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Maldives History Timeline

Map of Maldives
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Maldives's Information

Flag of Maldives
Land Area 298 km2
Water Area 0 km2
Total Area 298 km2
Population 392,960
Population Density 1,318.66 / km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $5.41 Billion
GDP Per Capita $15,300
Currency Rufiyaa (MVR)
Largest Cities
  • Male (103,693)
1100s - 1500s
  • (1153) Last Buddhist king of Maldives converted to Islam
  • (1558 - 1573) Portuguese occupied Maldives
  • (1573) Local leader, Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam, and two brothers organized revolt, drove Portuguese out of Maldives
1600s - 1800s
  • (1600s) Maldives became protectorate of the Dutch
  • (1752) Malabars invaded the Maldives
  • (1796) British expelled Dutch, took control of Maldives, made it a protected area
  • (1887) Maldives became an internally self-governing British protectorate
1900s
  • (1932) First constitution was adopted, sultanate became an elected position
  • (1947) People's Majlis (Council) passed Bill No. 2/66, authorizing the introduction of the Maldivian Bank and the issuing of currency
  • (1947) Last tribute payment was made to British
  • (1953) Maldives became a republic within the Commonwealth, sultanate was abolished
  • (1954) Sultanate was restored
  • (1954) British were given permission to reestablish wartime airfield on Gan for 100 years
  • (1957) Ibrahim Nasir became prime minister
  • (1959 - 1962) Maldives government challenged by local secessionist movement in southern atolls, ties were cut with the government; independent state, United Suvadive Republic formed, with Abdulla Afif Didi as president
  • (1963) United Suvadive Republic collapsed, rejoined Maldives
  • (1965) Maldives gained independence from British
  • (1968) Following referendum, sultan was deposed, republic was reinstated with Ibrahim Nasir as president
  • (1970s) Economy suffered setback from collapse of dried fish exports to Sri Lanka
  • (1972) Constitution amended, presidential term extended to five years, provided for election of the prime minister by the Majlis (council)
  • (1973) Nasir elected to second term as president under new constitution
  • (1975) Prime Minister Ahmen Zaki arrested in bloodless coup, banished to remote atoll
  • (1975) British closed airfield on Gan, added to Maldives' economic woes
  • (1978) President Nasir resigned, fled to Singapore; an investigation revealed he had absconded with millions of dollars from the state treasury
  • (1978) Maumoon Abdul Gayoom elected president to replace Nasir
  • (1978) Maldives joined International Monetary Fund and World Bank
  • (1980s) Tourism fueled economic growth
  • (1983) Gayoom reelected president with more than 90% of the votes
  • (1982) Maldives became member of British Commonwealth of Nations
  • (1985) Maldives was one of founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) established in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for the purpose of promoting economic cooperation and alleviating poverty in South Asia
  • (1988) People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) staged coup to oust President Gayoom; attempt failed after India's Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi dispatched 1,600 troops by air to restore order
  • (1997) Maldives adopted new constitution, President Gayoom enshrined as head of state, government, judiciary, security forces
  • (1998) Gayoom reelected to fifth term as president
2000s
  • (2000) Three candidates in 1999 parliamentary elections were tortured after being detained on suspicions of instigating unrest, according to Amnesty International
  • (2002) Due to worries over rising sea levels, Maldives government announced decision to take legal action against U.S. for refusing to sign Kyoto Protocol, the first international agreement to fight global warming
2000s Continued
  • (2003) Amnesty International accused Maldives government of political repression and torture, government rejected allegations as "false and baseless".
  • (2003) President Gayoom elected to sixth term, became longest-serving head of state in Asia
  • (2003) Unrest erupted at Maafushi prison after man was tortured to death, three people were killed, violent riots resulted and state of emergency declared
  • (2004) President Gayoom announced constitutional changes to limit presidential terms and to allow formation of political parties
  • (2004) Overloaded ferry overturned, 18 killed, 50 missing
  • (2004) Pro-democracy demonstration turned violent, state of emergency imposed, 100 people arrested
  • (2004) Hundreds of people killed and many islands suffered severe damage, with 42 flattened, when a tsunami generated by a powerful undersea earthquake off the Indonesian coast struck the Maldives
  • (2005) Over 1,500 lived on artificial island of Hulhumale; over $60 million was spent on creation, expected completion in 2040
  • (2005) Parliament voted to allow multi-party politics
  • (2005) Opposition party leader, Mohamed Nasheed, charged with terrorism and sedition for criticism of President Gayoom and inciting violence
  • (2006) President Gayoom introduced reforms to enhance multi-party politics
  • (2006) President Gayoom pardoned senior opposition figure, Jennifer Latheef of terrorism; she denied pardon, demanded retrial to clear her name
  • (2007) Coastguard vessel opened fire, sunk boat carrying Tamil Tiger rebels from Sri Lanka
  • (2007) President Gayoom won victory in referendum on future form of Maldives' government
  • (2007) Bomb exploded at entrance to recreation park in Male, wounded 12 foreign tourists
  • (2008) Boy Scout Mohammad Jaisham, grabbed knife of attacker who attempted to assassinate President Gayoom
  • (2008) New constitution ratified allowing first multi-party presidential elections
  • (2008) Opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed defeated President Gayoom in second round of voting, inaugurated as president
  • (2008) First president of Maldives and leader of independence movement, Ibrahim Nasir, died in Singapore
  • (2009) President Nasheed announced Maldives would switch to renewable energy sources within a decade and become carbon-neutral
  • (2009) Cabinet members donned scuba gear, used hand signals at an underwater meeting held to highlight threat of global warming to their country
  • (2009) President Nasheed said government would ensure media freedom and competition by deregulating state-controlled media
  • (2010) Entire Maldivian cabinet resigned after a threat by the opposition to bring a vote of no confidence in parliament against every minister; President Nasheed remained in office
  • (2010) Foreign couple renewing their wedding vows were subjected to insults by locals during a ceremony captured on video and watched by thousands on YouTube; government issued apology
  • (2011) Police used tear gas, batons to break up protest demanding President Nasheed step down; dozens injured, many arrests
  • (2011) Maldives were urged to end practice of flogging women found to have had sex outside marriage by UN human rights chief
  • (2011) The Maldives government announced closures of massage parlors and spas, following opposition-led religious protests
  • (2012) Judge Abdulla Mohamed, chief justice of country's criminal court, was arrested after releasing opposition leader who had been detained without a warrant for allegedly defaming government; all courts boycotted their sessions
  • (2012) Following arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, Maldives Journalists Association said government was threatening and harassing the media over their reporting
  • (2012) Dozens of anti-government activists were arrested in Male, following government accusations of whipping up religious extremism
  • (2012) President Nasheed resigned after mutiny by police and weeks of demonstrations over arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed; Vice-President Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik sworn in as president
  • (2012) Former President Nasheed charged with illegally ordering arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed
  • (2012) Supporters of Maldives' former President Nasheed protested in the streets preventing new President Manik from opening Parliament
  • (2013) In elections, Mohamed Nasheed, won first round of voting
  • (2013) Abdulla Yameen, defeated former President Mohamed Nasheed, in runoff elections
  • (2014) Party of Mohamed Nasheed conceded defeat in parliamentary elections
  • (2014) After six decades, Maldives readopted death penalty to be used for certain crimes

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