I called Directory Enquiries for a number. They quickly found it and asked me to note down. I said Ok and they read the number for me. As soon I got it I cut the line and started typing on keypad. Once I typed the whole number I looked at the screen to see a message from Wataniya that read duration of the last call and its costs. By the time I had forgotten the number I got from Directory Enquiries. I didnt note down the number, I was walking to near by coffeeshop. If I was at office, yes I would note it but most of the time am I else where.
This is the new trouble I am referring to. Sending an unwanted message after every call makes me ask if Wataniya thinks people are dumb? Would I want to check call-cost after every call? In the morning when I go office I call several taxi centres for a cab. Would I want to know the cost each time? When I am late for work and need a cab urgently they just give more trouble to show off your smart they are to which I think of the opposite. When I used to work at resort, I made more than a hundred short calls every day and you just have to imagine how troublesome it could be.
Do they really think customers would want to check call-cost for every call? May be the expats working for $100 per month, not Maldivians for sure. If their target market is those expats then I am here to abandon Wataniya soon.
Otherwise, do they think people are dumb as much as them? When you call a taxi you know its not going to cost a lot, that’s enough. If I want to count every single cent I spend on calls, I wouldnt actually need a mobile phone, so I wouldnt spend any.
After all, they give the cost for last message. If you want to really want to know call costs for your mobile phone then you have to write down call-cost after every call. This makes think they dont know customers. When the Directory Equiries guy tell you to write down the number, does he think I cant memorize it?
Former president Nasheed once said no one loves India more than him. The protection given to him by Indian Commission in Maldives now shows India return the same love. Despite public protests, Nasheed has previously given the main airport of Maldives to India company GMR, along with many other projects. Nasheed made a sacrifice and now India is doing the same for Nasheed. Perhaps the bond is now too strong that it will most likely affect the national sovereignty of Maldives if Nasheed comes back to power.
Giving protection to an strongly accused human rights criminal by the world’s largest democracy is not an act of small magnitude. It is a case that would put a negative image on India in international community. At the same time it will worsen the relations with current Maldives government. The sacrifice is not small at all.
It is now apparent that India have interests to secure in Maldives and it can be done through Nasheed. India’s foreign policy seems to support Nasheed in every possible way, it is walking the extra mile to help Nasheed get back to power.
Having dangerously too close connection with any foreign country is a factor that should not be ignore. It is one good reason to say NO for Nasheed if he contests in the upcoming election.
Mohamed Nasheed, former president of Maldives, has taken refuge at Indian High Commission in Maldives to evade justice system of Maldives. The former president is accused of abducting a senior judge during his presidency.
The judge’s sudden disappearance was largely covered by media sources at that time. His whereabouts where unknown, even to police, for several days. Many days later, the efforts led by Human Rights Commission of Maldives found that he was detained at a military training facility. It was found that the country’s military abducted the judge. When questioned by media sources the former president not only gave indications that it was done on his command but also expressed his intentions not to release the judge. The laws require the authorities to either obtain Arrest Warrant prior to arrest, or present the detainees before a judge within 48hrs of arrest. The constitution of Maldives specifically states that no one can be arrested or detained without legal grounds. The constitution and the laws were completely ignored and given a blind eye in the case of judge’s abduction.
Prior to taking office as the president of Maldives Nasheed did not serve government which made him lack experience to manage a country. Upon commencement of his term the neighboring India made close ties which eventually led to outsource the main international airport to an Indian company. It was like a dream come true for India. Too much public pressure was then directed at Nasheed which eventually led his resignation along with abduction of judge and other illegal accusations.
The new president took back the airport from India company which deteriorated bilateral relations between India and Maldives. Since then India has been imposing sanctions on Maldives in different ways such as tightening the visa process, suspending export of some construction materials. More sanctions are likely to be imposed on export of food to Maldives. Current president prioritized the country’s independence and wants to protect national interests, at the same time strengthen the bilateral relations for peace and stability. But, India having lost a big stake of influence with airport, seems not pleased with new president who toppled India’s friend.
Now, Mohamed Nasheed is living in India High Commission since 13th Feb 2013. An accused criminal, of human rights violation, has been given protection by the world’s largest democracy. Maldives have an independent judiciary which ensures equal justice for everyone. Under separated powers of a modern democracy, everyone is subjected to rule of law, without an exception. There are also a High Court and Supreme Court for appeals. In addition, the current president seems to be very much open if any friendly nation wants to conduct their own findings to ensure justice in Maldives. Yet, India has made no such request and accused criminal is still under India’s protection at Indian High Commission.
