to never, ever go to the Maldives on holiday

(123 Posts)
Sallyingforth Wed 27-Feb-13 12:14:35

after reading this report...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21595814

FellNel Wed 27-Feb-13 12:15:36

linky no worky

NamelessHereForEvermore Wed 27-Feb-13 12:16:31
aldiwhore Wed 27-Feb-13 12:19:43

It's a shocking story and YANBU, but thinking about it there aren't an awful lot of places you could holiday if you took general morals and ethics into account.

Sallyingforth Wed 27-Feb-13 12:23:01

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21595814

Sorry not to have posted correctly. Probably just too angry.

Lottapianos Wed 27-Feb-13 12:24:57

Oh my gosh that is horrendous OP. I was just thinking the other day how nice it would go to the Maldives, have changed my mind now. Would never set foot in dubai either because of how women are treated there.

EuroShaggleton Wed 27-Feb-13 12:31:58

That is absolutely appalling, but personally I do not feel the need to agree with the politics of the country in order to visit it. I vehemently disagree with the death penalty but still visit the US.

I think the fact that the Maldives is a tourist destination for many Westerners will help bring atrocities like this to public attention and condemnation, which might, just might, help the sitiation in future. Without tourism I doubt anyone would give a crap about what goes on in a set of tiny islands with a tiny population thousands of miles away.

"Without tourism I doubt anyone would give a crap about what goes on in a set of tiny islands with a tiny population thousands of miles away."

Thankfully I dont share your cynicism.

I do give a shit what happens to children, at the hands of adults, wherever they are in the world.

EuroShaggleton Wed 27-Feb-13 13:26:29

My point was that if this wasn't a common tourist destination for Brits, I doubt any news about the Maldives would ever be heard about here. It just wouldn't be on the radar. I wasn't suggesting that you personally or anyone else would not care upon hearing about an appalling atrocity, just that it was pretty unlikely that you would have ever heard about it. Haven't you noticed that news in the UK seems to largely be about: the UK, the US, the other big Western European countries, other places Brits travel to or commonly emigrate to, pretty much in that order. News from the Maldives would be unlikely to be discussed here, if it were not a common tourist destination.

I still think you are wrong. It is a global community and news travel fast, especially news relating to mistreatment of young children and females. There is at least one or two cases per month highlighted just on MN, and not all are tourist destinations!

theodorakisses Thu 28-Feb-13 14:19:33

You have to stand up for what you believe in. I will never go to Thailand again, the women on the streets with their pimps were all about 13, me and my friend were out in a thunderstorm and a vile pimp called out to us and had a little boy no older than 7 and he pulled the boys pants down and said very nice very cheap. My friend who is a teacher went ballistic but what can you do apart from avoid these places and encourage others to do the same? I am haunted by the memory of that child, I wish I had brought him home with me. I don't blame anyone for being angry and upset about the vileness of the world but I wish it was possible to actually change it.

PessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 14:33:25

theodora, where in Thailand was this?

Jins Thu 28-Feb-13 14:36:25

I don't think I will have to face the dilemma in all honesty sad

Astelia Thu 28-Feb-13 15:15:33

The Maldives has a backward and nasty regime and we will never set foot in the place (we live in Singapore so not far away). I hope the international pressure from this awful case brings about a change in attitudes.

KenAdams Thu 28-Feb-13 15:52:20

YA so NBU. I won't ever go to Dubai either.

ubik Thu 28-Feb-13 15:56:19

Was talking to DP about this last night. If I had won the lottery I would rescue the poor child - she's effectively been handed a death sentence, involving the most horrendous suffering, based on some religious nonsense.

But I think she can choose to wait until she's 18 for her flogging, so that's ok then.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 15:57:32

Astelia and Ken, I totally agree with both of you. I have a list of countries I won't go to and it's ever expanding as militant Islamists continue their relentless rise. Egypt's recently off the list which is a pity as I did want to see the pyramids.

somebloke123 Thu 28-Feb-13 16:05:14

I suppose at least there's a 2 year interval before the sentence is due to be carried out so hopefully there's some time for pressure to build up.

If their tourism industry became under threat they might be encouraged to think again.

