Why resort supplies are overcharged?

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It should have been the other way around. Resorts being big customers, the shops in Male’ that sells resort supplies should have been eager to do business with resorts. Normally that’s the nature of business. Shops try to entice big customers with discounts, lines of credits, deferred payments and other such perks small customers are not favored with. But this doesn’t seem to be the case in Male’.

Contrary to intuition, the big shops in Male’ such as hardware shops will actually give you discount if you are a little fish and if you asked for a quotation for something the shop will ask the address of the business, and if the business happens to be a resort the chances are that you will not get a discount or in fact the price of the item being quoted might be revised up. Maybe its a way to make quick money but it certainly is not the way to entice bigger fishes.

The shops might be counting on the fact that resorts being well moneyed businesses, might not be aware of the discount they give but rather be more focused on the item they seek. OR the shop owners or keepers might be business wizened to the fact that a connection to the resort supplies man is very a closed window of opportunity and depends on the amount of commission (or bribes…) he can make on his purchases.

SO ultimately this is about corruption than shops running counter clockwise… Resorts and local businesses are loosing immense benefits of mutual trading because of corruption, plain and simple. Its all too common a phrase frequently heard in resorts whenever a thing (any thing..) is ordered or requested to be answered that ITS NOT AVAILABLE IN MALE’. And the claim of unavailability can be on anything which might even be abundant in Male’. The idea is to pressure the resort to buy the same goods elsewhere most probably higher priced and yet with commissions to the the ppl involved. Sad but true this is the case of many resorts and supplies ppl.

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The president talks sweet talk…in Addu

anni
while speaking at a function held Tuesday evening at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa the President Mohamed Nasheed has said
The people of Addu Atoll contributed tremendously to the development of the Maldives tourism industry,..He further said that the opening of the resort would provide economic activities and employment opportunities to the people of Addu atoll. Patting on their backs, the president also said that the people of Addu atoll are renowned for their hospitality.
A commemorative plaque was presented to President Anni on behalf of Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort at the function. The General Manager of Villingili resort Jens Moesker presented the plaque to the President
Speaking to the media the President said he is confident that with a resolution to the Herethere issue, more flights will begin its operations in Addu atoll.

How the Chaaya Island (Dhonveli) strike ended

Dhonveli

Some strikes end with a bang while others fizzle out… and this is what have happened in Chaaya Island (Dhonveli). The strike was about racial discrimination, the resort manipulating service charge distribution, working conditions and many other similar things. According to our friends in the resort, the resort management successfully intimidated the government with the gloomy economic outlook and ultimately the tourism ministry gave in and did not press upon the woes the staff raised. The resort once they got strike to end is likely to do which hunt and has already decided that the staff who were party to the strike shall have their salary cut for the days on strike and to deduct the amount in the next four months pay. This is how one of the worst employers in the tourism industry is dealing with the already oppressed staff who are the lowest in pay scales in comparison to other resorts. Their mistake was to have been polite even in protest which the management took as weakness and ultimately it just appeared so.

The resort has dismissed all the issues the staff raised as baseless and has not even hinted at investigating the claims let alone undo the wrongs.

At last Shangri la is officially open…

villingili0
After a long many years …at last the island of Villingili is finally open with Shangri la, a world famous brand. It has long been a wish of the people of Addu that the island of Villingili become a source of income for the people of Addu and yet for many years this wish was just not fulfilled. Addu is the second most populous atoll after Male’ despite which, has seen not sufficient benefit of tourism like the islands in Kaafu and Alif atolls. The easy way is to blame everything on the politics but the truth of the matter is Villingili is still counting on many things to go right in the future and at a time when the world economies are struggling with demons the size of swimming pools… (poetically said that is). Nor will Addu see substantial increase of wealth directly related to tourism as many things will still have to take place to do that…. BUT minister Sawad was optimistic in predicting an eventful 5 years ahead for tourism and we would like to believe him. At the moment we seem to be in the bottom of the pit and hopefully there will only be a way up..

