Thinadhoo Council files transitional justice case regarding the 1962 forced depopulation by Maldives government

Thinadhoo in the 60s | Photo: Wordpress

Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives – The Thinadhoo Island Council Office has filed a case against the Maldives government at the Ombudsperson’s Office for Transitional Justice (OTJ) regarding the depopulation of the island in 1962.

Speaking to local news Sun, Thinadhoo Council President Saud Ali said that the case was filed to get justice and compensation for the Thinadhoo people who were attacked by the then Prime Minister of Maldives Ibrahim Nasir.

Thinadhoo Council is demanding to seize 50 percent of all assets for the perpetrators of the 1962 genocide and give it to the Thinadhoo people as damages.

[In 1092] Thinadhoo was a wealthy people who assisted the government of Maldives at times of need. The crimes against humanity were orchestrated at a time when this was the norm.

Thinadhoo Council President Saud Ali

The Council also demands to rename the home of Ibrahim Nasir, Velaanaage to “Thinadhoo Velaanaage”.

While stressing that this is not an action against the government of Maldives, the Council President said that the state must apologize to the people of Thinadhoo.

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 majority 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. However, the major buildings in the capital city, including the National Airport is named in honour of Ibrahim Nasir.