Expat protests politically motivated; claims minister

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that the recent protests carried out by expatriates were staged for political gain.

Speaking at the parliament regarding the unrest over unpaid wages to expatriates, Minister Fayyaz said although he believes the protests were being orchestrated for political benefit, he does not believe the acts are being carried out by the opposing PPM-PNC coalition, or any other opposing political parties.

“My concern is that [these protests] are being staged for political benefit. I am not pointing my finger at the opposing parties; this is being done by some other groups for political reasons. They seek to create unrest,” said the minister.

Minister Fayyaz said as long as he remains part of the cabinet, he will do all that is necessary to ensure the migrant issue faced by the Maldives is effectively resolved, with one of the steps being the voluntary repatriation of undocumented expatriates.

A group of expatriate workers protested in Hulhumale' over unpaid wages earlier on Monday. A similar protest was staged in Hulhumale’ on July 6. Recently, a group of expatriate workers at Bodufinolhu island in Baa atoll held hostage Maldivians working on the island and confronted the police over unpaid wages. However, the situation was later deescalated and all individuals were safely extracted.