Countries » Maldives
The Maldives 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.
Formerly a Sultanate under Dutch and British protection, the Maldives are 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". Following protests that started on May 1, 2011, Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign from office on February 7, 2012. Mohammed Waheed Hassan , supported by the former dictator, was appointed president of the Maldives. There have been reports on violence and human rights violations by the security forces against protesters backing Nasheed. The next elections are to be held in July 2013.
The highest point in the Maldives is on the Wilingili Islands in the Addu Atoll. It’s 7 feet 11 inches above sea level.