The Maldivian government has apologised to a couple who were verbally abused by resort staff during a renewal of vows ceremony at Vilu Reef resort in the Maldives.
Ambassador Ms. Iruthisham Adam, from the Maldives embassy in Geneva, personally telephoned the couple, who have asked to remain anonymous, Friday afternoon to offer the government´s “profound and heartfelt apologies.”
“I informed the couple that the entire country is deeply shocked and saddened by what has happened. The Maldives is renowned for its warm hospitality and this incident has brought great shame upon our tourism industry and our country,” Ambassador Adam stated.
Ambassador Adam noted that the resort´s management have also extended their deep apologies to the couple and offered them compensation.
Ambassador Adam informed the couple that two members of the resort´s staff have been arrested by Maldives police, who are investigating the incident under a judicial warrant.
She noted that President Nasheed has ordered strict new guidelines to be introduced, which will regulate renewal of vows ceremonies in every hotel and resort in the country.
Ambassador Adam explained to the couple that government officials will sit around a table with Maldivian tourism industry representatives on Saturday morning, to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.
A video of the renewal of vows ceremony was posted on YouTube earlier this week and has caused a media storm within the Maldives and abroad.
In a national radio address on Friday morning, President Nasheed expressed his “disgust” at the incident and described the behaviour of the resort staff involved as “absolutely disgraceful”.
Advisor on International Media & Communications
The President’s Office
Republic of Maldives