No more actions to take in response to the demands: Press Secretary

Ahmed Hamdhoon, Haveeru News Service
Jan 02, 2012 - 08:33 3 comments
  • Press Secretary and the President's Office Mohamed Zuhair speaks during a press conference held at the President's Office on December 27, 2011. HAVEERU PHOTO/ NASRULLA SOLIH

The government does not have "any more actions to take" in response to the demands made by religious protestors late last month, President's Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said Thursday.

"They gave us a deadline, January 5. We are taking actions in the most responsive manner to the demands they made. We don't have any more actions to take," he said.

"They can continue protesting if they want."

Five demands were put forward at the protest organised by the civil society coalition and opposition parties on December 23.

The demands include removing the SAARC monuments in Addu, condemning UN human rights chief Navi Pillay's comments about Islamic Sharia, not allowing Israeli airlines to operate flights, closing down the brothels in Male and a reversed decision on declaring areas of inhabited islands uninhabited in order to permit alcohol sales.

The coalition has made another demand to the government; not to take any unlawful actions against anyone involved in the movement.

Noting that the protestors were referring to opposition Jumhooree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim, the Press Secretary said the government has not taken any "personal actions against Gasim Ibrahim".

"They called for the closedown of massage parlours and we are trying to heed their demands. While they protested in defence of Islam, check who the largest importer of alcohol is. The highest number of alcohol is being imported directly for the use of resorts owned by Gasim Ibrahim, who is a business tycoon. In response to their demand to stop the sale of alcohol in inhabited islands, we have to prevent those who are involved in the business most," he said.

Zuhair stressed that the government will always give the highest priority to preserve Islamic faith in the country and that it will always listen to the people.

The government Thursday asked all the resorts in Maldives to shut down their spas claiming that a majority of Maldivians have accused the spas of being run as brothels.

In a previous announcement made following the demands, the government revealed its plan to completely ban alcohol and pork in the Maldives.

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