Maldives - Country history and economic development

12TH CENTURY. The population adopts the Islamic faith.

1558. The Portuguese colonize the islands (only to be driven out in 1573).

17TH CENTURY. Maldives becomes a protectorate under the Dutch rulers of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).

1887. The British officially declared the Maldives a protectorate.

1965. The Maldives become fully independent on 26 July.

1968. A national referendum votes in favor of the abolition of the sultanate in favor of a republic. Amir Ibrahim Nasir is elected president.

1978. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is elected president.

1981. Maldives Monetary Authority is established and Malé International Airport is opened.

1988. Coup attempt by Tamil mercenaries is successfully halted with the aid of Indian forces.

1998. Gayoom is re-elected as president for the fifth consecutive term.

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