Attn: Are you a blogger? Love independent judiciary and rule of law to everyone? Post this article on your blog or on your facebook. Make it viral.
Its been over an year and half since my last post here. I am back from the dead? Yeah, at least it sounds so. Actually the blog was down for some time and I was too busy at work, not just too busy but terribly busy with some unusual tasks. I see all the pictures are gone and most of the links are not working anymore, I couldnt find a backup and of those pictures, so I will try to dig into my backups later. I am not a die-hard blogger, but occasionally posting stuffs of interest and blogging is going on since 2007 as you can see. Its a long time to keep up and I thank all readers, especially for people who comment and fellow bloggers like me. Have a great day!
There has always remained a rumour that some of the European managers are not properly qualified and experienced to lead service team. Employees often complain that they are not fairly treated, they are not given equal chances and some of the expatriate managers favour whom they like, and those manager perform their job related tasks as entertainment. This may be true to some extent. But, definitely not all expat managers are so much a burden to the hotel and tourism industry of Maldives.
I met Stefan Huemer when he was working at Kuredu, he is an Australian as I remember. It has been about 2 years since I met him and I could still recall some of the things he said. He said there are two ways to become a manager; one is by education and another is by experience. Then he pointed out him self as on the first path, a colleague of us on the second and my self on the first as well. We went on talking about the industry and various challenges. what I felt whatever he said really made sense, truly agreeable. I was very impressed of his openness and great deal of experience in the hotel industry. He was a little different from some of the other expats I met, his positiveness and fairness was really remarkable. He was interested in managing a large scale and busy operation. Kuredu runs normally at about full occupancy throughout the year and consists of 330 rooms. That’s 40 waiters at main restaurant alone.
After realising his knowledge and experience in addition to his leaderships skills I was still questioning my self about the reason he was working at a three star hotel. I did realise importance of handing a such a large scale operation as well. Finally, Stefan Huemer has now become the General Manager of two Jumeirah properties in Maldives. With him Jumeirah Resorts are not only finest luxury islands but also some of the best places to work in Maldives. Stefan, Welcome back to Maldives!
Which industry of Maldives have the most number of educated people? If that’s IT, do we have a big IT industry in Maldives? Even if its your passion I think it is important to compare it with the prospects. Despite how good you are at cooking, you cannot make meat ball soup if you dont have the right ingredients, or you have the ingredients but not the know how of cooking. Either case you gained no benefit out what you had.
I know a lot people doing higher education in IT and lot more have interest in that field. If you want just an easy degree then IT could be one, it would give you an allowance if you were lucky enough to get a job from the government. Nowadays its not the harvesting season anymore, the government is chopping down the needless employees and IT could easily become a target.
The government can easily centralise the IT department of different offices and save some cost. At the same time keeping some multi-skilled people in every office could patch up the gap. So, the ordinary IT people seems to be very replaceable.
So, where can the IT guys can go? In India there are lot of IT people working from home on freelance basis, they work over the web and serve international market. Despite the opportunities, so far I have not heard of any Maldivian doing freelance tech jobs over the web. If you think Indians can afford to do those jobs as they dont have to earn so much for living, they actually earn a lot in general.
I found a copy of Symbolic Wedding Regulation on President’s Office website. It was not on Tourism Ministry’s website. This made me think that the regulation was made my President’s Office, instead of the Tourism Ministry. This regulation was a result of an indecent Renewal of Vows ceremony took place at Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort.
Now the case has been partially settled as president have invited the couple to visit Maldives, of cause the effects will live long locally and abroad.
It’s saddening that lessons have not been fully learnt from the killer incident. Tourism is fragile, the officials at President Office could have obtained opinion from tourism experts and experienced personnel in the field. If they did they would have known that there are other routes leading to similar outcomes. Hence, instead of a single patch on the leaking hole the Maldives tourism industry needs a proactive thinking.
Instead of subjecting the regulation no a specific activity performed by some of the employees it needs to be focused on behaviour and practices of employees in general. The verbal communication with tourists, non-verbal communication and basic hygiene standards are important to have “minimum requirements” set by the government.
The resorts I have been to practice a lot of hygiene principles. The importance of reinforcing employees to adhere basic hygiene practices and basic code of conduct serve more to the legal purpose. If an employee intentionally breaches hygiene codes then the government authorities and resort can easily take necessary actions against that particular employee.
