Parliament debating prohibiting protests at resorts

Dr. Hassan Saeed Leader of DQP

People’s Majlis is today debating prohibition and severely limiting freedom to protest by workers in resorts. The bill was submitted to the parliament by a member from Dr. Hassan Saeed’s party. If the bill goes ahead and gets passed by the Peoples Majlis, the country would take a serious blow to freedom of expression and the right to protest against injustices. The debates are still going and both sides of the political spectrum seem to be aware of the negative implications of this bill.

For a healthy democracy to survive more needs to be done to open up rather than closing in which seems to be the only outcome of limiting and restricting freedom of expression and speech. The trigger for workers in a typical resort to come to a protest will normally be fired after many many attempts at a solution which eludes them. Unlike other countries where unionism is already established and workers organize and plan their protests, the protests that happen in resorts in Maldives are more like an ‘uprising’ than a protest. It so happens because the workers rights are not protected and are already at the bottom of the rights ladder and yet the People’s Majlis is already finding ways to stop and repress the workers rights even further.
The only party that will benefit from this law when and if it becomes one, will be the employers as they would even be able to ‘preside’ over any protest by the workers suffering injustices under the employers.

Not that there are many ears to listen to resort workers demands, but at least for the record, we the resort workers call upon Dr. Hassan Saeed to withdraw this bill (if it isn’t already too late!) and to reconsider oppressing the workers! Its tourism, resorts and resort workers who contribute overwhelmingly to the country’s budget from where the non-productives like politicians and civil-servants get their monthly pay, perks and benefits.

Please follow the story here at Haveeru:
and also an earlier article we wrote a while back here…


9 thoughts on “Parliament debating prohibiting protests at resorts

  1. Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn.
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  2. Hey monkey UNION!!

    From your comments above i noticed that you are very fond of monkeys, by any chance were you born in zoo? 😀
    And to your comments i have to say that you have no idea what is going on in resorts and hotels of this country or you are a resort owner (by any chance u cannot be LOL) or management staff from a crappy resort.

    thank you!!

  3. All resort workers,
    Why think to the path that you are as monkey in the park? Why have this mind set. I once have a person told me..If you think that you are a monkey then, you will have or become like a monkey. Stop that mindset of if you protest in Male, you will look at like a monkey, not unless you behave like one when you are in Male. Is the same concept like in the resort. If the protest staff run wild in the guest area, they are behaving like monkey and so the government and management alike will treat you like one.

    Now all the politicial and management already knows of the protesting style, you are in the their control as everyone already knows your moves.
    The battle of protest already lost even before it begin. There are no point of anyone fight for this bill or whatever come along, because they know how a typical maldivian will behave if discussion not working and it is easy for the management to drive this discussion into dissater so it is easier to handle and to end faster.
    An typical protest or profeesional protest will take years and NOT months. I notice that we the Maldivian does not have that cool attitude to hang on and to drive on. We want the glory fast and really fast..

    So the so called protest mentality is not mature enough in this country, with or without this bill, the resort workers are already fighting the lossing battle becasue of your own behavior. You should not put your effort into fighting this bill or anything thing to do with protesting but to focus on changing the mindset and I truely believed if you put your mind into it, take a few years, the workers has change the way of protesting then you will see a better result from then…


  4. Dear Resort Workers,
    I have heard your coments but your action and mindset is not in the right path.
    1. I have never in my comments asking any staff to protest in the sea or get drown, I am not sure where you get this idea from. It shown the maturity of your mind set when deal with difficult issue. You have mentioned many times and compare many times the human right issue of other countries but you do not want to play by the same rules as other countries has set. As for the protest, it is the right of the people of Maldives, so there is also the right of the owner and management of the island as well. The Majlis has to consider this both party rights. My suggestion is that everything can be negotiated through many channels, I have seen many problem resort staff does not look for or work for a better solution or negotiation. The soloution is to protest immediately if there is any unfair issue to them (always the issue is one sided). I have never seen a proper and professional discussion within the concern resort workers before. If in the worst case senario after many level of negotiation and fail, why not protest in Male and gain more attention?

    2. It is true that the protest issue is always on how staffs were treated in this or other ways. However, does anyone care of why this unjustice decision or decision making has occurs? I notice many case of the protest happen only last couple of years. Is that meant that the many resort managements start to treat staff badly from last couple years?

    3. You are not getting the points. If the travel agent does not support the so called affected resort, the lively hood of other maldivian staff will be affected but I am sure you would not care of those maldivian that does not wish to protest or being treat “better” or perhaps the same as other being treated? The law is the law, it is hard but it is still the law. You do not protest in the guest area or enter the guest area or in the compound of other individuals property.

    4. You are right so why want to destroy the lively hood of those breadwinner by protesting and entering to guest area and scare all the paying guest away? Why giving the excuse to those tourist that does not want to spend their money in certain particular resort or this coutry? Why try to make life difficult for other Maldivian as well?

