Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Mariyam Shiuna: Following a ‘disrespectful’ post on the Indian flag, a Maldivian politician apologizes, vowing increased vigilance

Mariyam Shiuna: Following a 'disrespectful' post on the Indian flagMariyam Shiuna: Following a 'disrespectful' post on the Indian flag

Mariyam Shiuna, a Maldivian politician previously suspended this year for making “derogatory remarks” about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has issued an apology on April 8 for a recent post that reportedly disrespected the Indian national flag.

Mariyam Shiuna, one of three deputy ministers suspended earlier this year, expressed regret regarding the new controversy and clarified that her intention was not to show disrespect towards India or its national flag.

“I want to address a recent social media post of mine that has attracted attention and criticism. I offer my sincerest apologies for any confusion or offense caused by the content of my recent post. It has been pointed out to me that the image used in my response to the Maldivian opposition party MDP resembled the Indian flag. I want to emphasize that this was completely unintentional, and I deeply regret any misunderstanding it may have caused, she wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Maldives highly values its relationship and the mutual respect we maintain with India. In the future, I will exercise greater vigilance in verifying the content I share to avoid such oversights, Shiuna added.

What Post Was the Removed?

Shiuna is a deputy minister for the People’s National Congress (PMC), the political party led by Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu.

In the post that has been removed, Shiuna aimed at the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) by substituting its logo with an image resembling the Ashok Chakra, found on the white middle band of the Indian flag.

“The MDP is approaching a major downfall. The Maldivian people are unwilling to stumble and falter along with them,” the post conveyed.

In January 2024, the Maldives government suspended three ministers — Shiuna, Malsha, and Hassan Zihan — for their comments regarding Modi after he visited India’s Lakshadweep islands.

The post by Shiuna, who served as the Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts, included images of Modi during his visit to Lakshadweep and labeled the Indian prime minister as a clown and a puppet of Israel.

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Since his election, Muizzu has pursued multiple initiatives to bolster ties with China and is perceived as pro-China, diverging from past government leaders. Notably, the upcoming parliamentary elections on April 21 in the archipelago nation underscore the continuing importance of the current political discussions.

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