Maldives to lift state of emergency when threat reduces

Male, Nov 8 (IANS) The Maldives government on Sunday said that the state of emergency will be lifted once the threat to the country was reduced.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon told Xinhua news agency that any country has a right to defend its national security and that is why the Maldives was forced to enforce emergency laws temporarily to curtail a security threat.

“I would like to say to the international organisation and countries that as soon as the threat is reduced and the security situation is normalized. I am sure that the emergency will be revoked,” she said.

The month-long state of emergency was declared on November 4 following an explosion on a speedboat carrying President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and subsequent discovery of an arms haul.

The US, rights groups and the British Commonwealth of former British colonies have called on the Maldives to lift the state of emergency and end a crackdown on dissidents.

The opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) accused the government of attempting to use the state of emergency to prevent the opposition from being heard.

The foreign minister, however, said the move to enforce an emergency is not politically motivated or intended to make life difficult for opposition political parties.

She also said that despite the state of emergency, day-to-day activities in the Maldives are continuing unaffected.

Even though some tourists have cancelled their visits to the Maldives as a result of the political developments, the situation in the Maldives now is calm and stable, she said.

“There is no chaos in the country. People’s lives and work is going on as usual. Schools are operating and the resorts are very calm. Tourists will not face any difficulties. The government will do everything to ensure the resorts remain peaceful,” she said.

“We hope we will be able to overcome this situation very quickly. We are working with other countries including China and Britain and we will ensure situation remains stable,” she said.

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