no one thought we would win the election. Everyone thought it would be heavily rigged, and we had no chance. But India didn’t think that. Indian officials and Indian diplomats were at it. They knew that they can create a small window, and you know, if we even get a millimeter, we knew we could go ahead and we could win the elections. So to start with, I think Indian diplomats were very clever. This is not something I usually say but they were very very clever in, in, you know there were many many unreasonable demands from us. On what India should be doing because of lack of democracy there and because everything was suppressed. But they didn’t do what we asked them to do but all sorts of other things which brought us the election.”.
While no state authority has launched or even acknowledged these serious allegations, the current administration’s popularity continues to sink as they fail to uphold the many Presidential and Parliamentary campaign pledges which they made. The current administration’s inability to deliver their pledges even with absolute control over the parliament and the executive branch of the government has meant that the people have lost its trust in the current administration. Meanwhile, the opposition continues to grow ata n unprecedented rate, with last night’s rally serving as a rude awakening for the current administration.
What global investors can learn from China’s new economic governance
Several global investors appear to have recently observed a “turn” in China’s economic governance.
Aside from multiple antitrust probes and data security audits of the country’s major internet firms, officials have put stringent rules on the off-campus tutoring industry and enhanced food safety assessments of prominent food brands.
Investors are wondering if China’s policy stance is changing as a result of the comprehensive rules inside the industries. How will the regulatory changes affect the capital market and China’s economic structure in the long run?
Global financial services analysts recognized the regulatory procedures as part of China’s long-term attempts to make growth more sustainable and inclusive, which are expected to bring benefits to the regulated sectors and the broader economy in the end.
In preparation for the commencement of China’s new five-year plan period in 2021, authorities have increased regulatory monitoring in a number of areas.
The country’s highest market regulator pledged in April to increase anti-trust law enforcement, imposing record fines on the country’s digital juggernaut Alibaba and beginning anti-monopoly investigations against internet giant Meituan.
Off-campus tutoring enterprises were put on hold in July when central authorities issued guidelines restricting financing for the for-profit off-campus training organizations in an effort to alleviate student burdens.
Market authorities in the country have also increased their crackdowns on food safety infractions, conducting on-the-spot inspections of a number of popular food brand chain stores and pushing rectifications from the concerned firms.
“The regulatory actions should be placed within the broader framework of China’s economic transition,” said Robin Xing, Morgan Stanley’s top China economist.
For example, the anti-monopoly legislation gave focus to issues such as the over-concentration of market power in a few IT behemoths, which might erode profit margins of small and medium-sized businesses, he added.
“The latest policy suggested a greater emphasis on social fairness, which will promote a healthier economic structure, more stable growth, and happier lifestyles for the people,” Wang Peng, an analyst with Hangzhou-based Yongan Futures, said.
According to Shi Jialong, Nomura’s head of China internet and new media research, the regulatory moves on China’s internet sector are a signal to enable the main platforms to divert their resources and energies away from excessive rivalry and into research on advanced technologies.
“We believe the internet business, which is famed for its tenacity,” Shi said, “should be able to adjust to the environment and sustain healthy growth.”
For a long time, the emphasis has been on quality rather than speed of development. Since the concept of “high-quality development” was introduced at the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress in 2017, China has been reorganizing its economy in order to make growth more sustainable and inclusive.
Financial risks have been mitigated, absolute poverty has been eliminated, and environmental contamination has been addressed. Meanwhile, the government has prioritized the strengthening of reforms on all fronts in order to promote a new development paradigm.
The latest Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs meeting, joined by the country’s top authorities, emphasized high-quality growth while emphasizing “shared prosperity” in its quest.
“If you go back, you’ll see that all of the policies can be traced back to the development ideology expressed in public publications,” Wang explained.
“Some folks missed the signs or didn’t fully comprehend it,” he explained.
For example, socioeconomic fairness has long been a policy objective, according to Wang.
With a GDP expansion of 12.7 percent in the first half of this year, China is on course to fulfill its 2021 growth objective of “over 6 percent.”
“This means the country has left enough room to promote measures that are critical to long-term development,” said Victoria Mio, Fidelity International’s director of Asian Equities.
