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Flag : Maldives
 

 
Fact file : Maldives
 
Area298 sq km
CapitalMalé
Population329,684
LanguageDivehi (official; dialect of Sinhala), English
Currency1 rufiyaa (Rf), consisting of 100 laari

 

Maldives

THE Maldives is made up of close to 2000 small coral islands whose total area is 298 sq. kilometres, making it the smallest independent country in Asia.

It has a population of about 2,50,000. Most of the people are either of Sinhalese or Indian or Arab descent and nearly all are Muslims. Divehi, a Sinhalese dialect, is the main language.

There are not many ways of earning a living in a country situated in the middle of an ocean. Most of the people are engaged in farming or employed in the tourism industry. Some grow coconuts or make garments for export. The Maldives is a founder-member of SAARC (South Asian Association Regional Co-operation) of which India is a member state.

There was a spot of trouble in the Maldives in 1988 when mercenaries from Sri Lanka tried to overthrow the Government. The government asked India for help and Indian paratroopers soon restored order in the country. Now the only invasion that the Maldives fears is an invasion by the sea. Flooding occurs periodically in some islands and if the sea level rises due to global warming, some of the islands may go underwater permanently.

The capital of Maldives is Male.

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