Letter in response to Lale teacher story

Dear Sir,

With reference to the news article published on Minivan News with headline ‘Lale English Teacher Resorted to Begging, Sleeping in Fish Market’ I would like to issue the following clarifications to the case on behalf of the school.

1. An Australian citizen named Mr John S Campbell has served Lale as an English teacher on a contract basis.

2. Mr John S Campbell was NOT an employee of the School when he allegedly begged or slept in the fish market. His contract with the school ended on November 16, 2010. The school issued him a return ticket to Australia on October 20, 2010 and he left the Maldives on December 2, 2010. The Labour Ministry cancelled his employment approval for the School as he left the Maldives on December 2, 2010. The school paid him salary for every single month during his contract period, which was shared to Authorities upon request. Although his contract ended on 16th November 2010, the school paid him a full salary for November.

3. Mr. John S Campbell was claiming for December 2010 salary, which the school refused to give because his contract was over by November 16, 2010 and there was no new contract with him. No institution will pay as per the demands of people based on ‘Nothing’. Furthermore the school has noticed his habit of making baseless claims for money, like demanding 1 million USD from school for an injury; like demanding 50,000 USD from Bank of Maldives for not opening his bank account on time.

4. Mr John S Campbell took the matter to the Labour Ministry before he left the Maldives on December 2, 2010 and the Labour Ministry explained to him what his rights were and what the school should be giving him.

5. The school was in contact with the Labour Ministry, Australian Embassy, Immigration and Maldives Police Service regarding the case.

6. Authorities did not find any failings on the part of the school.

7. Mr John S Campbell did NOT inform the school at all about his return to the Maldives and was in the country for his own reasons and nothing to do with the school. When he returned to the Maldives he was no longer an employee of the school.

Furthermore we are very disappointed with the irresponsible journalism practiced by the author. This news article lacks any investigation, any comment from relevant government authorities which worked on the case and any comment from the school. In the past this author has accused the school and its management with various allegations without any proof, and has targeted the school regularly for reasons which Maldivian general public does not realize. We urge the editor to take concrete steps to make sure that information is verified before it is published.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr Mehmet Akif

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