Israeli Foreign Office: avoid visiting the Maldives

The Maldives

The Maldives

The decision to send Asim to New Delhi came barely a day after Maldives' Opposition leaders and former President Mohammad Nasheed reached out to India seeking its military and diplomatic intervention in the country.

"The Maldives have seen in recent years attacks on political opponents, on journalists, on civil society and human right defenders, and what is happening now is tantamount to an all-out assault on democracy", United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Wednesday.

Political situation in the Maldives has plunged into chaos with the transpiring showdown between President Abdullah Yameen's government and the judiciary that even led to the imposition of a state of emergency.

Yameen has cracked down on civil liberties since coming to power in 2013, imprisoning or forcing into exile almost every politician who opposes him. He was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on February 8.

"China has followed closely the situation in the Maldives".

Israelis in the Maldives are cautioned to be careful and avoid crowds and demonstrations. Tourism now dominates the economy, with wealthy foreigners flown to hyper-expensive resort islands.

According to Admiral Arun Prakash (retd), former navy chief, India had started to lose the plot in the island nation way back in 2012, when the Indian infrastructure giant GMR was edged out from constructing the Male airport and the contract was immediately handed over to a Chinese company.

China considers the Maldives a key cog in its "One Belt One Road" project along ancient trade routes through the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.

Almost 1.4 million people visited the Indian Ocean island nation past year and nearly a third were from China.

Already, Beijing has taken over ports it developed in Sri Lanka and Pakistan on long-term leases.

Three ministers have been sent out to the three capitals to "provide updates on the current situation". The others are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Nasheed, who is under self-exile in London, has urged India to intervene "militarily" into the crisis. But the visit was cancelled on the request of the Government of India.

Yesterday, Maldives ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed tweeted that his government was also eager to send an envoy to New Delhi, but the dates proposed for the visit were "not suitable" for Indian officials.

Nasheed, whose removal paved way for the sitting president to take power, went on: "President Yameen's announcement which declares a state of emergency, the banning of fundamental freedoms, and the suspension of the Supreme Court is tantamount to a declaration of martial law in the Maldives".

On Monday, former Maldives' president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed and Judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested by security forces, just hours after President Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country.

Mr Saeed's lawyer claimed that his client received death threats before his arrest.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.