Anyways Our best wishes and prayers for the success of Shangri la Villingili and prosperity for the good people of Addu.

some info about the island from http://www.hospitalitynet.org & etc
>over 6km of coastline & nearly 2km of beach.
>is 3km long island
>12 hectares of lush vegetation
>17,000 coconut trees
> 45 species of plants.
>comprise of 142 spacious stand-alone villas
>The villas will be a minimum of 133 square metres in size
> the two presidential villas will measure up to 957 square metres each
>16 luxury tree house villas, a first for the Maldives, perched on stilts offering a special three-metre high perspective of the island through tropical foliage. The tree house villas, with separate bedroom and living room, will measure 218 square metres, each with its own private pool.
>The inaugural ceremony held at the resort was attended by Tourism Minister Dr. Ahmed Ali Sawaadh , State Minister for Southern Province Mohamed Naseer , senior management of the resort and leading dignitaries of the atoll.
>President Anni is expected to visit the resort on 28 July.

Soneva becoming 1st carbon free resort

Soneva
Soneva

Sonevafushi it appears is indeed headed for the poll position in the race to be carbon zero in a decades time. Reported in Jazeera, the resort is already bragging about the achievements so far and points out to the cooling system for their guest rooms which uses chilled sea water drawn out from deep sea below 300m. The deep water cooling system (a 1st in Maldives) is expected once finished to replace all electrical Air conditioning units and reduce 20% of the total power demand of the island. They also claim this type of air conditioning on the island alone would save 200 000$ and stop a 700k tons of carbon emission… Once air-conditioning is done away with chilled sea water technology then there would remain hot water which is easier followed by lighting which is more easier than the other two mentioned. The current government (like the former one) is promising incentives for being a good green resort and for their hard arduous work, they have bagged quite a number of laurels over the years. According to their site ” Soneva Fushi has received the President of Maldives’ Green Resort Award three times (in 2000, 2005 and 2007), Virtuoso’s Most Environmentally Friendly Resort Award in 2007 and PATA’s Gold Award in 2007, amongst others.”
Sonevafushi has also engaged the local communities surrounding the resort in environmental awareness programs such as a marketing campaign to teach locals about the detrimental effect that plastic bags can have on the surrounding eco-system. Under the campaign Soneva Fushi donated around 3,000 reusable natural cotton bags to households in the region. The campaign will cover a total of 13 islands in the Baa Atoll, an estimated 300 households and more than 11,000 individuals by the end of 2009. They hope to reach out to more regions in the Maldives and potentially run a nationwide campaign in 2010.

Creating the Unemployment Register

hrm1

The government is in the process of creating the Unemployment Register and according to the Human Resources Minister, the register will be up in 2 weeks time. The register will be established in all job centers in Male’, as well as in the islands and in island offices. Giving information about this project minister said the reason is to “…so that government can easily identify those who seek employment in an official manner…”

Several points immediately comes to mind in reference to the minister’s talk.
1.Its a very good first step maybe a little bit overdue considering the number of those who are unemployed in the country. At last the government is trying to come to terms with the problem rather than finding easy excuses for inaction.
2.The government is silent about what they would do once they identify those who seek employment and this is not very positive. Maybe the government is trying to be cautious in raising too much of a hope amid a global recession but there are many things that can be done. Sri Lanka is our nearest neighboring country and the friendliest country to ours and we can learn many a lesson from them.
3.The said “job centers” in Male’ and elsewhere is very much invisible and one wonders weather they function at all. We have yet to find any resort worker who got a job through these ‘job centers. If you know one please comment below.
4.We are still not the ‘welfare state’ so nobody gets any benefits of being unemployed. Apart from the former president, nobody in this country seems to benefit from unemployment and nobody seems to be asking for such benefits yet. True sign of patriotism, altruism and realism maybe.