I read in the article that the practice of any religion other than islam is banned. Not making any connection between the sentence and the Religion Of Peace of course ....

SoleSource Thu 28-Feb-13 16:06:15

Oh good fucking god theodora NOOO sadsadsad

ubik Thu 28-Feb-13 16:16:12

The thing is when I travelled in the middle east everyone was so welcoming, really we were shown kindness, people wanting to talk, give us tea, sell us stuff, show us photos. Ordinary people make travelling in the middle east a pleasure.

People made a point of telling us we were welcome in Egypt - but this was nearly 20 years ago sad

ubik Thu 28-Feb-13 16:18:25

When I was travelling in Turkey I learned that it is not uncommon for a family to 'loan' a boy to a western traveller for a price. This was to run errands - I saw one boy in a cafe who was fetching socksfrom the market for a male traveller. There are obvious disturbing aspects to these transactions sad

LadyPessaryPam I have a long list of places I won't go to as well. Most people look at me hmm if I mention it.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 16:33:43
LadyPessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 18:11:16

Appalling Filly, what a shower of shits.

CardinalRichelieu Thu 28-Feb-13 18:15:34

Yanbu

I also won't contribute to the economies of places with no human rights. I am coming up for secondment abroad and really hope I don't draw anywhere in the Middle East... Work probably won't give a shit about my ethical objections

SucksToBeMe Thu 28-Feb-13 18:20:51

That poor poor girl. She has been key down by so many people.

SucksToBeMe Thu 28-Feb-13 18:21:19

Let down

LineRunner Thu 28-Feb-13 18:28:36

I think that there are plenty of wonderful places to see and visit in countries that do not torture and lash rape victims.

Smudging Thu 28-Feb-13 18:32:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 18:34:27

I have just come back from Thailand and I didn't see any child prostitution, or any obvious adult prostitution. I don't know where theodorakisses was.

girlwiththedragon Thu 28-Feb-13 18:48:46

I live in Dubai. Of course there are good and bad people here same as anywhere. There are laws here that seem crazy to us as westerners, laws in the UK that seem crazy to people here. There's a lot less prostitution, stealing, mugging, burglaries in the Middle East than Europe, UK, America, etc because the punishments at being caught here are so much more severe so people generally just don't dare to commit crime here. You can leave your handbag out all night with purse, phone etc and it will be guaranteed to still be there in the morning. You can let your kids play out all day here without fear or worry because nobody would dare to harm them the penalties would be so severe (and they love kids here anyhow). Just saying, you can't really comment on other parts of the world until you know what it is actually like.

Viviennemary Thu 28-Feb-13 18:53:03

I thought the same as you when I saw this shocking news. I'm sure if their tourism industry was threatened they would have to think again.

theodorakisses Thu 28-Feb-13 18:53:19

Yeah, you are so right Ladypessary...there is no prostitution in Thailand, I just made it up for the attention. I stayed in Pattaya from 8th -25th September 2011 at the Birds and bees resort. Obviously you are a much classier person who stays in a much classier Thailand than I did. jeez.

MrsToddsShortcut Thu 28-Feb-13 19:22:58

I think the problem with Dubai, isn't the laws, it's the fact that it was and is built using slave labour

here

MummytoKatie Thu 28-Feb-13 20:04:42

That's really sad. We conceived dd in the Maldives which has always felt such a lovely thing. And now it doesn't. sad

SoleSource Thu 28-Feb-13 20:07:11

Theo I had no.problem with you stating the truth of your exoerience. I just felt so awful for the boy and you because it must have torn you apart.

iamabadger Thu 28-Feb-13 20:19:11

Are you and your friend female theodora? I agree you see prostitution in Thailand I'm just curious as to what they thought you would be able to do with a 7 year old boy?

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 20:37:26

Yeah Dubai is such a fucking paradise isn't it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=toebp2LJin0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlZY83QHKL8

A real holiday idyll.

YANBU. I wouldnt go either. Or to Dubai. Ever. Although I have been to Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia are at least trying to clamp down on the prostitution and child trafficking from what i saw.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 20:46:03

Cambodia had NO government, genocidal lunatics and so on for decades. The Dubai government is aware, and doesn't really care about abuse.

