The Sun Media Group, one of the country’s largest private media organisations, announced Wednesday that it was temporarily shutting down its news site, TV station and tourism magazine for rebranding.
“The decision was made to gain the adequate time needed to improve the resources and re-launch with a more focused, quality content,” reads the last item published on the Sun Online site.
A date for the relaunch was not stated.
The regulatory bodies have been informed about the decision, it added. The Maldives Broadcasting Commission granted permission for Sun TV to suspend broadcasts on September 20. A 15-day notice period was required.
The Sun Media Group is owned by resort tycoon Ahmed ‘Sun’ Siyam, leader of the government-aligned Maldives Development Alliance.
The shutdown comes amid growing speculation that the MDA will not be renewing its coalition agreement with the ruling party ahead of the September 23 presidential election.
Last week, Siyam handed over the MDA’s leadership to his deputy, further fueling speculation that he was trying to avoid possible targeted sanctions by the European Union.