“Police Service has handed over 2 individuals, a British national and an Indian National to Immigration Authorities. These individuals were found to be working and reporting as journalists while on a tourist visa, in contravention to the Immigration Act and Regulations” (Maldives Police, 09.02.2018).
So the oppression in Maldives is continuing as the PPM Party are holding lavish rallies, while opposition are met with police brutality, journalists detained and more MPs behind bars. The State of Emergency is used to harass and control all parts of society. They are now even taking foreign nationals as they are covering the constitutional crisis and the implications it has. We know this has negative affect as the Republic need a positive perception as Tourism is a vital part of the economy. On the 8th February Maldives Voice reported that 40% of Guest Houses are facing cancellation because of the crisis. That is big number of tourists who will go elsewhere for their holidays and honeymoons. Which would have brought needed foreign exchange and work in general for the people. That is why Fitch Ratings, even has said the volatile could change their rating and degrade the economy.
“Received information about an Indian national, Money Sharma, working as a journalist, who has been detained by the Maldivian authorities. We have asked our Embassy to get in touch with the local authorities to ascertain more details of the case” (India TV, 09.02.2018). There is also report that two Indian Reporters working for Agence France-Presse (AFP) who is also arrested today. While a Chinese Journalist has been allowed to take pictures of the protest happening today in Male.
You know it isn’t going well, when the Ministry of Defense are coming with this sort of statement:
“Ministry of Defence and National Security has warned that action will be taken without prior warning, against those who disclose information that endangers national security. In a press release on Thursday night, the ministry said many are publishing content which endangers national security, regarding the state of emergency declared as per clause 253 of the Constitution. The ministry also stated that live programs broadcasted on various media platforms are creating discord and inciting fear in the hearts of the public” (Vnews, 2018).
And the Police Service saying this:
“Maldives Police Service has handed over two individuals, a British national and an Indian National to Immigration Authorities. These individuals were found to be working and reporting as journalists while on a tourist visa, in contravention to the Immigration Act and Regulations. We urge all foreign nationals to adhere to immigration guidelines and acquire the relevant visa that corresponds to the purpose of their visit. We note that several foreign journalists are currently working in the Maldives and welcome all those who wish to do so in the future” (Maldives Police Service, 09.02.2018).
So the Army is saying people has to be careful with spreading news and information. Meaning, the Central Government and President Yameen wants to control the news and headlines. So that the tight-grip and the assault on the Judiciary doesn’t spin-off. Secondly that the State of Emergency doesn’t get into question, even if that is not following the Constitutional Codes itself. Since the Parliament hasn’t been notified or the proper reasons for issuing it hasn’t happen. Unless, that the President was afraid in his own skin about the Supreme Court Ruling of 1st February and had to revise it to save face. That is why the chaos has happen in the first place. Therefore, he is creating a police state, because Yameen cannot manage to loose face or power.
Yesterday, the Raajje TV was closed from Broadcast, that was the biggest Television broadcaster in the Maldives. So the government are working in full speed to takeover and silence dissidents. They are not accepting anyone else. That is why the Chief Justice Saaed is in jail, while MPs and such are there too. People who was ordered freed, but was overturned on the 8th February 2018. This was intended by the President to revise the order, but only solidify his attacks on the Judiciary.
A typical sign of oppression is while the government party PPM are having grand rallies and speeches, the opposition rallies are destroyed by the Police, even as they are acting peaceful in Male. So the gatherings are allowed for PPM and Yameen, but not the rest. That is typical sign of dictatorship, where government party has advantages, while the rest has to suffer for their freedom of expression. That is now shown by the state, with the army and police stopping media from working as normal. Even spreading fear to Raajje TV. They are not defending, but opposing free media.
While also keeping MPs and Opposition leaders behind bars, while stopping believing in rule of law or respecting the Constitution. That is worrying signs and proving how neglectful Yameen is at this point. Peace.
Vnews – ‘Defence ministry warns action for disclosing information that endangers national security’ (09.02.2018) link: http://vnews.mv/95358