Abashed Maldives regulates tourist marriage vows

The Maldives has set rules for conducting marriage ceremonies for tourists drawn to the islands` white-sand beaches, after being embarrassed by a celebrant who heaped abuse on a Swiss couple renewing their vows.

Updated: Nov 04, 2010, 22:03 PM IST

Colombo: The Maldives has set rules for
conducting marriage ceremonies for tourists drawn to the
islands` white-sand beaches, after being embarrassed by a
celebrant who heaped abuse on a Swiss couple renewing their
vows.

A government statement issued today said hotels that
breach the new rules will be fined USD78,000.
The vows must be supervised by resort management, and
couples can choose the language and translation of the
ceremony.

The celebrant and the participants also are prohibited
from engaging in any activity "disrespectful or degrading to
any religion, Maldivian culture or custom," the statement
said.

Last week, a marriage ceremony video posted on YouTube
with English subtitles showed the marriage celebrant heaping
abuse and curses at a Swiss couple.

Speaking in his native language, he chanted in a
prayer-like tone and called the couple "swine" and said their
children would have spots on their skin and be considered
illegitimate.
President Mohammed Nasheed apologized to the couple, who
haven`t been named.

Police arrested the celebrant and an assistant and said
both were still in custody today and have not yet been
charged.

The Maldives is an Indian Ocean archipelago of 350,000
people chosen by many tourists for weddings and honeymoons.

PTI