Independent commission to investigate Reethi Rah protest

Tuesday, 2 December 2008 14:30

Last night the ruling party MDP held a council meeting to discuss the protest by staff of One And Only Reethi Rah Resort, and the government's shameful response. Members called for the formation of an independent commission to investigate and take legal action against those responsible. The commission is to complete its work by December 4 and to make recommendations to President Anni. Given that all the government has done up until now is try to cover up any wrongdoing, many will be skeptical about whether the commission will do anything useful.

Yesterday, Nasheed's 20-day-old government sent in riot police to break up a legal, peaceful protest in One And Only Reethi Rah Resort with excessive force, including kicking, beating, and pepper-spraying the protesters. When word got out, the police chose to lie to the public and deny what they had done. But the human rights commission published a damning statement and set the record straight. Since then, Anni's government has remained largely silent, even as the protesters, impatient with the lack of action, have since sunset today gone on hunger strike.

The government does not have to wait until December 4 to call on all resorts to implement the employment act and warn those failing to comply of legal action. Home Minister Gasim Ibrahim, who is said to have ordered the riot police to the resort, should also be made to explain his actions to the public. An apology by the police to those hurt would also go a long way.

Meanwhile One And Only bosses have reportedly been flown to Male and, at 10pm Monday, were said to be in a meeting with Anni and officials of TEAM, the Tourism Employees Association of Maldives.

Not all resorts want to go through all the this hassle to adopt the employment act. Kuredhdhoo today implemented the act after staff threatened to protest, while Bandos was one of the first to endorse employees rights.

Source: Maldives Dissent

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