Registrations for alms at Ramadan are up by 1,300 this year in Male’, Haveeru reports.
Over 10,600 people are said to have registered as of Thursday, August 25. Alms will be distributed in Male’ on Sunday, August 28. This is one day earlier than the Islamic Ministry had originally planned.
Alms this year, or nisab, costed Rf53 per person for Basmati Rice, and Rf32 per person for Thailand Rice. Registered alms recipients can pick up their sum from the Islamic Centre in Male and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in Hulhumale between 1 and 3pm on Sunday.
The President’s Office has announced that fishermen’s income has been increasing steadily over the past few months, while the price of fish has remained constant.
President Mohamed Nasheed said the government aims to support income growth for fishermen, and provided there are no changes to the industry’s current operations, profit levels will be maintained.
Speaking in his weekly radio address, the President further stated that retailers have reporters higher profits this Ramadan than in recent years. He noted that market prices have been controlled, and said the Maldivian economy was moving in the right direction.
Crime ratings have dropped in the past few months, and violent crime rates are notably low, the President claimed.
A total of 47 road accidents were reported across the country in the first week of Ramadan, according to police, compared to 38 accidents in the corresponding period last year.
Apart from the capital Male’ where the highest number of accidents are reported particularly during Ramadan, a number of accidents have occurred in the southern atolls of Laamu, Fuahmulah and Addu.
While no serious injuries have been reported, an accident in Hulhumale’ last week resulted in a fatality.
Police Chief Inspector Ahmed Abdul Rahman has announced that specially trained police officers will be patrolling the streets of Male’ during Ramadan, in a bid to counteract a spike in crime observed during the Holy month.
Speaking to the press, Rahman said that every year during Ramadan assault and robbery cases have been observed to increase than compared to other months of the year.
Police have noted that thieves become more active between sunset and sunrise, with records showing that most of the theft and robbery cases have occurred during this time.
The specially-trained police officers will patrol the streets and keep an eye on crime hotspots, he said.
He called on everyone to be more cautious during the month of Ramadan and to upgrade the security of offices and homes.
President Mohamed Nasheed last week announced that almost 400 convicted criminals will be released from prison to offer them a second chance to enter society as a reformed person.
Although the public has raised concern over the issue of impending release of close to 400 convicted criminals, Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair has said it will not result in a spike in crime rates in Male’.
““Out of the 119 people released on a previous occasion only two people have had to be taken back to prison for committing an offence,” Zuhair said.
He added that the inmates will be released on the understanding that they would be returned to prison to complete the rest of their sentences if they committed any sort of offence in the next three years.
President Mohamed Nasheed has extended Ramadan greetings as the Holy month begins in the Maldives.
In a statement, President Nasheed emphasised that Ramadan was an occasion for good deeds and helping the less fortunate.
Nasheed also sent Ramadan greetings to the leaders of other Islamic countries.
During the month of Ramadan the pace of life in Male’ slows and the capital’s vibrant cafe culture shifts to the evening, after sunset, while the population fasts during the day.
Government offices close at 1:30pm during Ramadan, rather than 4:00pm, and the Islamic Ministry holds special religious sermons every day. Foreigners are requested to respect the custom and refrain from eating or drinking in public before sunset.
Tourism Employees Association of Maldives (TEAM) has urged employers to pay Ramadan Allowances prior to the beginning of the month as stated in the Employment Act.
‘’We call on all employers to pay the Ramadan Allowance they are obliged to pay in the Employment Act, to be paid before the beginning of the month of Ramadan,’’ TEAM said in a press release .‘’Article 51[a] of the Employment Act states that each year, prior to the beginning of the month of Ramadan, one third of the employee shall be paid as Ramadan Allowance.’’
TEAM expressed concern that some of the employees working in the tourism sector have not received last year’s Ramadan Allowance.
‘’We also call on all employees to work to have the Ramadan Allowance paid,’’ TEAM added.
Vice President of TEAM Mauroof Zakir told Minivan News that TEAM’s press release was not only targeted at employers in the tourism industry but to all employers.
‘’It is a right of all the Muslim employees and it is also mentioned in the Employment Act,’’ Mauroof said.
Mauroof expressed concern that although the Ramadan Allowance was introduced in 2008, there have been some employees that were not receiving the allowance.
‘’We have received information that 12 tourist resorts in the Maldives have not paid Ramadan Allowance to their employees last year,’’ he said. ‘’Following an amendment presented by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Easa, now all employees earning less than Rf2000 are supposed to be paid Rf2000 as Ramadan Allowance according to the Act, and we urge all employees working in all the sectors not only tourism sector, to work to have it.’’
Mauroof said he did not wish to reveal the names of the resorts that have not paid last year’s Ramadan Allowance.
”It would be better not to mention their names, just not yet,” he added.
Saudi Arabia donated 50 tons of date palm fruits to the Maldives today ahead of the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan.
The Saudi government has donated large shipments of dates every year since 1988.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the State Trading Organisation (STO) has been tasked with clearing the fruits from customs as well as its storage, after which the dates will be distributed through the Local Government Authority (LGA).
The prices of staple food items has risen following the start of Ramadan, according to a report in Haveeru.
Potato, carrot and tomato all increased in price, while watermelon increased to Rf15 (from Rf8 this time last year).
Demand for watermelon skyrockets during the holy month of fasting, with the fruit a very popular Ramadan breakfast item because of its high water and glucose content.
Dried fish rose in price to Rf35-Rf40 a unit, while fresh tuna ranges from Rf25 to Rf50.