Strikes that hit Sri Lanka managed resorts in Maldives end

Dec 04, 2008 (LBO) – A series of strikes that hit Maldivian resorts, including several managed by Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence group are ending, after the strikes were called off following presidential intervention, officials said. Maldives has a new coalition government, which was brought to power by pro-democracy activists. The strikes were partly triggered by a new employments law which promises better conditions for workers.

But cracks are already appearing. Home minister Gasim Ibrahim resigned Wednesday evening citing lack of funds to improve prisons. But over the past few days he had come under severe pressure for sending riot police to quell a strike at a resort.

Gasim a one-time finance minister of the former administration of Abdul Gayoom, quit shortly before the government fell.

President Mohamed Nasheed won office in October following the country’s first multi-party elections ousting Asia longest serving head of state. He was a former political prisoner.

Maldives is a premium tourist paradise, but tourist arrivals have been falling for three consecutive months amidst global turmoil. In October arrivals fell 4.0 percent to 56,363. “The situation is 90 percent back to normal,” Aitken Spence group’s Maldi