STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

State of emergency declared in Maldives

Political unrest in the ...

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 12:56 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2018 12:56 PM

Political unrest in the Republic of Maldives prompted the Asian nation's President on Monday to declare a state of emergency for 15 days.

The move, which gives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom power to arrest and detain people, reflects a power struggle between the island nation's Supreme Court and its government.

Unrest erupted after president rejected court ruling last week

China, India and UK issue travel warnings for popular tourist destination

"During this time, though certain rights will be restricted, general movements, services and businesses will not be affected," said a statement from the office of the President.

The country's court last week ordered the release of political prisoners and the reinstatement of elected members of Parliament that would give the political opposition majority power. But President Yameen has rejected adhering to the court order.

Situated to the southwest of India and Sri Lanka, the Maldives are a chain of atolls home to almost 400,000 people and hugely popular as a tourist destination, especially for Chinese visitors.

The Maldives attorney general on Sunday advised law enforcement to uphold the constitution and warned that the Supreme Court may "issue a ruling to impeach the President," according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry.

On Monday, the tension escalated when Maldives National Defense Forces reportedly broke into the Supreme Court in the capital city of Male.

Security forces "blockaded and locked the Supreme Court building from outside and hence the justices are without any food," Maldives' former Attorney General Husnu Al Suood tweeted.

Former leader arrested

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was also arrested on Monday, according to his family. The former leader stated earlier in the day that police has surrounded his residence. "To protect me or to arrest me? No idea," he tweeted before reportedly being taken into custody.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is the half-brother of the current President, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, and ruled the country for 30 years until 2008.

Opposition supporters have staged street protests lobbying the government to obey the court order and have urged the international community to do what it can to persuade the government to obey the ruling.

"Once again, dissent and critical voices are coming under attack in the Maldives," said Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International's South Asia deputy director. "Instead of respecting and implementing the Supreme Court's ruling, the government is riding roughshod over any notion of justice and arbitrarily detaining members of the opposition."

During the emergency period, the Maldives President said, "the safety of all Maldivians and foreigners living in and visiting the Maldives will be ensured."

The US State Department said in a press release that it supports the Supreme Court's decision and "it is imperative that the Maldivian President, government, and security services uphold the constitution and rule of law and implement the court's ruling in full."

Peak travel season

Almost 1.4 million tourists from across the world visited the Maldives in 2017, according to government statistics, including hundreds of thousands from China and the United Kingdom.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday the country had issued a travel warning for the island chain ahead of the Lunar New Year, which begins February 16 and is China's peak travel season.

"We suggest the Chinese tourists who plan to travel to Maldives should not go there before the situation calms down," he said Monday.

He added that there had been no reports of Chinese citizens being attacked.

India and the United Kingdom also issued travel warnings for archipelago.

"Security forces have been deployed in the capital Mal- in response to political developments. If you're in Mal-, you should exercise caution and avoid any protests or rallies," said the UK in their advisory.

A July 2017 population estimate in the CIA World Factbook said more than 392,000 live on the Indian Ocean archipelago, a popular tourist destination.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159
West Lafayette
Few Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 76°
Logansport
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events