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

All letters are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write a letter, please submit it to [email protected]


20 thoughts on “Letter in response to Lale teacher story”

  1. This letter, though is said to be written by Mehemet Akif, IS NOT HIS writing. His English is worse than a grade 5 level student. In fact that is the reason why my parents and so many others removed their children from this school when he became the Principal. Wonder whom and how much he paid to get this written. What a joke of a school!

  2. Minivan needs to defend it's initial article. It has been accused of practicing irresponsible journalism.

  3. What Minivan needs to do is being done by Minivan. They have started to practice censorship of select comments which prove damaging to government propaganda.

    One is not surprised by the actions of Minivan. Indeed, the MDP government is a product of their formative years and the socio-cultural context in which they operate. The real issue is their loud declarations of a break with the past.

    I have never seen such wondrous continuity in all structural aspects of the former government. For e.g.:-

    - The reluctance to establish an institutional framework to battle corruption (No Auditor-General, no support to the ACC or the judiciary and blatant disregard for the rights of the media).

    - Keeping the Maldives Police Service and the Maldives National Defense Forces as personal militias.

    - Awarding government contracts in an organized effort to enrich cronies and establish oligarchies.

    - Acquiring gangs and funding gang activities in order to intimidate the citizenry into submission.

    etc. etc. The list goes on.

  4. MInivan is a living example of proper journalism, no doubt.....

    Now the problem is v have come from a 30 year old DICTATORSHIP and v are used to that old habit.

    But i am sure, with the good and hard work of Minivan JJ, v shall soon come out of that and enjoy DEMOCRACY in this beautiful island country like Singapore...Unfortunately, v are still very far behind Singapore as v still don't have proper Journalism, Parliament and Judiciary...

    So, Mr JJ don't worry about Lale Principal's letter...It was Lale school that allowed this Australian John to build a Catamaran in the school premises using FIBERGLASS materials...Lale School is a complete failure and people at Hulhumale' do not recognize it as a school....V recognize Lale as a FAILED school

  5. The principal may have had the letter written by someone else, but it does raise good questions about responsible journalism.

    Anybody can make accusations & say things, but isn't it the responsibility of the journalist to verify the story, the source & research? The school may very well be at fault here, but so could Mr. Campbell if what the letter said regarding his claims at Bank of Maldives etc are true...

    the journalist could have checked out Campbell's story from the school & if they didn't respond, there are other sources of information...like the labour authorities, immigration, other teachers, students etc.

  6. this topic is about irresponsibleness journalism of JJ robinson why are some people going off topic and bringing up shitty past like dictatorship and MDP which does not relate with JJ robinson i openly say that some people just waste time on making a long comment about nonsense. Maldivians really need to have some non political mind.

  7. Lale still needs to improve its treatment of employees.

    Preschool teachers are working without the 1 hour break entitlement as per law

    Even the school guard is jailed there. he eats, sleeps and prays there. Never gets a holiday or even a break orgets to come out of school. sad. even on fridays he is seen performing friday prayers in the school.

    many other such

  8. I am J. Campbell. What JJ published was nowhere near as extreme as the reality. The letter from the Principal should just state that the school has paid me all they intend. The school has stolen my posessions, salary and benefits plus harassment and continual provocation, all by the 'new' Principal' and they remain immune from investigtion and prosecution even after admitting stealing some of my property in the presence of Police. why??

  9. Sounds like all - This guy Campbell, the school and JJ are all shonky people.

  10. I wonder how the school paid salary for him for an additional 14 days which was not under the contract as it ended on 16th November.

  11. last word........
    The consequences of my misfortune having to deal with inept, criminal management at LALE SCHOOL are dire enough but the repercussions for the MALDIVES as a whole are truly woeful. Your Police are lazy, unable and unwilling to either enforce the law or arrest offenders. They have no interest in recovery of stolen property. The Dept. Labour is unable to ensure schools write legal, workable contracts and likewise unwilling to enforce them. The Education Dept. has no control over the quality or fitness for duty of foreign School Management and proved themselves truly ignorant in not responding to any communications. As did the office of the President, on fact, all Government depts.. I dealt with – or tried to – remained ignorant to communications delivered by any method – even to hand-written, personally delivered letters.
    The issues of major concern are:-
    1/ Parents are forcing their children to attend schools that offer NO insurance protection against accident / injury.
    2/ There are NO facilities to assist foreigners in the MALDIVES who do not have a consular representative or Embassy.
    3/ There are NO avenues of redress to aid anyone who is a victim of crime in the MALDIVES.
    The ONLY people who come out of my experience are the Dept. Immigration. All credit to them! ! !
    If this is an example of your first attempt at Democracy, it is an abject failure and bodes worse than ill for the future.

  12. Based on the above comment, this teacher does not appear to be a very professional teacher, clearly his and the author of the articles objective is something else. The whole things smells rather fishy, including the whole sleeping in fish market fiasco. The teachers who come here need to be regulated better, I've heard that a know missionary woman by the name of kitty holloway, who works for this church group whose main objective is to convert muslims from poor countries also was employed by this same school.

  13. To Moi: I have checked from the school. There is no staff named Ms. Kitty Holloway in the school and there was no staff by this name. Which country is she from? It is very important that we avoid spreading false rumors.

  14. She was in hulhumale, that at least is confirmed from very reliable source. I am also trying to confirm the rumour of her employment

  15. This happens when we hire infidels like jj, like Akif and like campbell..

  16. People!!! Don't worry...
    I don't think they serve beer in that school, may be that is the problem, or That is an organized propaganda. Guys like John Campbell, will find anything to complain, no matter how good you treat to them. He didn't understand how ignorant they are in their own land.
    Believe me you can bring down stars to them to play with,(to calm them) they would say thanks at the beginning, and they will complain about you for bringing stars for them....He simply doesn't understand whats happens to immigrants,workers or ethnic minority groups in his Country.
    Guys like these shouldn't travel...

  17. Hey JJ, someone has stabbed a bullet in your back passage right. he he he. The principals letter clearly shows what type of journalism JJ does. I am not surprised.

  18. I believe it was the Editor of Minivan who published the letter from the Principal. Yet, I also have to agree that Minivan has a certain taste that is it's choice for publishing news and also a very select choice for doing in-depths. It is quite understandable that it does have an agenda which is privately held, as it is not a public media outlet. It is up to the reader to understand appreciate the bias in the journalism. That is what I do when I read Minivan. But I am a longtime fan of Minivan because it gives unbiased journalism, when you take out the propaganda bit that it is bound to do by virtue of what it is.

  19. See, this one teacher who is an Australian created this much of commotion. where else we have seen thousands of Indian and Lankan teachers have been working in this island nations from many years. instead of bringing one Native speaker, maldives can bring five teachers from Lanka or India.

  20. Dear Sir/Madam..
    I am a teacher from Brazil.I love geography and History I teach.Please I want to have friends in Maldives Is. Publish my adress/email in your news magaz. please.My adress post is..Mr.Luis -CxPost.2571-acf Cristal-Bento Gonçalves-RS-95700972-Brazil and my email is [email protected] I hope many answers from men,women all ages..My best wishes..Thanks Luis


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