January 8, 2024
NEW DELHI – The Maldivian government on Sunday suspended two ministers and a ruling coalition leader for making derogatory remarks against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media, according to local media reports.
The action from the Maldivian government came after massive backlash and a call to boycott Maldives as a tourist destination by several Bollywood celebrities for unprovoked hateful remarks against the prime minister.
While the statement didn’t reveal their names, media reports identified them as Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef and Mahzoom Majid.
Reacting to PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit, Shiuna had called him a “clown” and “puppet of Israel”.
The minister had reposted another Maldivian leader’s reaction to PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit in which he had termed the idea of competing with Maldives “delusional” and questioned how India will offer the so-called “service” that his country does.
Earlier in the day, the Maldivian foreign ministry had distanced itself from their remarks, saying they were personal opinion and didn’t reflect the views of the government.
Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed had also slammed Shiuna’s “appalling” remarks and asked President Mohamed Muizzu’s government to distance itself from her now comments.
“What appalling language by Maldives Government official @shiuna_m towards the leader of a key ally, that is instrumental for Maldives’ security and prosperity. @MMuizzu gov must distance itself from these comments and give clear assurance to India they do not reflect gov policy,” he wrote on ‘X’.