Mohamed Nasheed

  • Aired:  04/02/12
  •  | Views: 25,029

Former President Mohamed Nasheed expresses the urgency for democratic elections in Maldives, as well as the urgency for environmental awareness. (6:57)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, HE WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE MALDIVES FROM 2008 UNTIL FEBRUARY 2012.

HE IS THE SUBJECT OF THE NEW DOCUMENTARY CALLED THE ISLAND PRESIDENT.

>> FOUR YEARS AGO I SAT IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT BUT IN SPITE OF THE ODDS WE REFUSED

TO GIVE UP HOPE.

WE WON OUR BATTLE FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE MALDIVES.

THERE ARE THOSE WHO TELL US THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS IMPOSSIBLE... THAT SOLVING

CLIMATE CHANGE IS IMPOSSIBLE.

I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THAT WE REFUSE TO GIVE UP HOPE.

MY MESSAGE TO YOU IS CONTINUE DESPITE THE ODDS AND EVENTUALLY TOGETHER WE WILL

REACH THAT CRUCIAL NUMBER 3-5-0.

>> Jon: PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM MOHAMMED NASHEED.

( APPLAUSE ) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

IT'S AN INCREDIBLE STORY.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

IT'S BEEN A DIFFICULT STORY.

>> Jon: IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT STORY NOT JUST.

SO THE MALDIVES ARCHIPELAGO THAT IS HOW MANY ISLANDS?

>> 2,000.

WE JUST ONE POINT ARE AT ABOUT SEA LEVEL.

WE HAVE 200 ISLANDS THAT ARE INHABITED.

THEY'RE VERY DELICATELY PLACED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN.

ANY IMBALL... IMBALANCE TO NATURE HAS A STRONG IMPACT ON THEM.

>> Jon: THERE ARE NO HILLS.

>> THERE ARE NO HILLS.

>> Jon: WHEN THE SEAS RISE....

>> WE GO DOWN.

>> Jon: YOU ARE FIGHTING THIS BUT THE BACK DROP OF YOUR FIGHT IS ALSO A POLITICAL FIGHT.

YOU WERE THE FIRST DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE MALDIVES.

>> WE'VE BEEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN FOR THE LAST 2,500 YEARS.

WE HAD OUR FIRST DEMOCRATIC ELECTION IN 2008.

I WAS FORTUNATE TO BEAT THE DICTATOR.

UNFORTUNATELY AFTER THE COUPs HE IS BACK AGAIN.

ALL HIS THREE CHILDREN ARE IN THE CABINET.

HE'S CALLING THE SHOTS.

WE HAVE TO HAVE AN ELECTION IN THE MALDIVES AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

>> Jon: NOW, IS THERE... YOUR SUPPORTERS, I IMAGINE, AND YOUR OPPONENT'S SUPPORTERS,

HAVE THERE BEEN CLASHES?

>> SINCE THE COUPs, THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OUT ON THE STREETS EVERY

DAY FOR THE LAST SEVEN WEEKS.

I'M AFRAID WE ARE NOT SEEING MANY SUPPORTERS THAT COME OUT IN FAVOR OF MY OPPONENT.

BUT HE HAS THE MILITARY POLICE AND THE JUDICIARY AND THE INSTITUTIONS, AS SUCH.

IT'S EASY TO BEAT A DICTATOR THROUGH AN ELECTION.

BUT IT'S NOT SO EASY TO OVERCOME THE DICTATORSHIP.

WHEN THEY COME BACK, THEY COME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE.

WE'RE ASKING YOUR GOVERNMENT TO IMPRESS UPON THE GOVERNMENT IN THE MALDIVES THE NEED TO

HAVE ELECTIONS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

>> Jon: OUR GOVERNMENT, I'M ASSUMING-- AND I CAN ONLY ASSUME THIS-- DOING EVERYTHING

WE POSSIBLY CAN TO HELP OUT THIS SITUATION.

THAT'S HOW WE ROLL.

>> WELL, I'M AFRAID THERE ARE....

>> Jon: BUB, NOW, NOW.

>> YES, YOUR GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO HELP US.

>> Jon: REALLY?

>> WELL, I HOPE SO.

I REALLY DO HOPE THAT THEY IMPRESS UPON THE GOVERNMENT WE HAVE TO HAVE ELECTIONS QUICKLY.

>> Jon: HAVE THEY RECOGNIZED YOUR OPPONENT NOW AS....

>> JUST SECONDS AFTER THE COUPs.

>> Jon: SECONDS.