Tragic deaths in Male’ in a work accident.

Tragic loss of life reported in Male’ last night around midnight where two expatriates, one and Indian and another a Bangladeshi were reported death upon arrival at IGMH after being brought to the hospital by police in Male. The unfortunate event happened while the workers were cleaning a well inside a cafe’ catering for the expatriates (“Hotel Paramount”) and they seem to have inhaled toxic fumes. No foul play is suspected and details are sketchy.

reported at : http://www.police.gov.mv/?n=3445&lang=dh

out sourcing in resorts..

 project pictures
When mentioned out sourcing the media would have most of us associate it with Microsoft, India, cheap labor etc.. However outsourcing is quite prevalent in our resorts although we do not seem to apply the name as such. There are both many benefits of this as well as questions about some aspects of it. Some examples we can easily identify are:

1.Diving school outsourcing. This is very common in resorts and seems to be the viable option as resorts trying to do this by themselves find themselves quite overwhelmed with the demands of running the whole show.
2.Guest shop. This is also one more trend that is catching up with the resorts as more and more shop companies are offering attractive proposals to resorts struggling with an unimaginative shop with an equally unimaginative concept to sell pricey nothings to wearied guests.
3.Guest relations. In some resorts there are dedicated tour guides or Guest Relations Officers (GROs) who are ordinary human beings less than a manager and a slight bit higher in position than the front office staff and are customarily required to be multilingual. However there is a growing trend to outsource this department to the water sports people.
4.Animators. This seems to be the domain of the fun loving Italians and they may hire this talent from guests as part of their package holiday deal.
5.Doctors. Although there are quite a few number of resorts with a doctor-in-house, some resorts did indeed outsource this job with an understanding with medical institutes, universities from where doctors arrive as guests and makes themselves available for service to other guests as well, in a discounted holiday deal.
6.Inspectors. Although most resorts do their own inspections with company big shots as the inspectors, some resorts send anonymous inspectors to the resorts as paid guests. These paid inspectors make detailed observations of all guest areas and guest services and submit their report to the person who commissioned the work after their departure and vanishes in to the thin air there after. This is very effective in keeping everyone including managers and the whole resort in its best form as nobody seems to know when the gestapo arrives.
7.Friday Imam. A local imam is hired and brought to resort for Friday sermon from nearby islands or from Male’ to lead the faithful in the Friday prayers. This is good public relations thing with the islands as people of the islands appreciate their usefulness to the otherwise useless nearby resort..
8.Supply department. This is one department resorts shall disown sooner than later for their own good. Local suppliers specializing in resort supplies are better able to do this because they have many advantages over resort employed supply personnel such as local market knowledge, the sense that their success depends on a satisfied resort etc etc. . The way to go about is to go gradually and to build on trust. Better still to equip a capable honest agent based in Male’ and to start a “supply relationship”.
9.Power house. This is also a trend that is there but does not seem to move fast enough. Part of the problem is the lack of capable engineering firms in Male’ or in the nearby vicinity of the island as the existing engineering firms are saturated with contracted commitments to service resorts for a nominal monthly fee. The terms of the commitment would include a nominal monthly fee regardless of whatever happens in the resort vis-avis the generator sets and special discounted terms to service yearly or biannual major overhauls of the systems etc.
10.Launch Section. Operating a “Launch section” is costly business and resorts are aware of this. It would involve a capable workshop to handle marine engines both inboard and outboard, the engineering people well versed in this special type of engineering as well as a sizable army of captains and crews, facilitators and a one more manager to the management elite group. Despite the costliness of this operation, several resorts have their own Launch Sections thanks to the few number of firms capable of catering for the constant but erratic travel needs of the resorts.
11.Insect and Pest Controllers. Some of our resorts fight the endless, thankless job of controlling the pests and other insects with sprayers, fog machines, traps and a range of chemicals and devices every day of the year all year round. Most resorts as of yet do a d.i.y (do it yourself) job of this as there are very few firms providing this service in resorts in Male’ or Maldives.
12.Fire fighting infrastructure. Fire fighting equipment and systems are not the domain of everyday people as they are subjected to stricter rules or the insurance companies will take a flight from responsibility when unfortunate things happens… A couple of firms are available to provide the required services in this field and resorts are having to do with whatever is available in the market and curb their demands. There is strong need for competition in this field.
13.Landscaping.. same as above. But landscaping is normally required at the beginning of a resorts life after which an army of homegrown professionals take over. 2 known companies provide this service.

