Then, at the next set of lights, I pull up behind a different truck, and wow, that one too, had bald tyres. I didn't get a chance to take a picture because the lights turned and traffic started moving, but I think this is a key problem here - unsafe vehicles are on the roads. But I'm going to put the traffic reporting torch down for a bit now, I think it's been flogged enough for the time being. Just don't drive into me!
So the weekend is almost upon us. Tonight, as the Undercover Dragon blogged about recently, you may get a free show if you cast your eyes upwards and look for shooting stars / bits of meteorites burning up in our atmosphere. Alternatively, if you cast your eyes to the rugby club then you will enjoy the delight of the Three Amigo's playing rock music, and various drunk people believing whole-heartedly that they are good at singing and dancing. It promises to be a fun night, and I'm told there are approximately 30 tickets left, and that the reservation list will be closed at 9pm tonight.
Tomorrow promises a trip to the Souq for me. The hunt is on: I'm looking for a new knock-off watch and wont pay over RO 20 for one. Anyone got any tips and suggestions? Perhaps a spot of brunch at the fabulous Blue Marlin restaurant in the Marina afterwards too.
But now back to something rather more serious. Over the last 8 months, on the Oman Forum, I've been following the incredible story of the end-user "Tommaso". The cliff-notes of this story are as follows (please note that this information has come from a single source, and as such this information may be flawed, but in my opinion it makes for an interesting read):
- He is European of Arab origin and had been working in Oman since 2007.
- He was (in his belief) unfairly dismissed.
- Because he believed strongly that he had been unfairly dismissed, he filed a complaint in the labour courts.
- Upon dismissal and hearing of his filing, his previous employer then sent staff to his accommodation to persuade him to withdraw his complaint, offering him a total of 3 months salary to do so.
- He chose not to, because it was not about the money, but to draw attention to the actions of this company (brave guy!).
- His employer had his passport and steadfastly refused to return it to him.
- He petitioned the courts to have his employer release his passport. The court refused. (How can a court refuse to give someone back their passport?)
- His labour case was postponed, and then passed up to a higher court, where it was then postponed again.
- He then appealed the ruling on his passport return, which was also refused by the courts.
- He then applied to have his residence permit extended as he was unable to leave the country because the court refused to give him back his passport, and this application was also refused. (This may be explained because he had an active case in the courts, and the courts need time to issue it's verdict, the law has to take its course).
- He got his embassy to contact the Oman Embassy of Foreign Affairs (OMOFA), and after multiple attempts and a strongly worded letter finally got a reply that they are still looking into it.
- The following conversation is said to have occurred during a court appeal to have the passport released to the plaintiff:
Judge: (before even talking about any details) Case is postponed to (date)
The Co’s lawyer: Can I present a memo ?
Judge: Of course, please do.
My lawyer: I also have a memo that I would like to present, I would like to highlight some points though.
Judge: No need to submit a memo. I already have the opponent’s memo. That’s more than enough for me.!!!!
My lawyer: Excuse me your honour? Can you repeat that again?
Judge: I said clearly I won’t take your memo, I’ll go through the opponent’s memo which is enough to explain all the facts!!!
My lawyer: OH!!!!! If that is the case your honour, then there is no need for courts, we can then solve matter either amicably or nastily or forcefully!!!! I reserve my right to present the memo. I have different points of views that I would like to explain.
Judge: I said what I have in hand is enough, your opponent’s memo is more than enough for me.
My lawyer: I am claiming my absolute and indisputable right.
- Finally, a member from the Oman Ministry of Manpower is said to have gotten involved and successfully negotiated the recovery of this person's passport.
- It could be a total fantasy story, there is just no way to check
- Why would a HE go to so much effort over a trifling labour case?
- If this case is proven to be true, it is exceedingly alarming that a court has ruled that a Plaintiff (he brought the case against his employers, not the other way round) is not allowed his passport back. This is the single most alarming thing of the whole story, and it's really the only reason I'm blogging it.
- I wish the guy all the best of luck in his labour case, but that's not really of as much interest to us.
- Again if the story is true, it is a shining example of the efforts that the Government are going to to stamp out human trafficking and corruption. It has certainly taken time, but the point here is that this was resolved by the Omani Government.
I do not know the company involved, nor do I wish to.
I do not know the true identity of the original poster, nor do I wish to.
I do not know the HE involved, nor do I wish to.
I do not know the names of the judges involved, nor do I wish to.
I've blogged this story purely for consumption. It may be fiction, there is no way for me to confirm this.
And finally, I wish to stress that no defamation of the Sultanate of Oman is intended by this post, as this is clearly a case between a European citizen and a company in Oman.