02/09/2012, 00.00
MALDIVES
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Arrest warrant for Maldives President

The situation is confused. A member of the Nasheed party: "We do not know what he is accused of." The Mayor of Addu speaks of "the total collapse of law and order." No problem so far for tourists, but travel agents speak of "panic" among those planning holidays in the archipelago.
Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A court in Male, the capital of Maldives, today issued an arrest warrant against former President Mohamed Nasheed and the former defence minister. The news was given to Indian television by sources of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of the same ex-head of state, while riots and clashes are reported to be taking place on the archipelago.

"We do not know what the president is accused of," said Adam Manik, a member of the MDP, while Abdulla Sodig, Mayor of Addu, the second largest city, has spoken of "total collapse of law and order", after "a night of violence”. He reports that he has a broken wrist as a result of the assault of a group of people on his office. For its part, the police has confirmed attacks on two of its stations.

Sodig, member of the president's own party - which won the elections - argues that the protests against the new administration began in a peaceful manner, "but then some groups that have sparked the violence became involved."

At an appeal for its intervention, the army responded that it only has enough men to ensure the safety of the airport, used by tourists.

In the tourist resorts, situated usually on uninhabited islands, the situation is currently calm, but travel agents report that "panic" is taking hold of people who had booked trips archipelago. Many, they say, had thought of treating themselves to a holiday in "paradise" for Valentine’s Day.

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