    5. Any solid prove that does not related to gossip and talk about this bill?

    All I am saying is that I felt that the mentality of protesting is still not mature enough to move forward, and thus need to be control before it is destroyed the industry that feed the thousands in this country.


    1. Dear union,
      We are always glad to receive feedback from our readers and this time we are overjoyed because you wrote a long comment. Please always keep coming to our blog and share your views. We can always disagree to agree if there is no common ground in the views. Anyways here is our explanation for the points you raised
      1. The ‘bill’ if it gets through the Majlis will say that the whole resort island (any island) will be ‘shop floor’ as such protesting will not be allowed. Now where can a worker protest if the resort island he/she works is the ‘shop floor’ of the owner of the resort? The beach and surrounding lagoon? Or go to Male’ and make monkeys out of themselves in Sagarey park? Its common knowledge that the whole idea behind the bill is to prevent strikes happening anywhere inside resort. So naturally it will be ineffective and useless. As for your suggestion to do a proper professional discussion with resort management, this is very unrealistic as we know quite well. Resort managements are definitely on the look out for workers who are intelligent and who are capable of representing other workers or talk on their behalf. If such a guy/gal is found they just discard him/her so that the workers can always be kept as voiceless ineffective zombie. The idea of playing level with workers has not yet dawned on the majority of employers in Maldives. For the employers, they are always right and their views are not up for discussion. So how does one do negotiations with people of this mindset?
      2. That the majority of protests in resorts has happened in the last 2 to 3 years is also correct. The explanation is that prior to that it is criminal even to protest. Criminal here means you can actually end up in jail for protesting in a resort. The mentality of the then government is just to throw any ‘troublemaker’ in any resort to jail to ‘straighten them’ up. We know quite a few of our colleagues who were given up to the authorities to be ‘straightened up’ under trumped up charges. At that time there was an often over abused clause in the criminal code which goes something like “amura nukiyamantheri vun” (disobedience of order?) Under this clause in Criminal code somewhere, anything can happen. They can keep somebody in jail, banish and generally ruin somebody’s life using this clause. If you happen to be a local you would not have been unaware of this.
      3. Protesting in ‘staff area’ of a resort is a tried and tested and found wanting way of demonstration. We are aware of a couple of such protests the longest one in Chaaya Island, which went for nearly a month during the whole time the protests was happening in the ‘staff area’ and guests were not aware of anything happening. The problem with this situation is that the management simply drained the workers energy by lengthening the protest because they (the workers) played fair and were too nice not to let the guest know that there is an issue with them and the management. So protesting in staff area is a protest-killer and it would not even be allowed in the protest bill at Majlis.

  5. In other countries, staff are not allow to protest within the hotel compound. However, in Maldives, staff are always protest in the hotel compound or worst in the guest area. Maldives economy is depend on the tourism. That is why the Majlis need to protect the right of the majority of people of Maldives.
    Until the Maldivian resort workers learn that there are rules in the country and there are certain way of protest without destroying the livelyhood of others. This is the only way to safe guard the majority rights. We all know that there are many resorts ill treated the local staff, there are also many resorts in other country ill treated their local staff as well but you do vent the anger and the frastration to the guest by entering into their area to protest. This bill is to act against any unlawful staff memeber who try to harm the economy as a whole.
    I can see that the Majlis is trying their best to right something which isnot at the right path and I stronly believe that to give them time to try out every opportunity to ensure that all party rights are safeguarded.

    1. Thanks for the comment and we beg to differ (understandably?). Here are some points we would like to raise from your comment.

      1. if resort staff are prohibited from protesting at resort then where could they protest? get off from the island to lagoon and drown while protesting?
      2. Its true that most of the protests happen in resorts because that’s where the problem is. The resort staff never protested about political causes or other social justice causes in resorts. Their protests are always related to how they are treated AT resort not at Male’ or elsewhere.
      3. Protests spilling to guest area is also rare but becoming more often because the workers are coming to understand that sometimes the employers are so stubborn that no amount of polite talking will do the job. And for the most part, guests always identify with the injustices to staff and are sympathetic to workers causes. We have also received some requests by travel sites and destination forums to compile a list of resorts where the employers treat the workers bad. Tourists does not want to spend money on resorts that ill-treat the staff.
      4. Maldives economy is indeed dependent on tourism and that is the exact reason why the authorities shall do more to protect the workers because workers are the majority not the employers. Each worker is normally the breadwinner for his/her family so that the number of people dependent on workers are more than the employers.
      5. The whole purpose of the bill at parliament is to strengthen the hand of the employers and to weaken the already weakened workers who toil away in resorts in slave like conditions, and we have strong conviction that this bill was drafted and sent to Dr.Hassan with a financial package by a resort owner.

  6. very sad news! i wholeheartedly agree with your opinion and your call to Hassan.
    you are very true when you say its tourism industry that provides the fund to operate the non-productive sectors in this country.

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