The Maldivian government has expressed concern over anti-India propaganda, warning that spreading hatred and false allegations regarding bilateral ties with neighboring countries not only tarnishes the relations with allies who extends consistent support to the Maldivian people, but also affect the safety and security of their citizens in Maldives, and Maldivians living abroad.
In a statement on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said that attempts were being made to spread misguided and unsubstantiated information to propagate hatred towards India, one of Maldives’ closest bilateral partners, by a small group of individuals and a few political personalities.
The Foreign Ministry said that while the Maldivian government championed freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, it strongly believed the fundamental rights should be exercised in a democratic and responsible manner.
“Spreading hatred and making false allegations regarding bilateral ties with neighboring countries not only tarnishes the relations with trusted allies who extends consistent support to the Maldivian people, but also affect the safety and security of their citizens in Maldives, and Maldivians living abroad,” said the Foreign Ministry.
The Foreign Ministry said that Maldives’ long-standing ties with all its international partners were based on principles of mutual respect and understanding, and in accordance with respective national and international laws.
“Such interactions in the international sphere does not, and will not undermine the Maldives' independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. In fact, they are designed to enhance the Maldives’ national interests, and deliver for the people of the Maldives,” said the Foreign Ministry.
The Foreign Ministry said that the Maldivian government urged all parties, especially the political leadership, to act responsibly, and refrain from spreading false information that undermined Maldives’ cordial relations with its neighbors, and the international community.
The statement comes as the opposition, led by former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, continues to protest against the presence of Indian military personnel in Maldives under the slogan ‘India Military Out’.