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Page added on December 26, 2011

Security officials dismiss UK travel advisory

Security officials dismiss UK travel advisory thumbnail

The United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has maintained its December 13 travel advisory for the Maldives, cautioning tourists to be wary of spontaneous gatherings and warning of indiscriminate attacks in public areas.

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) spokesperson Abdul Raheem did not believe there was cause for concern.

“We don’t think there is any security problem at the moment so far as MNDF is concerned, for tourists, guests or Maldivians,” he said.

Raheem added that it was unusual for a travel advisory to be issued against the Maldives, and said that the UK’s advisory was the first one, to his knowledge.

Police officials were similarly dismissive of the matter.

The advisory was issued with particular reference to the protests held on December 23 in defense of Islam.

“Maldives has been going through a period of political transition. Social unrest is possible and some past demonstrations on the capital, Male’, and other islands have resulted in violence. You should avoid demonstrations and beware of spontaneous gatherings,” reads the office’s travel summary.

“There is a general threat from terrorism and attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates, foreign travelers including tourists.”

The advisory was published on December 13 in anticipation of the December 23 protests. It is categorised as mild, and there are no travel restrictions.

Religious party Adhaalath today released a statement by party chief spokesperson Sheik Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed claiming that protest coverage by state media may have had a negative impact on Maldives tourism.

“It shows that the persons that determine the national foreign policy do not have good foresight because they are trying to show that Maldivians are extremists,” reads the statement.

Coverage of the events was censored by MNDF, which requested all television stations not to broadcast content that could disrupt national security and “encourage the toppling of the lawfully-formed government.”

Meanwhile privately-owned media outlets, DhiTV and Villa TV broadcast live coverage of the eight-hour long protest organised by a coalition of NGOs and seven opposition parties.

“Adhaalath Party calls on the international community to visit Maldives without any fear, assures that there is no terrorism in the Maldives, and that it will never give space to terrorism in this country.”

The statement further assures the international community that Maldivians are capable of protecting tourists.

A rumor on Friday claimed that resorts had been asked to halt all trips to Male’, in anticipation of the protests’ outcome. Security and tourism officials have denied the rumor, and resorts report no serious concerns among staff and guests over the situation on Male’.

Speaking to Minivan News yesterday, Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem said that foreign governments are concerned, and that the recent protests were not “good publicity for the country.”

However, the peaceful execution of both protests had reassured many, he said.

The Commonwealth website notes the 2007 Sultan Park bombing as the only other instance of unrest in which foreigners were injured.

On September 29, 2007, 12 tourists from China, Britain and Japan were injured by a bomb triggered using a mobile phone and washing machine motor attached to a gas cylinder.

The incident received widespread publicity around the globe, damaging the country’s tourism industry.

Authorities were meanwhile prompted to declare a state of high alert and police arrested 12 suspects within 48 hours.

Terrorism charges were filed against 16 suspects, including ten who had fled the country.

Suspect Mohamed Ameen was apprehended in Sri Lanka in October of this year for his alleged involvement in the bomb plot.

Meanwhile, the National Security Committee continues to debate whether allowing Israel’s El Al Airlines would raise the domestic threat level.

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30 Comments on "Security officials dismiss UK travel advisory"

  1. hassan ahmed on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 7:10 PM 

    The Maldivian tycoon Garoon and his Mullahs should be happy for this good news.
    We can have tourist from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also have massage parley for Arabs with nine years old kids.
    The local newspaper Haveeru confirms that tycoon Garoon is an expert in this business too.

  2. Sheikh Imran Abdullah on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 7:14 PM 

    I have to say though, I did not agree with this statement! Why would a pious Maldivian Muslim like myself, ever want Jews to come to our great country, to fornicate and drink alcohol? Allah SWT shall punish them in hell allah akbar! And those who aid these Jewish activities will also join them, as men (well mostly women)and their idols, fuel the black flames of hell!

    The Jewish country of UK, should stay away from us! We do not want to be associated with the likes of Jews! This has been told in the Quran, by Allah SWT, 1400 years ago, o Maldivian Muslim brothers and non-fornicating sisters!

    Qur’an (5:51) – ”O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

  3. Yoosuf on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 7:50 PM 

    Sheikh Imran you sucks big time..!! you don’t know nothing about true maldivians…!! we Maldivians are friends with everybody.. and we will be friends with everybody.. this is Maldives “Always Natural”

  4. maan on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 7:57 PM 

    The UK travel advisory notice has been there for the last two years. They only added the extra sentence that there is a protest on the 23rd. Minivan should check with the FCO before writing such a misleading news article.

  5. Mohamed on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 8:36 PM 

    Sheik Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed? this guy was muhamma kalo before. went to pakistan, lived in a slum for 3 years – now a bloody sheik, who only can give assurances to foreigners visiting maldives. how can you give such assurances unless you are the threat yourself. you are not the police!!!!

