'Will Not Hesitate To Take Action': Maldives Govt Warns Unruly Leaders After Their Comments On India & PM Modi

'Will Not Hesitate To Take Action': Maldives Govt Warns Unruly Leaders After Their Comments On India & PM Modi

The statement came in the wake of backlash over several ministers in newly-elected Mohamed Muizzu government using derogatory and racist slurs against Indians and PM Modi over his tourism push for Lakshadweep.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Sunday, January 07, 2024, 05:12 PM IST
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Maldives government on Sunday released a statement warning its unruly ministers against making 'derogatory remarks' in relation to 'foreign leaders and high-ranking officials'. The statement came in the wake of backlash over minister in newly-elected Mohamed Muizzu government and other leaders using derogatory and racist slurs against Indians and PM Modi over his tourism push for Lakshadweep.

Comments personal opinion, do not represent govt views: Maldives

The island country said that the comments made by some of its ministers 'do not represent the views of the Government of Maldives'.

"The Government of Maldives is 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 said.

"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," it added.

Taking a stern stand against the comments, the government statement said, "Moreover, the relevant authorities of the Government will not hesitate to take action against those who make such derogatory remarks."

What is the entire controversy?

Social media posts from a minister and other leaders in the Maldives, a few days following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Lakshadweep archipelago, have sparked controversy. The visit by PM Modi to the country's smallest Union Territory, comprising 36 islands, was perceived as an effort to boost tourism on the island.

In these tweets, the ministers utilized offensive language against PM Modi, accused India of targeting the Maldives, and asserted that India encounters significant challenges in competing with the Maldives in beach tourism.

These tweets emerged in response to PM Modi's posts on X (formerly Twitter), where he shared his experience of snorkeling in the Lakshadweep. The posts gained widespread attention, leading social media users in India to propose the island Union Territory as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.

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