Sunday, September 30, 2007

Small Small Victory

The National Handicraft Center located in the STO trade center has removed the black coral products sold there. Last Wednesday a person from the Trade Ministry informed that it was illegal to sell black coral. They had asked Najah Art Place, their business partner to remove all the products from their shop.

Few questions arises…Wonder what made them do that? And I wonder what happened to all the removed items? Should it be burned in front of the press at Dhoonidhoo along with all the other illegal stuff the government confiscates? What about the profit the shop has yielded from selling the illegal and endangered black coral? And what kind of action would they take from any further trade of it and to stop such trade from the rest of the tourist shops?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Great Divide - Khandhogu Hanguraama!

The people VS the island chief

The people of L. Gan, Thundi avah has dug a trench across there main roads. Some people on the island are taking sand from the beach and selling it to the building contracting companies. This was done to prevent the pick up trucks from going to the beach area and transporting the sand across the island.
I think somewhere in some rule it says that it’s illegal to take sand from the beach of any inhabited island. The only places you could mine the sand is from the isolated lagoons which are not connected to any islands. And now people are taking the sand from their own island!
According to the islanders the biggest “Sand Stealers” are the island chiefs of both Thundi and Mathimaradhoo avah of L. Gan. The beach sand is being sold at 6 MRF per bag. Apparently hundreds of thousands sand bags has been sold by them!
The trench diggers said they had no choice but to do so. They had tried in the first place to be civil and go through the proper channels by informing the government and the police but no corrective action was taken.

its a beutiful place out there

wonder how long it would take until we cover the whole place with garbage

and poison all the life

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Robber Dealer Black Coral Stealer!!!

Friend of mine told me to take a look at the new souvenier shop opened at the STO trade center, so I popped my head in to see what was there

most of the items at the shop were made out of black coral
necklaces, ear rings, ornamental knives, staffs, etc
Black coral is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

also black coral is listed in Maldives as a marine product that is prohibited to export.

After inquiring with the sales personal at the shop, it was found that the place was run by the government in alliance with Najah of Najah art place. Apparently its the Trade Ministry which is behind the set up.

I dont know if the laws have changed yet or not. We've yet to find out whats this all about and whats going on here.

The souveniers at the shop has a tag that boasts that they are "Authentic Maldivian Products".

A shark jaw and some ormaments made out of shark teeth at the same shop.

Pink Coral, used as decoration in the shop.
What next? Shark Fin Soup available at Nasandhura?
All pictures was taken on 12th September 2006.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Take a Day to Leave a Legacy - International Clean Up Day

International Clean up Day is coming up next weekend - 15th Sepmtember 2007. Maldivers is joining with Strength of Society (a local NGO) for a beach clean up at Hulhu Male'. All volunteers welcome!