Maldives lifts state of Emergency

Male, Nov 10 (IANS) The Maldives on Tuesday lifted the state of Emergency it imposed less than a week following an explosion on a speedboat carrying President Abdullah Yameen.

The state of Emergency was announced on November 4. It was for a 30-day period.

The government had earlier said the Emergency would be lifted as soon as the situation normalises.

At a press conference here, Attorney General Mohamed Anil said the Emergency had been lifted with effect from 5.00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The president said in a statement that security forces had assured him that the situation in the Maldives was no longer deemed as a threat to the people.

He noted the requests by Maldives’ friends to lift the Emergency and restore the rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

“In light of the possible adverse impact on the Maldives’ tourism and the economy, President Yameen has decided to lift the state of emergency,” the attorney general said.

The decision came after several countries, including neighbouring Sri Lanka, the US and Britain and international organisations like the European Union condemned the Emergency and urged Male to restore constitutional rights in the archipelago.

The tourism industry had reported an alarming drop in occupancy as tourists cancelled bookings over security concerns.

The declaration of Emergency came a day after security forces discovered an explosive device near the presidential palace and discovery of an arms haul.

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