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Maldives expresses concern over Sri Lanka Army Chief remarks

Miuvan Mohamed, director general of communications at the Maldives foreign ministry told our correspondent in Colombo that Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shaheed had a conversation with his Sri Lankan counterpart Thilak Marapana on Monday in this regard.

Maldives foreign minister is reported to have conveyed that such statements could harm the safety of Maldivians living in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan foreign minister had assured safety of Maldivians, who consider Sri Lanka as their second home.

The developments came as Sri Lanakn army commander is reported to have told a 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.

Miuvan said that authorities in Sri Lanka did not say that any Maldivians participated in the terrorist attack last month but commander’s comments was said in a manner that could incite hatred towards Maldivians.

Maldives has formally asked the Sri Lankan government to issue a statement to clarify army commander’s comments. Some 15,000 Maldivians reside in Sri Lanka, mainly in capital Colombo which is second largest city for Maldivians after Male. Hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise in Sri Lanka after  Easter Sunday suicide bombings that claimed over 250 lives including 45 foreigners.

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