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Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland


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Key words

Fill the gaps in the sentences using these key words from the text. revenue rancour inundate retribution archipelago flogging broach banishment cuisine skim off

1. _________________ is the act of officially ordering someone to leave a country or a region as a punishment. 2. _________________ is a feeling of hate or anger that lasts for a long time. 3. If someone _________________ wealth or a profit, they remove it and keep it for themselves. 4. _________________ is income from business. 5. _________________ is a punishment where someone is hit many times with a stick or a whip. 6. An _________________ is a large group of small islands. 7. _________________ is a punishment that someone deserves because they have done something very bad. 8. If you _________________ a subject or an idea, you begin discussing it with someone, especially if you feel nervous about doing so because you may upset them. 9. The _________________ of a particular country or region is its style of cooking food. 10. _________________ means the same as flood.

What do you know?

Decide whether these statements are true (T) or false (F). Then check your answers in the text.

True False
1. The Maldives are a group of islands not far from India. 2. The UN forecasts that sea levels are likely to rise by 5.9 metres by the year 2100. 3. The capital of the Maldives, Male, is the most densely populated city in the world. 4. Islam is the only religion in the Maldives. 5. The Maldives has a population of more than one million. 6. The Maldives used to be a democracy but is now a dictatorship.

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2008 NEWS LESSONS / Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland / Advanced

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Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland


Level 3 Advanced
head of international climate change at Friends of the Earth. The Maldives is left to fend for itself. It is a victim of climate change caused by rich countries. 5 1 The Maldives will begin to divert part of the countrys billion-dollar annual tourist revenue into buying a new homeland as an insurance policy against climate change that threatens to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees, according to the countrys first democratically elected president. Mohamed Nasheed, who has recently taken power in the islands capital, Male, said the chain of 1,200 islands 500 miles from the tip of India is likely to disappear under the waves if the current pace of climate change continues to raise sea levels. 2 The UN forecasts that the seas are likely to rise by up to 59cm by 2100, due to global warming. Most parts of the Maldives are just 1.5m above water. The president said even a small rise in sea levels would inundate large parts of the archipelago. We can do nothing to stop climate change on our own and so we have to buy land elsewhere. Its an insurance policy for the worst possible outcome. After all, the Israelis [began by buying] land in Palestine, said Nasheed, also known as Anni. 3 The president, a human rights activist who swept to power in elections last month after ousting Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the man who once imprisoned him, said he had already broached the idea with a number of countries and found them to be receptive. He said Sri Lanka and India were targets because they had similar cultures, cuisines and climates. Australia was also being considered because of the amount of unoccupied land available. We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades, he said. 4 Environmentalists say the issue raises the question of what rights citizens have if their homeland no longer exists. Its an unprecedented wake-up call, said Tom Picken,
Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2008 NEWS LESSONS / Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland / Advanced

Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy a new homeland


Randeep Ramesh in Male November 10, 2008

Nasheed said he intended to create a sovereign wealth fund from the dollars generated by importing tourists, in the way that Arab states have done by exporting oil. Kuwait might invest in companies; we will invest in land. The 41year-old is a rising star in Asia, where he has been compared to Nelson Mandela. Before taking office the new president asked Maldivians to move forward without rancour or retribution an astonishing call, given that Nasheed had gone to jail 23 times, been tortured and spent 18 months in solitary confinement. We have the latitude to remove anyone from government and prosecute them. But I have forgiven my jailers, the torturers. They were following orders ... I ask people to follow my example and leave Gayoom to grow old here, he said. The Maldives is one of the few Muslim nations to make a relatively peaceful transition from autocracy to democracy. The Gayoom sultanate was a dictatorship that ran the police, army and courts, and which banned rival parties. Public flogging, banishment to island gulags and torture were routinely used to suppress dissent and the young pro-democracy movement. Gayoom was elected president six times in 30 years but never faced an opponent. However, public pressure grew and last year he conceded that democracy was inevitable. Upmarket tourism was useful for the dictatorial regime. Gayooms Maldives became the richest country in South Asia, with average incomes reaching $4,600 a year. But the wealth created was skimmed off by Gayooms friends and supporters leaving a huge gap between rich and poor. Speedboats and yachts of local multimillionaires lie in the capitals harbour, while official figures show almost half of Maldivians earn less than a dollar a day. Male is the worlds most densely populated
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Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland


