Phone usage (Maumoon, Political Parties, Government and Businesses)

I got curious today after reading an amusing blog post about an unsolicited SMS message someone had supposedly received from a mobile phone number registered to the current President of the Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Now, this is a time of intense political competition between the various candidates camps and an originating number on a SMS is pretty easy to spoof, so I'm not sure if it really did originate from the said number. But that's not what really struck me...

What got my attention was the fact that there now was a publicly listed mobile phone number registered to Maumoon. I've never before seen a mobile number registered to him listed on the Dhiraagu e-Directory and a quick search through various old snapshots of e-Directory data that I had confirmed that there indeed had been none - atleast none up until early June which was the last e-Directory snapshot I had. Anyway, I grabbed a fresh snapshot of the e-Directory and spent a little while running some interesting queries on the data.

Here is some of what I found:

Numbers listed on e-Directory:
Landline (Male')24423
Landline (Islands/Resorts)8750
Phones/Customer on Avg2.9

Political parties:
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party92
Maldivian Democratic Party11
Social Liberal Party6
Adhaalath Party6
Islamic Democratic Party6
Jumhooree Party2
Peoples Party2

Registrants (Top 5):
Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Pvt. Ltd.833
Maldives Police Services200
State Electric Company Ltd.191
Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital167
Maldives Customs Service164

Most common names (Top 5):
Mohamed Rasheed1273
Ibrahim Rasheed1250
Ahmed Rasheed1089
Ahmed Mohamed1088
Mohamed Ali1087

Government (Top 5):
Maldives Police Services200
Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital167
Maldives Customs Service164
Min. of Defence & National Security141
President's Office139

Ministries (Top 5):
Min. of Defence & National Security141
Min. of Atolls Development114
Min. of Health76
Min. of Finance & Treasury76
Min. of Environment Energy and Water67

Businesses (Top 5):
Villa Shipping & Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd.163
Universal Entp. Pvt. Ltd.156
One And Only Reethirah149
One & Only Kanuhura125
Kurumba Village124

And finally...

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom

Note: The information presented was obtained using the entries on the Dhiraagu e-Directory (as available today).

Maumoon for MSN Messenger

We all love MSN Messenger don't we? Here is something I made a few months ago to "brighten" up Messenger chat conversations: animated emoticons of our *ahem* beloved *ahem* leader. To use them, just right click on the picture, save it to your computer and load it up in MSN Messenger.


Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom: The astrological portrait

Today is supposed to be the birthday of Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, who happens to be known by many popular aliases such as The President of Maldives, The President, His Excellency, Zaeemu, Al-Usthaaz (or rather *the*usthaaz), MAG, Maanu, Maumoonu and lately more famous under the monikers The Dictator, The Oppressor and Golhaaboa. I am sure you all know him. First and foremost, let me wish him: happy birthday Maumoon!

I have to admit that Maumoon is probably one of the most interesting figures in Maldivian history. I am impressed by what he has achieved - though I shall take liberty in not being too specific in what I think he actually achieved. He has suppressed (and thus defeated) all opponents for 27 years. He has ruled (and manipulated) the populace of a country for longer than I have been alive. His oratory and literary abilities have captivated much of the population. His presence is respected by many. He has maintained a solid image to the world. He even managed to get a writer to immortalize him by beautifully sculpting a impressive image of himself in a book titled "A Man for all Islands". The name of the book, chosen by him of course, goes a long way in hinting at the sort of person he is. All in all, he seems to have played most cards right. :-P

Anyway, to celebrate the day I decided to share the horoscope of the man himself. I do not know the accuracy of the birth details used to generate the report and thus I do not claim this to be a valid astrological representation of him. All I can vouch for is that this is a professional software-generated astrological report in its original form and that it makes for a very interesting reading. Jump to page 29 of the document to begin reading the chart interpretation texts.

Click here to download the horoscope report for Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.


There was a comment by someone on one of my recent posts titled "Future of the Maldives: blurry?". The person mentioned the now famous magic number "27", which is used handsomely by the political opposition to refer to the time in office held so far by our beloved President Gayyoom. Now, this 27 year thing everyone shoots off so easily really pisses me off. I would challenge anyone who does this and for good reason too.

