A Political Chronology of Central, South and East Asia

By Ian Preston | Go to book overview

The Maldives

300 AD: The Theravadin form of Buddhism from Sri Lanka dominated the Maldivian archipelago.

10th century: Buddhist monasteries were to be found throughout the country, but above all in the southern and central atolls.

1153: The last Buddhist monarch of the Maldive Islands, Siri Bavanaditta, converted to Islam and became known as Sultan Mohamed al-Adil.

13th century: An expedition was sent from Malé, the capital, against an ‘infidel’ (possibly Buddhist) ruler in the south.

1343-1344: The North African traveller Ibn Batutah stayed in the Maldive Islands and wrote the first known description of life on the islands. The ruler at that time was a sultan of the Somavansa dynasty, one of six great dynasties in the islands following their conversion to Islam.

1558: The Portuguese established themselves on the islands, ruling from their colony in Goa, India. Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, the Maldives had followed the Maliki school of Islamic law, but following the Sultan’s appointment of Mohamed Jamal al-Din Huvadu, who had studied Shafi’i law in southern Arabia, as Qadi (judge), the archipelago became Shafi’i.

17 December 1573: The Portuguese were driven out of the Maldive Islands by the warrior-patriot Mohamed Bodu Takurufanu al-Azam, who subsequently became Sultan.

17th century: The Dutch took possession of the islands, along with Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Although they governed Maldivian affairs, local concerns continued to be regulated in accordance with Islamic custom.

1795-1796: The British acquired control of the islands as a result of their conquest of Ceylon during the European Revolutionary Wars,

1887: The status of the Maldive Islands as a protectorate under British rule was formalized. Sultan Ibrahim Nur al-Din signed an agreement whereby internal affairs remained under his local control but the British managed foreign policy.

1932: The sultanate was made elective and a democratic Constitution was established.

1939: The Constitution was suspended.

1940s: The Prime Minister, Mohamed Amin Didi, nationalized the fish export industry.

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A Political Chronology of Central, South and East Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Afghanistan 1
  • Bangladesh 15
  • Bhutan 30
  • The People’s Republic of China 35
  • China (taiwan) 87
  • India 104
  • Japan 135
  • Kazakhstan 158
  • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (north Korea) 166
  • The Republic of Korea (south Korea) 180
  • Kyrgyzstan 205
  • The Maldives 213
  • Mongolia 217
  • Nepal 226
  • Pakistan 239
  • Sri Lanka 264
  • Tajikistan 286
  • Turkmenistan 295
  • Uzbekistan 302
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