President of the Maldives Abdulla Yameen has declared a state of emergency in the island country.
With this declaration, security forces have been given the authority to arrest suspects before a major anti-government protest rally is set to take place. Many have suspected that this protest rally would have caused a major disruption to the tourism industry of the country.
News of the state of emergency declaration was announced on Twitter. It follows an alleged attempt to assassinate President Yameen by Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, who is likely to be impeached.
Adeeb was arrested for his suspected involvement late last month. The attack against President Yameen took place in late September. President Yameen was unharmed in the attack.
The protest was planned by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). The leader of the MDP Mohamed Nasheed is currently in prison, though his conviction has been widely criticized.
A spokesperson for President Yameen has stated that the state of emergency declaration was to ensure public safety.
The state of emergency will last for a minimum of 30 days. During this time, several constitutional rights will be suspended, including the right of association.
Meanwhile the Maldivian National Defense Force has said that it defused a remote-controlled bomb near the residence of President Yameen earlier this week.
Even though the island nation has experienced years of political unrest, the tourist industry in the country has been thriving, receiving more than one million visitors on an annual basis.
Despite the state of emergency, no travel restrictions have been put in place, allowing foreigners to continue to enjoy the islands. About one third of all tourists visiting the country are from China. The other two thirds are mostly from various European countries.
Reports indicate that most of the areas popular with tourists are not nearby the areas planned for protests. Still, the Hong Kong government has issued a travel alert for people visiting the Maldives, advising people to take caution when visiting the country.