An editorial attacking India and branding its prime minister a “Hindu extremist” has been pulled from a pro-government website.
The Vaguthu article blasted India, saying it was not a best friend but an enemy and that it viewed the Maldives with “envy, self-interest and hostility.”
It provoked condemnation from two former presidents, Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and outraged headlines in the Indian media.
Relations between the two countries have been in the spotlight since the Maldives signed a massive free trade agreement with China, apparently catching India off guard. Articles in Chinese state media, taking a swipe at New Delhi, have stirred things up as has Malé’s decision to suspend three councillors for meeting India’s ambassador to the Maldives.
New Delhi has so far offered a subdued response to developments, saying it welcomed the development of bilateral relations between China and the Maldives as long as it contributed to the peace and stability in the region.
It has not commented on the councillors’ suspension or the editorial, which accused India of violating international law in Kashmir and being Islamophobic towards India’s Muslim population.
It is not clear why the Vaguthu editorial was pulled.