A Report Project in Asian civilization
Submitted by: Alianza, KC Lyn V. BSN III-D
Maldives Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls stretching in a north-south direction off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about seven hundred kilometres (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka. The atolls of Maldives encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers, making it one of the most disparate countries in the world. It features 1,192 islets, of which two hundred one are inhabited. The Republic of Maldives's capital and largest city is Malé, with a population of 103,693 (2006). It is located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll, in the Kaafu Atoll. It is also one of the Administrative divisions of the Maldives. Traditionally it was the King's Island, from where the ancient Maldive Royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located. The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the lowest country on the planet.It is also the country with the lowest highest point in the world, at 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in). Area: 298 sq km. The country consists of 1,192 coral islands – out of of which 201 are inhabited – grouped in a double chain of twenty-seven atolls. Most atolls are ringshaped coral reefs supporting five to ten inhabited islands and twenty to sixty uninhabited islands. Average size of islands one to two kilometers and height of 1.5 meters above sea level. Highest spot is 3 meters above sea level. Capital: Malé-the largest and capital city of Maldives Income per capita:Gross national income (PPP) 2008 estimate - Total $1.713 billion - Per capita $4,967 Population: 396,334 (July 2009 est.) UN member since: September 21, 1965
Literacy Rate: Age 15 and over can read and write Total population: 96.3% Male: 96.2% Female: 96.4% Official Language: The official and common language is Dhivehi, an Indo-European language having some similarities with Elu, the ancient Sinhalese language. The first known script use to write Dhivehi is Eveyla akuru script which is found in historical recording of kings (raadhavalhi). Later a script called Dhives akuru was introduced and used for a long period. The present-day written script is called Thaana and is written from right to left. Thaana is said to be introduced by the reign of Mohamed Thakurufaanu. English is used widely in commerce and increasingly as the medium of instruction in government schools. Divehi, Dhivehi or Mahl is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 350,000 people in the Republic of Maldives and also in the island of Maliku (Minicoy) in Union territory of Lakshadweep, India. H. C. P. Bell was one of the first transliterators of this tongue. Bell called the language Divehi, which was consistent with Maldives, the name of the country, for the -dives of Maldives and the word Divehi have the same root, Sanskrit dvīpa "island". Writing system Tāna (Official), Devanagari and Latin. Tāna, like Hebrew and Arabic, is written right to left. It indicates vowels with diacritic marks derived from Arabic. Each letter must carry either a vowel or a sukun (which indicates "no vowel"). The only exception to this rule is noonu which, when written without a diacritic, indicates prenasalization of a following stop. Chief Religion: The 1997 Constitution designates Islam as the official state religion. The Government interprets this provision to impose a requirement that citizens be Muslims. Freedom of religion is restricted significantly. The law prohibits the practice by Maldivian citizens of any religion other than Islam. The president is the "supreme authority to propagate the tenets of Islam." Government regulations are based on Islamic law (Shari'a). Non-Muslim foreigners are allowed to practice their religion only privately. Visitors must also refrain from encouraging local citizens to practice any religion other than Islam.
Chief Crops: Hot, mild, pungent, salty and sweet Maldivian dishes often have a vegetable base to enhance the taste. The soothing rains of the monsoons provide a fertile land for Finger millet and Italian fox millets. Sweet potatoes, and some in some parts of the south, cassava. Southern islands offer a taro crops with maize, sorghum and bajara grown on many islands as well. The land can provide onions cucumbers, cabbages and green beans for a mixed salad or a local salad of green, chopped spinach, onions and lime juice for added flavour and is an island favourite. Industries in Maldives: 1. Tourism Industry Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives, as it plays an important role in earning foreign exchange revenues and generating employment in the tertiary sector of the country. The archipelago of the Maldives is the main source of attraction to many tourists visiting the country worldwide. 2. Fishing Industry The fishing industry in the Maldives is the island's second main industry. The Maldives has an abundance of aquatic life and species of fish. Common are tuna, groupers, dolphin fish, barracuda, rainbow runner, trevally and squirrelfish and many more. Aside from being of essential importance to the economy, fishing is also a popular recreational activity in the Maldives, not only among locals but by tourists. The islands have numerous fishing resorts which cater for these activities. The arrival of the first tourist group is estimated to have occurred in February 1972. The group landed at Malé, the capital island of the Maldives, and spent 12 days in the country. Tourism in Maldives started with just two resorts with a capacity of about 280 beds in Kurumba Village and Bandos. At present, there are over 80 resorts located in the different atolls constituting the Republic of Maldives. Over the past few decades, the number of tourists in Maldives has risen continuously. Today, more than 600,000 tourists visit the Maldives each year.