Maldives definitely needs the GST or the tourism tax bill. I have not come across anyone single person, organisation or company that opposes this statement. MATI, MATATO and industry personnel did express concerns; none of them rejected the bill or opposed its general context. Their expressions were only on some specific terms which were uncertain and unconstructive in nature.
Hence, I can simply say that the whole tourism industry agrees to:
*. pay tax on everything they sell in tourism industry, including rooms, excursions, food and beverage etc.
*. percentage of tax to be 3.5 on Sales.
Now, what are the concerns all about? I have stated major concern in my previous post. When I wrote that post, I did not read the actual bill as it was not available for download, I simply referred to other sources. But, today I had a look on the actual bill and noticed more concerns. I’m not going list down all, here’s the funky part.
The GST bill levies tax on services rendered by travel agencies, this includes local companies operating in Maldives as well foreign companies operating elsewhere. Many travel agency businesses are very much virtual, physical agency can exist anywhere in the world and provide travel services in other places without their physical presence. Based on this fact, the bill demands tax from companies that are operating in and out of of Maldives. But, how would the government collect tax from companies based abroad? What if they did not pay? How can the government impose sanctions or penalise?
I have an extremely busy schedule this week. But, I just couldn’t resist making a bold remark about the massive chaos Maldives is heading into unknowingly. I would like to quickly highlight the following concerns.
The meanings and definitions are not provided in an accurate manner which leads to introversion, especially relating the amount of tax. In some places it is unclear whether the tax is levied on sale, gross profit or net profit.
In the bill the amount of tax is based on land size, smaller islands have higher tax in proportion. But this is not the only factor which determines income level. Other important factors include: distance from airport, natural beauty of the island, lagoon, reef, proximity to dive spots and its quality, local and uninhibited island near around the resort. All these additional factors are left unaddressed so as to establish a common tax throughout the industry.
Until now every resort was leased under a contact between the government and resort owner. These contacts vary hugely in terms and conditions, and are made on one-to-one basis. Depending on terms and conditions some islands where highly demanded while others were rejected by investors. Since investors were to seek maximum profit, this fluctuation in demand actually reflected the profitability; some were highly profitable and others were not. In this ground, a common law may not be suitable. On the other hand, implementing a tourism bill which drastically changes majors terms and conditions basically means termination of contact. It is highly likely the investor confidence will be highly affected.
Tourism is very risky industry. It is the biggest industry in the world; lots of investment opportunities are available throughout the world and it is highly competitive. A small miscalculation could lead to devastation. It is extremely risky to achieve everything in one go. Even if proper planned was gone through, such changes disperse fear and uncertainty.
These are not all yet, but, time limitations force me conclude this post.
Don’t be surprised! Not only you, it seems many people don’t know about this. Today’s youth have a world of opportunities. The government and political parties encourage you to take the leadership posts. By the time you finish high school you get to sit in parliament. Isn’t it cool? Young smart men and women are driving the country. But, so far it’s been rare to find a teenager in a top job?
You finish high school at 18, you were fed and taken care by your parents. You were a great spender for 18 years and you did not have to earn a single coin on your own. Always you felt mom and dad would take care of everything, your concerns were playing and entertaining yourself. At this time life remains a mystery and you are so excited. All of a sudden, an election approaches. More excitement? To whom would you vote? You don’t know any of the candidates, everyone is putting up billboards and distributing flyers. You confidently compares candidate’s profile, listen their speeches, read the flyers and find out their objectives and time frames to achieve those objects. Then you choose a smart candidate with a good educational background, vision and mission are also great compared to others, and takes a shorter period to have the much needed services in the island. Excellent!
What have you done? You just finished high school and you have no worldly experience as you have never been working or it was too short to experience the heat of real world. You were far too young to undertake the responsibilities of a life. Yet, you made a strategic decision on the country. Being young you had a tendency to give preference to a young person who looked smarter. You did not realise being young also meant lesser worldly experience. You read from the flyers that he had worked in several organisations but you didn’t bother to find out how successful those organisations were and it was the first time you heard those organisations. His job title was some manager, you had no idea what the job functions and responsibilities could be. You didn’t know the role of MPs, hence, you couldn’t compare it with the candidates’ profile. The time frames he gave was shorter but you had no idea how the processes could be if you were to do on your own. You believed his speeches because he repeated mentioned how much the island was neglected from the basic services and he was energetic in his speech, but you did not understand how easy it is to blame. You did not understand the young person will seek more money to invest in his private life.
Maldives being comprised of young population, the MPs largely represents today’s youth and that is how teenager gets into parliament.