We commented in your name…

HR ministry website header
HR ministry website header

Human resources ministry is asking for comments and views from the public to fine tune the existing labor laws. (pls send your comments to comments@employment.gov.mv ) And we have taken the liberty of
commenting about some issues relevant to us the resort workers and sent them in your name. Here below are the comments we have submitted. Do you agree with these comments?

1. Instead of 3 days on the occasion of the birth of the child for the
father and 5 days for the circumcision of the child, these numbers of
days could be swapped so that 5 days is given for the the birth of the
child and 3 days for the circumcision of the child. Because the birth
of a child is a greater event than the circumcision of the child. Then
there shall be some consolation for the girl child as a girl child is
not circumcised. Other wise gender inequality issue might arise.

2. A fine of 5000rf to 10000rf for any violation of any clause of the
labor bill might be something for the small business but we believe
there shall be distinction for the resort owners. Because such figures
mean nothing to an average resort. Managements will not think twice to
re-offend with such paltry figures as fines. Our suggestion is to
raise the figure for the resorts by 10 folds.

3. Clause 19 (5) (haa). “Hingumuge is maqaamu thakugai thibey meehun”
This shall be clarified as resorts over the last few weeks have been
raising the statuses of almost everyone so that the 8 hour work
requirements could be evaded. A better classification for the resorts
could be that the above clause is mean to meant Managers which include division managers and department heads.

4. Service charge distribution detail (for resorts) shall be required
to be sent to the tourism ministry also (in addition to being made available for the staff via public notice board) because currently there is
massive fraud happening in this area. In a typical month on an average resort service charge distribution runs to thousands of dollars and managements has been shamelessly tweaking the figures to mislead the staff. This is all very common in resorts except a tiny minority. By having them report the figures to the ministry they will think twice before tweaking the figures because with such data the ministry could do a
correlation check if fraud is alleged to have happened.

5. Ramzan bonus shall be on a fixed rate and not proportional to the salaries recieved. Because the rate of hunger will be the same for all those who fast regardless of position.

Where goes the tourism dollar?

Bank of Maldives
Bank of Maldives

In a manner of speech Maldives earns dollars in 2 ways. 1st is of course through tourism and 2nd is through selling fisheries products. Both of these two industries are connected by sea which is abundant, roughly 90% of our country is sea.

There are a few more ways for dollars to leave the country than to arrive in to the country and they are
1) Import bills:
in Maldives everything is imported so our import bills are big (in a relative way).
2) Outbound tourism to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia etc. Of this outbound tourism, a large portion of the ‘outbound tourists’ are in fact visiting these above said countries to seek better medical facilities unavailable in Maldives.
3) Then there are the unsubstantiated rumors and allegations of mismanagement of funds by the former regime (which is common knowledge in the process of being proven in court) the amounts of which are unknown and possibly will be higher than the first two points mentioned.

How bad the dollar crisis situation can be understood from the fact that although In some resorts the wages are paid in dollars to the staff and the monies are deposited in banks and yet the bank would refuse to release the dollars when demanded by the account holder. Its ironic and yet happens many times and is a constant fight between the bank and the account holders. This is more so a case of Bank of Maldives issues than other banks and those who can afford to bank with HSBC are switching from Bank of Maldives for this reason.

