President Nasheed was presented with the Anna Lindh Prize 2009 at a ceremony held yesterday evening. Mr Jan Eliasson, Chairman of the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund presented the prize to the President. Mr Eliasson was also a former Swedish Foreign Minister.

Speaking at the function, the President said that the prize was a testament to the world’s recognition of the efforts to bring democratic reforms to the Maldives. He added that the prize was a great honour for the people of the Maldives.

Anna Lindh Prize was established to honour Anna Lindh, the Swedish foreign minister who was stabbed to death in 2003.

Stating that Anna Lindh was a very special person, the President noted her courageous work to promote human rights. Furthermore, the President said that he had received tremendous support from Anna Lindh during his incarcerations.

Highlighting the political situation in the Maldives, the President said that the government was committed to the consolidation of its young democratic fabric. He also said that a key issue, as we move forward, was that of transitional justice. Speaking further, he said that transitional justice would not be a personal vendetta but an essential mean to establish good governance and the rule of law in the Maldives.

Elaborating on the importance of transitional justice in the Maldives, the President said the best way to put the past behind us was to give justice to the People. He said that the only pathway for the Maldives to move forward was to apply our new found freedom to the fullness of their meaning.

President Nasheed also spoke on the need to strengthen political parties. In this regard, he said, providing opportunity for aspiring young people in political parties to play active roles would strengthen party system.

The President also spoke on the impact of climate change in the Maldives. He said the Maldives need support and assistance to save the country from the effects of global warming.

Mr Jan Eliasson also spoke at the function. He highlighted the reasons why the Fund had selected President Nasheed for the award. He said that he Anna Lindh Memorial Fund was pleased that President Nasheed accepted this prize and that the President’s work has given hope and inspiration for many.