According to Mio, the laws are beneficial to the long-term growth of the Chinese economy and capital market.
Fidelity International, which is bullish on the possibilities of the Chinese market, has sought to establish a wholly owned fund management company. In August, China’s top securities regulator authorized the proposal.
Furthermore, other global asset management behemoths are rapidly turning bullish on China. In an interview on August with the Financial Times, an investment strategist at BlackRock’s research team advised investors to increase their exposure to Chinese markets.
According to Wang, there are several reasons for investors to remain bullish on Chinese assets.
According to Wang, China’s bond yield is among the highest in major nations, but its stock market valuation is lower than in most developed economies, indicating the long-term investment worth of China’s assets.
“It’s impossible to remain confident in China and its assets,” he remarked.
Foreign Minister Shahid stays silent over accusations made by former Mayor of Malé City on secret deals with India
For the first time in the history of Maldives, the Maldives won the chair of President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahidh competed against Afghanistan’s Former Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rasoul to succeed the chair in the campaign held in New York’s UN Headquarters. However, there are ongoing rumors that there is more than what is seen on the surface behind this huge accomplishment.
MVR 4 million was designated from the 2020 budget for the UN General Assembly Presidential Campaign. However, a budget of MVR 4 million in Maldivian local currency would fail to measure up against the budget of much larger countries like America. This ascertains the possibility of the financial backing or big sponsor of another country in attaining the seat of President on the UN General Assembly for Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahidh. India has been publicly stating on their media that this position was achieved with the backing of their country. They have also stated that Indian officials actively assisted in the campaign for the UN General Assembly Presidential Chair. This leaves the question; Just how deep are the ties between Minister Abdulla Shahidh and the Indian Government?
On ‘Dhivehi Channel’, Former Mayor of Malé City and one of the leading activists within the ruling party MDP, Adam Manik (Sarangu), has shared his thoughts on the matter. What he accentuated most on the matter was that Abdullah Shahidh was an Indian Candidate, referring to his ties with India. This accusation carries with it a lot of weight. It deprives the Maldives of one of the biggest accomplishments in its history. Nonetheless, the following statements made by Adam Manik during the program further implicates the involvement of Abdullah Shahidh with India.
Speaking on “Havaasa” TV show, Adam Manik stated that, Abdullah Shahid joined MDP after going on a foreign trip to India while working for DRP. And that in the 2018 Presidential Election, Abdullah Shahid’s name was put up as a candidate from MDP. During this time while Mohamed Nasheed was jailed, Abdullah Shahid had called from India and spoken to Adam Manik to influence him to give more power and control of MDP to him.
The latest news that’s been circulating regarding Indian influence on the Maldives is the military base that is to be set up in Maldives by India. Countless aircrafts, sea vessels and countless militia that is flying in and out of the Maldives unrestricted has further fueled the rumors. As spoken on “Havaasa” program by Adam Manik, he stated that India’s support has been given to Abdullah Shahid because of a secret agreement between India and Abdullah Shahid that he will be giving his full support from the Foreign Ministry to build the military base of India in Maldives. Adam Manik has accused Abdullah Shahid of working with India for his own personal gains.
Adam Manik mentioned that these decisions are made for the personal gains of a few individuals without considering that India is always keeping their eye on Maldives and that Maldivians should be more cautious when dealing with India as if it goes wrong, Maldives may have to fight for their freedom.
From his statements, it is evident that Adam Manik implies that Foreign Minister Abdullah Mohamed Shahid is traitor to his country. Even though These accusations are being made by a leader of MDP, Abdullah Shahid has not responded to them. No member of MDP or the government has even made any comments regarding these accusations or even acknowledge the allegations.
The agreements made by Minister Abdulla Shahid between India and Maldives has been classified citing national security. No media or company have had any coverage or news on this issue. Politicians have stated that there are Indian military personnel all over Maldives by now.
When such hard accusations about treason and loyalty to the country are being made on a sitting cabinet member, it is imperative that the public gets a response from the government or the accused minister, proving if the allegations are true or not.