BegoniaBampot Thu 28-Feb-13 20:47:45

But does avoiding Thailand if you are not a sex tourist actually help the local people. Surely they need more non sex tourists.

Theo - curious, why did you go to Pattaya - were you aware that it's generally regarded as the top sex trade destination in Thailand and is infamous for it's sleazy reputation.

LadyPessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 21:55:36

theodorakisses Yeah, you are so right Ladypessary...there is no prostitution in Thailand, I just made it up for the attention. I stayed in Pattaya from 8th -25th September 2011 at the Birds and bees resort. Obviously you are a much classier person who stays in a much classier Thailand than I did. jeez.

Well I have just got back from Chiang Mai and Koh Lanta and I saw nothing of this. Sorry but I did not book myself into the middle of the Thai Soho, pardon me. Obviously I am more classy and also I can use TripAdvisor. Try it and you might have better holidays. Jeez!

theodorakisses Fri 01-Mar-13 03:42:42

I chose the resort because it is a Thai hotel that educates and employs local people so they have an alternative to prostitution. They invest profit in local agriculture and, rather than stay in a chain hotel, I wanted to spend time working with the community projects and spent a lot of time with the toy library.

Just because one area is shit and one is posh doesn't mean I will ignore the shit I hate about the shit part and just go to the posh part instead. That's like saying you would not go to the city in the Maldives where this happened but the middle class idyllic bit up the road is fine.

Sometimes this website is so bizarre, I shared a personal experience and have been attacked for possibly making it up and there is a slightly disturbing suggestion about our intentions.
iamabadger Thu 28-Feb-13 20:19:11
Are you and your friend female theodora? I agree you see prostitution in Thailand I'm just curious as to what they thought you would be able to do with a 7 year old boy?

I shared something that was important to me, if I were a troll I may have changed the name I have had for 3 years first.

ripsishere Fri 01-Mar-13 04:35:46

We lived in Thailand for four years and visited Pattaya regularly (DH scubas). I can say hand on heart that we never saw boy child prostitution (are you sure his 'pimp' wasn't pulling your leg)
We always stayed at Cabbages and Condoms. Peculiar name, but the owner ploughed the profits back into providing family planning and safe abortion services.

theodorakisses Fri 01-Mar-13 04:44:48

I am going to leave this thread now, the weirdness is freaking me out.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 01-Mar-13 06:19:17

I am absolutely astounded that anyone could deny the sex trade in Thailand. Are you fucking blind?

I had to sit on the plane all the way home next to a middle- age lone traveller -and it still gives me the heebie-Jeebies a decade on what he might've been there for.

I think many of you are taking for granted just how fucking nice things are here in Western Europe.

For me Dubai is out as I don't profit from slavery.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 07:10:36

I wasn't accusing you of making it up, I just asked a question as to where in Thailand you went theodorakisses. I then mentioned that I had just come back from Thailand and that I didn't see any child prostitution, or any obvious adult prostitution where we were.

You chose to interpret it as an attack and then launched some kind of attack on me.

The only weirdness on this thread comes from you theodorakisses.

MidnightMasquerader Fri 01-Mar-13 07:11:09

PessaryPam - are you for real??

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 07:15:46

DolomitesDonkey I am absolutely astounded that anyone could deny the sex trade in Thailand. Are you fucking blind?

I have not denied the sex trade in Thailand, I was just saying that having just returned from a couple of places there it was not encouraged and not obvious in those places

I also traveled there over a decade ago to Koh Samui and I saw lots of those unattractive lone western men then. This time there were mostly 'normal' tourists around us. I don't know if it was the destination or the time difference that caused the change. We were told that the Thai government is trying to stop the sex trade.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 07:16:18

Yes i am for real. What is your point?

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 07:17:40

BegoniaBampot But does avoiding Thailand if you are not a sex tourist actually help the local people. Surely they need more non sex tourists.

