Britain, US warn over travel to Maldives capital

The US and Britain on Wednesday issued warnings to their citizens travelling to the capital of the Maldives, where a deepening political crisis has led to violent street protests.

Updated: Jul 21, 2010, 19:28 PM IST

Colombo: The US and Britain on Wednesday issued
warnings to their citizens travelling to the capital of the
Maldives, where a deepening political crisis has led to
violent street protests.

The Indian Ocean archipelago, an upmarket tourism
destination famous for its beaches and turquoise waters, has
been gripped by a bitter power struggle between the president
and the opposition-led national parliament since June.
Several street demonstrations in the highly congested
capital island of Male last week injured at least nine police
officers and six civilians.

In separate warnings issued online, Britain and the US
noted that demonstrations in Male could get out of hand and
warned visitors to avoid large political gatherings and state
buildings.

Most tourist resorts are located outside Male and most
tourists travel straight from the airport island to their
resorts without going to the capital.
"The demonstrations have not targeted foreigners, and
there have not been any demonstrations in the resort islands
or outside of Male," the US embassy in Colombo added.

Police broke up an unruly gathering of ruling party
supporters in the capital yesterday after they surrounded a
school where the speaker of parliament had gone for his weekly
badminton game.

PTI