The 20-year US war on terrorism in Afghanistan ends in failure
On September 9, 2001 Al-Qaeda operatives assassinated the commander of the Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masssoud by Al-Qaeda operatives.
The northern alliance is an anti-Taliban coalition that played a huge role in resisting the Taliban. The death of Massoud, a master of guerilla warfare known as the Lion of the Panjshir, dealt a fatal blow to the anti-Taliban resistance. According to the view of terrorism experts, his assassination guaranteed Osama bin Laden protection by the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks.
An American Journalist for CNN, Peter Bergen later calls Massoud’s assassination “the curtain raiser for the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.”
One of the most defining moments of the 21st century is the terrorist attacks against the US was on September 11, 2001 also known as 9/11.
It began with the hijack of four commercial airlines by Al-Qaeda operatives, and then they went on to crash the planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The fourth plane crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Approximately three thousand people were killed in the attacks.
Even though Afghanistan is the base for al-Qaeda, none of the nineteen hijackers are Afghan nationals. An Egyptian known as Mohamed Atta was the one that led the group, and fifteen of the hijackers originated from Saudi Arabia.
After this incident, President George W. Bush vows to “win the war against terrorism,” and later zeros in on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Bush ultimately calls on the Taliban regime to “deliver to the United States authorities all the leaders of al-Qaeda who hide in your land,” or share in their fate.
On September 18, 2001 President George W. Bush signs into law a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against those responsible for attacking the United States on 9/11.
This joint resolution at a later time will be cited by the Bush administration as legal rationale for its decision to take sweeping measures to combat terrorism, from invading Afghanistan, to spying on U.S. citizens without a court order, to standing up the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Additionally, the U.S. military, with British support, began a bombing campaign against Taliban forces in October 7, 2001, formally launching Operation Enduring Freedom. Canada, Australia, Germany, and France pledge future support.
The war’s early phase mostly involved U.S. air strikes on al-Qaeda and Taliban forces that are aided by a partnership of about one thousand U.S. Special Forces, the Northern Alliance, and ethnic Pashtun anti-Taliban forces.
The first wave of conventional ground forces arrived twelve days later. Most of the ground combat is between the Taliban and its Afghan opponents.
Today, the US has withdrawn all of its forces from Afghanistan and have made a complete retreat from the war, leaving the Afghans to deal with the Taliban’s on their own.
Furthermore, the Taliban have proceeded to take over dozens of cities in Afghanistan, in a matter of days after the fall back of US troops. They effectively sealed their control of Afghanistan on Sunday. They stormed into the capital, Kabul, and met little confrontation as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the government collapsed, and chaos and fear gripped the city, with tens of thousands of people trying to escape.
The rebels’ return to power, two decades after they were ousted, came despite years and hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the United States to build up the Afghan government and its defense forces.
Thinking forward, the United States and its former coalition partners must regulate their policies and posture to defend national security interests under a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan—which could be even more risky than it was in the 1990s, and in particular on September 11, 2001.
A Taliban-led Afghanistan that provides tech-savvy global terrorists safe haven to remotely recruit new followers is a different level of security threat than it was previously.
The withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan is the best news al-Qaeda has had in decades. Now that the Taliban is back in charge of the country, it is guaranteed that al-Qaeda will rebuild a sanctuary in Afghanistan and use it to plot attacks on the United States.
The terrorist group responsible for 9/11 will soon have the means to arm themselves with the weapons seized from the defeated Afghan army, they will also become wealthy with cash looted from Afghanistan’s central bank, and with fighters freed from prison they will get more manpower.
All of this will occur as the United States’ intelligence abilities in Afghanistan are harshly degraded. With no military or diplomatic presence on the ground, it will be far more difficult to monitor al-Qaeda as it reconstitutes itself, trains, and plans attacks. And with US drones and fighters now based hundreds of miles away in the Gulf, it will be far more difficult to take terrorists off the battlefield even when they can be located.
In conclusion, the US has suffered a huge loss in its war against terrorism in Afghanistan, this failure will most likely lead to many problems rising in the future.
Source: CNN, New York Times, BBC
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