The government seems to be aware of this problem and just yesterday the police had to raid the Bank of Maldives to confiscate some documents relating to bad loans given by the bank to the former regime’s henchmen. The police is very diplomatic in this process and has revealed that they had tried all means possible to get the bank to handover the documents even seeking the help of Central Bank (Maldives Monetary Authority) to no avail. Dwelling on these same lines, the office of the president released a writ saying the president is concerned about the bad loans of Bank of Maldives which tops 1000 000 000 Rufiyas and urged the courts to help rather than hinder this work.

Summing up, this is more a question of where the dollars went rather than where the dollar goes. The dollars (a large crowd of them) went those who were close to the former regime and the president (Anni) in his first days in office even said that large sums of foreign currencies are held by some individuals ( a reference to former regime cronies). As for the question of where the dollars go, the other two factors seems to be the best answer. Decades of closed door politics stifled economic growth which did not create sustainable agriculture (or anything for that matter) which makes us dependent on daily necessities hence our big import bill. Favoritism and protectionism turned away many an offer of foreign investment in the medical sector which could have gone someways to help the already suffering from taking long journey’s to foreign countries seeking medical help. One good example of this was the time when the then government hastily tried to award a contract to an otherwise unknown foreign insurance company which has links to a former president’s son. Fortunately for some reasons (the reformist Trade minister Gasim may be one) the deal did not went through. The same con was about to be played on the issue of drug rehabilitation program with the same persons involved and again it did not go through. Had these scams gone through and were implemented, we would have been in deeper waters of financial trouble today than we could imagine.

Enter Southern Cross

Southern Cross
Southern Cross

Its one of the most popular constellation on this side (south) of earth’s hemisphere and a good one to point at to the ‘guests’. Most of our guests would have heard about southern cross maybe in films and in books. Living in tall cities with bright lights across the sky and beyond, they would not have got as beautiful a chance to watch these stars like in our resorts.

The constellation in the picture is in the shape of a kite and it is oriented south to north. Just nearby to the southern cross are two of the brightest ‘stars’ and they seem to point to the top of the kite. These two are called alpha and beta centauri. They are closest to us in the space.

Sometimes guests know about these famous stars but as they live in the northern hemisphere they would not have seen it and consequently finding these stars in Maldives is another attraction to their holiday in our country.

Another strike against One and only Reethi Rah Resort

Easa and Reethi Rah
Easa and Reethi Rah

This time the protest happened in Male’ and the protesters were raising the issue of discrimination against management. They were protesting outisde Ameeniyya School where a job fair organized by the Reethi resort was comming to end after 2 days starting from Friday. According to the protesters the job fair organized by the Reethi Rah management was only a front to employ staff with the exception of locals. Reethi Rah has been labeled as strongly anti- locals in the past and the situation in the island doesn’t seem to have improved. According to Mr. Ahmed Easa, the president of Tourism Employees Association of Mldives 3 such job fairs has been organized by the resort in the last 18 months and yet no locals were hired for the resort in the fair held in Thoddu and that only one person was hired from the fair held in Addu.
He also said that Reethi Rah is notorious for summary dismissals of local staff and that in 2006 sixty locals were summarily dismissed, and in 2007 fourteen were summarily dismissed and in this very year and in 2008 more than 13 locals were summarily dismissed.
He also said that there are currently 10 pending cases against Reethi Rah management in the Employment Tribunal and that Reethi Rah is the only employer to have been lodged most number of complaints in the Employment Tribunal.

How to build a dream house

demo home

Most of us resort workers have lots of things to do back at home in the annual vacation and sometimes this includes starting work on the dream house project we used to dream about. Of course as each one of us is so is our dream and so is the design of the dream house project.

