The government has proposed an amendment to the Penal Code that would criminalize acts that damage the country's diplomatic interests and relations.
The Attorney General's Office said that it had now compiled a bill that would amend the Penal Code as such and that it had now forwarded the bill to the President's Office for approval before submitting it to the parliament.
The Attorney General's Office said that with this bill, the government aims to criminalize acts that harm the diplomatic interests and relations of the country to maintain peace, security, and the code of conduct stipulated in the Penal Code of the Maldives.
It also said that the bill will clarify what such criminal acts would be and this would include damaging a country's flag, national emblem, or other representations, or changing the design of these items.
The Attorney General's Office also said damaging property belonging to another country or calling to damage such property would also be considered a crime while targeting an individual because of their nationality or calling to target individuals from a particular nation would also be a criminal act.
The government's proposed bill comes amid growing anti-India sentiment in the Maldives fueled by the 'IndiaOut' campaign spearheaded by the opposition coalition.
The campaign is calling for the withdrawal of Indian troops deployed in the Maldives.