Maldivian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Zahiya Zareer has assured local media that Maldivian citizens have not been caught up in the Buddhist-Muslim clashes that killed three and injured dozens over the weekend.
The Sri Lankan government has imposed a curfew on the southern towns of Beruwala and Alutgama after a Buddhist rally in the area on Sunday was followed by attacks on Muslims – who make up around 10 percent of the population.
“The tensions have not reached areas inhabited by Maldivians yet. There is no imminent danger to Maldivians. Even the Sri Lankan government has not yet given us any indications of this,” Zareer told Haveeru.
Meanwhile, the Maldives High Commission in Colombo announced the start of Dhivehi, Islam, and Quran classes for Maldivians living in the country.
President Abdulla Yameen has filled the posts of Maldivian High Commissioner in both Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The president appointed Zahiya Zareer of Galolhu Zafna to the post of High Commissioner to Sri Lanka while Major General (Retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel was appointed to the vacant post in Pakistan.
Zahiya Zareer served as education minister during former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration.
Major General (Retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel acted as chief of the defence force during the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The Majlis today unanimously approved Zahiya Zareer as the Malidves’ ambassador to Sri Lanka with 49 votes.
Zareer previously served as the Minister of Education in President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration and ran for parliament.
President Abulla Yameen’s nomination for the ambassador for Pakistan, Major General (Rt) Moosa Ali Jaleel was also sent for review by the National Security Committee as per parliament regulations.
Jaleel was the Chief of Defence Force under President Mohamed Nasheed and is revered as a national hero for his services during the attempted coup by Tamil mercenaries in 1988.
However , president Yameen today withdrew the name of Hassan Sobir whom he earlier nominated as the new ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. No official reason was given for the withdrawal.
Sobir served as the tourism minister and fisheries minister in President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. He also served as the ambassador for Singapore and the UK.