For there to be a house there has to be land. But have we got this commodity? At present the majority of us seems not to have this luxury. However there are indications that the government is thinking hard about the land issue and hopefully their thoughts will become actions in the foreseeable future. At present and in the near past, land is allocated to those who ask with the condition that the asking person shall have been married and shall have at least one child. This is a little bit ironic as it’s a customary requirement when marrying to be able to provide for shelter the wife. However we have been doing this topsy turvy these last 2 to 3 decades… anyways, the island office (now its province office ?) gives the plots of lands and the land may or may not be built or lie fallow for a number of years depending of lots of factors.

Some of the common points to remember to construct the dream house.

1. We spend a large proportion of our savings to “draw” the project. Of course everyone would want his dream house project to go right from the start hence the need for proper architectural drawings and if possible engineering advice. However d.i.y (do it yourself) approach to this problem is better because most of those who are licensed to draw and design ask exorbitant fees to draw simple structures and engineering advice…. Well, forget it. It’s certainly not within the reach of normal people. Despite what is being made out of it, drawing a simple house is very simple if simple tools are employed. Of course AutoCAD is not needed as its too heavy weight and difficult to learn. Better to choose something simpler like “3d Home design” by Broderbund. They had released a free version of their software which can be downloaded freely and could use without license. It’s very easy and intuitive to learn.

2. The design consideration of a normal house relevant in the islands is very basic. As we do not have highways and byways there is no need to restrict our houses accordingly and orient the buildings as is stated in manuals is not practicable because of the small size available to build. Small considerations such as keeping the bedroom to the east and aligning the dining room to east is a little bit fussy cos we seems to get equal amount of sunlight all year round. However it’s important to align doors and windows so that light could pass through the house as well as helping with ventilation. The idea is that the house shall be airy and ‘light’ even if power fails.

3. It’s very important to know the total cost of the buildings and ‘engineers’ will charge to estimate this based on boq (bill of quantities) which is generated with the drawings in most software. If we want to do it the d.i.y way then we can generate the same list on software like what is mentioned above and take the list to a hardware store and have them put their rates on the materials listed. Based on experience a rough figure to construct a single bungalow could be 14$s per square feet of built up area.

4. When constructing simple bungalows, flat bed long foundations although popular seem to be a waste of money and shall be avoided. Columns supported by a suitable cube base of appropriate size shall do the job as we do not experience earthquakes and tremors etc. Most of us still live in house build by our parents with limestone with no beams and columns and it still seems strong after 40 and sometimes even after 50 years.

5. Because of the small size of our islands sometimes the plot of land we were given might be on the edge of the island directly adjacent to beach and if this were the case it’s a mixed blessing. If the plot we were given were a ‘water front property’ which is valuable in other parts of the world but for us those who live these small islands the water front is too much of a common thing and nobody seems to particularly like a plot of land near to beach. However the peace and beauty of a properly kept beach is outmatched by the salt breeze and the fact no electronic or electric equipment could survive for more than 2 years depending on the insulation of the house (which is costly… too).

6. One of the commonest mistakes we make when undertaking to build a dreamgasdhoshuge is to start it big and all at once. This shall be avoided at all times and we shall attempt to eat the cake piece by piece. Not once. At the design and drawing time consideration shall be given to this issue and the house shall be designed to be ‘modular’ which is additions and annexes shall be included in the drawing and work shall first start on the part which has the highest priority.

7. Avoid long hallways running through the house in one direction as its tasteless and gives away privacy which is very important for a home. Also its good idea to be a minimalist and construct only that much that is a genuine necessity. The conserved spaces could be use for aesthetics like gardening which adds class and touch to the finish.

8. If building as an annex in a plot of land with existing structures then try to integrate your dreamgasdhoshuge to the surroundings rather than destroying whatever is near as this might become problematic in the future.

9. It’s not a prerequisite of building code that walls shall be straight and spaces shall be square or rooms shall be cubic. Experiment as much as you can but try to keep to the original budget. It’s also very good point to keep in mind not to waste money on fancy switches, lights, devices and gadgets as these can be added later when the bulk of the project is finished.

