Male, the capital of the Maldives, lies 3 feet above sea level.
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A10) 1153
A wandering Arab holy man converted the king of
the Buddhist Maldive islanders.
(WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A12)
1552 Jan 14, Maldive King Siri
Dhrikusa Loka (Hassan IX) was baptized in Cochin, India.
1600-1700 Grass mats called kunai were made on the
island of Gadu and sent by the Maldivian sultan as part of an annual
tribute to the kingdom of Sri Lanka. The “Fine Mat Industry of the
Suvadiva Atoll" by Andrew Forbes was publ. by the British Museum.
(WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A12)
1887 The Maldives became a
protectorate of Great Britain.
1932 The Maldives adopted its
1947 Aug 12, The People’s
Majlis passed Bill No. 2/66 on the Maldivian monetary system. The
committee consisted of Government Ministers and Members of the
1952 The Maldives' National
Museum opened. In 2012 some of its most valuable exhibits from the
pre-Islamic era were smashed by religious extremists.
1953 The Maldives, formerly a
Sultanate, was declared a republic. The Sultanate was restored after
1957 Ibrahim Nasir (31) became
prime minister of the Maldives, a British protectorate.
1959-1962 The government of Maldives was
challenged by a local secessionist movement in the southern atolls
that benefited economically from the British presence on Gan. This
group cut ties with the Maldives government and formed an
independent state with Abdulla Afif Didi as president. The
short-lived state, called the United Suvadivan Republic, had a
combined population of 20,000 inhabitants scattered in the atolls
then named Suvadiva.
1965 Jul 26, Republic of
Maldives gained independence from Britain.
1968 Nov 11, The Maldives
became a republic for a 2nd time with Ibrahim Naseer (Nasir) as
1978 Ibrahim Nasir
Rannabandeyri Kilegefan (1926-2008) relinquished the position of the
President of the Maldives Republic. He was accused of ruling the
country as a dictator and fled amid public resentment and unproven
allegations of corruption in handling public funds. For the first
time in recorded Maldive history, the head of state of the Maldives
ceased to be either a King-sultan (Queen-sultana) or a descendant of
1978 Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
became president of the Maldives.
(WSJ, 1/3/05, p.A7)
1982 The Maldives applied for
and was granted membership in the British Commonwealth of Nations.
1985 The South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was founded in Dhaka,
Bangladesh, with the aim of promoting economic cooperation and
alleviating poverty in South Asia. Members included Bangladesh,
Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
1997 Jun 24, Maldives Pres.
Abdul Gayoom said that the survival of the island nation was
dependent on halting the process of global warming.
(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A2)
1997 The Maldives adopted a new
constitution, which enshrined Pres. Gayoom as head of state,
government, judiciary and the security forces.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.54)
1999 Dec 3, In the Maldives a
helicopter crashed enroute to Male and killed all 10 people onboard.
(SFC, 12/4/99, p.A14)
2003 Sep 19, In the Maldives
unrest erupted at the Maafushi prison after a young man named Evan
Naseem was tortured to death. Police opened fire and 3 people were
killed. Violent riots followed as did a state of emergency.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.54)
2003 Sep 21, The leader of the
Maldives appealed for calm after two days of rioting killed 3 people
and sent shock waves through this tiny Indian Ocean island nation.
2003 Nov 11, Maldives Pres.
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (65) was sworn in for a record sixth term,
becoming the longest-serving head of state in Asia.
2004 Mar 17, The Maldives ferry
Enamaa was carrying far more than its capacity of up to 100 when a
wave overturned it. At least 18 people were killed. More than 50
others were missing.
2004 Dec 26, The world's most
powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that
slammed into villages and seaside resorts across southern and
southeast Asia. The initial estimated death toll of 9,000 soon rose
to some 230,000 people in 14 countries. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake
was the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the largest since a 9.2
temblor hit Prince William Sound Alaska in 1964. The epicenter was
located 155 miles south-southeast of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh
province on Sumatra, and six miles under the seabed of the Indian
Ocean. In Indonesia at least 166,320 people were killed.
