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Suspended Maldives Minister Issues Apology Following Controversy Over Post On Indian Flag

Mariyam Shiuna, a suspended Minister from the Maldives, issued an apology for a social media post featuring an image perceived to disrespect the Indian national flag. The post, which was deleted, showed an opposition party's campaign poster with the Ashok Chakra on the Indian Tricolour

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Apr 8, 2024 10:04 IST
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Maldives Ex Minister
Maldives Ex Minister

Mariyam Shiuna, the suspended Minister from the Maldives, issued an apology following a controversial social media post. The post, featuring an image that was perceived to disrespect the Indian national flag, ignited widespread anger.

The now-deleted post displayed a campaign poster from an opposition party, which had replaced the party’s logo with the Ashok Chakra on the Indian Tricolour. This occurred in anticipation of parliamentary elections in the Maldives.

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Mariyam Shiuna, a member of Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu’s ruling party, utilized her now-deleted social media post to advocate for votes for her party. The post stated, “The MDP is heading towards a big slip. The people of Maldives don’t want to fall and slip with them.”

The social media post by the Maldivian Minister sparked strong condemnation from Indian social media users, who demanded President Muizzu to take decisive action against Shiuna. Following the uproar, Shiuna deleted the post and subsequently issued an apology.

In a statement posted on X, Mariyam Shiuna expressed her deepest apologies for any confusion or offense caused by her recent post. She acknowledged that the image she used in response to the Maldivian opposition party MDP bore a resemblance to the Indian flag, which was brought to her attention. She emphasized that this resemblance was entirely unintentional and expressed sincere regret for any misunderstanding it may have caused.

Shiuna further emphasized that the Maldives highly values its relationship with India and holds deep respect for the country.

The incident occurred against the backdrop of a diplomatic dispute between India and the Maldives, which escalated following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep in January 2024. During his visit, PM Modi shared promotional content about Lakshadweep’s beauty on social media, which prompted disparaging remarks from Maldivian officials, including Shiuna, directed towards India and the Prime Minister.

Despite the strained relations, India continues to be a vital economic ally for the Maldives. It serves as a significant source of imports and plays a crucial role in providing essential commodities such as rice and medicine to the island nation. Recently, New Delhi renewed the quota for importing essential commodities to Male for the upcoming year, highlighting the ongoing economic cooperation between the two countries.

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First published on: Apr 08, 2024 10:03 AM IST

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