Maldives express concern over comments by Sri Lankan army chief

The Maldivian government has expressed concern regarding comments made by Army Chief of Sri Lanka Lt.Gen. Mahesh Senanayake in an interview to an Indian media.

In the interview, Mahesh Senanayake said that the second highest number of ISIS fighters of the region is from Maldives.

“I think you know that the second highest number of ISIS fighters of the region is from Maldives. These are the facts. They cannot go back to Maldives. They could use this as a transit point or a holding point. These are unnecessary geopolitical situations that are created. That is only concerning ISIS. Then there are many powers that are taking advantages of it, both regional powers and world powers, because we are located at the most strategically-important point of the world.”, said Mahesh.

Communications Director of the Foreign Ministry Mohamed Miuwaan spoke to AVAS on Sunday night and stated that the Maldivian government is very concerned over the statement by the Sri Lankan Army Chief.

Miuwaan said the government has discussed the effects of the Chief’s comments on Maldivians living in Sri Lanka with the Sri Lankan government.

Elaborating further, he confirmed that the Maldivian government has requested the Sri Lankan government to take necessary action to ensure the safety of the Maldivian people in Sri Lanka. While no official authorities have confirmed the involvement of Maldivians in last month’s terrorist attacks on Sri Lanka, Chief Mahesh’s statement may cause confusion regarding the involvement of Maldivians in the attack, and ignite hatred against Maldivians. Further stating that making such a comment to the media is an irresponsible act, the government of Maldives has requested Sri Lankan authorities to release a statement that outlines the reality of the attack Easter Sunday attacks, revealed Miuwaan.

“Maldives will continue to assist neighboring nations during times like these. We will work with other countries in the region in the effort to ensure that the South Asian region and the Indian ocean is free from terrorist acts”, he said.