Indian Ambassador to the Maldives Akhilesh Mishra has described the relationship between Maldives and India as ‘far beyond’ conventional diplomacy, as the two nations were strongly tied.
He made the statement speaking in the official function held to mark the 69th Republic Day of India held on Friday evening.
In his address, the Ambassador said that he was ‘very privileged’, having spent two years in the Maldives.
‘Thanks to the support of local authorities we have had great privilege of visiting many parts of this beautiful country from Addu to Haa Alif. And were ever we have been, we have experienced something very special, very heartwarming… I was overwhelmed to see that much before I became the ambassador, before I went and touched the beautiful soil of the islands, the Indian culture, the affinity between people in terms of language, culture and folklore and the way of life was there already. This is India – Maldives relationship, it’s far beyond diplomacy,’ he said.
Mishra also reflected on the importance of marking the Republic Day.
‘It is a solemn occasion to reaffirm our collective faith in the values of constitution. Complete commitment to rule of law. Values and ideals the constitution enshrines, in terms of individual freedom, in terms of individual rights, the dignity of human beings, the fraternity, equality and liberty. And also, it is not just about safe guarding our rights but also reminding ourselves each one of us the responsibilities, of the duty of a very diverse, very multicultural, very complex multi-layered society,’ he added.
The Ambassador said that his nation was focused on delivering transparent, accountable good governance, reforming society, reforming regulations and in the process making India an easy place to do business.
Mishra’s address also cautioned against isolation.
‘Our sages and vedas had cautioned us, that the existence of the human being is not and cannot be seen in isolation. Individual human being and human existence is but a tiny part of global society,’ he added.
The ceremony was attended by senior Government figures, including Defense Minister Adam Shareef Umar, Gender Minister Zeneesha Shaheed Zaki, State Minister for Health Ministry, Dunya Maumoon, with Health Minister Abdullah Nazim as the guest of honour,
Health Minister Nazim delivered a brief speech, where he reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to India, thanking it for the invaluable services rendered over the years.
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, son MP Ahmed Faris Maumoon, daughter Yumna Maumoon, Parliamentarians from the opposition and senior political figures were also in attendance.
The evening featured collaborations from both Indian and local artists.
The celebration came at a time when relations had soured over the China Maldives Free Trade Agreement. While the Government claims this will not impact relations with Maldives and India, cracks were observed in this relationship. Back in December, Indian press was abuzz with news that Ambassador Mishra was under surveillance. The government had denied these claims, with Foreign Minister Dr Asim making a hasty visit to India as the President’s special envoy, where he reaffirmed commitment to India Maldives ties.
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