Err yes, that was my thoughts on the matter too.

theodorakisses Fri 01-Mar-13 07:18:00

Koh Samui is absolutely vile and I have informed my endless friends who choose to marry there that I will not be attending any more weddings there. The Thai government, being an entirely corruption free and prgressive liberal one, is of course doing everything they can to stop prostitution....hee hee

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 07:24:59

I think the local area governments are leading the clamp down mainly. They are definitely doing so in both Chaing Mai and Koh Lanta. Tee hee.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 07:26:01

I agree about Koh Samui and I would never go back there.

ZillionChocolate Fri 01-Mar-13 07:29:29

I didn't want to go there anyway, but that's horrific.

shrimponastick Fri 01-Mar-13 07:36:22

Eye opening info. Thanks OP.
Poor girl.

AgathaF Fri 01-Mar-13 07:37:31

There is plenty of very obvious prostitution in Bangkok - it is truly horrible to see.

We also know someone who is recently divorced, so now goes to Thailand for a month each winter to take advantage of the cheap prostitutes. He sees nothing wrong in it because he says the women like the friendship of the western men, and he takes them shopping also. Obviously, he is a wanker.

Shenanagins Fri 01-Mar-13 08:09:11

I saw lots of obvious prostitution in Bangkok but nothing in the resort. However i have heard that pattaya is notorious for the sex trade.

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Mar-13 08:10:22

And if more non sex tourists and families go to Thailand then maybe that will encourage more to go where as now some people think it is only a sex destination.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 08:13:05

We only used Bangkok as the hub for flights so saw very little of it. I deeply dislike large cities so I only did one tourist trip to a temple on the river and one bit of nightmare shopping in a building with infinite floors and escalators which I am sure I will have nightmares about for years to come. In fact I did ask DH if we had died without noticing and were in purgatory when we were in the mall!

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 08:13:49

Koh Lanta is full of Nordic families, it was very nice.

Crawling Fri 01-Mar-13 08:21:35

I dont visit Thailand and I wont now visit the Maldives.
While I agree that they need normal tourists in Thailand I could not go and have any enjoyment out of a holiday there. I would rather send them the money than go.

SucksToBeMe Fri 01-Mar-13 08:30:56

Theo, I can't believe the hassle you are getting on this thread. Distressing to witness THEN come on here and be doubted. hmm

LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 08:35:19

She wasn't doubted, can you read?

BubblegumPie Fri 01-Mar-13 08:46:35

Is there a petition against this?

BubblegumPie Fri 01-Mar-13 08:58:04
LadyPessaryPam Fri 01-Mar-13 09:10:01

Signed.

Sallyingforth Fri 01-Mar-13 10:09:51

According to Amnesty this is not a one-off case but a routine punishment mainly for women. It makes me even more angry that people go there on holiday /honeymoon and subsidise a cruel regime.
Yes I know it's not the only country like that. But that's no excuse at all for supporting them.

theodorakisses Fri 01-Mar-13 10:49:33

There will always be the odd fruit loop on the internet, luckily they are outweighed by the majority of really nice and reasonably normal people.

theodorakisses Fri 01-Mar-13 11:03:09

There will always be the odd fruit loop on the internet, luckily they are outweighed by the majority of really nice and reasonably normal people.

iamabadger Sat 02-Mar-13 09:46:00

Er i did not accuse you of being a troll Theodora. It was a genuine question, which you didn't actually answer but that's your prerogative I suppose. I have been to Thailand, Bangkok, chiang mai and Ko lanta. As I said in my previous post you do see prostitution and sex tourism. However I picked up a very interesting book called Sex Slaves on a recent trip to Vietnam which shows that actually the biggest customers of the south East Asian sex trade are South East Asian men. So boycott all you like but that market will still be there, until the attitude to women and children there changes. In Vietnam I bumped into a western man frequently, always trailing a young local boy with him and saw the same in Thailand with young women and older western men.

shockers Sat 02-Mar-13 10:25:01

I can't sign it, it keeps telling me my postcode and phone no are invalid confused

