“Away from the warm turquoise waters and sun-bleached beaches, the romantic idyll that has made the Maldives a popular honeymoon retreat is under threat,” writes Stuart Winter for UK-based newspaper, The Daily Express.
“The thousands of newlyweds arriving on the coral islands each year looking for peace and solitude have little notion of the simmering tensions crippling this Indian Ocean paradise’s fragile democracy.
A damning report on the archipelago’s civil rights record, along with an open letter from an eminent group of luminaries calling for free and fair elections, is damaging the lustre of one of the planet’s most tranquil holiday destinations. The murder of an Maldivian MP last week and the machinations surrounding the trial of former president Mohamed Nasheed have only added energy to the political storm gripping the island.
Nasheed, the islands’ first democratically elected leader, claims he was forced to resign at gunpoint earlier this year when mutinying police and military loyal to long-standing former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom staged an effective coup.”