IRS |Institute of Regional Studies

Islamabad

Contemporary Regional Developments in Maldives

27th April - 04th May
  • The central bank governor expressed concern over the Maldives’ mounting national debt. He insisted that the country must maintain financial security and manage the external debt taken on for financing infrastructure and development projects.
  • The Maldives has borrowed heavily to pay for such projects, although the exact amounts and the borrowing terms are unclear. A study from a US think-tank said that Chinese lending in particular was putting the Maldives at risk of debt distress. (Maldives Independent, April 30 2018)
  • Religious extremist websites and jihadist propaganda remain online in the Maldives, months after the government said it would block them. Defence Minister Adam Shareef told reporters in January that online extremist content would be blocked, shortly after the United States issued a travel advisory citing the threat of a terror attack in the Maldives.
  • The US-based security and risk management consultancy the Soufan Group has said around 200 to 250 Maldivians are known to be fighting in Syria and Iraq, making the island nation the highest foreign fighter contributor based on per capita. (Maldives Independent, April 30 2018)
20th April - 26th April
  • Maldives falls again in press freedom index. The Maldives has fallen three places in the Reporters Without Borders’ annual press freedom index, after the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed and further restrictions on the media.It now ranks 120 out of 180 countries, down from 117 the previous year.
    In the 2017 index, the Maldives slid down five places from 112 to 117.
  • RSF said the government continued to “persecute the independent media” and that many journalists have been the target of death threats from political parties, criminal gangs and religious extremists. (Maldives Independent, April 25, 2018)
  • President Abdulla Yameen is being ridiculed for saying the capital is not congested or overcrowded, despite the tiny city being home to almost 40 percent of the country’s population. He made the remarks at the launch of an information handbook about the government’s development work. (Maldives Independent, April 25, 2018)
14th April - 19th April
  • UN demands Maldives to let Nasheed run for office. Maldives must restore ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s right to stand for office, including the office of President, the UN Human Rights Committee concluded in a finding made public. (Daily Mirror, April 16, 2018)
  • The Maldives defence minister has vowed not to allow religious freedom in the country, days after former president Mohamed Nasheed called for co-existence and tolerance. Addressing a seminar on preventing religious extremism and terrorism, Defence Minister Adam Shareef said the Maldives would always remain a country with moderate Islamic values. (Maldives Independent, April 15 11:35 2018)
6th April - 12th April
  • Maldives Electoral body guarantees smooth presidential poll in the first week of September, 2018. According to Elections Commission there was nothing to indicate that the election might get delayed.
    (Maldives Independent, April 12, 2018)
  • Election funding to be released by May 8 according to Maldives Election Commission.
    (Maldives Independent, April 11, 2018)
  • Opposition parties have snubbed a meeting with the Elections Commission, as they boasted about their progress to field a unity candidate for this year’s presidential polls.
    (Maldives Independent, April 10, 2018)
Credit: Nabila Jaffer

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