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The Maldives (/ˈmɔːldvz/, US: /ˈmɔːldvz/ (About this soundlisten); Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ Dhivehi Raajje), officially the Republic of Maldives, is a country in South Asia, located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from the Asian continent. The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south. Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), the Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed sovereign states as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and population, with around 427,756 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and the most populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location.

The Maldives archipelago is located on the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean, which also forms a terrestrial ecoregion, together with the Chagos Archipelago and Lakshadweep. With an average ground-level elevation of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the world's lowest country, with even its highest natural point being the lowest in the world, at 5.1 metres (17 ft). Due to the consequent risks posed by rising sea levels, the government pledged in 2009 to make the Maldives a carbon-neutral country by 2019.[needs update]

Selected Article

Nashid performing at the Zero Degree Atoll reunion show "Sound of a Nation" at Alimas Carnival in Male'.

Zero Degree Atoll is a Maldivian band, formed in 1987. Since their formation, the band has released 3 albums. This band is known for their locally influenced music and tunes that bring up the maldivian culture and heritage.

Zero Degree Atoll formed in 1987 with childhood friends Nashid and Mohoj collaborating with fellow music aficionado Ahmed. Their debut song Reethi Handhuvaru – about the natural beauty and serenity of the Maldives – was produced together with Worldview International Foundation and the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Maldives. In 1988, the band began to work on their first album, travelling across the Maldivian isles and living with local communities while immersing themselves in island culture.

From its conception, the band went on to make a number of appearances on the international arena in addition to their countless performances on national stages. In 1991, they performed in Switzerland on an invitation by the country to mark its 700th year of independence. In 1992, a concert was held in Malé to mark the release of Dhoni album. The show was an undeniable musical sensation. They represented the Maldives thrice at the International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin, in 1993, 1995 and 1997. In August 1996, the band signed up with a French recording company for the professional production of the songs in Dhoni Album. Recorded at the Couleur Studio in France, the album Island Pulse was a more westernised version of Dhoni with more guitars, more drums and more versatility. This album was marketed in Europe and in the Maldives, focusing particularly on spreading island music to the tourists arriving to the country. In September 2000, the band performed at the Sun Club in D’uville in France. In March 2004, Zero Degree Atoll performed in Malé as a part of the ‘One World Beat’ Global Music Festival to help children living with HIV/Aids. (more...)

Selected Local Island

The old mosque of Kudahuvadhoo

Kudahuvadhoo (Dhivehi: ކުޑަހުވަދޫ) is one of the inhabited islands Dhaalu or South Nilande Atoll, Maldives. It is also the capital of the atoll and the proposed capital for the Medhu Province of the Maldives. Kudahivadhoo has a population of about 2300 (this number includes the residents of Gemendhoo and Vaanee evacuated to Kudahuvadhoo after the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004). Kudahuvadhoo has one of the mysterious mounds known as hawittas. These mounds are the ruins of Buddhist temples from the pre-Islamic period (before 10th century) that have not been excavated yet. Thor Heyerdahl who explored the island in the early 1980s wrote that the ancient coral-stone mosque of Kudahuvadhoo possesses some of the finest masonry ever seen in the world.. (more...)

Selected Biography

Mohamed Nasheed

Mohamed Nasheed (Dhivehi: މުހައްމަދު ނަޝީދު; born 17 May 1967) is a Maldivian politician and one of the founders of the Maldivian Democratic Party, who served as the fourth President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012. Sometimes called "the Mandela of the Maldives", he was imprisoned more than twenty times for his opposition to long-time President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. He played a role in the 2003 Maldives civil unrest by requesting an autopsy on murdered teenage prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem, and his own arrest sparked the 2005 Maldives civil unrest.

In the October 2008 presidential election, opposition coalition defeated Gayoom in the second round, assuming office on 11 November 2008. On 7 February 2012 Mohamed Nasheed resigned in front of local media from his presidency under disputed circumstances, following weeks of protests by opposition which had then been joined by majority of military and police forces. The next day, Nasheed stated that these protesters had joined with "powerful networks" of Gayoom loyalists to force his resignation in a coup d'état, and that he was forced to resign "at gunpoint" by police and army officers. Nasheed's successor Mohammed Waheed Hassan denied these claims and stated that the transfer of power was voluntary and constitutional. On 30 August, the Maldives' National Commission of Inquiry stated that it had found no evidence to support Nasheed's version of events, a verdict supported by the US and the Commonwealth of Nations.


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In the news

  • February 4, 2011
    Maldives celebrates 68th National Day

Maldives today celebrated 68 years from the day that they got independence from the Portuguese. (more...)


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