In many ways, the Republic of the Maldives is to countries what bonsai is to trees. Most things in the Maldives happen in miniature. The GDP is less than three billion dollars, the capital is only one kilometre wide, and the population, despite the fact that they do it like rabbits, is only 300,000 strong.
I knew these things about the Maldives. However, I assumed the miniature characteristics were largely to do with demography and limiting economies of scale. So, I was caught by surprise when I read about the miniature assassination attempt on the Maldivian President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, yesterday.
Apparently, some Maldivian chap attempted to assassinate their President with a kitchen knife. Coming from a country with a raging internal conflict, personally, I am used to slightly more specialized weaponry. Like a suicide bombing. Or a Claymore mine. Or an AK-47. I find it difficult to comprehend a political assassination with a sharp pointed object first invented in the paleolithic era. It was not even a sword, a machete, or a rambo knife that was used; it was a kitchen knife, presumably stolen from a mother or a wife in the middle of cooking a tuna curry. How quaint, how homegrown…
How bloody ineffective. Predictably, the assassination attempt with the kitchen knife failed. The President’s life was saved by a boyscout, armed to the teeth with scarf and woggle, who happened to be standing nearby.
No, I refuse to go there. I know I could make jokes about the boyscout and the lack of a trained security detail, but I won’t. Traditionally, I am used to presidential security comprising of highly trained men skilled in martial arts and the use of weapons, committed beyond life and limb to protect the body of their elected leader. However, I am willing to admit that this may be just a cultural difference. Who am I to judge? If assassins in the Maldives only use kitchen knives, maybe all you need is a boyscout to save your ass.
Traditional Boyscout Uniform