Indian film guild urges Maldives boycott amid diplomatic standoff

New Delhi, Jan 15 (EFE).- An Indian film guild has called for a boycott of the Maldives amid rising diplomatic tensions, as the Indian island nation has started aligned itself more closely with China.

“I appeal the Indian film industry to not shoot movies in the Maldives and no one should go to the Maldives for their holidays,” All India Cine Workers Association (AICWA) head Suresh Shyamlal said in a recorded video published by Indian news agency ANI.

“Don’t put anything related to Maldives on your social media platforms…There are several islands in India, please promote them,” Shyamlal said.

The boycott call comes a day after the Maldivian government requested India to remove its military assets from the archipelago by Mar. 15, following weeks of diplomatic friction.

The recent trigger points include mockery by Maldivian politicians of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Indian government published photographs of him in the Lakshadweep archipelago, near the Maldives, to promote domestic tourism.

The root of the dispute goes back to the victory of pro-China Mohamed Muizzu in the presidential race last September. Muizzu’s “anti-India” election campaign called for India to remove its assets from the island.

In a departure from diplomatic tradition, Muizzu chose not to visit New Delhi on his first official trip as president, opting instead for visits to Turkey and China last week to strengthen their strategic cooperative partnership.

The Maldives, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, has been of special interest to both India and China, with both nations vying for influence on the continent and viewing the archipelago as a maritime gateway to South Asia. EFE


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