Maldives govt suspends three Ministers for derogatory remarks against PM Modi

The Maldives Foreign Ministry in a statement said that the remarks made by its Ministers do not reflect the views of its government.
Maldives govt suspends three Ministers for derogatory remarks against PM Modi
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The Maldivian government on Sunday, January 7, suspended its three ministers for derogatory remarks against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his Lakshadweep visit, local media reported.

The ministers – Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha and Hassan Zihan – have been suspended for their derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Modi on X, Atoll Times reported.

Though Prime Minister Modi promoted Lakshadweep as a tourist destination and did not even mention Maldives, an irked minister of the Island country said : “India faces significant challenges in competing with the Maldives in beach tourism.”

In the post, Shiuna shared a video and referred to Prime Minister Modi as a "clown and puppet of Israel". Malsha also shared Modi's video on X using mocking emoji.

The post was deleted after backlash on X, where Indian social media users slammed the Maldivian government officials, including Shiuna.

In a statement, the Maldivian foreign ministry said it was aware of derogatory remarks on social media platforms against foreign leaders and high-ranking individuals.

"These opinions are personal and do not represent the views of the government of Maldives," the statement read.

An official from the President's Office confirmed the suspensions, but did not provide further details.

Meanwhile, amid the internet frenzy between the Indian right-wing and the supporters of Maldivian president Mohamed Muizzu, several Bollywood and cricket celebrities joined in a campaign to boycott Maldives tourism under #exploreindianislands. 

Actors Salman Khan, Madhavan, Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Shraddha Kapoor, John Abraham, and others took to their social media accounts to promote Indian islands.

Salman Khan wrote on X, “It is so cool to see our Hon PM Narendrabhai Modi at the beautiful clean n stunning beaches of Lakshadweep, and the best part is that yeh hamare India mein hain.”

Sharing racist tweets of Maldives politician Zahid Rameez, Akshay Kumar said, “Came across comments from prominent public figures from Maldives passing hateful and racist comments on Indians. Surprised that they are doing this to a country that sends them the maximum number of tourists.”

He further mentioned, “We are good to our neighbours but why should we tolerate such unprovoked hate? I've visited the Maldives many times and always praised it, but dignity first. Let us decide to #ExploreIndianIslands and support our own tourism.”

Zahid Rameez, a council member of the Progressive Party of Maldives, had mocked the PM's visit, and said India would never be able to compete with Maldives in regards to tourism.

Ranveer Singh wrote, “This year let’s make 2024 about exploring India and experiencing our culture. There is so much to see and explore across the beaches and the beauty of our country. Chalo India let’s #exploreindianislands Chalo bharat dekhe.”

With IANS inputs

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