I saw much evidence of the prostitution of obviously underage girls in Thailand. I also mistakenly paid for the services of a young prostitute one evening because I was talking to her and bought her several drinks (non-alcoholic)... I didn't realise that was how these transactions are carried out. I was with my boyfriend, we told her to take the night off instead, then her madam came over and got angry with us. We explained that we didn't want to take her for sex, so several others were trotted out in front of us, as the madam assumed we just didn't fancy the one we'd been talking to. My boyfriend was pushed and our camera was taken, but we got away. I always wished we'd taken the girl with us and just treated her to a nice meal instead... I was worried about her after we'd left. We went back to the area the next day to see if we could see her and check she was ok, but she wasn't around. That was 20 years ago...I hope her life improved sad.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Mar-13 10:46:47

I have encountered so many British men married to young Thai and Fillipina girls in the last 5 years or so, I recruit for the oil and gas sector. Men from their early 20s up to their 60s, it's definitely something I see more and more. I am not completely comfortable with that either, however, I am not surprised that the few hundred men who marry young, subservient women are not the issue, the info about South East Asian men is really interesting.

iamabadger Sat 02-Mar-13 11:29:35

The book is by Louise Brown, well worth the read.

Crawling Sat 02-Mar-13 11:47:00

On the subject of Thai brides my dad has one (yuck) she is a lovely woman but I cant help feeling sorry for her and hate my dad for doing this.

She obviously really wants dc but my dad wont as she will ruin her figure and he has raised his child.

He didbt raise me he lived abroad and I saw him for 4weeks a year. Just in the interest of failrness am I be too sterotypical by assuming she is a Thai bride? and not someone who genuinely fell in love with my dad.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Mar-13 12:04:47

Thanks badger, am going to track a copy down. Crawling, I don't know if you are or not but it must be a really hard situation. sad

cantspel Sat 02-Mar-13 12:23:11

Sex tourism is not just the preserve of males.
Older western women have been going to places like Egypt, The Gambia ,Kenya and Turkey for years to get themselves a bit of young flesh. A few fool themselves that their 18 year old lover loves and wants to have sex with them but the majority know exactly what they are buying.

BegoniaBampot Sat 02-Mar-13 13:48:09

Know a few Thai and Filipino women who married western men. Subservient isn't how I would describe them plus it's not always nice to jump to conclusions as you don't always know the circumstances of how they got together and whether they are happy.

LadyPessaryPam Sat 02-Mar-13 14:17:49

I have an Indonesian friend married to an English guy. She is small but very unsubservient. People often assume that she is a bought wife which is a bit hmm

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Sat 02-Mar-13 19:39:27

Well I have just got back from Chiang Mai and Koh Lanta and I saw nothing of this. Sorry but I did not book myself into the middle of the Thai Soho, pardon me. Obviously I am more classy and also I can use TripAdvisor. Try it and you might have better holidays. Jeez!
bloody hell, ignore it and it does not happen then?

theodorakisses Sun 03-Mar-13 03:16:30

I am not jumping to conclusions as i SAID this isn't the problem. However, the men i encounter are mainly in their mid to late 50s, haven't lived in the UK since the good old days when you could drink drive and be a racist and have nicknames for their wives like "the bitch, the cleaner and the hired help".
It is jolly silly to take umbrage and accuse someone of stereotyping in this situation, it is obvious and doesn't need saying that not ALL middle aged men who pay someone to marry them are vile beings who expect their wives to be subservient. I am, however, allowed to note that the particular group of engineers I encounter behave in a certain way. Sometimes posting on MN is like teaching year 8 PSHE.

FillyPutty Sun 03-Mar-13 03:48:21

I don't think these men are paying these girls to marry them you know. No more than any Western woman who marries a wealthier husband does anyway.

Astelia Sun 03-Mar-13 03:58:39

Thanks for the link Bubblegum.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 03-Mar-13 04:48:03

Yeah, I really don't understand the point of PessaryPam's first couple of posts, but she did see to realise how they made her look, and backtracked as the thread progressed.

Eastpoint Sun 03-Mar-13 08:08:50

Bump

BadLad Sun 03-Mar-13 09:30:08

Those people who won't go to Dubai (is it just Dubai, or all of the UAE?) because it was built using slave labour, I assume you are also never going to travel to the rest of the Arabian Gulf countries either. Because workers are treated absolutely no better in Oman, Kuwait and Saudi, and the idea that women are treated better in Saudi than in Dubai is laughable (although there's nothing funny about it).

