Maldives Police Service (MPS) has ordered the removal of banners calling for the removal of Indian military officials stationed in the country.
MPS on Wednesday dispatched a notice to H. Hurafa, the official address of the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), stating that the banner hung on the residence needs to be removed. The notice further said that any sentiments, displays, or depictions denigrating another country, damaging bilateral relations between other nations and the Maldives, and harming Maldivians living abroad cannot be allowed.
MPS had described this movement as divisive. Quoting clause 615 (a) (6) of the Penal Code, Police said that the sentiments of those banners "creates a hazardous, physically offensive, or seriously alarming condition by an act that serves no legitimate purpose" and therefore, the banners have to be removed.
This development came after Parliament Speaker former President Mohamed Nasheed voiced his displeasure on the matter.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Speaker Nasheed said that internal matters of foreign nations were of no concern to the Maldives, and as such, banners critical of the internal policies of those nations were a violation of the Penal Code.