An incident at the Annapurna Casino in Nepal has caused widespread discontent amongst casino employees. Last Friday night over twenty casino staff were injured in a police raid, and the following day a protest rally and sit-in was attended by around 6,000 employees and a complaint handed in at the Home Office. A week-long series of actions started yesterday to highlight the frequent police raids that damage the tourist business.
Casino operators published a statement saying: "It is regrettable that such an incident took place at a time when the five star hotels of Kathmandu are full of foreign tourists.” It added that the frequency of the raids not only affected business at the foreigners-only casinos but frightened the tourists staying in the hotels and threatened the jobs of thousands of employees.
Representatives of workers and management of casinos in a memorandum submitted
to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal demanded that the government provide compensation to workers who sustained injuries during a clash with the police. The Union members also submitted a memorandum to the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation asking for intervention as casino business is related to the tourism sector. They argued that the Home Ministry has no authority to regulate entertainment businesses that are exclusively meant for visiting tourists. (E-10.28.08)
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