Maldives (GPS: 3 15 N, 73 00 E) is located in Southern Asia, a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India. The country’s area measurements are total: 298 sq km; land: 298 sq km, water: 0 sq km. This sovereign state is about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC. The total irrigated land is 0 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Maldives: Smallest Asian country. The archipelago of 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts). Strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in the Indian Ocean.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Male’s GPS coordinates are 4 10 N 73 30 E. Male’s local time is 10 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+5.
A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887. The islands became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated Maldive’s political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following political demonstrations in the capital Male in August 2003, GAYOOM and his government pledged to embark upon a process of liberalization and democratic reforms, including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Political parties were legalized in 2005. In June 2008, a constituent assembly – termed the “Special Majlis” – finalized a new constitution ratified by GAYOOM in August 2008. The first-ever presidential elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system were held in October 2008. GAYOOM was defeated in a runoff poll by Mohamed NASHEED, a political activist who had been jailed several years earlier by the GAYOOM regime.
In early February 2012, after several weeks of street protests in response to his ordering the arrest of a top judge, NASHEED purportedly resigned the presidency and handed over power to Vice President Mohammed WAHEED Hassan Maniku. A government-appointed Commission of National Inquiry concluded there was no evidence of a coup, but NASHEED contends that police and military personnel forced him to resign. NASHEED, WAHEED, and Abdulla YAMEEN Abdul Gayoom ran in the 2013 elections, with YAMEEN ultimately winning the presidency after three rounds of voting. As president, YAMEEN weakened democratic institutions, curtailed civil liberties, jailed his political opponents, restricted the press, and exerted control over the judiciary to strengthen his hold on power and limit dissent. In September 2018, YAMEEN lost his reelection bid to Ibrahim Mohamed SOLIH, a parliamentarian of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), who supported a coalition of four parties that came together to defeat YAMEEN and restore democratic norms to the Maldives. In April 2019, SOLIH’s MDP won 65 of 87 seats in parliament.
Maldives’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Maldives, traditional short form: the Maldives, local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa, local short state: Dhivehi Raajje, etymology: archipelago named after the main island (and capital) of Male; the word “Maldives” means “the islands (dives) of Male”; alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word “maladvipa” meaning “garland of islands”; Dhivehi Raajje in Maldivian means “Kingdom of the Dhivehi people.” Archipelago named after the main island (and capital) of Male; The word “Maldives” means “the islands (dives) of Male”; Alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word “maladvipa” meaning “garland of islands”; Dhivehi Raajje in Dhivehi means “Kingdom of the Dhivehi people.”
Maldives’s terrain is typically flat, with white sandy beaches. The country’s mean elevation: 1.8 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m, highest point: unnamed location on Viligili in the Addu Atholhu 2.4 m.
The country’s general climate is tropical: hot, humid: dry, northeast monsoon (November to March): rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August).
The total number of border countries is 0; none are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Maldives’s coastline is 644 km, while its marital claims are: measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 23.3%; arable land 10%; permanent crops 10%; permanent pasture 3.3%; forest: 3%; other: 73.7% (2011 estimate).
The population in Maldives 392,473 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 45.5% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: MALE (capital) 156,000 (2014), while Maldives has N/A. Their spoken languages are Dhivehi (official language, a dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English (spoken by most government official languages). The main religions in the Maldives are Sunni Muslim (official). The nation uses Islamic religious legal system with English common law influences, primarily in commercial matters. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 26 July (1965).
Economic overview for the country: the Maldives has quickly become a middle-income country, driven by the rapid growth of its tourism and fisheries sectors, but the state still contends with a large and growing fiscal deficit. Infrastructure projects, primarily funded by China, could add significantly to debt levels. Political turmoil and the declaration of a state of emergency in February 2018 led to the issuance of travel warnings by several countries whose citizens visit the Maldives in significant numbers. Still, the overall impact on tourism revenue was unclear.
In 2015, Maldives’ Parliament passed a constitutional amendment legalizing foreign ownership of land; Foreign land-buyers must reclaim at least 70% of the desired land from the ocean and invest at least $1 billion in a construction project approved by Parliament. Diversifying the economy beyond tourism and fishing, reforming public finance, increasing employment opportunities, and combating corruption, cronyism, and a growing drug problem are near-term challenges facing the government. Over the longer term, Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is 1 meter or less above sea level.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the Maldives’ natural hazards: Tsunamis, low elevation of islands make them sensitive to sea-level rise, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that the Maldives faces the following environmental issues: Depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies, Inadequate sewage treatment, Coral reef bleaching.
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