Maldives behind the picture postcard, a country in chaos

Une des îles paradisiaques des Maldives

One of the paradise islands of the Maldives Photo credits: ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

After months of tension and a supposed attack against the Head of State, the latter declared a state of emergency in the archipelago. The thousands of tourists this luxury destination would be asked to stay in their hotels.

Behind the image of a luxury tourist destination that blends a nation facing a perfect storm policy. The climax was reached on Wednesday when the head of state’s young democracy declared a state of emergency for 30 days. This decision was made as the government of the archipelago of 340,000 inhabitants said they had defused a remote-controlled bomb, found near the presidential residence. “President Yameen declared a state of emergency to ensure the safety of all citizens,” said his spokesman Ali Muaz on Twitter.

The state of emergency means that several provisions of the Constitution are suspended, especially right of association, according to official sources. Members will not be able to launch impeachment proceedings against the head of the State while the security forces will find it easier to arrest people. Thus, the rights and fundamental freedoms of the young democracy are suspended. The opposition denounced a decision intended primarily to prevent a major national event, scheduled for Friday.

hasty and unfair trial of the main opponent of the regime

This meeting is organized by the Maldivian Democratic Party (PDM), the main opposition party, whose leader Mohamed Nasheed in prison. The stated objective of this event is to put pressure on the president so that it releases Mohamed Nasheed, who was sentenced after an unfair trial and expeditious, the UN says.

The opposition is not the only one to rally against the president. Since coming to power in November 2013 after a controversial election, Abdulla Yameen is criticized by the international community for leading a crackdown against the opposition. The head of the small republic in the Indian Ocean, 700 km west of Sri Lanka, is also believed to have carried out arbitrary arrests and decisions.

End of September, following an explosion that occurred on the yacht carrying the president, vice-president was accused of having plotted an attack. The FBI has yet found that there was no evidence that the explosion was caused by a bomb. The authorities have not given and the vice president was arrested and detained for “high treason” last week. The latter was appointed in July to replace its predecessor, also accused of … “treason.”

The government tries to reassure

Moreover, the Head of State took the opportunity to revive conspiracy charges against him and reorganize the departments responsible for his safety. Several ministers and senior officials were also dismissed.

The leader of the Islamist party, Imran Sheikh, this predominantly Sunni state, is also detained for months to “threat to the stability of the state.” The defense minister was also imprisoned for dubious pretexts.

The island whose economy is based primarily on tourism could suffer from recent events. Following the declaration of a state of emergency, he was asked to tourist attractions in the atolls of the archipelago by paying a high price to stay in their hotels. The highly sought after location for honeymoons may be affected by the crisis. Even if tourists do not stay on the main island of Male, home to one third of the inhabitants and where extra police were deployed in recent months. To prevent an economic catastrophe adds to the political chaos, the authorities want reassuring. Thus, in a tweet, the Foreign Minister said that “despite the state of emergency in the Maldives remains calm and normal. There are no restrictions on tourists traveling to the Maldives. ” Not certain that this statement reassures tourists.

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