Saturday 20th Jul 2024
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Minister Ahmed Shiyaam

Indian High Commission's Request to Reprimand Media is Concerning: Shiyam

Parliament representative for Naifaru constituency Ahmed Shiyam has expressed his concern regarding the Indian High Commission's request to the Maldivian government to reprimand some Maldivian media outlets.
Shiyam addressed the issue following a leaked letter from the Indian High Commission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after Dhiyares and the Maldives Journal published a report on Deputy Indian High Commissioner Rohit Rathish.
A senior government official informed TMJ that the Indian High Commission wished to draw the Foreign Ministry's attention to "recent, recurring articles and social media posts attacking the dignity of the High Commission, the Head of the Mission, and members of diplomatic staff".
They further described the supposed attacks as "motivated, malicious, and increasingly personal".
In the letter, the Indian High Commission referred to Article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, reminding the government of Maldives that the diplomatic agent is inviolable. However, it should be noted that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations does not forbid the media and individuals from criticizing diplomats and their sending states.
The High Commission stated that they believed the "repeated attacks" were undertaken to create enmity and hatred between the people and the government of Maldives, and the people and the government of India.
The High Commission of India made two requests in the letter. First, to ensure enhanced protection of the premises of the mission, resident of the High Commissioner, and residences of other diplomats. Second, to take action against individuals or media outlets that are critical of India.
MP Shiyam tweeted that a foreign country having that great of an influence over Maldives is concerning, and the Constitution of Maldives does not allow for media outlets to be reprimanded upon foreign embassies' requests.
While the Foreign Ministry has not called on Maldives Media Council, parliament representative for Meedhoo constituency Rozaina Adam requested the council to take action. Members of the Committee on Independent Institutions, headed by Rozaina, also appealed to council members to act.
A message from Rozaina to the Independent Institutions Committee stated that the Deputy Indian High Commissioner was concerned in regards to his security due to reports in the media.
She claimed she had reached out to President of the Maldives Media Council Shahuban Fahmy to investigate the matter. MP Rozaina also claimed that she believed the committee should consider the matter seriously and treat it as such.