Suspended Maldives Minister apologises after post on Indian flag sparks outrage

Suspended Maldives Minister Mariyam Shiuna's post, which has since been deleted, showed an opposition party's campaign poster mixed with the Tricolour ahead of parliamentary elections in the Maldives.
Suspended Maldives Minister apologises after post on Indian flag sparks outrage
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Suspended Maldives Minister Mariyam Shiuna has apologised after a social media post, in which she shared an image that allegedly disrespected the Indian national flag, sparked outrage.

Mariyam Shiuna belongs to Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's ruling party and used her now-deleted social media post to call for a vote for her party. "The MDP is heading towards a big slip. The people of Maldives don't want to fall and slip with them," read the post.

The Maldivian Minister’s post triggered severe backlash from Indian social media users, who stridently called for President Muizzu to take stern action against Shiuna. In the wake of the furore, Shiuna deleted th post before tendering an apology.

"I extend my sincerest apologies for any confusion or offence caused by the content of my recent post. It was brought to my attention that the image used in my response to the Maldivian opposition party MDP bore a resemblance to the Indian flag. I want to make it clear that this was entirely unintentional, and I sincerely regret any misunderstanding it may have caused," she said in a post on X.

Shiuna added that Maldives deeply values its relationship with India and respects the country.

Despite the tensions, India remains a crucial economic partner for the Maldives, serving as a major source of imports and a key provider of essential commodities like rice and medicine for the island nation. New Delhi recently renewed the quota to import essential commodities to Male for the coming year.

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Suspended Maldives Minister apologises after post on Indian flag sparks outrage

The Maldives recently requested the withdrawal of Indian military personnel stationed there, sparking discussions between the two nations towards finding a "mutually workable solution". Last month, the first batch of Indian personnel exited the Maldives, with the deadline for complete withdrawal set for May.

Source: India Today

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