Dreamgasdhoshuge
Dreamgasdhoshuge

In the name of GM

if their nose gets longer... for every lie
if their nose gets longer... for every lie

Its a very irritating but very common practice among junior managers and supervisors… to lie. To lie about anything and use the name of GM to stop questions. Maybe they were taught to lie or maybe not, whatever the reality is, nobody seems to like or enjoy or be fooled at work. This is especially the case when job security is almost non-existent, discipline and work ethics are fancy words which has not entered into ordinary usage of the resorts in our country…

It is not likely that a GM or ‘owner’ or somebody whose name has been used to fabricate lies in work environment would have known those whom they have trusted with honesty would indeed be liars and yet this is the case always. Most GMs or AGMs for that matter do not involve themselves with the moral issues of virtues and vice and are more in tune with with the business side of their businesses. Even if a junior manger or a supervisor would have been proven to have been using his or her boss’s name to lie, its not very likely to come to anything. However if it were the case of a lowly “junior” staff caught red handed with a “white lie” there is very little guarantee he will escape unhurt from the HR office.

This is an all too common problem in resort life one shall take for granted. Its best to deal with this issue in a philosophical frame of mind and to think about better things in life rather than seeking justice in resort life. For their part if they are aware of problems of this nature (not very likely!) the GMS or AGMs shall put out SOP (standard operating procedures) to ban dishonesty on their resorts. This is especially useful as ppl over the years have forgotten useful expressions such as “thou shalt not lie…”

the Friday problem

mndf
Not that there is a big problem with Friday, but with the exception of the few exceptions, all the resorts in the Maldives seems to be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to making staff work on Friday. On this issue the law is clear, it states:

“chapter 4. clause 38: An employee required to work normal hours on a public holiday shall be paid at least an amount equivalent to half of the minimum wages earned on a normal day of work in addition to over time.”

Clarifying what a public holiday is, the law states:

chapter 11. clause 90: “In this act public holiday shall means Fridays, Days of commemorations of the birth of the prophet Muhammad, day of commemoration of the Maldives converting to Islam, Independence Day, National Day, First day of Ramazan, Day of Eid al Fitr, Victory Day, Republic Day, Hajj day and Day of Eid al Alha”

However most resorts breech this law as well as many other such laws and nothing happens. Long arm of the law becomes short when law is flouted by the big businesses.

The global financial crisis which is slowing down tourism industry is one good excuse for employers seek authorities sympathy rather than compliance to law. The logic being that its better for staff to keep their jobs rather than be a burden on the employer demanding compliance to law. However this is absolute rubbish as everybody knows that complying to this little one clause of law would not bankrupt a resort.

Those resorts which allow for this provision are few and yet they seems to be thriving. According to our colleagues in various resorts some resorts which have no problem implementing the law are:
1. W Maldives at Fesdu
2. Banyantree Ihuru and Vabbinfaru
3. Four seasons Landaagiraavaru and Kudahuraa
4. Bandos

There might be many but we know this much at this time.

New member to Labour Tribunal

Ibrahim Firushan member Empoyment Tribunal
Ibrahim Firushan member Empoyment Tribunal

President Anni has appointed a Mr Ibrahim Firushan for the membership of the Labour Tribunal.
In the president’s website there is next to no info about Firushan and it contains the following diplomatic nonsense…

“Mr Firushan took his oath of office before the President at a ceremony held this morning at the President’s Office. The oath was administered by Supreme Court judge Abdulla Areef.

Speaking at the ceremony, the President noted that Labour Tribunal plays an important role in the economic and developmental sphere. Speaking in this regard, the President urged members of the Labour Tribunal to keep this consideration in mind while fulfilling their responsibilities.”

After that nothing…

Irufushi opens..

Irufushi
Irufushi

President Anni Inaugurated Irufushi Yesterday afternoon. The name of the resort is to be Hilton Maldives Irufushi Resort and Spa and is located in Milandhunmadulu south atoll. The resort is “owned” by Sun Hotels Ahmed Shiyam Mohammed and leased to Hilton to operate.

