Diplomacy Politics

Island council suspended for meeting India’s ambassador to the Maldives

Three councillors have been suspended for meeting India’s ambassador to the Maldives, days after authorities banned local officials from hosting foreign diplomats without prior consent.

The decision to punish the Gaafu Alifu representatives was made at a board meeting of the Local Government Authority on Wednesday. The Maldives Independent has seen a copy of the LGA letter sent to the island council.

Diplomats were quick to condemn the LGA’s ban, announced Monday night.

The LGA letter said the three-member council met with an unnamed foreign diplomat after the authority had warned against doing so without written permission from Malé.

The trio will be suspended for three months without pay and the council secretariat has been asked to deny them access to council premises and documents during the suspension. The councillors are Ahmed Fuad, Ahmed Nazmeen and Hussein Adam.

Speaking to the Maldives Independent, Fuad denied any meeting with a diplomat had taken place after the LGA circular issued.

“We were having dinner with the Indian Ambassador Akhilesh Mishra around the time LGA issued the circular. We received a copy of the circular more than half an hour after the dinner meeting,” he said.

Fuad tweeted a photo of the LGA circular at 6:05 pm and then, three hours later, tweeted an image of himself having dinner with the ambassador.

Indian embassy officials were unavailable for comment.

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