Maldives asks Lanka to clarify claims made by army chief

Maldives asks Lanka to clarify claims made by army chief

May 20, 2019   06:32 pm

The Maldives has denounced Sri Lankan Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake’s remarks about Maldivians traveling to Syria through Colombo.

Speaking about the Easter Sunday bombings and extremist elements within the region, Senanayake told an Indian TV channel that citizens from many countries travel through Sri Lanka to go fight in the Syrian civil war, the second highest of which were Maldivians. 

Over the past five years, dozens of Maldivians joined militant groups fighting in Syria and Iraq. The authorities estimate the current figure at 69, excluding women and children.

Miuvan Mohamed, director general of communications at the foreign ministry, said Senanayake’s comments were “irresponsible” and could possibly be harmful to Maldivians living in the neighboring country.

“Authorities in Sri Lanka did not say that any Maldivians participated in the terrorist attack last month. However Senanayake’s comments on the Maldives was said in a manner that could incite hatred towards Maldivians and in a way that could distort the truth about the terrorist attack,” he told the Maldives Independent.

The Maldives has formally asked the Sri Lankan government to issue a statement to clarify Senanayake’s comments.

Some 15,000 Maldivians reside in Sri Lanka, based mainly in the capital Colombo. According to media reports, several families have been returning due to targeting and harassment of Muslims in the wake of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that claimed over 250 lives.

Five Maldivians were arrested in a security sweep after the terrorist attacks. Two Maldivian men remain in custody after authorities found literature related to the Islamic State terror group in their home.

Source: Maldives Independent

Disclaimer: All the comments will be moderated by the AD editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or slanderous. Please avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment and avoid typing all capitalized comments. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by flagging them(mouse over a comment and click the flag icon on the right side). Do use these forums to voice your opinions and create healthy discourse.

Most Viewed Video Stories

SL's tax expenditures expected to be significantly lower due to recent policy reforms (English)

SL's tax expenditures expected to be significantly lower due to recent policy reforms (English)

Entire nation must be grateful to President Ranil – Wajira Abeywardena (English)

Sri Lankans celebrate dawn of Sinhala and Tamil New Year (English)

Ranjith Siyambalapitiya vows to provide relief through tax revenue (English)

LIVE🔴Ada Derana Prime Time News Bulletin 6.55 pm

Govt. distributes Avurudu gifts to nearly 10,000 kids at child development centers island-wide

Over 700 prison inmates pardoned for Sinhala & Tamil New Year

Dawn of Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrated tonight