Diplomacy Politics

No Threat to Indians in Maldives, Swamy Imagining Things: Maldivian Ambassador

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hands with Maldives President Abdulla Yameen before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi May 27, 2014. Modi was sworn in as India's prime minister in an elaborate ceremony at New Delhi's resplendent presidential palace on Monday, after a sweeping election victory that ended two terms of rule by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA - Tags: POLITICS) - GM1EA5R19JV01

The Maldives is set to go to polls next month. While the Indian government has distanced itself from Swamy’s statement, Swamy went further ahead and said that the invasion was necessary if Indians were to be protected.

New Delhi: Just hours after senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy called for an invasion of Maldives by India to “protect Indians” there, Maldives ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed on Thursday said that the statement was nothing but a figment of his imagination.

Speaking exclusively to News18, Mohamed said that the expatriate Indian community in the Maldives was highly valued by the Maldivian society and that all expat communities, including those from India, had been productively contributing to the Maldives economy.

“Maldives has always recognised the contribution and importance of the expat community to the island nation, and always ensure the safety of all individuals and businesses,” he said.

The Ambassador’s statement comes just three days after the Maldivian Foreign office summoned Indian envoy Akhilesh Mishra over Swamy’s call to ‘invade’ the island country ‘in case of rigging during elections’.
Maldives is set to go to polls next month. While the Indian government has distanced itself from Swamy’s statement, Swamy went further ahead and said that the invasion was necessary if Indians were to be protected.

Maldives Independent had recently reported that Indians in the island nation were uncertain about their future there as the Maldivian government under President Yameen has “watered down the traditional India first policy”. It stated that both countries were denying visas to citizens of the other country.

Mohamed also reflected on history, stating that the Maldives had been hosting Indians in the country since the 1850s and there has never been a single instance where their safety has been a matter of debate.

“From the Vorah merchants earlier to the Indian businesses that have come up over the past 50 years such as electronic shops, banks, tourist resorts etc., the Maldives has always provided a conducive business environment for all. And contrary to the claims made by this particular individual, none of the expatriate community in the Maldives has ever been subject to reprisals or threats of any sort. The safety and security of all expatriates are of paramount importance to the Government of Maldives,” Ahmed told News18.

The strategically-located Indian Ocean island nation is an important neighbour for India and both countries were enhancing defence and security cooperation, particularly in the maritime sphere, in the last several years.

However, the ties came under strain after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared Emergency in the country on February 5, following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials. India had criticised the Yameen government for the imposition of the Emergency and urged it to restore the credibility of the electoral process.

Additionally, India is yet to take back the helicopters it had given to the Maldives, despite the Maldives giving a deadline of June 30 for the same. There were recent reports of Maldives keeping the choppers, but there has been no official word on it.

The two Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters were said to be a gift from India to the Maldives in 2013. One of them was operated by the Indian Coast Guard and the other one by the Indian Navy. The Maldivian government under Abdulla Yameen made it clear earlier this year that it wanted India to take back the copters and the crew, which includes around 6 pilots, by the end of June.

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2 Comments on "No Threat to Indians in Maldives, Swamy Imagining Things: Maldivian Ambassador"

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Mumbaikar
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Firstly understand- Swami is a maglomaniac and belongs to RSS. RSS has a motto to bring the subcontinent under hindutva vedhic manu dharma based religious rule. It is no way less dangerous than ISS. with Modi in power, Democratic socialist republic of India is no more exists. Present India is equivalent to Talebanic Afghanistan!! So don’t take any democracy lessons from India. The small countries in this region are at most risk from India than China or any other country. The current prime minister himself someone organized a massacre that took over two thousand lives. The so called liberals in… Read more »
MumbaiMadam
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MaleMoron, India is a free and secular democracy today because 80% of its people are hindus. When muslims are in the majority you get ‘Islamic Republics’ and ‘100% Muslim’ countries and democracy goes out of the window.. You can see the effects of radical islam in much of the middle east today. Not one muslim majority country can be termed democratic or progressive……..Maldives is a classic example. Why is it that most displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers in the world today are from muslim majority couutries? Why do they always want to settle in non muslim countries? Pakistan is… Read more »