New Delhi: India has questioned the Maldivian government regarding the comments of the Maldivian ministers regarding Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Lakshadweep on the 2nd on a two-day visit. It was considered as part of the tourism promotion initiative. Sharing his travel experience on X site, Modi said, “Lakhsativu is not just a collection of islands. It is a testament to the heritage and people that have endured over time. My journey was an opportunity to learn and grow,” he said. Regarding the Prime Minister’s visit, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment Department of Maldives, Maryam, had criticized Prime Minister Modi as a ‘clown’ and a ‘puppet’. The post was later deleted following strong backlash on social media for the comment.
Meanwhile, India has questioned the Maldivian government regarding the derogatory comments made by the country’s ministers regarding the Prime Minister’s visit to Lakshadweep. The Indian Ambassador has taken the issue to the Maldivian government.
Meanwhile, the former president of Maldives, Mohammad Nasheed, has condemned Maryam Shiuna’s derogatory comments about Prime Minister Modi. On her X page, she said, “Maldives Government Minister Mariam Shiuna has used very derogatory words about the Prime Minister of a key partner country who is instrumental to the security and prosperity of the Maldives. “The government of Mohamad Muisu as President should have backed away from these controversial comments and made it clear to India that this is not a robbery of the Maldivian government,” he said.
Despite protests on social media, Maryam Shiuna had made comments against Prime Minister Modi on various social media platforms. Apart from Shiuna, Maldivian M.P. Maldivian government officials including Shahid Ramees had made fun of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Maldives.
Ramees What a great move with a video of PM Modi’s visit to Maldives. This is a huge setback for the Maldivian government and it will boost tourism in the Maldives, X shared. “It’s a good move. But the idea of competing with us is illusory. How can they provide the services we provide? How can they be clean,” he said.
This angered netizens, with many calling for a boycott of the Maldives.
Personal Comments: Meanwhile, the Maldivian government has rejected Mariam Shiuna’s comments against Prime Minister Modi, saying that it does not reflect the views of the government. In a statement issued by the country’s government on Sunday, “The government is aware of the derogatory comments published on social media about foreign leaders and high-ranking officials. Those comments are their personal opinions and do not reflect the views of the Maldivian government.”
The Government believes that freedom of expression should be democratic, responsible, non-hateful and non-negative, and not detrimental to the Maldives’ relations with its international partners. The Government of Maldives will not hesitate to take action against officials who have made derogatory comments against Modi,” it said.
Relationship Breakdown: India-Maldives relations have been strained for the past few months after Mohammed Muisu took charge as the President of the Maldives. He was sworn in as the President last November 2023. Earlier, in his election promise, he said, “There should be no foreign army in Maldives. He had said that he will expel the Indian Army from this land. This marked the beginning of a rift in relations with India. Muisu will go to China on Monday after accepting the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is basically pro-China.
Muisu met Prime Minister Modi in Dubai during the COP28 climate talks in December 2023. The two leaders agreed to set up a key committee to discuss improving bilateral ties.Even after Muisu asked India to withdraw 77 Indian soldiers from the Maldives, it was decided to review over 100 bilateral agreements between the two countries.
Due to this, the relationship between India and Maldives is not so smooth. The opinion of the Maldives minister is seen as an expression of this. Maldives is India’s major maritime neighbor in the Indian Ocean region.