Ambassador Atul Keshap’s Remarks at Maldives Roadha Veelun

June 5, 2018

Excellencies, distinguished guests, friends, colleagues of the American Embassy, it is indeed a sincere honor for me to share this evening with you and to break the fast together here, in Malé.  I extend to you all a very, very warm welcome, and on behalf of the people of the United States of America and the women and men of the United States Embassy, I wish each and every one of you, and us, Ramadan Mubarik, and thank you for sharing this evening.

As you well know, Ramadan is a month in which over a billion Muslims from all across the world unite in service and charity to those less fortunate, and come together in brotherhood and sisterhood to celebrate the holy month.

It is a month for reflection and devotion, selflessness and peace, new beginnings and new commitments.  Over the past three years I have been privileged to see that in action every time I’ve come to Maldives to host this Ramadan and I know that people of goodwill in this beautiful country strive every day to embody those sacred virtues.

Friends, the United States is proud to be a friend to the Maldivian people and to be working hand in hand with Maldivians to improve the well-being and quality of life of citizens all across the many atolls of this exquisite country.

The United States Agency for International Development helps provide sustainable, clean drinking for more than 4,000 residents on Hinnavaru Island through a desalinization and rain water harvesting system, and it’s worked with the government to strengthen management of coral reef ecosystems which are so crucial to marine life and to tourism in this country.

Embassy personnel are also working with emergency first responders to provide better health care for people throughout this archipelago.

Since 2004 our American Center in Malé has partnered with civil society organizations, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment and others to launch countless programs focused on democracy, freedom, and education and thereby helped shape the dream and promote the future aspirations of all Maldivians.

Ladies and gentlemen, we provide employment and leadership skills for young people.  We promote English language as a method of unlocking jobs and skills and prosperity, and we encourage study in the United States, we showcase American culture and values, and we hope to foster goodwill and mutual understanding even though our countries are so far apart geographically.

My dear friends, we share your vision of a stable, democratic, and free Maldives.  A Maldives that plays a central role in maintaining the stability, prosperity, and peace of the Indo-Pacific region.

Friends, we believe in a Maldives that is a beacon of decency, transparency, and genuine democracy here and throughout the Indian Ocean region.  And we are committed to working with Maldivians to strengthen our connections, promote greater mutual understanding, and build a future in which our young people can take full advantage of every opportunity available to them.

I am certain that working together we can achieve these shared aspirations and secure a brighter future for all of our people.

In the same way that we have all gathered here tonight in fellowship during Ramadan, so too must we all come together to preserve our shared values and our way of life.

Dear friends, this Ramadan, I ask and I pray that we can all take the opportunity to refocus our efforts on the qualities of patience, mercy, and kindness and compassion towards each other.

We are all united by our common respect for humanity, by humility, by inclusion, by acceptance, by compassion.  And in that great spirit, that noble spirit, it is my very great honor to share this Roadha Veelun with all of you.  Thank you so very much.  Shukriya Ramadan and Mubarik.