Republic of Maldives

import duties and tourism-related taxes.

The Maldives (Dhivehi: ާޖިއާރިހެވިދ ެ Dhivehi Raajje ) are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean . They lie south- southwest of India and are considered part of Southern Asia . Maldives was for the most part unknown to tourists until the early 1970s. Just 185 of the islands are home to its 300,000 inhabitants. The other islands are used entirely for economic functions, of that tourism and agriculture are dominant. Tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP. Over 90% of the state government income comes from



Formerly a Sultanate under Dutch and British protection, the Maldives is now a republic. Long ruled over with an iron fist by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who did not hesitate to jail dissidents and was re-elected five times in more or less rigged elections, resistance to his rule culminated in violent rioting in 2003 and 2004. Under international pressure, free and fair elections were finally held in 2008, and Gayoom gracefully conceded defeat to opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed, "Anni".

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