Council discusses “nuisance and bother” of expatriates in Republic Square

Members of the Male’ City Council have offered solutions to “the nusiance and bother of expatriates [congregating] at the Republic Square” in the capital at a meeting last month.

According to minutes of a meeting on June 28 published on the council’s new website, Deputy Mayor Ahmed Samah Rasheed noted that the issue had been discussed before and suggested contacting the Bangladeshi High Commission.

However Maafanu West Councillor Ahmed Falah pointed out that it was “not only Bangladeshis who gather in these places.”

“[Mid-Henveiru Councillor] Lufshan [Shakeeb] noted that foreigners at the Republic Square were damaging the grass in a number of ways and said that the area should be walled off with a tin fence and cleaned,” reads the minutes.

Lufshan suggested working with the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and police “to develop Republic Square.” Henveiru South Councillor “Rukuma” Mohamed Abdul Kareem backed the notion.

The discussion came under an agenda item titled “Making a decision on the nuisance and bother of Bangalhun [derogatory term for Bangladeshis] at the Republic Square and the problem of Bangalhun sleeping inside the old museum at Sultan Park.”

The agenda states that the discussion was prompted by a letter received by the council.

Machangoalhi South Councillor “Jambu” Hassan Afeef meanwhile claimed that expatriates were “committing indecent acts” behind the National Museum site and other open spaces in Sultan Park, recommending that the grounds be closed to the public.

Mayor “Sarangu” Adam Manik however said that “any measures taken should be democratic,” which led Falah to suggest putting up notice boards at the Republic Square in languages used by expatriates to inform them that the area was out of bounds.

The Mayor however favoured closing the square ahead of celebrations of Republic Day on November 11 instead of an abrupt closure and reopening with improved security to ensure there was no further loitering.

Manik also noted that expatriates congregated in other open spaces in Male’ such as the artificial beach area.

Following the discussions, the city council unanimously approved a motion to form a steering committee with officials from the army and police as well as the Tourism Ministry, Foreign Ministry and the Human Rights Commission.

Lufshan, Afeef and Kareem were chosen to represent the council on the committee. All seven councillors in attendance at the meeting belong to the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party.

Large numbers of expatriates living in Male’ use the Republic Square as a park, particularly Bangladeshi labourers on weekends. According to official figures, 1,600 Maldivian companies and 2,000 individuals between them employ 70,000 expatriates in the Maldives – a third of the country’s population – not including an unknown number of illegal migrant workers.

Meanwhile, an ongoing police investigation into labour trafficking uncovered an industry worth an estimated US$123 million, eclipsing fishing (US$46 million in 2007) as the second greatest contributor of foreign currency to the Maldivian economy after tourism.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that “Mayor ‘Maizan’ Ali Manik” was present at the meeting, instead of ‘Sarangu’ Adam Manik who was Mayor at the time. Ali Manik was absent from the meeting. Minivan News apologises for any confusion caused.


68 thoughts on “Council discusses “nuisance and bother” of expatriates in Republic Square”

  1. Ahmed Naish please include the Council's side of the story like a professional journalist.

  2. Sham on you - Maldivian are the most racist people after Israilis

  3. This is us. The true Maldivians people.

    Uncouth, uneducated, barbaric.

    Anything Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepalese are not equal to us.

    Anything Arabic, even if it literally means cow dung, we would consider it divine.

    I'm so ashamed to be a Maldivian.

  4. richard on Sat, 30th Jul 2011 8:33 PM

    "Sham on you – Maldivian are the most racist people after Israilis"

    Really? Try harder.

  5. Well well well hypocritical much!
    These people are good enough to make short eats, wash our clothes, look after our precious babies/ old parents/ sick people yet the way we talk about these foreign workers shock me! This is yet again a simple example of our religious Islamic roots I am assuming! (just like the way we beep the horn on our motor cycles constantly as we have so much patience like a good little muslim ! )
    These workers get one day off after working 6 days like slaves, most cases being shouted at , screamed at and talked down almost as if they were less then human. They get mugged and robbed by the drug addicted youth on a daily basis now. They are targeted by them for their hard earned money. They have nowhere to go but these parks for a bit of escapism on there one day off so why are we being so harsh /mean and down right cruel to take it away???? Us the 100% so called kind muslims?? Why can't we give them an alternative place to hang out?
    Wouldn't that be a better solution rather then calling them all these names, degrading and demeaning them.

