Maldives lifts state of emergency

Male, Nov 10 (IANS) The Maldives on Tuesday lifted the state of emergency less than a week after it was declared amid extraordinary security measures following an explosion on a speedboat carrying President Abdulla Yameen and subsequent discovery of an arms haul.

The state of emergency was declared on November 4, Haveeru news reported.

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

During a press conference here, Attorney General Mohamed Anil confirmed that the nationwide emergency has been lifted with effect from 5.00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The president, in a statement, said the security forces had assured him that the situation in the Maldives is no longer deemed as a threat to the people as they have made significant strides in the blast investigation.

He also noted the requests made by Maldives’ international partners 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, world powers like the US and Britain and international organisations like the Commonwealth and the European Union had condemned the emergency and urged the Maldives to restore constitutional rights in the archipelago.

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

The declaration of emergency came a day after security forces discovered an explosive device near the presidential palace.

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