News Updates

21 July - 31 July
  • Religion takes centre stage in Maldives election
    Religion is once again front and centre ahead of the September 23 presidential election with hardliners supporting the incumbent and the country’s sole religious political party backing the opposition. (Maldives Independent, July 30, 2018)
  • Maldives ‘paradise’ could become Maldives ‘hell’
    Sanctions were a last resort and action must be taken quickly, said a former Brussels official. Last week the European Union approved targeted sanctions, following months of concern and condemnation over the worsening political and human rights situation. The sanctions cover travel bans and the freezing of assets. (Maldives Independent, July 21, 2018)
  • New measures to track import of pork and alcohol in Maldives. The Maldives Customs Service announced new measures to track imported pork and alcohol products in the country, local media reported. It is a crime for Maldivians to consume pork or alcohol and such products are banned from inhabited islands. However, under a special permit, tourist resorts can offer these items to their foreign guests. (Maldives Independent, July 21, 2018)
14th July - 20th July
  • Maldives remains UK ‘human rights priority country’. The UK said it would press the Maldives to restore democracy and rights. (Maldives Independent, July 18, 2018)
  • The Maldives is to get a US$40 million (MVR616.8 million) concessional loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development, as a minister took a swipe at the European Union for approving targeted sanctions because of worsening rights in the country. The loan will be used for harbour construction, airport building and setting up sewage systems. (Maldives Independent, July 17, 2018)
  • The Maldives government is trying to influence votes ahead of September’s presidential election by waiving traffic fines and promising to free criminals, the opposition alleged after rules were changed to relax pardons for drug convicts. (Maldives Independent, July 19, 2018)
9th July - 13th July
  • EU warned Maldives of sanctions this month, says president
    The European Union warned the Maldives it would impose sanctions this month, President Abdulla Yameen said. The European Union has previously spoken of ‘targeted measures’ against the Maldives. (Maldives Independent, July 10, 2018)
  • Former President Mohamed Nasheed said Saudi Arabia supported violent extremism in the Maldives. Nasheed has been condemned for calling Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed “an alleged recruiter” for the Islamic State group. (Maldives Independent, July 11, 2018)
  • India to ‘educate and advise’ Maldives on China. India has urged the Maldives to return to the path of democracy. India is to adopt a ‘three-pronged’ approach to deal with China’s presence in its neighbourhood that will include educating and advising the Maldives, according to media reports. (Maldives Independent, July 10, 2018)
  • The Maldives government was urged to use state funds to provide all presidential and vice presidential candidates with security and protection, following an attempted assault on the opposition’s pick and his campaign team. (Maldives Independent, July 11, 2018)
1st July - 08th July
  • Maldives riles India with Pakistan deal A deal between the Maldives and Pakistan has reportedly riled India, which has been left wondering what its decades-long enemy can offer the tiny nation. The agreement, signed late last month, is between the Maldives’ STELCO and Pakistan’s WAPDA and focuses on capacity building in the energy sector. But the majority of current power infrastructure work in Pakistan relies heavily on China expertise and resources, not only finance. (Maldives Independent, July 08, 2018)
  • The Maldives Meteorology Service issued a yellow alert Saturday afternoon, advising sea travellers to exercise caution amid rough seas and storm winds. Torrential rain and average strong winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusty winds of 50mph were expected from 3:40 pm to 6:40 pm, the Met said. (Maldives Independent, July 7, 2018)
  • Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, chancellor of the Islamic University of Maldives and former Islamic Minister, was announced on July 7 night as the running mate of President Abdulla Yameen. (Maldives Independent, July 08, 2018)
  • New crimes set to be part of Maldives Penal Code.
    The existing Penal Code came into effect nearly 10 years after it was first drafted. Reporters who cover court cases in the Maldives are being targeted by Penal Code changes proposed by the ruling party, one of many amendments in a 34-page bill published on July 4. (Maldives Independent, July 05, 2018)
  • India urged Maldives to return to democratic path before polls, “credible restoration of the political process” before September’s presidential election. India has expressed concern over the announcement of the Maldives presidential election with the country’s parliament and judiciary “not allowed to function in a free and transparent manner.” (Maldives Independent, July 06, 2018)
Credit: Nabila Jaffer