Life is normal, all citizens and foreigners safe: Maldives embassy in India

Abdulla Yameen
Abdulla Yameen, President of the Maldives, addressing the press | Photo from the Maldives' Presidency Twitter handle @presidencymv

In response to ThePrint report on India mulling its options, Maldives govt assures ‘normalcy’. Says Indian govt’s concerns are ‘unfounded’.

New Delhi: Claiming that life is normal in the country, the Maldivian government has said that all residents are safe and any concerns of the Indian government over the security of its nationals are unfounded.

Reacting to a story in ThePrint that flagged Indian concerns after emergency rule was imposed in the island nation, the Maldivian embassy has said that there is no rioting and there is normalcy on the ground, “unlike as it is made out to be”.

“Life is normal in the Maldives. Schools, banks, commercial establishments, government and private offices are functioning normally, as are the airports and all tourism related infrastructure,” Shazra Abdul Sattar, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the embassy, said in an email to ThePrint.

India has kept air and sea-borne troops on standby as a standard operating procedure, in case any intervention or evacuation of citizens is required at short notice. India has also made public its concerns over the arrest of the Supreme Court chief justice and opposition leaders.

“We are disturbed by the declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the government to abide by the unanimous ruling of the full bench of the Supreme Court on 1 February, and also by the suspension of constitutional rights of the people of Maldives,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday.

The Maldivian government, however, said there was no threat to people of any nationality.

“The embassy would like to put on record that the safety of all residents of the Maldives, be they citizens, foreign residents or visiting tourists, is paramount to the government. The government has repeatedly pronounced that there is no threat to residents of the Maldives irrespective of their nationality. As such, to state the government of India is concerned about the safety of Indian and other nationals is without basis and unfounded,” it said.

The island nation has been put under emergency rule by President Abdulla Yameen, who suspended civil rights and arrested the top judiciary after an unfavourable decision to release all political prisoners. Yameen is facing a united opposition that includes his half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was President of the country for 30 years.

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