The Gaumee Party has submitted a revision to People’s Majlis on the “protest bill” which will effectively relegate protesting and demonstrations against working conditions in resorts to Maumoon era. Although the party maintains that the revisions are to protect the workers rights, its far from truth. The most probable reason for these revisions to law seems to be that the Gaumee Party has received fat wads of money from the Universal Group, following the protests at Kurumba Maldives. The party has effectively given up on support of the people as its popularity is at an all time low and funding from resort owners are most welcome at tough times.
Under the new proposed revisions to the “protest bill”, the employers will have to be given 2 days notice prior to a strike, which is ample time for the employers to serve warning letters, suspensions, dismissals or anything to prevent a strike. Also the revisions require protests be legal only during daytime and for 2 days. Such restrictions on freedom to demonstration against perceived injustices, will be laughed at in most countries in the world. However it remains to be seen how the Majlis (parliament) will react to the revisions. The signs are not encouraging as the Majlis is filled with opposition candidates who are basically against everything the government does or says be it good or bad! The right to protest and the right to freedom of speech were effectively wrestled from Maumoon era by force by freedom loving people. Its sad that the same rights and privileges are going to be scrapped by the Majlis under the spell of corruption, money and self interest, contrary to all spirits of democracy and liberalism.
In an infant democracy like Maldives, where big business are trampling the rights of the workers by habit, such facilities as red-tape on demonstrations, will only embolden the employers to do more harm to the rights of the workers.
dments to the constitution by pouring substantial monies to political parties like the DQP, as the Universal Group is not known for its respect of the rule of law, or by fair-play in business, or care to workers. If the amendments go through the parliament and get passed by the half-awake majlis, it will be a sad day for the country and a gloomy one for the workers. Workers in the tourism sector in Maldives are indisputably the most productive and useful for the country as a whole and yet the most neglected in some resorts. Although there are resorts which treat workers fairly, these resorts are few and far between. However as always happen in real life, the bad guys need not be many, they need to be effective: in this case, this is like the Universal Group against the whole country and thousands of nameless faceless workers and they are poised to win thanks to corruption and self interest.