State of emergency declared in Maldives

Political unrest in the ...

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 11:56 AM
Updated: Feb 6, 2018 11:56 AM

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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845108

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161242006
Mobile741961379
Madison53291732
Shelby38328368
Baldwin38074589
Tuscaloosa36017641
Montgomery34483781
Lee25557263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22454406
Etowah20016517
Marshall18781316
Houston17729425
St. Clair16880358
Limestone16138218
Cullman16050303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14984306
Talladega14191299
DeKalb12971269
Walker12029380
Blount10715192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10161194
Coffee9415192
Colbert9341208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7255201
Russell707865
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5403130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317763
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 50°
Columbus
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 51°
Oxford
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 52°
We are starting off cold once again this morning with temperatures in the 30's, some below freezing and with a slight north wind it is feeling even colder. High pressure builds back into our area today with more sunshine.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather