On January 7, India formally registered its objections to the derogatory comments made by Maldivian Minister Mariyam Shiuna against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, intensifying diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
According to a report by WION, the Indian government communicated its concerns to the current Muizzu government in the Maldives. The incident has ignited a diplomatic dispute, prompting responses from both sides.
In response to the backlash, the Maldivian government issued a statement condemning derogatory remarks on social media, emphasising that such opinions are personal and do not represent the official stance of the government. The statement also asserted that relevant authorities would not hesitate to take action against those making such comments.
It read, “The Government of Maldives is aware of 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…Moreover, the relevant authorities of the Government will not hesitate to take action against those who make such derogatory remarks.”
Government of Maldives issues statement – “The Government of Maldives is aware of 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… pic.twitter.com/RQfKDb2wYF
— ANI (@ANI) January 7, 2024
The controversy originated on January 4 when PM Modi shared images from his recent visit to Lakshadweep, encouraging people to explore the scenic island and supporting tourism with his ‘vocal for local’ initiative.
This triggered a response on social media, with several Indian users advocating for Lakshadweep over foreign destinations, including the Maldives, due to similar geographical characteristics. This led to a series of bitter reactions from Maldivian officials and citizens, resulting in derogatory remarks against India, Indians, and Prime Minister Modi.
Mariyam Shiuna, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts, drew significant attention for her insulting remarks against PM Modi, referring to him as a ‘clown’ and a ‘puppet of Israel’ in a now-deleted tweet. The post faced severe backlash on social media, with Indian users criticising Maldivian government officials, including Shiuna.
It is noteworthy that PM Modi did not mention the Maldives in his tweets, raising questions about the source of the heated exchanges between the two nations. The incident has prompted diplomatic channels to address the concerns raised by the Indian government, as tensions continue to escalate.