Maldives govt suspends three ministers over remarks on PM Modi amid Lakshadweep visit

The Maldives government suspended three of its ministers- Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha and Hassan Zihan for ‘derogatory’ remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following the latter’s Lakshadweep visit, local media reported.
A row erupted on social media last week when a minister and some other leaders in the Maldives used derogatory remarks against PM Modi after he posted a video of him on a beach in Lakshadweep.
The post by Mariyam Shiuna, now deletedm featured the pictures of PM Modi from his recent visit to Lakshadweep. The Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information and Arts, referred to the Indian prime minister as a ‘clown’ and a ‘puppet of Israel.’
Maldives government spokesperson Ibrahim Khaleel said to local media, ‘All government officials responsible for the comments have been suspended from their post effective immediately.’
In a statement on Sunday, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry said they were aware of the ‘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,’ it said.

In retaliation more than 8,000 hotel bookings, as well as 2,500 flight tickets, have been cancelled, according to social media reports.

The Maldives government saw a sudden surge in cancellations in tourists from India over the comments.

The government has said that they would not hesitate to take action against those who make such ‘derogatory remarks.’

Earlier on Sunday, former president Mohamed Nasheed described the remarks by the Maldivian ministers as ‘appalling’ and asked President Mohamed Muizzu’s government to distance itself from these comments.

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb “’trongly condemned’ the derogatory remarks.

As the row between Maldives and India continues to spiral after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory remarks against PM Modi and India, former Deputy Speaker of the island nation Eva Abdulla on Sunday labelled the comments as ‘shameful and racist.’

The ex-speaker also apologized to India and requested Indians to end the boycott campaign against Maldives that has erupted across social media channels.

The Maldivian MP appealed to the Indian people to end the #BoycottMaldives social media campaign and ‘come back’ to the islands for holidays.

Ties between the two nations have been strained ever since Mohamed Muizzu, seen largely as a pro-China leader, was elected President.

Following his election to the top post, Muizzu pushed for the withdrawal of Indian troops from the country on the grounds of security.