The Maldivian government has refused to make an official statement regarding the atrocities being committed by the central Indian government in Lakshadweep, an archipelago 70 miles outside of Maldivian territory.
The series of atrocities began in Lakshadweep with the appointment of Praful Patel by the central Indian government. Patel, who is a close friend and ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was quick to introduce and implement a series of dubious and inhumane laws and regulations in the archipelago, of which Minicoy or Maliku is a part. These include, but are not limited to, a ban on the use and consumption of meat from any kind of livestock; and permitting the sale of alcohol. In addition, regulations have been rolled out which allow the authorities to detain any citizens without any public disclosure for a period of up to one year, as well as to confiscate and demolish any homes and mosques on the islands, under the pretext of road development.
And while Maldivian citizens continue to express their concerns and fears regarding these atrocities, when asked about the Maldivian government’s stance on the matter, Mabrouk Azeez who is the Spokesperson for the President’s Office – and thus the Maldivian government – proved unable to answer the question. When “The Maldivian Journal” reached out to the Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid for a statement, he chose to say nothing. Similarly, Miuvaan Mohamed, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remained mum upon being asked what the ministry’s stand on the matter was.
This is not the first time that the Solih administration has chosen silence in the face of such atrocities and inhumanity displayed by the Indian government. For instance, when the government of India revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, thereby stripping the state of Jammu and Kashmir of autonomy, Maldives chose to say nothing. If that were not enough, Maldives also chose to defend this decision of the Indian government when Pakistan submitted a motion to the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) regarding the matter.
As the citizens of Lakshadweep continue to raise their voices and protest against these inhumane Indian policies and regulations that threaten their very way of life, the Vice President of Minicoy Village Dweep Panchayat, Dr. Muneer Manikfan has urged the citizens of Maldives to pray for the people of Minicoy.