>> SECONDS AFTER THE COUPs.

>> Jon: WAS....

>> I THINK PERHAPS THAT THEY ARE NOW UNDERSTANDING THE GROUND REALITY.

I MET YOUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON FRIDAY.

THEY ARE GOING TO SEE HOW THEY MAY BE ABLE TO IMPRESS UPON THE GOVERNMENT AT HOME.

BUT THEY SEEM TO HAVE... THEY HAVE TO ASK ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE AROUND THEM BEFORE THEY

CAN SAY ANYTHING.

>> Jon: I IMAGINE INDIA HAS A GREAT DEAL OF CONCERN AND INFLUENCE IN THAT AREA.

>> INDIA IS VERY BIG AND LARGE.

BUT I WONDER IF IT'S AN INTELLIGENT THING TO OUTSOURCE YOUR FOREIGN POLICY.

>> Jon: YOU ARE ONE, IF I MAY SAY, VERY COURAGEOUS YOUNG GENTLEMAN.

>> DID I SAY SOMETHING WRONG.

>> Jon: NOT AT ALL.

IN THIS SITUATION THAT YOU FIND YOURSELF IN, YOU COME TO PROMOTE A MOVIE ABOUT SAVING

YOUR COUNTRY FROM GOING UNDERWATER.

AND NOW ARE YOU ABLE TO EVEN GO BACK TO THIS COUNTRY OR WILL YOUR OPPONENT... ARE YOU

A FUGITIVE NOW IN THE MALDIVES?

>> THE FACT THAT I'M ABLE TO BE ON YOUR SHOW I HOPE WOULD GIVE ME SOME SECURITY AND

SAFETY AND HOPEFULLY THEY WOULDN'T MURDER ME.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE TODAY?

>> THEY TRIED TO DO THAT.

>> Jon: YOU HAVE RISKED YOUR LIFE TO BE HERE.

I REALLY SHOULD HAVE WATCHED THAT MOVIE.

I FEEL TERRIBLE NOW.

>> I COME HERE HOPING THAT YOU WOULD SAVE ME.

>> Jon: YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN TERRIBLE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR COUNTRY.

IN ALL REALITY, YOUR SUPPORTERS AND THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU HAVE BEEN ATTACKED.

THEY'VE BEEN BEATEN.

DO YOU FEAR... CAN YOU GO BACK,

RALLY YOUR SUPPORTERS AND RECREATE A DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT THERE?

>> WE DO NOT GIVE UP.

DEMOCRACY HAS TO COME BACK TO THE MALDIVES.

THE COUNTRY HAS TO COME BACK ON TRACK.

IT'S NOT MY PRESIDENCY THAT IS IMPORTANT.

IT IS IS THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE MALDIVES MUST BE ABLE TO DECIDE WHO WOULD GOVERN THEM.

NOT BRUTE FORCE.

WE CAN'T LET THAT GO.

WE HAVE TO VOTE ON IT.

AND WE WILL VOTE ON IT.

>> Jon: WITH SO MANY AT STAKE AND IT'S SUCH A RARE SITUATION

THAT NOT ONLY IS THE DEMOCRACY OF THE AREA AT STAKE BUT THE VERY CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF THE ISLAND.

IS THAT WHAT RAISES THE STAKES FOR YOU?

IS THAT WHAT MAKES THIS SUCH AN URGENT FIGHT?

>> IT'S NOT JUST THE MALDIVES.

MORE THAN A QUARTER OF THE POPULATION IS LIVING...

MANHATTAN IS AS HIGH AS THE MALDIVES.

>> Jon: I'M ACTUALLY ON A VERY HIGH FLOOR.

I WONDER IF THE ELEVATOR STILL WORKS.

>> CLIMATE CHANGE IS AN ISSUE THAT IS HAPPENING NOW.

WE HAVE 16 ISLANDS THAT NEED RELOCATION.

WE HAVE WATER CONTAMINATION ISSUES.

WE HAVE FISHING PROBLEMS.

THERE'S A WHOLE HOST OF THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING NOW AND PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE NOTE OF THAT.

>> Jon: LET'S DO THAT.

DO YOU HAVE A FEW MINUTES BEFORE YOU GO BACK AND BE ARRESTED?

ALL RIGHT.

STAY WITH US FOR A LITTLE BIT.

WE'LL THROW THIS UP ON THE WEBB.

THE ISLAND PRESIDENT IS NOW PLAYING IN SELECT CITIES.

MOHAMMED NASHEED.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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