Maldives government declares state of emergency

Opposition supporters protest against the government’s delay in releasing their jailed leaders, including former president Mohamed Nasheed, in Male, Maldives. (Reuters)
Updated 05 February 2018
0

Maldives government declares state of emergency

MALE, Maldives: The Maldives government has declared a 15-day state of emergency amid a deepening political crisis between the president and the judiciary over its order to release a group of imprisoned opposition leaders.
Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shakoor announced the state of emergency on state television Monday evening.
A surprise ruling last week by the Supreme Court directing the release of the opposition leaders has led to a tense standoff between President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the Supreme Court, with protests spilling into the streets of the capital, Male, and soldiers in riot gear deployed to the parliament building to stop lawmakers from meeting.
A former president is among those ordered freed by the court after trials criticized for flawed due process.
Shakoor said earlier Monday that the government doesn’t believe that the court order can be enforced.
Maldives became a multiparty democracy 10 years ago after decades of autocratic rule, but lost many of the democratic gains after Yameen was elected in 2013.
The political crisis in the Maldives has deepened as the president of the island nation said the Supreme Court had overstepped its authority in ordering the release of a group of imprisoned opposition leaders.
The surprise judicial ruling last week has led to an increasingly tense standoff between President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the Supreme Court, with protests spilling into the streets of the capital, Male, and soldiers in riot gear deployed to the parliament building to stop lawmakers from meeting.
Yameen, in a letter to the court released by his office, said the order had encroached on the powers of the state and was an “infringement of national security and public interest.” He urged the court to “review the concerns” of the government.


China orders evacuations after landslide blocks Tibet river

Updated 1 min 43 sec ago
0

China orders evacuations after landslide blocks Tibet river

BEIJING: Around 6,000 people have been evacuated following a landslide in Tibet that blocked the flow of one of the region’s key rivers, China’s emergency services said Thursday.
A barrier lake was formed on the Yarlung Tsangpo, the headwater of India’s Brahmaputra River, following the Wednesday morning collapse of a cliff in the deep valley through which the river flows, the local emergency response bureau said in a report carried by state media.
No deaths or injuries have been reported and the bureau said China has been keeping India updated on the blockage, which could potentially affect water levels in lower regions.
The landslide struck near a village in Menling County and water in the lake had risen to a height of 40 meters (131 feet) by Thursday, the bureau said.
With its towering peaks and glaciers, Tibet is the source of numerous Asian rivers, adding to China’s strategic influence over its southern neighbors. Fast rising temperatures have caused those glaciers to melt at an increasing pace, throwing a shadow over future water resources for China and other Asian nations.