Maldives Minister Zahid Rameez sparked controversy by tweeting remarks ‘mocking’ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Lakshadweep archipelago. Rameez accused India of “copying a small economy like Sri Lanka” to make money.
He said, “It is very sad that a big country like India is trying to make money by copying a small economy like Sri Lanka.”
The controversy intensified as people on the internet compared pictures of PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit with the popular tourist destination Maldives, known for its beautiful beaches.
In another tweet on January 5, Minister Rameez claimed that PM Modi’s move is a “big setback” for the Maldives and “will boost” tourism in Lakshadweep. He questioned India’s ability to compete, saying, “How can they provide the service we offer? How can they be so clean? The permanent smell in the rooms will be the biggest downfall.”
The controversial remarks led to widespread criticism, with calls to “boycott Maldives” trending on social media. In response, Minister Rameez retweeted a post defending the government’s stance and asserting independence from external influences.
Another minister, Mariyam Shiuna, also faced backlash for derogatory remarks against PM Modi, calling him a “clown” and “puppet.” The tweets were later deleted following criticism on the micro-blogging site.