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Maldives Minister suspended for anti-Modi remark, apologises after uproar over post on Indian flag

Male: Maldivian politician Mariyam Shiuna, who was among the three ministers suspended earlier this year over their remarks against Indian leadership, has offered her "sincerest apologies" for a fresh post that allegedly disrespected the Indian National Flag.
Shiuna, who has now deleted the said post, said she did not intend to disrespect the Indian Tricolour and regrets any misunderstanding it may have caused. She stated that Maldives deeply values its ties with India and the mutual respect between the two nations. She also committed to remain more vigilant in verifying the content in future.
In a post on X, Mariyum Shiuna stated, "I would like to address a recent social media post of mine that has garnered attention and criticism. 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 in my response to the Maldivian opposition party MDP bore a resemblance to the Indian flag."
"I want to make it clear that this was entirely unintentional, and I sincerely regret any misunderstanding it may have caused. Maldives deeply value its relationship and, the mutual respect we share with India. In future, I will be more vigilant in verifying the content I share to prevent such oversights," she said
The post, which has since been deleted, showed the Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) campaign poster, where the party's logo was replaced with what appears like Ashok Chakra in the Indian flag.
Earlier in January, the Maldives government suspended three ministers over their derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Mahzoom Majid were suspended over their remarks against PM Modi, which triggered a massive backlash.
The row erupted after three Maldivian deputy ministers made derogatory comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, over his pictures from the visit to Lakshadweep. PM Modi had called for the Indian island cluster to be developed as a destination for beach tourism and the promotion of domestic tourism.
The matter snowballed into a major diplomatic row, with New Delhi summoning the Maldivian envoy and registering a strong protest against the viral posts. The three deputy ministers were suspended and they remain under suspension with pay.
Notably, ties between India and the Maldives had become strained since Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu assumed office. He criticised India during and after the presidential polls and his government also formally requested India to withdraw its troops from Male. However, in March, Muizzu requested New Delhi for debt relief measures, while stating that India would continue to remain the Maldives' "closest ally," local media reported.
He further claimed that he has "not taken any action nor made any statements" that may strain the relationship between the two countries. In an interview with local media 'Mihaaru', Muizzu said that he hopes India will accommodate debt relief measures for the Maldives' in the repayment of the hefty loans taken from the country over consecutive governments, Adhadhu reported.
"The conditions we have inherited are such that there are very large loans taken from India. Hence, we are holding discussions to explore leniencies in the repayment structure of these loans. Instead of halting any ongoing projects, proceed with them at speed. So I see no reason for any adverse effects [on Maldives-India relations]," he said.

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