Maldives govt distances from minister's derogatory remark against PM Modi | World News - Hindustan Times
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Maldives govt distances from minister's derogatory remark against PM Modi, calls it ‘personal opinion’

Jan 07, 2024 03:46 PM IST

The statement from Maldives govt came after India made it known that the statement of the junior lady minister was totally uncalled for and unacceptable.

The Maldives government on Sunday distanced itself from derogatory remarks made by its minister Mariyam Shiuna against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a statement, the government said the ‘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 international partners,” the Maldives government statement added.

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

A massive controversy erupted after Shiuna, the island nation's deputy minister of youth empowerment, made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Modi, calling him a ‘clown’ and ‘puppet’ over his recent Lakshadweep visit.

However, the minister deleted the X post soon after outrage over the remark that triggered a massive backlash on social media. Ex-president Mohammad Nasheed condemned Shiuna's remark, calling it ‘appalling’.

PM Modi,(FILE PHOTO)
PM Modi,(FILE PHOTO)

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Maldives government statement on its deputy minister's derogatory remark against PM Modi.
Maldives government statement on its deputy minister's derogatory remark against PM Modi.



"What appalling language by Maldives Government official Mariyam Shiuna towards the leader of a key ally, that is instrumental for the Maldives’ security and prosperity," Nasheed said in an X post.

The statement from Maldives govt came after India made it known that the statement of the junior lady minister was totally uncalled for and unacceptable. The unsavoury comment by the junior minister came when Maldivian president Mohammad Muizzu has gone to seek funds from Beijing.

After making fund seeking trip to Turkey and UAE, Muizzu left for China on January 6 and is expected to return on January 10. The derogatory statement used by the junior lady minister is reflective of the pro-Hamas sentiments of the Muizzu government and is a polarising build-up to the Majlis election in April.

Even though the Maldivian government had distanced itself from the statement, she has ended up poisoning an already difficult bilateral relationship since pro-China Muizzu took over on November 17.

Muizzu, who is a Sunni Salafi Muslim, won the Maldivian election on a polarising campaign against India by seeking votes on ouster of Indian troops from Maldives. It is another matter that except for unarmed crews, two Indian helicopters, one Dornier plane and one offshore petrol vessel (all on loan), there is not a single Indian army soldier in the Muslim majority island.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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