LadyPessaryPam Sun 03-Mar-13 10:08:55

I was only saying what my personal experience in Thailand very recently was. I am so sorry it didn't match what you would want it to be. Thailand is like the curates egg, good in parts. This hysterical overreaction is one of the major frustrations I have with soem on MN, and I'm looking at you theodora.

BadLad Sun 03-Mar-13 10:22:35

I went to Koh Samui recently, and had a fantastic time. Superb hotel, great pools, amazing restaurants all quite cheap compared to here. Incredible beach, with sea extremely shallow a long way out. Didn't see many ladies of the night, but I assume they hang around the Charweng area.

LadyPessaryPam Sun 03-Mar-13 10:26:22

Don't BadLad, you will parceled up as an apologist for the sex trade whatever you say. I think it is concentrated round Charweng which is like a small outlier of Hell from what I remember.

I think English Comprehension is a subject that should be taught more rigorously in schools as I have been repeated attacked for thing I just didn't say on this thread.

BadLad Sun 03-Mar-13 10:36:01

"The Dubai government is aware, and doesn't really care about abuse."

Complete bollocks - there have been lots of changes to welfare laws in Dubai after international criticism. Here are three examples.

Camel racing - used to be done by children tied to camels! After the outcry, they have now switched to robot jockets.

Working during the summer - construction workers now do not work outside during the hotest hours of the day during July and August.

Transportation of workers - it used to be the done thing to transport labourers in the back of the trucks, without even a covered roof or seats. You would see them in tipper trucks. Now they have to have adequate covered seating.

Obviously they are a long way behind the west, but things are getting better.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 03-Mar-13 18:00:15

PessaryPam, you were pulled up for the likes of this post...

Well I have just got back from Chiang Mai and Koh Lanta and I saw nothing of this. Sorry but I did not book myself into the middle of the Thai Soho, pardon me. Obviously I am more classy and also I can use TripAdvisor. Try it and you might have better holidays. Jeez!

...and rightfully so. The faux injured routine you're trotting out now is just silly.

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 18:09:21

Wow, PessaryPam. That was one silly post you did there. I mean this one:

Well I have just got back from Chiang Mai and Koh Lanta and I saw nothing of this. Sorry but I did not book myself into the middle of the Thai Soho, pardon me. Obviously I am more classy and also I can use TripAdvisor. Try it and you might have better holidays. Jeez!

Bad stuff doesn't not exist just because you personally are able to avoid it.

NumericalMum Sun 03-Mar-13 18:14:24

What always saddens me about the workers in Dubai etc is that is probably a preferable life to what they lead at home.

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 18:19:31

I got involved in a thread last year about Dubai and a few posters were involved in or supportive of local committees and projects to improve workers' conditions and rights, and accepted that this needed tackling.

Some had the blinkers on, though.

LineRunner Sun 03-Mar-13 18:20:29

(i.e. posters living in Dubai were involved in things.)

FillyPutty Sun 03-Mar-13 18:36:38

Life in Dubai is preferable to back home only if you are paid properly and not abused.

People get trafficked on the basis of appealing promises, it doesn't mean that the resulting life of prostitution or whatever is better than what they had previously, it just means that it seemed appealing.

NumericalMum Sun 03-Mar-13 19:53:29

I don't know filly I believe most are Indian. The people I saw who were working in factories in India slept on the pavement. They had no toilets or running water. They looked pretty miserable to me.

BadLad Mon 04-Mar-13 04:47:02

I appreciate that workers' rights are poor in Dubai, and that women's rights are a long way behind the west.

But why is Dubai singled out for so much criticism, when other parts of the Gulf, and indeed some of the other Emirates in the UAE, like Ras Al Khaimar are worse in these regards?

Take this post:

"Would never set foot in dubai either because of how women are treated there."

Why mention Dubai and not Saudi?

