Is the Maldives in for a period of violent disruption? Fears over political instability have increased after teargas, grenades and rubber bullets are shipped to the authorities in the Maldives.
The armaments were shipped by a foreign subsidiary of British-owned firm Survitec Group in Southampton. The deal was worth $100,000 (£61,500),to the company but human rights groups fear it is a sign of more violence to come.
It is also one more instance of western hypocrisy.
The British Foreign Office has condemned actions by authorities in the Maldives. It appears that police and the supreme court of the Maldives are attempting to manipulate the forthcoming election. The British Foreign Office said it would have blocked the arms shipment if it was solely UK based. As the weapons were sold by a foreign subsidary of the Southampton site it is a different kettle of fish -- but it should not be.
Promises of free and fair elections are hollow. Police in the Maldives violently oppress political freedoms.
The Maldives is a vacation heaven. White sands, turquoise seas and blue skies await holidaymakers. A tropical paradise except the Maldives is another country in trouble.
Move away from the resorts, crafted to woo even the most discerning traveller, and you may find gang violence and corruption. The country is in crisis. An election is delayed and there have been calls for President Mohamed Waheed to step down.
The constitution of the Maldives requires a president is elected by 11 November. It is not clear who will be in power in the interim if a second voting round is needed -- that is is no candidate polls 50% of the vote in the first round. The timing is tight.
A couple of weeks ago BBC News reported "The first round of the elections will now be held on 9 November, and a run-off - if required - on 16 November". UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon has already expressed concerns.
According to the Guardian "Maldives police provoked international condemnation by preventing voting in a rerun of the presidential elections last month".
The Maldives, officially the Republic of the Maldives and also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls. At first glance it is heaven on earth but scratch the surface and all is far from well.