Virgin founder, media tycoon, and fabulously haired billionaire Richard Branson penned an open letter to interim Maldives president Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik to express his shock upon finding out that Waheed was involved in the military coup that unseated the previous president, Mohamed Nasheed.
After saying how pleased he was to have met Waheed and his wife, Branson went on:
You personally said to me that the Maldives needed a truth and reconciliation commission to examine the past misdeeds and the people who perpetuated them, and asked if I would speak with The Elders to see whether they would set one up.
Therefore, forgive me for finding it completely astounding that you have been part of an overthrow of a democratically elected government that has effectively let the old regime back into power. From knowing you, I would assume that you were given no choice and that it was through threats that you have ended up in this position.
Anyway, I do very much hope that was the case rather than you doing it of your own free will. With the world moving towards democracies, how dreadful it is to see the beautiful Maldives moving in the opposite direction.
Branson concluded by urging Waheed to ensure "free and fair" elections for the country this year and then effectively put their relationship on hold. "I look forward to renewing our friendship after those elections," the letter ended.
Bold words, indeed. Twitterers took notice of Branson's letter today and shared their approval.
@richardbranson thank you so much sir! Your support indeed inspire us to continue our fight towards democracy...thanks again heaps & heaps!
@richardbranson i can't help but wonder where your interests lie in this matter
@richardbranson thanks a heap!
http://t.co/gNSEYeg4 thank you Sir Richard Branson for reminding Mr. Waheed
I think Mr.Branson is bloody pissed off with Mr. Waheed (said with a very English accent)