Malé City Council rejects Yoga Day event amid controversy

Malé City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. | Photo: Raajemv

Malé, Maldives – Malé City Council on Monday rejected the location application by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment and the Indian High Commission to hold the International Yoga Day event at Rasfannu beach.

The event location has since been changed to the National Stadium.

The celebration of the International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2022 with a yoga event at the Rasfannu beach in the capital city has been criticized by the public and Islamic scholars as against the religion of Maldives and thereby the constitution.

Speaking to local news “Sun,” Spokesperson of the Malé City Council Mariyam Shiuna stated that the council decided to reject providing the location due to a large number of public complaints. Shiuna further stated that the council always follows the will of the people.

An official complaint has also been lodged by a prominent religious association “Ilmuveringe Gulhun” calling to stop the Yoga Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, the opposition coalition has launched a nationwide campaign to remove Indian influence in the Maldives under the “India Out” campaign. The campaign has since been deemed a threat to national security and deemed decreed illegal by the President. Tensions are also high in the Maldives with protestors taking to the streets after BJP officials insulted the Prophet Muhammad.