The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued the following reviewed and updated travel advisory on the Maldives on December 25,2011:
“Maldives has been going through a period of political transition. Social unrest is possible and some past demonstrations on the capital, Malé, and other islands have resulted in violence. You should avoid demonstrations and beware of spontaneous gatherings. A number of protests have recently taken place in Malé and we are aware of reports that further demonstrations are being organised, including on 23 December. Please exercise caution at this time.
“There is no British diplomatic mission in Maldives. A Consular Correspondent in the capital, Malé can liaise with the British High Commission in Sri Lanka on emergency consular matters. They can be contacted through the British High Commission in Colombo.
‘There is a general threat from terrorism and attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates, foreign travellers including tourists.
‘The main types of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in Maldives in 2009 were for lost/stolen passports and hospitalisations. Petty crime occurs and you should take care of your valuables and other personal possessions.
“All British nationals who are resident and/or working in Maldives should register with the British High Commission in Colombo.
“You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.” (25-12-11)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter : @SORBONNE75 )