Level 3 Advanced
university. Its desperate. We are a 100% Islamic country and democracy came from within. Do you want to lose that because we were denied the money to deal with the poverty created by the dictatorship? he said.
Guardian News & Media 2008 First published in The Guardian, 10/11/08

town: 100,000 people live in just two square kilometres. We have unemployment at 20%. Heroin has become a serious social issue, with crime rising, Nasheed said, adding that the extra social spending he was planning would cost an immediate $243m. He said that without an emergency bailout from the international community, the future of the Maldives as a democracy would be in doubt. 10 To raise cash, his government will sell off state assets, reduce the cabinet and turn the presidential palace into the countrys first

3 Comprehension check
Choose the best answer according to the text. 1. What is the Maldives insurance policy against climate change? a. The billion-dollar annual income from tourism b. Buying land in another country c. Importing tourists rather than exporting oil 2. Why are Sri Lanka and India possible destinations for the Maldive islanders? a. Because they are not far from the Maldives. b. Because there is a large amount of unoccupied land available in those two countries. c. Because they have similar cultures, cooking and weather to the Maldives. 3. Why are the Maldives particularly at risk from global warming? a. Because most parts of the archipelago are just 1.5m above sea level. b. Because people there cannot stop global warming on their own. c. Because the pace of global warming is increasing. 4. What distinguishes the Maldives from most other Muslim nations? a. It earns a lot of its revenue from tourism. b. It made a relatively peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy. c. Rival political parties are banned.

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2008 NEWS LESSONS / Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland / Advanced

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Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland


Level 3 Advanced
4 Find the word
Find the following words and phrases in the text. 1. A three-word expression meaning to win an election by a very large number of votes. (para 3) 2. A verb meaning to remove someone from a position of power, especially in order to take that position. (para 3) 3. A three-word expression meaning a bad experience that warns people to change something, usually the way they behave. (para 4) 4. A three-word expression meaning to look after oneself without help from anyone else. (para 4) 5. A two-word expression meaning a punishment in which a prisoner is kept alone, separate from other prisoners. (para 5) 6. A noun meaning freedom to use your own methods and judgment in doing something. (para 6) 7. An adjective meaning designed for people who have a lot of money. (para 8) 8. A noun meaning financial assistance. (para 9)

5 Verb + noun collocations


Match the verbs in the left-hand column with the nouns or noun phrases in the right-hand column to make collocations from the text. 1. raise 2. follow 3. make 4. suppress 5. create 6. sell off 7. take 8. broach a. power b. wealth c. a transition d. a question e. assets f. an idea g. dissent h. someones example

6 Prepositions
Complete the phrases using prepositions. Check your answers in the text. 1. an insurance policy _______ climate change 2. due _______ global warming 3. invest _______ land 4. a peaceful transition _______ autocracy to democracy 5. the gap _______ rich and poor 6. the future of the islands is _______ doubt 7. deal _______ poverty 8. disappear _______ the waves

7 Discussion
If you were president of your country what measures would you take to slow down or even prevent global warming?

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2008 NEWS LESSONS / Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland / Advanced

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Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland


Level 3 KEY
1 Key words
1. banishment 2. rancour 3. skims off 4. revenue 5. flogging 6. archipelago 7. retribution 8. broach 9. cuisine 10. inundate

Advanced

4 Find the word


1. sweep to power 2. oust 3. a wake-up call 4. fend for oneself 5. solitary confinement 6. latitude 7. upmarket 8. bailout

5 Verb + noun collocations


1. d 2. h 3. c 4. g 5. b 6. e 7. a 8. f

2 What do you know?


1. T 2. F 3. T 4. T 5. F 6. F

6 Prepositions
1. against 2. to 3. in 4. from 5. between 6. in 7. with 8. under

3 Comprehension check
1. b 2. c 3. a 4. b

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2008 NEWS LESSONS / Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy new homeland / Advanced

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