The government of Maldives on Sunday “denounced” the statement made by its politicians on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Lakshadweep, saying “These opinions are personal and do not represent the views of the Government of Maldives.”
In an official statement, the Maldives government said, “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”.
A massive row erupted between India and Maldives after Maldives Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment Mariyam Shiuna made some derogatory remarks against PM Modi over his recent visit to the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
Shiuna’s now deleted post featured photos of Modi from his recent visit to Lakshadweep.
Former Foreign Ministers of Maldives Abdulla Shahid termed the comments against PM Modi as “reprehensible and odious” and called upon the government to reprimand these officials.
On Social media post on X, Abdulla Shahid said “Public figures must maintain decorum”.
He added that, “India is a time-tested friend and an unwavering ally. They have historically been the first to respond in our time of need”…. adding that our close relationship has been bound by mutual respect, history, culture and strong people-to-people relations.
In the wake of the ongoing controversy, celebrities and online influencers have joined calls to boycott Maldives.
The latest to join the bandwagon is former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra. On Saturday, Chopra took to X and posted: “‘India Out’ was a part of the manifesto. Maldives voted for it.
Actor Akshay Kumar also condemned the comments from the junior minister of the island nation and reiterated the importance of dignity.
He also emphasised the need to support Indian tourism and explore islands in the country.
“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 said on X.