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State

Capital

Maldives

Male

Currency unit

Rufiyya

Connections

BIOT

Empire

Islam

South Asia

Sri Lanka

Other Web sites
 Association of Small Island States

Guardian article

 Maldives blog

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

An archipelago in the Indian Ocean south west of Sri Lanka. Archaology shows that an ancient civilization there had connections with Sri Lanka and Yemen. There were Buddhists there before the coming of Islam. The people are believed to have migrated from Sri Lanka. They are the furthest south of the Indo-European migrations before modern times.

It was a British protectorate from 1796, gaining independence in 1965. British troops finally left in 1976.

Gan Island was at one time an important British staging post for military air power on the way to South East Asia. Now the islands are neutral. (The base is now a United States base at Diego Garcia on the BIOT, geographically an extension of the archipelago).

Languages

Divehi (an Indo-European language)

Arabic

Hindi

English

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

No political parties. The president was in power from 1978 until 2008 and in theory was elected by the Majlis (Assembly), itself elected indirectly. However, it might be truer to say that Pres. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom ran a dictatorship which suppressed all opposition. He is said to have taken advice from Saddam Hussein in 1980.

An attempted coup by Tamil mercenaries from Sri Lanka was suppressed by Indian troops in 1988. The Tamils may have been trying to acquire a base for their fight against the Sinhalese-dominated government of Sri Lanka.

"Free" elections were held in January 2005 for the (Majlis) National Assembly. The President remained in office. The regime did not change. However, India then recognised the opposition and demanded genuine elections.
November 2006 saw demonstrations suppressed with brutality.
(Tourists are insulated from contact with ordinary people).

October 2008 elections resulted in the defeat of Gayoom and his replacement by a former political prisoner - Mohamed Nasheed.

7/02/12 saw the overthrow of the elected leader, possibly by a coup of the police and army, possibly supporters of the previous dictator.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

Tourism and fishing with subsistence agriculture. Tourists are kept insulated from the ordinary life, and so are unlikely to see evidence of the political repression.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

If global warming leads to a rise in sea level most of the country could be submerged with only centimeters rise. The state of the coral reefs gives reason for concern as they are being damaged by "bleaching" caused by unusually warm oceans.

It is believed the whole country will need to be evacuated by about 2050.

Most of the islands were flooded by the Tsunami of 26 December 2004.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Political prisoners, imprisonment without trial, police brutality and suppression of the opposition.

Improved since the departure of Gayoom. But may be about to get worse as his supporters appear to have regained power.

Climate effects

One degree
Probably already doomed to disappear under rising sealevel.

Two degrees
Won't be there. Corals may die from bleaching. Tropical storms.

Last revised 11/02/12


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