Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Maldives is a republic of more than 1,000 small islands west of India and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. It occupies 300 square kilometers and has a population of 330,000 people (July 2003 estimate). It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. The economy is based primarily on tourism and fishing. In recent years, increasing dissent against the centralized power of the presidency has led to government crackdowns against protesters and opposition figures, particularly following prison riots in September 2003. The first militia in the Maldives was formed in the ...