Maldives apologises to couple over `hate` wedding ceremony

The Maldivian govt has apologised to a European couple, abused as "swine" and "infidels", during what was supposed to be a romantic renewal of wedding vows.

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2010, 14:12 PM IST

Colombo: The Maldivian government has
apologised to a European couple, abused as "swine" and
"infidels", during what was supposed to be a romantic renewal
of wedding vows, in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The Maldivian ambassador in Geneva, conveyed to the
couple, the government`s "profound and heartfelt apologies,"
the Maldivian government said today.

"Ambassador Iruthisham Adam, from the Maldives embassy
in Geneva, personally telephoned the couple, who asked to
remain anonymous, yesterday to extend the government`s
profound and heartfelt apologies," a statement said.

A video of the ceremony said to have taken place on
October 11, during which the hapless couple were taunted and
subjected to insulting and religious-tinged abuse, was posted
on YouTube two weeks later.

The video has sparked fears for the country`s
tourism-dependent economy.

The Vilu Reef hotel initially identified the victims
as Swiss, but a senior tourism source in the Maldives told AFP
they were French.

Maldivian authorities declined to confirm their
nationality.

"I informed the couple the entire country is deeply
shocked and saddened by what has happened," the president`s
office quoted the ambassador as saying. "The Maldives is
renowned for its warm hospitality and this incident has
brought great shame upon our tourism industry and our
country."

Maldivian police have arrested the hotel employee who
conducted the ceremony and used profanities throughout the
renewal of wedding vows by the couple, who paid 1,300 dollars
for the event.

PTI