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Maldivian Leader Issues Apology Over ‘Disrespectful’ Indian Flag Post

Mariyam Shiuna, a Maldivian politician who is among three deputy ministers suspended earlier this year over social media posts targeting the Indian political leadership – the remarks had triggered a diplomatic row – has offered “sincerest apologies” for a fresh post that allegedly disrespected the Indian Tricolour.

Shiuna, who has since deleted the said post, clarified that she did not intend to disrespect India or the country’s national flag.

“I extend my sincerest apologies for any confusion or offence caused by the content of my recent post. It was brought to my attention that the image used by me bore a resemblance to the Indian flag. I want to make it clear that this was entirely unintentional. In future, I will be more vigilant in verifying the content I share, to prevent such oversights,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

She added that the image was meant to take a jibe at the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP); the archipelago nation will hold parliamentary elections on April 21.

“Maldives deeply values its relationship, and the mutual respect we share with India,” the suspended deputy minister, who belongs to President Mohamed Muizzu’s ruling People’s National Congress (PNC), said.

In the deleted post, which targeted the opposition MDP’s campaign poster, the opposition party’s logo was replaced with what looks like the Ashok Chakra; in the Indian flag, the Navy Blue-coloured Ashok Chakra appears on the white central band.

“The MDP is heading towards a big slip. The people of Maldives do not want to fall and slip with them,” the post read.

In January, Shiuna and two colleagues – Abdulla Mahzoom Majid and Malsha Shareef – were suspended by the Muizzu government, which is widely seen as anti-India and pro-China. The ministers’ comments stemmed from what they saw as the Indian leadership attempting to promote the country’s Lakshadweep islands as a tourist destination that rivals the Maldives.

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(Source: HT)

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