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Maldives Tourism Condemns Remark on PM Modi’s Lakshadweep Post

Maldives
Photo Credit : Google

The ministers’ disparaging comments on PM Modi’s post on Lakshadweep have been “strongly condemned” by the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), which has come out in favor of India. Last week, a bitter controversy erupted when the deputy minister of the Maldives, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made derogatory and obscene remarks about Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep.

Here are 10 points you need to know

1. “The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) strongly condemns the derogatory comments made by some Deputy Ministers on social media platforms, directed towards the Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Narendra Modi as well as the people of India,” the official statement released on 8 January stated.

2. MATI stated, “India is one of our closest neighbors and allies,” referring to it as one of its closest allies. Throughout our history, India has always been the first to respond to crises, and we are incredibly appreciative of the close ties that the Indian government and people have kept with us.”

3. “India has also been a consistent and significant contributor to the Tourism Industry of the Maldives. A contributor that has greatly assisted our recovery efforts during COVID-19, right after we re-opened our borders. Since then, India has continued to remain as one of the top markets for the Maldives. It is our sincere wish that the close relationship between our two nations endures for generations to come and as such, we refrain from actions or speech that may have any negative impact on our good relationship,” the statement issued by MATI stated.

4. On January 2, PM Modi visited the Union Territory and shared several pictures, including an ‘exhilarating experience’ of him trying his hand at snorkelling.

5. In a series of posts on X, PM Modi shared pictures of the white beaches, the pristine blue skies and the ocean and tagged them with a message that read, “For those who wish to embrace the adventurer in them, Lakshadweep has to be on your list.”

6. In a post that has now been deleted, the Maldivian Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Shiuna, made a mocking and disrespectful reference to PM Modi.

7. Zahid Rameez, who is a member of the Progressive Party of Maldives Senate reportedly took a dig at India, saying that the “idea of competing with us is delusional.” He said his “sentiments were expressed in the context of growing Indian influence in” Maldives political affairs. Abdulla Mahzoom Majid said he wished success for India’s tourism, but added that “targeting the Maldives so explicitly isn’t diplomatic.”

8. According to Maldivian media reports, deputy ministers in the youth ministry Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid have been suspended over their posts. Earlier on Sunday, the Maldivian government also distanced itself from Minister Mariyam Shiuna’s derogatory remarks, saying her opinion does not reflect the government’s views.

9. Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu is in China to improve relations between Beijing and his home country. Muizzu, who is considered to be “pro-China,” went to China instead of India as some of his predecessors did. In an editorial published on Monday, China’s official media, Global Times, discussed Muizzu’s visit to the East Asian nation, brought up India’s diplomatic spat with the Maldives, and advocated for a “open-minded” perspective when examining South Asian issues.

10. Mickail Naseem, Member of Parliament from Maldives has called on the Parliament to summon the foreign minister for the inaction and lack of urgency shown by the Maldives government. Former Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi also said that derogatory comments against PM Modi demonstrate the “short-sightedness” of the Maldives government, adding that India has been a reliable ally, providing assistance in various sectors, including defense, and criticized any attempt to undermine the longstanding relationship.

Concurrently, The Maldives is India’s principal maritime neighbor in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and holds a particular position in government initiatives such as the Neighbourhood First Policy of the Modi administration and SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region). Notably, in recent years, thousands of Indians have visited the Maldives. Over 2 lakh Indians visit the Maldives annually following the COVID-19 pandemic, making up the majority of the country’s visitor population, according to news agency PTI. According to PTI, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a trade association, has advised exporters and local traders to avoid doing business with the island nation.On its website, EaseMyTrip likewise suspended all flight reservations to the island nation “in solidarity” with India.

Read More

Maldives Minister Sparks Row with PM Modi’s Lakshadweep Visit; Mass Indian Trip Cancellations

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