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Derogatory remarks against PM Modi: 3 Maldives ministers suspended indefinitely with pay

First Published: 11th January, 2024 8:59 IST

A massive row was triggered between India and the Maldives after the deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging references to PM Modi's Lakshadweep visit.

Following derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maldives Deputy Youth Ministers Mariyam Shiuna, Mahzoom Majid and Malsha Shareef have been suspended indefinitely, but all three will continue to receive their salaries, the President’s Office has said, Maldives local media Adhadhu reported.
Providing further information about the suspensions, Maldives President’s Office Communications Minister Ibrahim Khaleel told Adhadhu that the three deputy ministers were suspended indefinitely as a measure taken to look into the matter.
“They will be paid under the normal process in the past where ministers and deputies were paid when they were suspended. They were suspended from going to work and performing the duties of their posts,” Khaleel said, as per Adhadhu.
Asked about social media posts made by the deputy ministers, Khaleel said the President’s Office did not have any comment.
A massive row was triggered between India and the Maldives after the deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging references to PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit.
Indians, including cricketers and film celebrities, have since come out in open support in promoting local beach destinations
and other tourist spots.
The Maldives government has, however, distanced itself from the remarks made by its ministers. Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moosa Zameer, said that these remarks against foreign leaders are “unacceptable” and do not reflect the official position of the Maldives government.
The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) has strongly condemned derogatory remarks made by officials in the tourism-dependent country against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India.
Terming India as one of the closest neighbours and allies of the Maldives, MATI noted that India has always been a first responder to various crises throughout the history of the island country.
“India is one of our closest neighbours and allies. India has always been a first responder to various crises throughout our history and we are immensely grateful to the close relationship that the government as well as the people of India have maintained with us,” MAITI said in a statement.
It stressed that India has been a “consistent and significant contributor to the tourism industry of the Maldives.” It stated that India has “greatly assisted” Maldives recovery efforts during the COVID19 pandemic after the borders were reopened.
In a press release, MATI stated, “Since then, India has
continued to remain as one of the top markets for the Maldives.” (ANI)

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