February 20, 2018
The Government of the Maldives takes note with appreciation the concerns being expressed by friends and partners in the international community regarding the declaration of the State of Emergency in the Maldives for a period of fifteen days on 5 February 2018 and subsequently extended by the Parliament for a further period of thirty days on 20 February 2018. The Government further notes that the Parliament has provided relief by lifting some of the restrictions imposed on Constitutional Articles under the State of Emergency and by imposing the State of Emergency only upon individuals alleged to have carried out illegal activities and in the places they stayed.
The Government’s request for extension was based on the advise of the National Security Council and today’s decision by the Parliament to extend the State of Emergency for a further period of thirty days was warranted due to the threats posed to national security following the Supreme Court Order No. 2018/SC-SJ/01, issued on 1 February 2018, and the ensuing events and the information received by State authorities that includes the current investigation into the money trail allegedly used to bribe Justices, which needs more time to reach a conclusion. The subsequent evidence received in the investigation illustrates the verdict has resulted in; the disruption of the functions of the executive power and the State institutions vested with specific mandates under the Constitution, the infringement of national security and public interest, and would have lead to an undermining of the supremacy of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.
The Government is conscious of the gravity and consequences of the decision to declare the State of Emergency and assures the international community that the decision was taken as a last resort, after serious and exhaustive consideration, to ensure national security and constitutional order, to uphold the rule of law and to safeguard the peace and stability of the nation. The State of Emergency will be lifted as soon as the threats posed to national security are addressed satisfactorily.
The Government wishes to note that the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018 was nullified, in part, by the Supreme Court by its Court Order no 2018/SC-SJ/03, issued on 6 February 2018. Other parts of it were suspended by its Court Order No 2018/SC-VA-J/01 issued on 18 February 2018, hence, now there is no legal mandate to implement the Supreme Court Order of 1 February 2018.
During this difficult time in the history of the nation, the Government also wishes to extend an invitation to all its partners to clarify facts and policies prior to reaching assessments pertaining to these very serious security issues, complicated constitutional problems and sensitive internal differences. It is important for friends and partners in the international community to stand with the Government and the people of the Maldives, and to refrain from any actions that could escalate an already delicate situation and derail the efforts being made to bring back normalcy in the Maldives. The Government of Maldives also notes that it is ready for dialogue with the opposition, as this is essential to help restore normalcy in the Maldives.
The Government reiterates its firm commitment to work closely with the international community to address the concerns that they might have. The Government would also like to use this opportunity to reiterate its unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and security of foreign nationals residing in the country, as well as those visiting the Maldives on vacation.