• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Divehi-speaking people (a language related to Sinhalese) have lived on the Maldives since at least AD 400. Visited by Middle Eastern merchants from around AD 1000, the archipelago became an Islamic sultanate in 1153. Portuguese explorers occupied the island of Malé (the modern capital) from 1558 until they were expelled by Muhammad Takurufaanu Al-Azam in 1573. The Dutch, who replaced the Portuguese as the dominant power in Ceylon in the mid-1600s, controlled Maldivian affairs until 1796, although the sultanate held sway over local administration. Thereafer the Maldives came under British protection (formalized in an agreement in 1887) until complete independence was achieved on 26 July 1965. A republic was declared on 11 Nov 1968.


Civil Aviation Annual Population Growth Rate Total Government Spending Passenger Arrival Foreign Currency Earner 
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Further Reading

  1. Gayoom, M. A., The Maldives: A Nation in Peril. Ministry of Planning, Human Resources and Environment, Republic of Maldives, 1998Google Scholar
  2. Reynolds, Christopher H. B., Maldives. [Bibliography] ABC-Clio, Oxford and Santa Barbara (CA), 1993Google Scholar
  3. National Statistical Office: Statistics Section, Ministry of Planning and National Development.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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