Maldives leader says Supreme Court ruling was coup

Representational image

Representational image

"On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request: India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees". We request a physical presence.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a yellow travel alert Tuesday for the Maldives, an island group in the Indian Ocean, due to a political crisis in the country.

The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was seriously concerned about the declaration of a state of emergency and the entry of security forces into the Supreme Court premises. No order has been issued to move any troops or aircraft towards the country, they said.

He was also president between 1978 to 2008 when the Maldives, which relies on tourism, became a multi-party democracy.

Yameen later accused the pair of plotting to overthrow him.

China, which did not even have its embassy in the Maldives until 2011, has expanded interests in the nation strategically located in the Indian Ocean.

"If they have plans to go to the Maldives we advise them to cancel it".

For their part, India and the U.S. said they were "concerned" and troubled by the emergency decree, while the United Nations, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Germany urged Yameen to lift it and restore civil liberties. The government announced a 15-day state of emergency Monday night, giving it sweeping powers, including to make arrests, search and seize property and restrict freedom of assembly. Nasheed later fled to Britain and received asylum. "... The damage being done to democratic institutions in Maldives and the sustained misuse of process in Parliament is deeply worrying". The Yameen government refused to implement the ruling, prompting a wave of protests in Maldives capital, Male.

China played safe and asked both sides to sort out their differences through a dialogue.

Male, which has seen a number of crisis since the ouster of its first elected president Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos Thursday when the SC ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed". Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has allied himself with the opposition, was also detained at his home.

Earlier in the day, Yameen said in a televised address that he was left with "no choice" but to declare an emergency in order to hold judges accountable and to "find out how thick this plot, this coup was".

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