The depopulation of Thinadhoo was “Genocide”: Addu Mayor

Mayor of Addu City, Ali Nizar. | Photo: Gaafu

Addu City, Maldives – Mayor of Addu City, Ali Nizar stated that the incident that happened 55 years ago in Thinadhoo of expelling the residents of the island was one of the most cruel incident to happen in the history of Maldives, and described the incident as a “Genocide.”

Speaking at an event held to celebrate 55 years since Thinadhoo repopulated, Mayor Nizar stated that expelling the residents of the island was one the most cruel incident to happen in the history of Maldives. He stated that the incident should be described as a “Genocide.”

In 4th February 1962 Havaru Thinadhoo was completely destroyed on the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir to end the separatist movement of the United Suvadive Republic. Local news reports that the islanders were told to go to the shallow reef, where they were standing for hours with water up to their necks. Meanwhile all houses were destroyed, all wells broken and filled with rubble, all trees were cut and much property was looted while the islanders watched.

The island was then depopulated and its people dispersed. Sources report that women and children were raped in front of their families. Between 200 and 300 prisoners were taken back to Malé, where they were tortured and most killed. Thousands were allegedly killed or disappeared in the depopulation.

President Mohamed Nasheed in 2011 made a formal apology to victims of the then ‘Havaru Thinadhoo’ for past atrocities committed against them by the state.

The state regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives, and will take great care in the future to prevent actions carried out by the state to enforce violence against its own citizens.

Former President Nasheed, 2011

While the island completed 55 years of its repopulation on August 22, the Thinadhoo Council passed a budget of half a million to hold several events to comemmorate the event. However, all the events were later postponed after the island was placed under monitoring status due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.

Once the Covid-19 situation in the island became stable, the celebration began in Thinadhoo on September 09, with a sports event, followed by the official ceremony on the night of September 10th. The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Thinadhoo, Mohamed Atheef and Mayor Ali Nizar, along with several other higher authorities of the state.