Speaking in the ceremony the president talked about the same smooth words neccessary for such an occasion namely the importance of keeping aside the differences, making personal sacrifices because of the global meltdown and about environment.. Notably the president also hinted on good management practices which is a good thing as most resorts seem to lack such practices if asked from a typical resort worker. However Hilton is reknown for good management practices as is the case to some extent all the big hotel chains. The last time president Anni spoke about such issues was in Four Seasons Kuda Huraa where in effect he is said to have said that his countrymen needs more training and education to work in the field of tourism.

the problem of friday

most resorts ignore the provision
some resorts allow friday with reduced work hours
some resorts allow off days to accumulate
those resorts which do not allow days to accumulate cos of supervisor or manager sees it fit. not necessarily policy.
most colleagues in various depts would agree to hold port till their colleagues come back from extended leaves…

Maldives the carbon neutral country

slands
The effects of Maldives being the world’s first carbon neutral country to the global environment as a whole will be minimal, but to the country the effects will be felt and felt strongly. The government has not yet revealed a comprehensive plan about how they intend to achieve this target and is believed to be working on plans to implement the works as soon as the studies are ready. One advantage we in the Maldives have over others is our country’s small size when we intend to go 100% green and the government just seems to have grasped only this notion out of the whole picture and is trying to make do with a grand project.

As the plans are yet to be formulated we shall take the liberty of musing to ourselves how this target is to be achieved. However the context has to be applied here in the divided politics of our country and it has to be remembered that all voices on this matter do not sing to the same tune. The reason is simple. For years Maldives was dominated by a president who played the environmental card to the foreign media to mask the growing unrest at home and in the process has done much to raise awareness of the public to the environmental issues at hand. The people were made to believe that the then president Gayoom was the inventor of green politics. After his electoral defeat and once Anni became president those who supported the former president has come to believe Anni is no body but a copy cat stealing Gayoom’s policies. There might or might not be substance to that view but at least thats some context to the issue at hand.

Now if the government does indeed want to become carbon neutral (which they pledged) the very first step could be to shut down the diesel generators in various islands and to build a national power grid most of which would be submerged on the seabed connecting all the roughly 200 inhabited islands of the country. The grid will be powered by a few select power stations which could be anything from wave power, solar and wind farms. Alternate ways to produce power such as wave and solar current technologies has been tested and proven to be effective in the country.

Next the transport sector shall be made greener by urging the people to use less diesel and petrol and make more use of electric bikes scooter , cars and buggies etc. The islands of Maldives being small and as there are few roads built, the “need for speed” shall be curbed. Simply put there is nowhere to drive a 1200cc petrol guzzler as its forbidden to drive faster than 30km per hour and that much speed can easily be attained by a battery powered vehicle. Here as a policy what the government would have to do is to ask the people to make sacrifices on personal preferences in favor of their policies or the common good of humankind. Incentives shall be offered to battery powered vehicles to make them attractive for the people who by now are used to fast petrol powered bikes. etc.

Vehicles running on bio fuel does not seem to be a good choice as the recent food crisis in various parts of the globe was attributed farmers switching to bio fuel producing plants from food producing plants. Not that what we choose here in Maldives would have any effect in terms of global supply or demand of bio fuel products but atleast avoiding the bio fuel would be putting up a principled stand on a moral issue.

Buying our electric power needs from India of Sri Lanka via a submarine cable could be an option if technology and feasibility allows it. This could be an option if what we are able to produce here in our country by alternative means could be insufficient considering such factors as maintenance of the production systems and the demand on land such power production would take, as land is very much in a premium here. India already exports power in this manner to Bhutan and has recently signed with Sri Lanka in a deal to export power there which in the first phase (about 2 years from now) would supply about 500MW of power upgrade-able to 1GW in 4 years time.