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Maldives

The Maldives tourism industry has seen a remarkable growth this year, contributing to strengthening the archipelago nation's economy, the country's embassy in Colombo said on Wednesday.

 

The decision came on the back of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting in September, which placed the Maldives on the group’s formal agenda. The oversight body, tasked with addressing serious or persistent violations of Commonwealth political values, expressed deep disappointment at the country’s lack of respect for the standards of democracy and human rights. In the absence of substantive improvements in the political sphere, the group of ministers agreed to consider suspension of the Maldives from the Councils of the Commonwealth at its next meeting in March 2017.

 

A popular tourist destination could be sliding into Islamist terrorism following its departure from the British Commonwealth, according to regional experts.

 

Trust and faith are a two-way street; one cannot expect it to be a one-sided affair. This total lack of trust and being blinded to facts ultimately led the Maldives to take a call to protect its sovereignty and sever its relations with the Commonwealth. It was a call taken with anguish but yet had to be taken.

 
Fewer than half of Maldives lawmakers voted on Wednesday in favour of leaving the Commonwealth, highlighting deep divisions over last week’s decision by President Abdulla Yameen to sever ties with the group of mostly former British colonies.  
 

The Maldives has seen a stunning 90 per cent plunge in its maternal death rate over the last 25 years, the largest such drop in the world over this time period, according to joint United Nations estimates.

 

As world leaders gather this week in New York for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) will also meet on the sidelines to discuss democracy and human rights standards in the Maldives. The oversight body, tasked with addressing serious or persistent violations of Commonwealth political values, will meet for the third time this year – a rare feat in its institutional history.

 
The first democratically elected president of the Maldives said from exile in Britain that he has an agreement with the country's former strongman to counter the current president, who is increasing his stranglehold on power.  
 

In the years since he came to power in 2013, critics of the president have often found themselves in exile, imprisoned and silenced. Knowing this all too well, Rasheed opted for the least unpleasant alternative and boarded a flight out of the country a week before the documentary’s release. On Wednesday, the day after the film was screened, she was followed out by former auditor general Niyaz Ibrahim, who had helped expose the scam.

   
 

Ten years ago was a time of optimism and change in the Maldives. In 2008, the free and fair election of Mohamed Nasheed ended a 30-year dictatorship and a new constitution gave the impression that democracy was established. It wasn't. Today is anything but. The Maldives has had the same experience as other autocratic nations where the words "democratic reform" are pronounced. The reform process has been moulded to fit the interests of the political players and spawned a disfigured democracy.

 


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