By Selina Mohsin
The Daily Star | 08 October 2017
Discrimination is often the transference of moral degradation to others. The Maldives presents many examples of it in its treatment of migrant workers. Take Malé’s old Sultan Park, now upgraded and renamed Rasrani Bageecha. Its large, open space and fine old trees provide a rare haven of peace in the otherwise congested capital. On Fridays, Bangladeshi and other migrant workers used to go there to relax. Now they have to pay USD 7 as entry fee, which hardly any of them can afford. Those unaware of this recent discriminatory imposition are summarily thrown out by the police.
Maldives, once a very poor country, acquired wealth in recent decades through international tourism and tuna fish exports. As wealth grew, more and more Maldivians stopped working and imported labourers from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Discrimination, even hatred, of foreign labour became widespread.