K. Maafushi Council issued a statement voicing displeasure over negative media reporting on Maafushi, by the online news outlet, Mihaaru Online.
Mihaaru News published an article reporting on the raising concerns within the Maafushi island, an island famously known for their guest house businesses and hospitality ventures.
In their report, Mihaaru online highlighted the increasing crime rates and social issues within the island. They referred to various residents of the island as sources for their article, stating that women from Thailand, Russia and other local islands come to Maafushi for sex work during the weekends. Moreover, Maafushi island’s police incharge had verified that although no such reports had been made to the police, he had heard rumors of prostitution on the island.
In the statement issued by the council, signed by all councilmembers, stated that since no official reports had been made regarding sex workers on the island, it was irresponsible to publish an article depicting the island as a “centre for prostitution”. The council added that viewing their guests, male and female, to be either sexworkers or their clients reflects on their unfortunate state of mind.
Noting that drug-related cases are common within the entire nation, the council argued that the issue was unrelated to local tourism. Therefore, the council stated that delivering opinions on the societal and communal issues that may arise within an island that welcomes innumerable visitors should possess a certain degree of understanding and expertise.
The council asserted that the Maafushi hospitality community had proved to the whole world that tourism without pork or alcohol was possible because their guests visit the island for its natural beauty and their enjoyment.
The council added that instead of focusing on one notion for political critique, they believe in righting wrongs and focus on the growth aspects.
Maldives Police Service confirms the birth of drug-related cases from Maafushi more than any other island within the atoll. Furthermore, crime rates from the Maafushi community is higher than other islands with greater population.