This comes a day after, the Maldives government, led by President Mohamed Muizzu, took action against the officials involved in the controversy and suspended three deputy ministers for their offensive social media commentary about Modi. Reports from Maldivian media reveal that Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna, and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid, deputy ministers in the youth ministry, faced suspension due to their contentious posts.
Shiuna, in her now-deleted posts, referred to PM Modi as a “clown” and “puppet” in reaction to his Lakshadweep photographs. Similarly, MP Zahid Rameez ridiculed the idea of Lakshadweep competing with the Maldives in terms of tourism, making disparaging remarks about the Indian island.
In New Delhi, it was reported by official sources that the Indian High Commission in Male had promptly addressed the issue with the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.
The ministers’ critical comments sparked significant backlash in India, prompting calls from various Indian celebrities for people to consider domestic travel alternatives, rather than visiting the Maldives.
Social media also buzzed with claims that some Indian tourists were canceling their planned trips to the Maldives as a response to the controversy.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Maldivian ministry of foreign affairs acknowledged the presence of “derogatory remarks” on social media against foreign dignitaries, clarifying that such personal opinions do not reflect the stance of the Maldivian government.
“The Maldivian government recognizes the existence of derogatory comments on social media platforms directed at foreign leaders and dignitaries. It is important to note that these comments are personal views and do not align with the official stance of the Maldives,” the statement read.
(With inputs from agencies)