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Sri Lankan army leader's claims must be verified: Maldives

Raif Amyl Jalyl
20 May 2019, MVT 13:38
A Sri Lankan Army soldier stands guard outside the St. Theresa's church as the Catholic churches hold services again after the Easter attacks in Colombo on May 12, 2019. - Thousands of Catholics attended mass in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on May 12 amid tight security to prevent a repeat of Easter bomb attacks that killed 258 people. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI / AFP)
Raif Amyl Jalyl
20 May 2019, MVT 13:38

Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday requested detailed clarifications of Sri Lankan army leader Mahesh Senanayake's claims that Maldivians are travelling through Sri Lanka to partake in the Syrian civil war.

Foreign Ministry's Director of Communications Miuvan Mohamed stated that the current administration is concerned over the declaration Senanayake had made on a television channel.

Miuvan revealed that discussions were held with the Sri Lankan government over any issues that may be faced by Maldivians living in Sri Lanka, in relation to Senanayake's claims. He stated that the government also requested that measures be taken to ensure safety and protection for the Maldivian residents.

He noted that investigations into the terror attacks that took place in Sri Lanka on April 21 did not reveal a single case of Maldivian involvement till date.

Miuvan asserted that Maldives would always be committed in the collaborative work of countries in the South Asian and Indian Ocean region to combat terrorism.

Sri Lanka's Army Chief Mahesh Senanayake looks on as he speaks during a press conference in Colombo on May 16, 2019. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI / AFP)

Senanayake had claimed in an interview on Indian television that the penultimate amount of people that travel through Sri Lanka to join the conflict in Syria were Maldivians. He also said that these Maldivians would often stay briefly in Sri Lanka prior to departing to Syria.

However, he clarified that this was no fault of the Maldivian administration, as independent individuals and groups were behind such acts.

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