Form of Government: The politics of the Maldives take place in the framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. The President heads the executive branch and appoints the cabinet; he is nominated to a five-year term by a secret ballot of the Majlis (parliament), a nomination which must be confirmed by national referendum. The unicameral Majlis of the Maldives is composed of 50 members serving five-year terms. Two male members from each atoll are directly elected. Eight are appointed by the president. Parties were not allowed until 2005 (after the elections). The Maldivian legal system, derived mainly from traditional Islamic law, is administered by secular officials, a chief justice, and lesser judges on each of the 19 atolls, who are appointed by the president and function under the Ministry of Justice. There also is an attorney general. Each inhabited island within an atoll has a chief who is responsible for law and order. Every atoll chief, appointed by the president, functions as a district officer in the British South Asian tradition. History: The historians date early settlers back to 5th century BC with the Aryan immigrants coming from the neighboring countries India and Sri Lanka. The Maldivian language is said to be Indo-Aryan with influences from Sinhalese, Tamil, Sanskrit, Persian, Urdhu and Arabic. It is believed that Hinduism existed before Buddhism. The Maldivians were practicing Buddhism until AD 1153, when a learned scholar converted the king to Islam. The exact name and origins of this scholar is an ongoing debate. The system of government was a monarchy with Sultans as sovereigns while Sultanas or queens ruled on rare occasions. Traders from Arabia, India, Sri Lanka and Persia visited the Maldives to exchange goods. Slaves were also brought from Africa. The abundance of cowry shells, coir rope and ambergris in Maldives attracted Portuguese interest in the country during the 16th century.
Consequently the Portuguese launched attacks against Maldives. Their attempts were in vain until a better equipped and organized fleet attacked the capital Malé. In 1558 they seized control of the country, after defeating Ali 6th, the reigning Sultan. In 1573 after fierce guerrilla warfare Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his compatriots defeated the Portuguese invaders. Muhammad Thakurufaanu was offered the throne and remains a revered national hero. The British colonial ambitions in the Indian Ocean had their effects on Maldives. They recognized the strategic location of Maldives and the prospect of Maldives being under any other colonial power was unacceptable to them. It was in a period of uncertainty, political rivalry and turmoil in the Maldives that the British offered Maldives a treaty, which was to become a watershed in Maldivian history. Some Maldivian politicians also needed British co-operation to suit their ambitions. It was in this atmosphere of instability that the Maldives went into the agreement with British in 1887. The British pledged to protect the Maldives from any foreign aggression while the Maldives in turn agreed not to collaborate with any other foreign power without British consent. A written constitution did not exist in Maldives till 1932 and the customs and traditions along with Islamic Shariah formed the Law. A constitution was introduced in 1932 after the emergence of a new educated elite. The new constitution, which provided for a People's Assembly of 47 members, did not survive long. In 1948 the existing agreement between the Maldives and the British were renewed. In 1953 the Maldives changed from a monarchy to a Republic. Mr Mohammed Amin Didi was the first President of the Maldives. After a mere eight months Amin Didi was overthrown and a Sultanate was formed once again. The people were outraged because of the prevailing food shortages and the total ban of tobacco by Amin Didi. The Second World War caused famine that continued even in the early 1950s. Since the failure of the First Republic, the Maldives was a Sultanate until 1968.
The British were successful to conclude an agreement with the Prime Minister Ibrahim Ali Didi for the lease of Gan in Addu for 100 years. This agreement signed in 1956 provided Gan, located in the southern tip of the Maldives, as an airfield for the British. the government of Mr Nasir was to face more serious problems that threatened the integrity of the country. While the British developed Gan as a base for Royal Air Force, the people of the three southern most atolls revolted against the government of Mr Nasir. They formed a separate government and declared the 'United Suvadheeb Republic' in 1959. The British support for them was suspected by the government. The government of the Maldives negotiated with the British for a diplomatic solution. Maldives demanded more independence than the existing agreements provided for. In 1960 an agreement was signed reducing the period of British stay in Addu to 30 years. The British finally agreed to give independence to the Maldives and an agreement was signed in 1965. This historic agreement was signed on 25 July 1965 in Sri Lanka In 1968 the monarchy was ended and a Republic wasformed. On 11 November 1968, Mr Ibrahim Nasir was proclaimed the First President of the Second Republic. In 1978 Mr Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom was elected the President of the Maldives. He has been the President for the past 26 years.