A Maldivian man looks at a presidential election campaign poster of presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed in Male September 6, 2013.
Dinuka Liyanawatte / Courtesy Reuters

Most of the million tourists who visit the Maldives every year leave without seeing even a hint of the political violence that has shaken the country over the past few years. Sipping cocktails in secluded island resorts, one would be hard-pressed to imagine that the islanders were, until five years ago, ruled by Asia’s longest-running dictatorship, that hundreds have been seriously injured in street clashes and at least one senior politician stabbed to death in the street in recent years, and that hard-line political Islamists helped to topple the country’s first-ever democratically elected president only last year.

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