Truth of the matter is, it is not only under current ruler that we have suffered. Moreover, it would be unfair to blame the current state of our society entirely upon one person however easy it is. I admit, the boss has to take most of the responsibility, however the blame falls on each of us too. Every citizen is to be criticized for letting it run this far. I recently snapped at a government employee with a high status job. Like everyone these days, he was whining about how pathetic our society has become and how this is to be blamed on one person. I firmly, with gritted teeth, told him to shut up and look to himself. As a member of the older generation he has failed to take stand in his time and in doing so helped pass a society escalating towards self-annihilation. As a member respected in society he has failed to use his influence to better the lives of the people. As a person educated and with resources, he has failed to do his duty to the country and to the rest of us less fortunate. How dare he go whining on and on? This situation wouldn't have come about if it was snipped in the bud before it got out of control. But then, that is bringing in the ?if"s which is quite pointless now...

Maldivian people were under a larger suppressive force under the dictatorship of Nasir. To name one, the Thinadhoo incident where innocent unarmed civilians were SHOT, where children and pregnant women were FORCED to flee to the cold lagoon at dawn are part of more serious atrocities committed then. I have listened to recounts of the event by surviving Thinadhoo people of the time and each time I cannot believe this is an event that took place on such a scale and in such recent times. I have no choice but to listen to them in utter amazement and share their anger that lingers on. Such events in our history have silently been swept under the carpet, to be forgotten. Moreover, thanks to the "richness" of our literature and "effectiveness" of our educational and media institutions, few of the younger generation are aware of these dark times even in our recent history. (If anyone of you have personally experienced this or have close family who did, do feel free to share the experience with the rest of us. I for one, would be interested in hearing more about it.)

Maldives really sickens me at times. Our ancestry begins with pirates, prostitutes and criminals who either settled here or were banished here. Our history has been forged - dark times and the cruelty of people and rulers hidden and locked away in the unmanifest, for heaven forbid that our history have anything but heroics and bravery. Fantasy and magic have been introduced to full the void. The list goes on...

So please, do away with the twenty-seven. Let us all work toward the Utopian Idealistic Society we all dream of. :-P

O Moon. Where art thou?

The Muslims around the world are looking up for the moon to see if tomorrow is the 1st of Ramadan... While in the depths of the Indian ocean, in the scattered islands of the Maldives the Muslim populace silently wait looking up at their "moon" (better known locally as ---moon) to see if tomorrow is Ramadan or not.

I remember this particular "moon sighting" event back from the days I slogged for the President's Office with a diminutive salary but unique job title of "Web Developer". It was the first Eid during my time at the PO and as always I had to work late. Then around evening, I receive a press release from the "Press Unit" for publication on the President's Office website. I read the press release and just stood there in utter shock. Here with me was the press release regarding the moon sighting event that would be held that night and yes - the outcome of this colourful, televised/broadcasted live ceremony as well! There written in detail was the events of the ceremony complete with snips from any speeches. This was better than astrology. This was living the future right then and there.

Are even religious events and holy days rigged? Are they preset and predetermined for political benefit? I snapped out a fake reality and burst out of another bubble - I knew better from then on. I watched in amusement as whole events - with no exemptions for the holy - be planned and orchestrated with brilliant precision. I watched as everyone was hoarded in rooms and halls, dressed in their best attire and silently be made a fool of themselves. Oh well, just another exciting tale from my days at PO...

Anyway, let me steal a few lines from regarding the start of Ramadan:

"Sighting Possibilities for Ramadan 1426
Ramadan: The Astronomical New Moon is on Monday October 3, 2005 at 10:28 Universal Time. Looking at the visibilty curve one can understand that the moon is in the Southern Hemisphere. The moon is about 15 hours old and being too low on the horizon for North America will set in 14 min. after sunset on west coast. It cannot be seen in North America nor anywhere East of USA October 3. On October 4, it will be visible in most of the world except most of Asia and Europe, where it will be 24 to 31 hours old and less than 2 degrees above the horizon, still not visible. In Europe and most of Asia, it cannot be seen until October 5, when it will be 48 to 55 hours old. Accordingly, the first day of Ramadan will be on Wednesday, October 5, 2005 for North America and most of the world, except most of Asia and Europe, Insha-Allah."