Key Facts about Maldives

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Overview:

The Maldives government recently suspended three of its ministers after they shared offensive remarks against the Indian Prime Minister on social media.

About Maldives

  • It is a low-lying island country in the north-central Indian Ocean. 
  • Its closest neighbours are India, about 600 kilometres north-east, and Sri Lanka, about 645 kilometres north-east.
  • Geography:
    • It consists of a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands and sandbanks (some 200 of which are inhabited), grouped in clusters, or atolls.
    • The atolls have sandy beaches, lagoons, and a luxuriant growth of coconut palms, together with breadfruit trees and tropical bushes.
    • The islands extend more than 510 miles (820 km) from north to south and 80 miles (130 km) from east to west.
    • None of the coral islands stand more than 1.8 metres (six feet) above sea level.
    • Barrier reefs protect the islands from the destructive effects of monsoons. 
  • Capital: Male
  • Languages: 
    • The official language is an Indo-European language called Dhivehi (or Maldivian).
    • Arabic, Hindi, and English are also spoken.
  • Islam is the state religion.
  • Economy: It revolves mainly around tourism.
  • Constitutional Framework: The constitution of the Maldives was adopted in 2008.
    • The head of state and government is the president, assisted by a vice president and a cabinet.
    • The president and vice president are directly elected by universal suffrage to a maximum of two five-year terms.

Q1) What are atolls?

Atolls are ring-shaped reef formations with a central lagoon. They are rings of coral reefs ranging from 1 to 20 miles in diameter that are a result of the full submersion of an island that was surrounded by fringing and barrier reefs.

Source: Maldives suspends 3 ministers over derogatory remark against PM Modi