Bangladesh reported 2 killed; India: at least
9,691 deaths: thousands were missing and possibly dead in India's
remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia: At least 101,318
people were killed on Sumatra island and small islands off its
coast. Kenya reported 1 killed. Malaysia: At least 68 people,
including an unknown number of foreign tourists, were dead. Myanmar:
At least 90 people were killed. Sri Lanka: At least 30,680 were
killed in government and rebel controlled areas. The Maldives, an
archipelago of 1,190 low-lying coral islands and a tiny population
of 280,000, at least 82 people were killed and missing. At least 42
islands were flattened in the low-lying atoll nation. Somalia: At
least 298 were killed. Tanzania: At least 10 killed. Thailand: The
confirmed death toll for Thailand reached 5,322, but many suspected
Myanmar migrants were not counted. Some 230,000 people were killed
in a dozen countries.
(SFC, 12/28/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/30/04)(SSFC, 1/2/05,
p.A12)(AP, 1/7/05)(Econ, 1/22/05, p.41)(AP, 12/25/09)(AP, 11/12/13)
2004 Dec 26, In the Maldives at
least 117 people were killed and missing, among them two British
tourists. At least 42 islands were flattened in the low-lying atoll
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A10)
2005 Jan 2, Some 1,500 people
inhabited the artificial Maldive island of Hulhumale. Some $60
million had already been spent on its creation and completion was
expected in 2040.
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A10)
2005 Jan 22, Maldivians cast
votes to elect a parliament, three weeks after the election was
postponed because of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Police arrested 20
(AP, 1/22/05)(WSJ, 1/24/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 2, The Maldives
ushered in a new political era when parliament voted to allow
parties to form for the first time in the remote Indian Ocean
archipelago, a move that ended centuries of autocratic rule. The law
passed in July.
(Reuters, 6/2/05)(Econ, 12/23/06, p.55)
2005 Nov 12, In Dhaka,
Bangladesh, a 2-day summit aimed to alleviate poverty and boost
trade and cooperation among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Leaders called for greater
cooperation within the region to deal with the aftermath of
disasters like the Kashmir earthquake and last year's devastating
2005 An estimated 80,000
people lived in the Maldives on less than 1.2 square miles.
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A10)
2006 The population of the
Maldives numbered about 300,000. Some 100,000 were packed into the 2
square kilometers of the capital, Male, the most densely populated
town in the world.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.53)
2007 Aug 19, President Maumoon
Abdul Gayoom won an overwhelming victory in a referendum on the
Maldives' future form of government, a poll seen as an informal vote
of confidence in his three-decade rule of the tiny Indian Ocean
2007 Sep 29, A bomb exploded at
the entrance to a recreation park in the Maldives, wounding at least
12 foreign tourists.
2008 Jan 8, Maumoon Abdul
Gayoom (70), the Maldives president, survived an assassination
attempt when boy scout Mohammed Jaisham Ibrahim (15) grabbed the
knife of an attacker who jumped out of a crowd of people greeting
(AP, 1/9/08)(AP, 1/10/08)
2008 Aug 2, In Sri Lanka a
two-day summit of leaders of the 15th South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC), opened amid extraordinary security.
Leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the summit. Government troops
captured rebel-held Vellankulam village in Mannar, the last rebel
stronghold in the area. Fresh fighting between Sri Lankan troops and
Tamil Tiger separatists killed 14 rebels and two soldiers across the
embattled northern region.
(AP, 8/2/08)(AP, 8/3/08)
2008 Aug 7, Maldives Pres.
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom signed and adopted a new constitution that
allows multiparty elections and other democratic reforms after
decades of authoritarian rule. Under the constitution Islam is the
only religion its people can legally practice.
(AP, 8/7/08)(AFP, 6/5/12)
2008 Oct 8, Maldives islanders
in the cramped city of Male and scores of far-flung atolls began
voting in the first democratic presidential election in their tiny
2008 Oct 9, Poll results in the
Maldives indicated President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to be headed for a
runoff against Mohamed Nasheed , a former political prisoner who
leads the main opposition.
2008 Oct 28, Voters turned out
in strength to choose the Maldives' first democratically-elected
president in a run-off between Asia's longest serving leader and a
former political prisoner. Nasheed won 54% of the vote to Gayoom's
46%, according to provisional results from the nation's elections
(AP, 10/28/08)(AP, 10/29/08)
2008 Nov 11, Mohamed Nasheed
took the oath of office as the Maldives' first democratically
elected president. He now leads the flattest nation on Earth, with
an average height of 2.3 meters (7 feet) above sea level, and one
considered particularly vulnerable to the perils of global climate
change and rising sea levels.
2008 Nov 22, Ibrahim Nasir
(b.1926), who led the Maldives' independence movement from the
British and became the island nation's first president, died in
2008 The population of the
Maldives stood at about 370,000 people.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.52)
2009 Oct 17, Members of the
Maldives' Cabinet donned scuba gear and used hand signals at an
underwater meeting staged to highlight the threat of global warming
to the lowest-lying nation on earth.