FillyPutty Mon 04-Mar-13 05:05:07

Saudi Arabia is not promoting itself as a tourist destination to Westerners.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 07:21:32

The UAE are not the only countries who do this. Who do you think is building the education City in Kuala Lumpar? There are few countries who don't employ migrant workers to save on cost. I am not excusing the human rights in the Gulf (I live in Qatar) nor would I seek an opinion that I don't live here for any other reason that the money, good lifestyle and weather. However, until we look at why it is preferable for people to work for £200 a month as a cleaner in Saudi or Dubai, we need to look at why this is preferable. My cleaner is from Nepal, he goes home once every 3 years and believes he is lucky to have been given the opportunity to work here as a road worker. He sends enough home to support 3 families in his village, they absolutely depend on him. Recently one of his family was ill and he needed extra money to pay for the op (and, no, he wasn't ripping me off, he has lived with us for 6 years and we have visited his family twice).
My point is, why are there still villages where men have to leave their families for years at a time and work for peanuts, villages where weather and poor roads mean they still have an appalling mortality rate and a young man is burdened with being sent away to pay for the schooling of not only his own children but all of his sisters and cousins children. Why is it that they all have Blackberries and Skype to keep in touch but no access to a dentist? The balance of wealth in the world is not just down to the oil rich countries, we are ALL guilty of buying knickers made in Bangladesh, Primark throwaway clothes made in Sri Lanka and we don't really spare a thought for the invisible poor.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 07:25:41

Pessarypam, please don't take it personally. I too get frustrated with MN and while I don't really agree with you, I don't want to upset or frustrate people. In the end, there is little to disagree on in this matter. So, please accept my acknowledgement of your feelings and apologies for any ill feeling, I think we were fairly evenly matched in our difference of opinion but I am so massively opposed to the culture of belittling and bullying on MN I am more than happy to accept criticise and concede if needed. have a lovely day.

BsadLad I think people don't mention audi as there is no tourism there, and they don't allow people into their country on tourist visas?

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 07:46:15

It's pretty hard to get into China as well and they aren't great shakes in the human rights department either but we still choose to buy their products because they are cheaper.

Branleuse Mon 04-Mar-13 07:51:12

some places would just have nothing without the sex industry which is horrific. people are just commodities and if you're "above" them then you're raised to not give a fuck about them. dp went to Malaysia on a business trip and was really upset by it. The country is run by Chinese who exploit the malaysians. They were all 'provided' with complimentary prostitutes and dp had to sit in the room with one while she cried and pleaded with him to let her do something to him with real fear in her eyes.

BegoniaBampot Mon 04-Mar-13 08:10:12

Malaysia is run by the Chinese, really - you sure about that?

Theodora - totally agree with your last post about the spread of wealth. How privileged would our lives still be if we spread the wealth worldwide i wonder. I lived in Asia for some years, the shiny new cities are built by immigrant workers living and working under conditions we couldn't accept. Transported on the backs of open top trucks on motorways etc. (saying that, the local population do the same with their families and children). We had a Filipino maid who was supporting her family back home, many of see women leave their babies and see them once every two years - and not always then.

BegoniaBampot Mon 04-Mar-13 08:11:51

And I refuse to think of a beautiful country like Thailand as nothing more than a sex industry and will continue to visit with my family.

Umlauf Mon 04-Mar-13 08:33:22

I love Thailand, although of course am aware of the sex trade, to me its not the same as a country where the law promotes child abuse. I also think that the stereotyping has gone too far:

An outspoken English woman said some pretty disgusting things to my father in law when he was flying alone to attend my brother and sister in laws wedding in Thailand. He was mortified and really upset.

My BIL is completely head over heels in love with his Thai wife, and she him, who he met whilst living and working in Thailand. He has had no end of derogatory comments disguised as jokes from his english 'friends' about what kind of woman she must be. It's very hurtful.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 08:35:51

The Birds and Bees resort is lovely, very family friendly (although in Pattaya) and is run by local people for local people but is 5 star, very comfy although I would say more 4 star. All of the staff are local people who are sponsored to study part time and work part time. Their shop sells amazing local crafts, especially the home made blankets. you can also choose to spend a day at a community project, I loved the toy library and spent a lot of time with them. since coming back, we have joined our school with their local primary and fund raise and penpal with them. Thailand is not just about sex indeed, it is nothing to do with the actual sex, it's about corruption, greed and exploitation but it is absolutely impossible not to object to the terrible corruption from the highest level. That said, I wouldn't judge anyone for going except for the middle aged men in socks and sandals dragging some poor girl around with him or the group of british "stags" we met who thought we would think they were really clever for going one step better than Prague.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 08:37:09

There are many marriages that have the potential to be unequal, it doesn't mean they all are.

