Tourism Ministry issues circular to close spas and massage parlors

After thousands of protesters gathered last Friday and demanded the government “close the spas and massage parlors and such places where prostitution is conducted”, the Tourism Ministry has today published a circular asking all the resorts to shut down their spas and massage parlors.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair today confirmed to Minivan News that the Tourism Ministry had issued the circular.

The circular informs that the government has decided to shut down all the spas and massage parlors in accordance with demands made by the general public during last Friday’s protest to “defend Islam.”

Speaking at a press conference held yesterday, Zuhair said the protesters did not specify where exactly the prostitution was conducted but mentioned that prostitution was conducted inside spas and massage parlors.

He said the government does not know how to differentiate between the spas and massage parlors that are complicit with prostitution and those which are not.

Therefore, Zuhair said the government has decided to shut down all such locales because Maldivians, including high-profile individuals, have been visiting tourist resorts and having spa treatments.

He said the government does not want those high-profile individuals’ good names being damaged by visiting places accused of such crimes.

Zuhair added that some of the individuals making these demands last Friday also conduct business in the tourism industry. Therefore, the government believes that, given their insider understanding of the resort and spa industry, their accusations are well-founded and there is not much to investigate.

This week, five spas run in five resorts owned by opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) Leader ‘Burma’ Gasim Ibrahim were asked by the Tourism Ministry to shut down operations over similar allegations.

The company subsequently sued the government. Meanwhile, the Civil Court issued a warrant permitting those spas to continue operations until the suit has reached a verdict.

Tourism Minister Dr Maryam Zulfa was unavailable for a comment.


60 thoughts on “Tourism Ministry issues circular to close spas and massage parlors”

  1. Up until now I had some hope in President Nasheed. But I am beginning to think he has lost it.

    When you are the President of the Nation you are supposed to lead and make rational decisions. You can't behave like a kid and take stupid decisions just because you want to make a point.

    National interests should not be compromised by jolting the economy and damaging the image of the nation just because you are fed up with the opposition.

    The Tourism Minister Zulfa is also a fool. To follow a stupid order blindly and to send a 'circular' to close the spas of the country is a pathetic failure to uphold the law.

    Good thing that no resort obeyed this stupid circular.

    Listening to public opinion and finding a middle ground is something this government seems to be allergic to. Once you start believing that the public should be listening to you and not the other way round, you are doomed.

    True, the opposition is full of hypocrites and they have been using religion as a political tool to bring down the government.

    But it is the Government that is letting the Opposition to do this so successfully by being immature, childish, naive, insincere, hot-headed, stubborn, silly and down right crazy!

  2. @ Ilyas Ahmed: Its your bad that you voted President Nasheed assuming he is a grown man. Though your judgements are as such, i personally dont believe the international community would praise our president if he is a kid.

    You and your political money bags were the ones who demanded the government to ban alcohol/pork, to close down spas/massage parlors, to condemn UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay, to disallow Israeli flights from entering Maldives and to remove the monuments that were gifted to Maldives by SAARC countries. If you think that everyone is stuck at one place like yourself, you are wrong. We have to travel. We are facing a lot of difficulties and hatred by your stupid demands.

    The government have responded to the demands. And you dont like that either. What is that you actually want? To be the President? Wait till 2013. 😉

  3. This is a Game which was very well organised after the 23rd December Demonstration.
    Tourism Minister send a circular to the resorts and after that his husband also released a message against it. Then we saw the puppet of any government of Maldives Mr.Koli Mohd Manik. Then we heard Champaa Afeef and at Last Lolly pop Jabir. He even try and convince that why we can't have casions in Maldives.

    Most of the Ministers in the present government beleive the concept of Moderatre islam introduced by the Westerners. They don't practice it.

  4. I can see Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Thailand minting even more money. Given the reputation Maldives is earning these days in world media, tourists will soon start heading that way. Anyway, at least common people should be happy. They are getting what they demonstrated for. But I do hope they don't turn up to be another true Islamist state like Afghanistan and Pakistan are now.

  5. I never knew that pork is served in maldives. During preparation the local cooks will definetely taste it. At any coast this must be banned. Tourism is a mastermind plan to destroy our culture. Close all resorts........

  6. Prezident Anni said he will consider people's voice when Majlis takes action. He said he will not listen to crowds on the road.
    He is not following his own declared policy.

  7. We enjoyed holidays in the Maldives deliberately choosing small resort islands which had no pool, gym, spa or massage services. The attraction for us was the amazing nature all around us. The decision was taken to upgrade many resorts to 5 star standard, these catered for a very different kind of tourist for whom nature was only a side show. We could happily live with what a basic resort offered, but not being able to enjoy a beer after a hard days diving is unreasonable...most westerners will feel the same way.

  8. What can we possibly gain from closure of Spas in the Maldives? Just ask this Question to ourselves. Our whole economy largely depend on the tourism industry. Everybody knows this. Harming the industry, will have devastating consequences to all of us.

    We are just harming ourselves, damaging Maldivian brand as a premium holiday destination. Believe it or not, its the only major resource we got. In a global economy we cant gain prosperity by isolation and closing potential doors for economic development.

    What we really need is Nationalism, love for the country and betterment of our society as a whole. Meaning not just betterment for one person or a group BUT the whole nation. None of the recent riots and demands are for Nationalism.

    Please just think what we are doing to our country. We can protect our culture and religion, it always have been protected. Laying economic/business sanctions on ourselves is really not the way to move forward, it's just plain stupid. Whatever the reason behind this decision , for sure it will not have a positive impact on our economy.

    How did we come to this, when did we loose our rationalism and cohesion as a nation. We are now a divided nation, with self-interested/driven groups. I guess we have always been like this since the beginning. Fellow citizens, we will be just moving on from one vicious cycle to another unless we strive to achieve development & prosperity as a whole.


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