Tourist told to keep enjoying Maldives holidays

by William ASTON on July 5, 2012

Holidaymakers have been asked to continue heading to the Maldives, in spite of calls made by the country’s ex-president for tourists to boycott the islands.

Earlier this week, Mohamed Nasheed, his nation’s first leader to be elected democratically, advised Britons that they must steer clear of idyllic beach resorts, whose owners, he claims, were among those that financed the military coup this year that saw his Maldivian Democratic Party ousted from power. More specifically,  Nasheed commented that anyone heading to the Maldives from overseas is bankrolling an illegitimate government.

In response, Friends of Maldives, a British pro-democracy group established in 2003, rejected Nasheed’s call despite also questioning the current government’s legitimacy in the same manner as the ousted president. David Hardingham, who founded the group, told the press that any boycott would be nothing other than a last resort.

Following the February overthrow of Mr Nasheed, Friends of Maldives issued its own travel advisory that asked Britons to steer clear of resorts owned by individuals who, it has been claimed, played an important role in the coup. Since then, the advisory has been suspended. Far from satisfied, Friends of Maldives is still campaigning with the aim of seeing fresh elections held.

Nasheed’s successor, Mohamed Waheed Hassan, has so far rejected all calls for a fresh poll to be held while being criticised in the press for appointing politicians who also held their positions under a previously ousted president.

{ 1 comment }

Nancy July 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

To start with : Waheed ’successor’ for now is the illegitimate head of a coup government. He participated in an overthrow of the FIRST EVER democratically government we ever had in Maldives.
In meantime even a commission with only 3 representatives of the regime already published a timeline which clearly shows : sure it was a coup d’etat !
Since then : the regime brutalise peacefully protesting citizens, including sexually abuse of detainees. The state coffers are robbed by indeed the same resort owners who supported the coup. The sheikhs are crying foul to introduce extremism.
Before our parents have been living for 30 years under a dictatorship. The same people are ruling agin.
The junta is crushing again the life and the future of a whole generation of promising young people. Muslims ? Sure that, but we the young generation want to live in a civilised country, with freedom AND democracy?
Boycott of tourism in Maldives ? YES. Under dictator, WITH tourists, the money NEVER went to the common people ! Only last three years people got development. That’s again stopped now. One more example : in several resorts staff did not get their due salaries, money went to pay their unwanted membership of parties supporting coup. In several other staff was then fired because they protested against this.
So, boycott ? YES YES YES.
Though still there is alternative : go instead to the local islands, your holiday money will go directly to the common people themselves instead !
Thank you all for supporting freedom and democracy in MAldives !

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