Foreign Ministry requests local media to respect diplomatic relations

Maldives Foreign Ministry has requested local media to work in such a way that the country's diplomatic relations with other countries are not affected. The Foreign Ministry made the request while the Indian High Commission in the Maldives has requested the ministry to take action against local media that publish content that criticizes India.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Friday said recurring content recently published by some local media have targeted foreign ambassadors to the Maldives, diplomatic missions, and the member of the missions, and that such malicious content massacre the dignity of said individuals. Such actions will affect the age-old relationships the Maldives enjoys with its bilateral partners and will create enmity and hatred in the hearts of Maldivian citizens towards its diplomatic partners. Such actions will also endanger the diplomats and puts them at risk, while also affecting their performance and efficiency, said the statement.

The statement also referred to article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states that the receiving state of any diplomatic state must treat the agent with due respect, and take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom, and dignity. Therefore, all media are encouraged to work within the boundaries set by the international convention and in such a way that bilateral relations with foreign countries are not affected, said the statement.

AVAS has seen a copy of the written request sent to the Foreign Ministry by the Indian High Commission requesting to take action against local media. The letter expressed concern over some articles published by local media and how they portrayed the neighboring country in an unpleasant light. It also said the High Commission's work was being hindered due to the articles, and that it attacked the dignity of the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, Sanjay Sudhir. Therefore, action must be taken against media that publish such content, the letter said.

When asked regarding the matter, the Indian High Commission declined to comment on the issue.