The Maldives Government Distances Itself From A Minister’s Disparaging Statement About Prime Minister Modi, Referring To It As “Personal Opinion”

maldives controversy

The Maldivian government has removed itself from an unresponsive remark made by a minister regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They claim that it is just her viewpoint and does not represent those of the government. The government places a strong emphasis on the responsible use of free speech to prevent the spread of hate. They have threatened to take legal action against those who make offensive comments.

The controversy began when PM Modi visited Lakshadweep and Mariyam Shiuna, the deputy minister of youth empowerment, called him a “clown” and a “puppet.” The minister removed the post in response to criticism on social media. Shiuna’s comment was denounced by former president Mohammad Nasheed as “appalling.”

Following India’s criticism of the statement, the Maldives government distanced itself. The minister made his remarks as Beijing was being asked for money by President Muhammad Muizzu. Since taking office in November, Muizzu, who is well-known for his pro-Hamas stance, has had tense relations with India. The disparaging remark exacerbates the already difficult relationship.

Though the Maldives government has made an effort to distance itself from the remarks, the minister’s actions have exacerbated an already difficult relationship since pro-China Muizzu took office on November 17.

A Sunni Salafi Muslim named Muizzu won the election in the Maldives by running a polarizing campaign against India to garner support for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the islands. Interestingly, the mostly Muslim island is devoid of Indian army soldiers, except for unarmed crews, two Indian helicopters, one Dornier plane, and one offshore gasoline vessel (all on loan).

Why did this happen?

  • Some people think Ms Shiuna’s comment might have been related to recent visits by the Maldivian President to other countries for financial assistance.
  • Others believe it might be linked to upcoming elections in the Maldives.