Maldives, a popular upscale tourist destination located in the Indian Ocean, is under a State of Emergency. This State of Emergency was first enacted on February 2 and was supposed to only last 15 days. On February 20, the president of Maldives issued another 30 days to be added to this State of Emergency.
This State of Emergency was first enacted when the Supreme Court of the small island country voted to release 12 opposition party members that had previously been arrested and jailed for going against the current government. Upon hearing the verdict, the president sent in his army to the court and began having the judges arrested until the court issued a statement overturning their own decision.
At that same time, the court also overturned a prior decision to reinstate 12 members of Parliament who were previously stripped of their duties because they sided with the opposition.
The opposition party has called the State of Emergency illegal and the extension of this emergency a crime against the people. China and the United Kingdom have now issued travel advisories to its citizens to avoid travel to Maldives. This could devastate the Maldives tourism trade as many tourists from both countries visit the country.
The government of Maldives is very aggressive about continuing their rule in the country. The president has been outspoken about crushing the opposition and has also warned other countries not to become involved in the affairs of the islands.
Travelers should watch very carefully the developments taking place in the country before traveling there. Protests and riots have become quite frequent, and there is potential for things to escalate quite quickly.