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Maldives
Maldives is a country of over 2000 islands that often is not higher than 2 meters at its highest and is about 650 km. southwest of Sri Lanka. The archipelago covers annual tourists by the thousands. Maldives is very popular with courting couples and sailing and dykkeentusianter. 25.0% of the population works in agriculture. 21.5% work in industry, 53.5 in services. Main export items are canned tuna, frozen tuna and tuna, clothing and fishmeal. Main imports are consumer goods, intermediate products, capital goods and petroleum products. Major trading partners are Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Thailand, the United States and India. Maldives has one airport with regular traffic. Literacy rate over 15 years is 90.4% of the population. Freedom of the press is limited. on the main island of Male published two daily newspapers.
The earliest history of the Maldives is based on a legend. A Sinhalese prince named Koimala stranded in the Maldivian lagoons with his bride, the king of Sri Lanka's daughter. Here he remained and became the first sultan.

Over the centuries, the islands have been visited and influenced by sailors from Arabia and the Indian Ocean. Moplen pirates from the Malabar Coast, today known as the State of Kerala in India, ravaged the islands. In the 16th century, the Portuguese ruled the islands for 15 years (1558-1573) before being driven away by the sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam.

Although the islands were governed as an independent Islamic sultanate for most of the period from 1153 to 1968, the Maldives was a British protectorate from 1887 until 25 July 1965. In 1953 there was a brief attempt to introduce republican form of government without success. The Sultan continued his reign.

After the archipelago became independent in 1965, continued the sultan's board for the next three years. 11th November 1968 the sultan Board abolished, Maldives became a republic and got its current name.

26th December 2004, the Maldives hit by the 10 meter high waves from a tsunami caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Nearly all the archipelago was flooded by the tsunami. At least 75 people were missing, including six foreigners. All infrastructure was destroyed on 13 of the inhabited islands. The capital Malé was modestly affected, due to a 3.5 m high pier outside the city that took most of the force of the tsunami. There were no reports of casualties in the city, although much of the infrastructure is damaged, the level of damage is not nearly as bad as in other parts of the country.

The population was estimated at 263 000 in 1996. High birth rates have combined with a declining mortality given the strong growth in population. The inhabitants are of Sinhalese, Malay and Arabic origin.

 
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