  6. jameel on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 9:18 PM 

    hi people. please ignore this sheikh imran abdulla guy..

    whoever is writing in the name of sheikh
    imran abdulla is an impostor. this is a cheap plot by a kaafir to character assasinate sheikh imran.

  7. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 9:30 PM 

    Sheikh Imran Abdullah, if you do not speak in jest, you are a good man, with admirable goals! A true stalwart defender of our faith; ready to garrot the infidels on the spot as was custom of the great Ayatu’llah Khomeini (may his name ever be praised)!

    All Christian or Jew who comes to our nation to fornicate and succumb to the delusional grip of alcohol, must be thrown back into the Indian ocean; back into the fiery pits from which they emerged, and wherein lies their unholy future!

    I condemn the Muslim Nation, that welcomes in fornicating foreigners! That sells acohol – and does not forbid, what your creator has forbidden you!

    Heed your lord, ye fools!

  8. Sheikh Imran Abdullah on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 9:36 PM 

    Hi Maldivian Muslim brothers and sisters. Please ignore this Jameel guy. He is an infidel, a heretic, a munaafiq, a yahoodhee or in English, a Jew.

    I have stated a verse from the quran, and yet, he is trying to mislead all the readers, pretending to be some sort of self-righteous all-knowing ‘muslim’. All he is a munaafiq Jew! My muslim brothers and non-fornicating sisters, please ignore such people, for Allah has the harshest punishments for them on the day of Judgement. May Allah SWT bless all of you muslims.

  9. tsk tsk on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 11:16 PM 

    So sad.

    Sanity is being traded for petty rivalry and catcalling.

    The MDP should just gracefully step down or find a way to usher in a Unity government if they want to take part in governing this country any longer.

  10. Sheikh Imran Abdullah on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 11:18 PM 

    Brother Dhivehi Hanguraama. Inshallah, I do not speak in jest! I speak the truth, to defend the true religion of Allah SWT! And I stand by what I said! We shall not allow Jews from the UK and Jews like Jameel to live in our country. It could mislead pious men and non-fornicating women to the path of jahannam!

    Continue with your jihad, brother Dhivehi Hanguraama, for Allah SWT rewards mujahids like you with many rewards in the hereafter!

  11. Buruga on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 1:19 AM 

    Sadly it was at the MDP rally on 23 Dec that we heard calls for murder of individuals. At the rally MP Ghasim was declared a terrorist as well.

  12. katta sambol on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 1:22 AM 

    Thank you, opposition coalition. Your meaningless and completely unnecessary protest did this. Now crawl back into your holes and figure out a way we can lose even more money. You’re doing the Lord’s work.

  13. yaamyn on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 5:40 AM 

    @Sheikh Imran Abdullah

    Please stop using Sheikh Imran Abdullah’s name to comment your racist beliefs.

  14. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb (no relation to Sheikh Imran Abdullah) on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 5:53 AM 

    “Adhaalath Party calls on the international community to visit Maldives without any fear, assures that there is no terrorism in the Maldives…”

    On the contrary! The international community should be very worried about the Maldives and ALL foreigners should be wary of coming over to this hell hole. It isn’t paradise anymore, since these fake Sheikhs started spreading what they learned in the holes of Tora Bora.

    Adhaalath party is an extremist organisation. We saw what extremists can do in Nigeria, for example, in the name of Islam. Adhaalath have been warning and are just as dangerous as Boko Haram. The Maldives today is a very dangerous place!

  15. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb (no relation to Sheikh Imran Abdullah) on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 6:14 AM 

    It’s very naive for the security apparatus to dismiss this. Well, they’ll learn their lesson very soon. Tourists will take note with their wallets!

    The security apparatus will not be so dismissive when the wine and pork loving infidel white folk start taking note of these advisories!

  16. Be aware on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 7:31 AM 

    Tourist please avoid the resorts owned by Mr. Gasim Ibrahim. This is not here say. I saw pictures of him protesting with the extremist group in the Maldives on 23 December 2011. He was calling to ban Alcohol and close Spas. I fear that he may be funding this terrorist group.

    Adhalath party may say there’s no fear but on the first statement they released inviting people to join the protest they have said they will destroy those who are anti Islam

  17. Kudadhonbe on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 9:11 AM 

    Eleanor Johnstone, why don’t you write about what this government is doing to Gasim?

  18. Sourface on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 10:39 AM 

    Morality and ethics are universal. Cognitive functions stands over ancient books of ethics and law. Think!!!!don’t just follow a different context, an ancient era and stop looking over your shoulder at the grey and blur. Live and let live. May all flourish under the sun. That is my prayer to Allah.

  19. Kudadhonbe on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 11:28 AM 

    @ yaamyn on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 5:40 AM

    You wrote:

    “@Sheikh Imran Abdullah

    Please stop using Sheikh Imran Abdullah’s name to comment your racist beliefs.”

