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Maldives government suspends ministers who made disparaging remarks against India, PM Modi

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, emphasizing responsible freedom of expression and asserting that individuals making such posts while in government positions have been suspended.

Maldives government sacks ministers who made disparaging remarks against PM Narendra Modi
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First Published Jan 7, 2024, 5:53 PM IST

The Maldives government has taken decisive action by suspending ministers responsible for derogatory social media posts against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The controversial remarks ignited a massive firestorm, leading to widespread condemnation and even prompting some Indians to cancel planned trips to the island nation renowned for its pristine beaches.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today, addressing the concerns raised by the Government of India regarding insulting posts on social media. The statement affirmed that individuals holding government positions who made such posts have been suspended from their jobs. However, the statement did not disclose the names of the suspended ministers.

According to local media reports, the suspended ministers include Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha, and Hassan Zihan.

The move follows India's expression of concern on Sunday over the recent derogatory remarks made by a Maldivian minister against PM Modi. Sources indicate that the Indian High Commissioner in Male has engaged with the Maldives government on the matter. This development coincides with the Maldives President Mohammad Muizzu-led government distancing itself from the controversial remarks made by its minister.

The Maldives government's official statement emphasized the importance of exercising freedom of expression in a democratic and responsible manner, avoiding the spread of hatred, negativity, and potential strains on close relationships with international partners.

"The relevant authorities of the government will not hesitate to take action against those who make such derogatory remarks," the statement asserted.

The controversy erupted when Maldives Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Mariyam Shiuna, used derogatory language, referring to PM Modi as a 'clown' and 'puppet' during his recent visit to the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. The remarks triggered widespread outrage in India, with calls for boycotting travel to the Maldives. Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed condemned Shiuna's comments, emphasizing India's role as a key ally for the security and prosperity of the archipelago nation. Nasheed urged the Muizzu government to distance itself from the derogatory remarks and assure India that they do not reflect government policy.

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