2010 May 20, In the Maldives 15
representatives of the Afghan government met with 7 Taliban members
for talks, which would continue over the weekend. A Taliban
statement the next day said those at the talks claiming to be from
the Taliban are no longer active members and have "surrendered" to
President Hamid Karzai's government.
(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A2)(AP, 5/21/10)
2010 Jun 29, The Maldivian
cabinet resigned en masse after a threat by the opposition to bring
a vote of no confidence in parliament against every minister. Pres.
Mohammed Nasheed remained in office.
2010 The 42-member Alliance of
Small Island States called on the industrial nations in 1997 to cut
emissions 20% from 1990 levels by this time.
(SFC, 6/25/97, p.A2)
2011 May 1, Maldives police
used tear gas and batons to break up a protest demanding that
President Mohamad Nasheed step down. Dozens of people were injured
and many were arrested.
2011 Nov 24, The UN human
rights chief urged the Maldives to end the "degrading" practice of
flogging women found to have had sex outside marriage. The country
of 300,000 people forbids practicing religions other than Islam.
2011 Dec 30, The Maldives
government said it has decided to close massage parlors and spas,
following an opposition-led religious protest last week calling for
their closure. Sunni Islam is the official religion in the Maldives
and practicing any other faith is forbidden.
2012 Jan 16, The Maldives'
military arrested the chief justice of the country's criminal court
after he released an opposition leader who had been detained without
a warrant for allegedly defaming the government. A day later the
arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed prompted all courts to boycott
2012 Jan 19, The Maldives
Journalists' Association said the government is threatening and
harassing the media over their reporting of a political crisis and
the military's arrest of the nation's top criminal court judge.
2012 Jan 20, In the Maldives
dozens of anti-government activists were arrested in the capital
Male, as the government accused them of whipping up religious
2012 Feb 7, The Maldives' first
democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed (44), resigned
after a police mutiny described by his office as an attempted coup,
capping weeks of political upheaval in the holiday paradise. Nasheed
has faced three weeks of street protests stemming from the arrest of
a senior judge. Vice President Mohamed Waheed, who had clashed with
Nasheed over the chief justice's detention, was sworn in as the new
head of state and he urged the population of 300,000 Sunni Muslims
to remain calm.
2012 Feb 8, Supporters of the
Maldives former president rioted through the streets and seized some
police stations to demand his reinstatement as the country's new
leader appealed for an end to the political turmoil roiling this
Indian Ocean nation. Former leader Mohamed Nasheed and other top
party officials were beaten by police in the street chaos.
2012 Feb 9, A Maldives court
issued an arrest warrant for former President Mohamed Nasheed, one
day after his supporters rampaged in the capital and his claim of
being ousted by a coup left unclear the stability of the fledging
Indian Ocean democracy.
2012 Feb 12, Ousted Maldives
president Mohamed Nasheed rejected a US call for compromise and
rejected a unity government to end political unrest as fresh clashes
erupted in the Indian Ocean nation.
2012 Feb 13, The United Nations
backed the Maldives' new leader's proposal for a national unity
government though the ousted leader called for a snap poll to
resolve a political crisis.
2012 Feb 16, Maldivian
President Mohamed Waheed agreed to demands for early elections,
after taking power last week in what his ousted predecessor
described as a coup d'etat.
2012 Mar 26, Somali pirates
seized an Iranian-owned cargo ship and its 23-strong crew in the
first hijacking within Maldivian territory. The MV. Eglantine was
seized off the north-western Hoarafush island in the Indian Ocean
atoll nation. The Bolivian-flagged vessel was freed on April 2, and
continued on to Iran with its sugar shipment.
(AFP, 3/27/12)(AFP, 4/3/12)
2012 Apr 14, Maldives President
Mohamed Waheed, accused of seizing power in a military-backed coup,
faced his first popularity test when voting was held in two key
2012 Jun 5, Maldivian police
said Ismail Rasheed (37), a blogger known for his liberal views on
religion, is in intensive care after being stabbed by an attacker
outside his home in the capital Male.
2012 Jul 13, Maldives police
arrested at least 55 anti-government protesters following violent
clashes with security forces in the capital Male.
