Maldivian Ambassador summoned by India's External Affairs Ministry over officials' remarks

Maldivian Ambassador to India, Ibrahim Shaheeb, has been called to India's External Affairs Ministry in response to derogatory comments made by three deputy ministers of the Maldives government about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In standard diplomatic protocol, ambassadors are summoned to express extreme dissatisfaction over significant national issues.

The controversy began on January 4 when Indian PM Modi shared a video promoting tourism in India's Lakshadweep archipelago on social media channels. Despite India being the top tourism market for the Maldives in 2023, numerous comments from Indian nationals on the post implied that they should consider visiting their own territories rather than the Maldives. While both Indians and Maldivians were engaged in back-and-forth banter on social media, the situation escalated when three Deputy Ministers of the Youth Ministry, Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid responded to the original post with derogatory remarks using inappropriate language.

In response to the incident, the three officials have been suspended, and the Maldives government issued a statement asserting its willingness to take action against those who disrespect foreign leaders.