Maldives


The Maldives (Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ Dhivehi Raajje) are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and are considered part of Southern Asia.

TRAVEL SAFETY ADVISORY: A coup funded by some tourist resort owners has replaced the democratically elected president and a dictator with a 30 years of tyranny has returned in the Maldives since 07th Feb 2012. Travelers are advised to either reschedule their travel plans for next year or simply choose another destination. Currently the United Nations is in the process of questioning the current regime on human rights issues. After the coup there have been lots of demonstrations by the public and the police is using excessive force which can be defined nothing more than brutality. So please do not fund any regime who beats up their own citizens.

Understand History

Formerly a Sultanate under Dutch and British protection, the Maldives are now a republic. Long ruled over with an iron fist by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who did not hesitate to jail dissidents and was re-elected five times in more or less rigged elections, resistance to his rule culminated in violent rioting in 2003 and 2004. Much to everybody's surprise, free and fair elections were finally held in 2008, and Gayoom gracefully conceded defeat to opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed, "Anni".

The Tsunami of 26 December 2004 caused extensive damage to the Maldives - of a population of only 290,000, over a third was directly affected by the tsunami and more than 15,000 people were left homeless. The economic damage alone was over 62% of the GDP or US$470 million.

The immediate response from international donors and agencies mobilized more than US$400 million in aid after the disaster, much of which was used to help misplaced persons rebuild their homes and infrastructure damaged by the waves. As of December 24, 2010, six years after the tsunami, the number of persons living in temporary shelters had fallen from 15,000 to only 1,600 people.