2012 Aug 30, The Maldives
Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), consisting of four nationals
named by political parties and a Singaporean judge nominated by the
Commonwealth, found the February change of president was "legal and
constitutional." The judgment promptly rejected by Mohamed Nasheed’s
party, which vowed to keep up protests to press for early elections.
2012 Oct 1, In the Maldives the
trial of former Pres. Mohamed Nasheed was postponed after he defied
a court order and left the capital by boat.
2012 Oct 2, In the Maldives Dr.
Afrasheen Ali, a member of parliament, was murdered in a frenzied
(Economist, 10/6/12, p.48)(
2012 The population of the
Maldives archipelago was about 330,000.
(Economist, 10/6/12, p.46)
2013 Feb 13, In the Maldives
former Pres. Mohamed Nasheed took refuge at the Indian Embassy after
a court ordered his arrest for not attending a hearing on charges
that he illegally ordered the detention of a senior judge, a move
that led to his ouster last year.
(SFC, 2/15/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 7, The Maldives held
elections. Mohamed Nasheed, ousted from power last year, emerged as
the clear leader with 45% of the vote, short of the 50% needed to
avoid a Sep 28 runoff against Yaamin Abdul Qayyoom.
(SFC, 9/9/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 7, The Maldives
Supreme Court annulled the results of the September 7 presidential
election and scheduled a fresh vote for October 20 after a candidate
challenged the outcome, citing irregularities. Earlier in the day
masked men burst into the Raajje TV studio in Male, stabbed a
security guard and set the place ablaze. Raajje was alligned with
the oppposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
(Reuters, 10/7/13)(Econ, 10/12/13, p.52)
2013 Oct 8, The Maldives
government urged all parties to support fresh elections after the
Supreme Court annulled last month's results, even though
international observers had said those polls were free and fair.
2013 Oct 19, The Maldives sank
further into political disarray when police blocked officials from
conducting a presidential revote, saying that holding the election
would violate a Supreme Court order.
2013 Oct 20, Mohamed Nasheed,
the leading candidate in the Maldives' troubled presidential
election, demanded that Pres. Mohamed Waheed Hassan resign and allow
the parliamentary speaker to take over the government and oversee a
2013 Nov 9, The Maldives voted
to elect a new leader for their budding democracy. Mohamed Nasheed,
the country's first democratically elected leader who first came to
power in 2008 after 30 years of one-man rule, won the first round of
voting but failed to win a clear majority.
(AP, 11/9/13)(Reuters, 11/10/13)
2013 Nov 10, The Maldives' top
court again delayed holding the second round of the country's
presidential poll. The Supreme Court delayed it until Nov 16, in
line with demands from Mohamed Nasheed's two biggest rivals.
2013 Nov 16, The Maldives held
runoff elections. Abdulla Yameen, the half brother of former
strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, defeated former president
Mohamed Nasheed, securing 51.3% of the popular vote.
(AFP, 11/16/13)(Econ, 11/23/13, p.41)
2013 The population of the
Maldives archipelago was about 400,000.
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.38)
2014 Apr, The Maldives
introduced new regulations for the implementation of the death
penalty by lethal injection.
2014 May 21, Transparency
International said South Asia is the most corrupt region of the
world and governments must strengthen their anti-graft agencies to
prevent political interference and protect whistleblowers. The
watchdog group found serious problems with anti-corruption efforts
in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
2014 Jul 5, The US Secret
Service arrested Roman Valerevich Seleznev (30), a Russian national,
in an airport in the Maldives for hacking into US retailers'
computer systems to steal credit card data from 2009 to 2011.
2014 Sep 14, Maldives former
president Mohamed Nasheed told Britain's Independent on Sunday paper
that up to 200 Maldivians were fighting for Islamic State (IS) in
Iraq and Syria. The entire population of the Maldives is only around
330,000 Sunni Muslims.
2014 Sep 15, China's President
Xi Jinping enlisted the Maldives' backing for a "21st century
maritime silk road" as he began a tour of South Asia in the
strategically located Indian Ocean island chain.
2014 Dec 5, The government of
Maldives declared a state of emergency and has appealed for aid from
India, Sri Lanka, the United States and China. Mohamed Shareef, a
government minister, said: "We have declared a state of crisis and
also informed the shopkeepers to issue bottle water free of
2014 Dec 10, A Maldives
government official said water supply in the capital, cut by a fire
last week in its only treatment plant, won't be fully restored until
2040 The artificial Maldives
island of Hulhumale was expected to be completed with a population
of around 150,000.
(SSFC, 1/2/05, p.A10)