    Now this is funny because I always thought the one commenting as Sheikh Imran Abdullah is yaamyn.

  20. Thuththube on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 11:33 AM 

    Reproduced with permission from Kudadhonbe :)

    “Facts of the December 23rd protests:

    1. MDP supporters were outnumbered by the supporters of the opposition parties.

    2. MDP managed to gather about 800 people.

    3. Opposition supporters were about 10,000 or more in Male’ and there were many more in the islands.

    4. President Nasheed addressed the small bunch of his followers while the vast majority of the people were protesting elsewhere against him and his policies.

    5. MDP tried to stop the protests by using all their tactics. They tried to convince the public not to join Adhaalath et al, they even threatened the protest organisers.

    6. When the protest could not be stopped, they threatened the media that covered these protests via a letter by MNDF.

    Despite all the fact changing, convincing and threatening that went on, the protests took place as planned on the 23rd of December. The sheer size of the crowd that gathered to voice their concerns against this government sent a strong message to the government: That the government has failed to deliver and the people can no longer be kept in the dark.

    MDP should start packing!”

    The travel advisory, in my humble opinion is related to the crowd number of the above mentioned protest. This government has told international parties that Maldives harbour extremists among us. So the strong protest from the oppostion must have triggered a bit of fear for the Brits.

  21. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb (no relation to Sheikh Imran Abdullah) on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 12:01 PM 

    “Eleanor Johnstone, why don’t you write about what this government is doing to Gasim?”

    Gasim called on the government to “clean up” spas that were operating as brothels. The government promptly closed one operating on Gasim’s resorts! So, what’s the government “doing” to Gasim? They are listening to him!

    His “airline” is currently suspended from flying. As I understand, he has only one aircraft and the Civil Aviation authority has a legal obligation to inspect that following any reported incidents.

    Don’t see anything sinister in any of these.

  22. Mikaloa-O on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 12:51 PM 

    @ tsk tsk may not be totally wrong, but just as every person has a chance to change their fate, MDP too can do it before the time is up!

    This government undoubtedly is MDP lead, and are ruling under pressure, which they perhaps love to handle.

    MDP has many members who believe that its belief and policies are being fiddled by some who think they are MDP and MDP is them.

    MDP, as it is seen, is a much stronger body that believe peoples and their needs.

  23. Csk Csk on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 1:27 PM 

    tsk tsk should just lick his wounds and wait until next election to unseat the government. If he has a brain he should remember how much MDP call for a government from his boy Gay-yoom.

  24. Ibrahim on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 1:37 PM 

    We Maldivian should follow Adaalath Party Shaheem’s advise and work to make our country a Islamic State. I totally agree, we should stop the import of Alcohol, Pork, Massage Parlor etc.

    We should allow only practicing Muslims to enter our country.

    I urge Gasim Ibrahim to make his resorts Alcohol, Pork and Prostitution (boy and girls) free resort only for Muslims.

    These monuments will never hurt us Maldivians, its the Alcohol and likes thats really hurting our population.

    Gasim Please join us make Maldives, Pure.

  25. Ali on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 1:43 PM 

    Foreigner should be very careful visiting Maldives, its is a dangerouse place. No tourists should visit this country of ours specially Addu, Visit Sri Lanka.

  26. Asif on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 2:02 PM 

    Maldivians want a great change during last presidential election and rightly got what she bargained for,Simple!!!!!!!!!!.
    By the way is there any chance Anni being getting relected for office for second term?

  27. tsk tsk on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 3:08 PM 

    Not a chance.

    Like people keep telling me. If those opposed to Nasheed want the easy way out, then come 2013 we can kick him out by a vote.

    However, no digital voting please. We just do not have the human resource capacity or public confidence in institutions to implement such a change.

  28. Back at Thuththube on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 3:17 PM 

    @ Thuththube:

    Did you count the number of protesters yourself?? The religious protest lasted for 8 hours and a lot of MDP supporters attended both gatherings.. That does not mean we stopped supporting MDP.. We’ll see the real winners in 2013 elections.. A sick minded person would only vote for those people who ruined our lives and chose to benefit only to themselves for the past 30 years..

  29. fazira on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 5:33 PM 

    Maldives is the only nation void of terrorizm on the earth. however, there is a very dangerous terrorist recently found in the Maldives and that is a Dog who never had job earlier, lived abroad in Christian Missionary camps and now wears suit to enlarge the Dog’s size, the bullshit who is hated by the entire nation for the Dog’s crimes including terrorizm. All tourists visiting Maldives must be aware of this DOg and its terror.

  30. Mohamed on Tue, 27th Dec 2011 7:50 PM 

    Fazira, who are you talking about? seems like you are really very mad at somebody…. because we don’t see a suit wearing terrorist in the maldives. is it sheik imran, i mean muhamma kalo?


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