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Maldives govt highlights zero-tolerance to terror after politician threatens to set Indian HC ablaze

Condemning the disgraceful comments, Maldives government led by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said that India remains the island nation's closest development partner (Image courtesy: Maldives President's Office)

The Maldives government on Saturday issued a strong statement strongly condemning the incitement of arson and terrorism targeted at the High Commission of India in the capital Male.

A member of the opposition PPM Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Abbas Adil Riza recently tweeted that New Delhi was behind the overthrowing of Mohamed Nasheed’s government in 2012.

Citing that revenge is yet to be taken over the issue, Abbas threatened to set ablaze the Indian High Commission in Male.

Interestingly, Riza served as Commissioner General of Customs and the trade representative of Maldives to Malaysia under former President Abdulla Yameen between 2013 to 2018.

Facing a number of corruption charges, Yameen, who experts reckon continues to be backed extensively by China, has also been accused of reinvigorating the ‘India Out’ campaign as the archipelagic nation gets ready for the 2023 presidential elections.

“The government is investigating this threat very seriously and all necessary precautionary measures have been taken by the authorities,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.

Radicals disrupted the International Yoga Day celebrations in Male, earlier this year

As it continues to fight the flames of religious extremism fanned by certain elements, the current government led by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih asserted that such threats of “malicious intent aimed at undermining the security of the diplomatic corps” and disrupting public safety will not be tolerated.

“Calls for arson on High Commission of India is an act of terror and is strongly condemned. Kindly be assured that HEP @Ibusolih’s Zero Tolerance on Terror will be enforced. India is our closest development partner and attempts to stop development for the people of Maldives will not be tolerated,” tweeted Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi.

Several top political parties of the island nation, including the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Maldives Reform Movement (MRM), and Maldives Third-Way Democrats (MTD) also slammed the remarks made by the PPM politician.

“The MDP condemns in the strongest terms the call for an arson attack on the Indian High Commission, and calls on the authorities to investigate the matter. The MDP also condemns the opposition’s continuous effort to incite violence & hatred towards friendly nations,” tweeted the largest political party in the Maldives.

Attaching Riza tweet, the MTD spotlighted that India remains Maldives’ closest neighbour and has always there been for the country every time it needed support.

With two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments and half of all container ships passing through its waters, Maldives remains a geo-strategically important country, especially with the growing presence of China in the Indian Ocean Region.

A key maritime neighbour, Maldives continues to occupy an important place in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and the ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Narendra Modi government.

New Delhi is assisting the development of several infrastructure projects in the Maldives through grants-in-aid and Lines of Credit in line with the priorities and development needs of the people of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (File image courtesy: PIB)

The major infrastructure projects include the development of the Greater Male Connectivity Project, Roads and Reclamation in Addu city, the establishment of water and sewerage networks in 34 islands, redevelopment of Gan and Hanimaadhoo airports, construction of a new port in Gulhifalhu, upgrade of MIFCO fish-processing facilities, development of Hulhumale cricket stadium, a cancer hospital and sports infrastructure facilities in Male’ and outer islands. These projects are at various stages of implementation.

In addition, the conservation of the Friday Mosque in Male is currently underway by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that besides the major initiatives, a total of 45 small and medium-scale high-impact projects are also being implemented for socio-economic and local community development.

“The National College for Policing and Law Enforcement Studies (NCPLE), was recently completed and the facility has been handed over to the Maldives Police Service,” he revealed.

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