BadLad Mon 04-Mar-13 09:36:28

"Saudi Arabia is not promoting itself as a tourist destination to Westerners."

I don't really see that as a reason why Dubai should be criticised but the far worse rights of workers and women in Saudi should escape criticism. Dubai does respond to criticism from Western governments and make changes, albeit at a slow pace. The lack of Western interest in Saudi means the problem is all the more serious, and needs to be discussed.

Look at this horrific story - admittedly from ten years ago, but one wonders how many events from Saudi don't get noticed by Westerners.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1874471.stm

"BsadLad I think people don't mention audi as there is no tourism there, and they don't allow people into their country on tourist visas?"

OK, how about the abuse in the rest of the Gulf, and indeed the UAE? Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Egypt (yes, I know it doesn't have a Gulf coastline but it is influential and very much a tourist destination)?

DonderandBlitzen Mon 04-Mar-13 09:38:24

YANBU.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 09:44:52

I see saudi and China as similar in being world players, rich and powerful but everyone is too scared to tackle them. That makes them incredibly powerful.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 09:56:48

I also think it is fair to point out that the countries who sponsor terrible working conditions are not Saudi or the UAE, it's European/US multinationals who we all support if we buy anything that they produce. For example, M and S don't have to use Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh (all have poor human rights and treatment of women) for making their clothes but they do. If you or I were to spend a day in one of those factories, would we ever support that firm again? So, because we don't and we trust a sturdy British brand as reflecting western values, it's ok. It is impossible to pontificate on one thing and not have to accept that we are all involved. And would I say a financially struggling family shouldn't buy their uniforms from Asda? No, because wealth, suffering and hardship are all relative and we can only try our best.

BadLad Mon 04-Mar-13 13:34:27

Certainly in the case of Saudi the British government (red or blue) will be far too afraid of the economic consequences of pissing the Saudis off too much. The UK has, after all, earned over 43 million over 20 years from the arms sold to them in the Al-Yamamah deals, and could well earn the same again in future. Apparently it's Britain's largest ever export contract.

So all the more reason for ordinary people to be outspoken in their criticism.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 13:43:33

I just don't think that the ordinary people stand a chance against oil or arms. I agree though, it is never futile.

LadyPessaryPam Tue 05-Mar-13 09:14:50

I was responding to this from Theodora

theodorakisses Yeah, you are so right Ladypessary...there is no prostitution in Thailand, I just made it up for the attention. I stayed in Pattaya from 8th -25th September 2011 at the Birds and bees resort. Obviously you are a much classier person who stays in a much classier Thailand than I did. jeez.

So take my response out of context as you obviously want and need to demonise me.

LadyPessaryPam Tue 05-Mar-13 09:16:11

theodorakisses I am sorry I have just read further down the thread.

LadyPessaryPam Tue 05-Mar-13 09:18:35

I really dislike the whole Saudi thing and our kowtowing to them. Basically if I was in charge of foreign affairs I would cut links to many places. probably a good job that i'm not really.

BegoniaBampot Tue 05-Mar-13 09:28:45

Agree. We all huff and puff and recycle our plastic and give to charity but the reality is we like our cars, luxuries and nice cushy safe lifestyle. Doubt we would really trade that to make the world a fairer, more equal and more moral place.

Astelia Tue 05-Mar-13 13:32:02

Just to clarify, China is easy to get a tourist visa to if you have a British passport.

theodorakisses Tue 05-Mar-13 16:28:10

How easy?

YANBU. DH and I have said we won't visit anywhere that children and women are treated as cattle/commodities. Unfortunately there are people who will still holiday in these places. If tourism almost halted then the powers that be would bloody intervene then. Always down to money.

BegoniaBampot Tue 05-Mar-13 17:12:17

china? had quite a few friends go on holiday so can't be that hard other than filling in the forms and paying the fee. we went to Hong Kong but that might be easier.

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