Prufrock's Page

Monday, October 17, 2005

Another Utopia Unmasked

Hari Kunzru cancels his trip to the Maldives, and explains why:

"The reason the Maldives appears such an unspoilt paradise, is because tourists are kept segregated from ordinary Maldivians. Apart from the capital island, Malé, outsiders are only permitted onto inhabited islands for brief visits. Were they to see a little more they'd realise they were in a place in the grip of deep crisis. The Maldives doesn't produce much food. Many basic supplies, including a lot of the fresh fruit that ends up in tourists' breakfast buffet, have to be imported. Most fresh food bypasses local people and goes straight to the resorts. The United Nations recently found more than 30 per cent of children under five were suffering from malnutrition. The acute deprivation, along with the lack of democracy, is pushing some traditional muslim communities into the arms of fundamentalists."


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