8 Jan 2024

Online travel company EaseMyTrip made this announcement amidst row over Maldives MP post

As the campaign to boycott Maldives is gaining momentum, online travel companyEaseMyTrip has announced to suspend all bookings of flights going there.

The company has also said that it will bring many unique and special offers to boost tourism in Lakshadweep.

The company's co-founder and CEO Nishant Pitti wrote on social media site X, "In solidarity with our country, Ease My Trip has suspended booking of all flights to Maldives."

He said this while retweeting a tweet by his brother Prashant Pitti, another co-founder of this company.

In his tweet, Nishant Pitti tagged PM Narendra Modi, Tourism Minister Kishan Reddy, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. And many hash tags like Lakshadweep Tourism, Supporting Nation have been used.

Maldivian Ex-Deputy Speaker Condemns Derogatory Comments

Amidst the escalating tensions between the Maldives and India, sparked by derogatory remarks from three Maldivian ministers directed at Prime Minister Modi and India, former Maldives Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla labeled the comments as "shameful and racist." Abdulla, who is also a current Member of Parliament, issued a public apology to India and urged an end to the boycott campaign against the Maldives.

Origins of the Dispute

The dispute originated when Maldivian ministers made disparaging comments in response to PM Modi's posts featuring his visit to Lakshadweep, where he shared images and videos of snorkeling and relaxation on pristine beaches. Social media users subsequently advocated for Lakshadweep as an alternative holiday destination to the Maldives.

Appeal to End Boycott Campaign

Abdulla appealed to the Indian populace to halt the #BoycottMaldives social media campaign and encouraged them to reconsider visiting the Maldives for holidays. She acknowledged the justifiable anger among Indians but emphasized that the offensive remarks did not represent the sentiments of the Maldivian people.

"Comments from one or two individuals should not be taken as a reflection of the broader Maldivian perspective. We extend a personal apology to the people of India for these regrettable comments and earnestly request a return to normalcy in our bilateral relations," she stated.

India-Maldives Ties

Highlighting the significance of robust India-Maldives ties, Abdulla underscored the island nation's dependence on India for economic prosperity, trade, education, and tourism. She expressed optimism that the offensive comments were isolated incidents and urged the Maldivian government to take decisive action against those responsible.

"This attitude is not representative of the Maldivian government's stance towards India. We hope that such comments are isolated occurrences, and the current administration will take stringent measures against anyone making similar remarks to prevent their recurrence," Abdulla asserted.

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