Facing massive backlash, the Maldives government has suspended two ministers Mariyam Shiuna and Hassan Zihan for their derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India Today reported on Sunday. Mariyam, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, had called PM Modi a ‘clown’ and a ‘puppet’ after he visited the Indian islands of Lakshadweep.
Rameez had mocked Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep after photographs from his visit gained wide attention on social media, with many comparing it to the Maldives. Their remarks sparked massive reactions from Indians, who called for a boycott of the island country.
Several people took to social media to share that they had cancelled their planned trips to Maldives. One Dr Falak said she Was planning to go to Maldives for her birthday which falls on the 2nd of February. She said she had almost finalised the deal with her travel agent. “But immediately cancelled it after seeing this tweet of deputy minister of Maldives.”
Earlier today, the Indian High Commissioner raised the derogatory remarks matter with Maldives. In a statement, Male said it was aware of derogatory remarks and these “opinions are personal and do not represent the views of the Government of Maldives”.
“The Government believes that the freedom of expression should be exercised in a democratic and responsible manner, and in ways that do not spread hatred, negativity, and hinder close relationships between the Maldives and its international partners,” the statement said. “Moreover, the relevant authorities of the Government will not hesitate to take action against those who make such derogatory remarks.”
Former Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih condemned the ministers’ language against PM Modi and said that this should not be allowed. “I condemn the use of hateful language against #India by Maldivian government officials on social media. India has always been a good friend to Maldives and we must not allow such callous remarks to negatively impact the age-old friendship between our two countries,” he said.
Maldives former foreign minister Abdulla Shahid called the remarks made by two ministers “reprehensible and odious”. He said India is a time-tested friend and an unwavering ally. “They have historically been the first to respond in our time of need. Our close relationship has been bound by mutual respect, history, culture, and strong people-to-people relations.”
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