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.
Places To Visit
Since the highlights of the Maldives are its great waters and marine life, the Bluetribe Moofushi diving center offers the best experience in terms of water sports activities such as windsurfing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, riding on catamarans/pedal boats, and many more activities.
Alimatha Island located at the Vaavu Atoll on the eastern side of the Maldives. It is a complete Maldivian destination for tourists, as it offers world-class diving, aquarium-like snorkeling as well as a central beach complete with great facilities. The island itself has rich green vegetation surrounded by beaches and many stunning sites.
Manta Point is a diving area where you can enjoy seeing large numbers of manta rays being fed and cleaned by wrasses. Manta rays circle several large coral rocks, and wait their turn to be cleaned. After being cleaned, they swim gracefully to the reef feeding on shallow water where you can find plankton.
Banana Reef, which is the most sought out diving site in the Maldives. It is called Banana Reef because it has the shape of a banana that extends 300 meters from north to south. The major feature of the reef is its marine life, where you can find Napoleon Wrasse, Moray Eels and the rare Bannerfish.