  6. This is not something related to foreigners or Bangladeshis but a SERIOUS ISSUE that has to be looked in carefully which alarmingly high numbers of ILLEGAL UNSKILLED EXPATRIATES freely moving and hanging around the country. This is not a discrimination at all my dear friends!

  7. Bangalhun is not a deteriorating term! You have just tried to give a certain impression, thats all! Bangaalhu is the name we call to Bangladesh since olden days! And the Brand Bangaalhu was a well-renowned and respected name. Bangaalhu dhunfaiy (Bangladesh Tobacco) and Bangaalhu Mundu (Bangladesh Sarong) were the most famous and only well-off people could use them! Bangaalhun is the name we call to Bangladeshis! (not to show disrespect).

    And shouldn't city council discuss about bringing some sort of order to the parks in Male'?

  8. i agree, we should label all foreigners also with an armband (like nazis did) so we can humiliate them even more.

    the country is talking about human rights and things are getting worse in general.... its so sad to watch.

  9. this is the typical maldivian way of thinking. and we still talk about human rights. what a shame! male city council is bunch of nut heads who dont have anything else to do except humiliating forign workers

  10. We invite the unskilled laborers to do jobs that our youth are not willing to do. Expatriates are humans. They cannot have affairs with their own people, they get punished. On Fridays the only holiday they get they wear their best suit and go and sit on a vacant area in Jumhooree maidhaan or lonuziyaaraiykolhu for fresh air and chit chat with friends. What is the harm. They need entertainment and there is nothing for them here. I was shocked to read that the City Council members discussion about the expatriates using park. What a silly thing to talk about. They should be talking about cleaning Male’. It’s so dirty. Reduce drug abuse and killings and etc. Control the inflow of people to Male City by developing other areas in big Atolls. Formulate plans implement them. Get the youth of the country to work for a living instead of living on what their parents earn.

  11. "Wine and Pork lover : The Colombo City Council has recently noticed Umbalakada-yaaloo (derogatory term for Maldivians) congregating in Galle Face Green. This causes nuisance to decent citizens of Sri Lanka. These rat bag Umbalakada-yaaloo are vermin and are usually unruly, dirty and loud. Some of these louts have also been seen sleeping under the eaves of Janathapathi Mandhivaraya. The honourable councillors have passed a resolution to erect signage around the city in Maala-Divehina language that these ignorant people speak."

    hahahaha! good one!

  12. What about the drug addicts at sultan park and those passed out on republic square itself?

    if our expat workers are such a big nuisance why do we run to them when we want our houses built, toilets cleaned, meals cooked???? We think we are some chosen race who are too great to do these lowly tasks, it's better for us to be overdosed and wasted on the streets than do one of the above jobs and earn an honest living. We do not have any natural resources nor do we make anything here, everything is imported and the only thing we have to offer are a few sandy beaches and if there is another tsunami we wouldn't have tourism to back us either and we don't even realise how helpless we are!

    Male' city council you are an uneducated, uncouth bunch of effing retards.

  13. I say send these expatriates back to where they came from.

    And I also say put those 'councilors' to work in construction sites with minimal wages and horrible working conditions.

    Then let us call them a bother for taking a day off.

  14. only a Maldivian would refer to a person who is of the same colour as he or she as "ehera kalhu meehaa" thats the degree of racism sadly a lot of people have here

  15. in trivandrum also we have similar problem posed by foul smelling maldivians every where ........ what shall we do in that case.......... please comment

  16. Thish would be pure discrimination. Instead of dealing with the agents and owners who bring the expatriates and leave them, we are all concerned that that they take some three to four hours of fresh air on a friday afternoon. How pathatic of us Maldivians. I would rather have these public places enjoyed by the expatriates than the Youth Groups who happened to h ave taken ownership of every other park

  17. I am a Filipino specialist surgeon thinking of moving to Maldives because I got what seems to be a decent job offer . But based on what I have read so far here in Minivan , I get the impression there is a lot of animosity towards foreigners in Maldives . I was not planning to take the job there because of the money ( I was getting paid more in my current job ) , only for the experience and cultural exchange my one year there would bring . We have a lot of nice beaches in the Philippines , too , so not moving there for your beaches either . But as I have said earlier , what I have read in the threads here so far are causing me to change my mind . I wish you all the best for your future !


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