Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maldives tourism campaign backfires as Twitter shows darker side of life in island "paradise"

When the Maldives tourist authority hatched the idea of a Twitter campaign to boost the country's credentials as a paradise island, it is unlikely it was expecting tweets about police brutality, coups d'├ętat and political illegitimacy.

But that is precisely what it got when it urged the Maldives tourist industry to help make #SunnySideofLife a global trend on Thursday.

While @myvisitmaldives boasted: "Maldives has been awarded as the Most Romantic Destination in the World #SunnySideofLife", Ali Adil tweeted: "#SunnySideOfLife: Pristine white sandy beaches, crystal clear lagoons filled with blood of its citizens who are fighting for democracy". And there were plenty echoing Adil. "#SunnySideOfLife: A place where a chicken is not allowed to cross a road without being intimidated by Police," tweeted @gaanagaa. Others posted pictures of alleged victims of police brutality.

(...)

Amnesty International has accused the current government of using excessive force against supporters of the former president and his Maldivian Democratic party (MDP). Last month, Amnesty said it was "deeply concerned at the Maldives government's continued repression of protestors, including beatings, pepper-spraying, and arrests. Those attacked include peaceful demonstrators, members of parliament, journalists and bystanders." Full story...

Related posts:
  1. Maldives: trash in an island paradise... (Video)
  2. Brutal Maldives regime hires public relations firm to whitewash image...
  3. Maldives police accused of sexually harassing female detainees...
  4. Democracy suffers in Maldives in the face of rising fundamentalism...
  5. Maldives' 'paradise' image tarnished by violence...
  6. 10 years jail for 1 gram of cannabis for Maldivian reggae artist...
  7. Atheist in Maldives who rejected Islam "hangs himself..."
  8. Maldives: islanders suffer the effects of brutal police repression...

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