Male : Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency for 30 days citing threat to national security, giving sweeping powers to security forces, after arms and explosives were found here near his Presidential palace, reports PTI.
Significantly, the declaration came two days ahead of a planned protest by the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) aimed at pressuring Yameen to release its leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed from jail after a widely criticised conviction under anti-terror laws.
“(The) Maldives declares state of emergency for a period of 30 days starting 12 pm Wednesday,” the presidential spokesman Muaz Ali said.
According to official sources, in view of the threat to national security, the emergency was declared after arms and explosives were found in a lorry parked near the Presidential residence in Muliaage near here.
“The device was placed on the battery pack of a white truck parked on the north side of Muliaage,” Maldivian National Defence Force Captain Ali Ihsaan had said at a press conference after the incident on Monday.
According to Ihsaan, a dynamite stick had been used as the primary explosive in the device which was designed to be remotely detonated.
Explosives were also found at an island resort, official sources said but did not identify it. The investigations were on to catch the culprits behind planting these explosives.
The sources said, “The Maldivian police believe some individuals possess dangerous arms and explosives which is a threat to people and to national security” but added that there will be no curfew.
They also maintained that “despite state of emergency, situation in the Maldives remains calm and normal. There are no restrictions for visitors to travel to Maldives.”
The emergency declaration comes days after Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was arrested on October 25 in connection with an explosion aboard the president’s boat on September 28 that authorities have called an assassination attempt.
However, the FBI in the US investigated the blast and said it found no evidence that it was caused by a bomb.
A senior Maldivian diplomat and four others Maldivians were later also arrested and deported from Malaysia in connection with the attempted assassination of Maldives president Abdulla Yameen.