The Human Truth Foundation

Maldives (Republic of Maldives)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

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#Maldives

Maldives
Republic of Maldives
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index60th best
CapitalMale
Land Area1 300 km2
LocationAsia
GroupingsSmall Islands
Population2324 313
Life Expectancy377.148yrs (2012)
GNI3$7 478
ISO3166-1 Codes4MV, MDV, 462
Internet Domain5.mv
Currency6Rufiyaa (MVR)
Telephone7+960

1. Overview

A sultanate since the 12th century, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands' political scene for 30 years, elected to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following political demonstrations in the capital Male in August 2003, the president and his government pledged to embark upon democratic reforms including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms. Progress was sluggish, however, and many promised reforms were slow to be realized. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized in 2005. In June 2008, a constituent assembly - termed the "Special Majlis" - finalized a new constitution, which was ratified by the president in August. The first-ever presidential elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system were held in October 2008. GAYOOM was defeated in a runoff poll by Mohamed NASHEED, a political activist who had been jailed several years earlier by the former regime. President NASHEED faced a number of challenges including strengthening democracy and combating poverty and drug abuse. In early February 2012, after several weeks of street protests following his sacking of a top judge, NASHEED resigned the presidency and handed over power to Vice President Mohammed WAHEED Hassan Maniku. In mid-2012, the Commission of National Inquiry was set by the Government to probe events leading to the regime change. Though no evidence of a coup was found, the report recommended the need to strengthen the country's democratic institutions to avert similar events in the future, and to further investigate alleged police misconduct during the crisis. Maldives officials have played a prominent role in international climate change discussions (due to the islands' low elevation and the threat from sea-level rise) on the United Nations Human Rights Council, and in encouraging regional cooperation, especially between India and Pakistan.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8

2. Maldives National and Social Development

UN's Human Development Index
Country2012
score
Average
1980-2010
1Norway95.587.3
2Australia93.888.9
3USA93.787.8
...
101China69.954.1
102Turkmenistan69.868.1
103Thailand69.058.9
104Maldives68.861.7
105Suriname68.467.7
106Gabon68.360.4
107El Salvador68.057.0
108Mongolia67.558.1
109Bolivia67.558.5
110Palestine67.064.0
111Paraguay66.959.8
112Egypt66.253.3
113Moldova66.061.5
Data Source
Social and Moral Development
CountryScore
1Sweden88.9
2Iceland87.4
3Denmark87.2
...
57Albania64.5
58Trinidad & Tobago64.0
59Suriname63.7
60Maldives63.1
61Romania62.4
62Bulgaria62.4
63Panama62.0
64Brazil61.6
65Fiji61.6
66Serbia61.5
67Greece61.5
68Macedonia61.5
69Bhutan61.4
70Montenegro61.1
Data Source

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

3. Population and Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy (at birth)
1Japan83.6
2Hong Kong83
3Switzerland82.5
...
43Uruguay77.2
44Mexico77.1
45Albania77.1
46Maldives77.1
47Barbados77
48Croatia76.8
49UAE76.7
50Panama76.3
Data Source
Fertility Rate
1Korea, N.2.0
2Brunei2.0
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.0
...
49UAE1.7
50Canada1.7
51Colombia2.3
52Maldives1.7
53Luxembourg1.7
54Turkmenistan2.3
55Trinidad & Tobago1.6
56Montenegro1.6
Data Source
Population (m=millions)
CountryPeoplePer km2
1China1 353.6m145
2India1 258.35m423
3USA 315.79m35
...
169Brunei412 89278
170Bahamas351 27535
171Iceland328 2903
172Maldives324 3131081
173Belize324 29214
174Barbados274 530638
175Vanuatu251 67421
Data Source

The Maldives's population is predicted to rise to 383 231 by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.67.

The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

4. Gender Equality

Female Vote and Stand
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
34S. Africa1930
35Spain1931
36Sri Lanka1931
37Maldives1932
38Uruguay1932
39Thailand1932
40Brazil1934
41Cuba1934
Gender Equality
1Netherlands0.04
2Sweden0.05
3Denmark0.06
...
62Costa Rica0.35
63Cuba0.36
64Kyrgyzstan0.36
65Maldives0.36
66Chile0.36
67Thailand0.36
68Turkey0.37
69Uruguay0.37
Data Source

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Maldives has made some steps towards ending gender inequality but much more needs to be done.

See:

5. Religion and Beliefs

#buddhism #christianity #hinduism #islam #judaism

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:

Christian0.4%
Muslim98.4%
Hindu0.3%
Buddhist0.6%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated0.1%

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states simply: Sunni Muslim (official)10.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Maldives states:

The constitution and other laws do not permit freedom of religion or belief. The constitution designates Islam as the official state religion, and the government and many citizens at all levels interpret this provision to impose a requirement that all citizens must be Muslims. The constitution also stipulates that the president must be Sunni. The constitutional language on the fundamental rights and duties of citizens does not provide for the right to freedom of religion or belief. Furthermore, the constitution precludes non-Muslims from voting and holding public positions.

The constitution does not prohibit discrimination based on religious preference. It excludes religion from a list of attributes for which people should not be discriminated against. Several articles in the constitution make the practice of Islam mandatory. Article 36 states that it is imperative for parents and the state to provide children with primary and secondary education. Section (c) of that article states education shall strive to inculcate obedience to Islam and instill love for Islam.

Cases of Discrimination

In 2008 the Ministry of Islamic Affairs replaced the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. The ministry mandates Islamic instructions in schools, funds salaries of religious instructors, and certifies imams, who are responsible for presenting government-approved sermons. By law no one may publicly discuss Islam unless invited to do so by the government.

In June 2010, Muhammad Nazim asked a Muslim preacher, at a large public event, how Islam viewed people such as himself who had tried to believe in Islam but could not. The preacher replied that Islam requires the death penalty for those who leave Islam. Several members of the enraged crowd attempted to attack Nazim and he was hustled away by the police. The Islamic Ministry arranged for Nazim to receive "religious counseling" before determining if he should be executed for apostasy. During this prison counseling, Muhammad saved his life by embracing Islam.

One month later, Ismail Mohamed Didi faced the same choice as Mohamamed Nazim: believe or die. He chose death. On July 13 2010, the 25 year-old air traffic controller was found hanged from the control tower of the Maldives international airport, after killing himself to escape persecution for his rejection of religion. Shortly before his death, Ismail Mohamed Didi wrote that he had "foolishly admitted my stance on religion" to work colleagues and the news had "spread like wildfire." He added that "A lot of my close friends and girlfriend have been prohibited from seeing me by their parents. I have even received a couple of anonymous phone calls threatening violence if I do not repent and start practicing Islam... Maldivians are proud of their religious homogeneity and I am learning the hard way that there is no place for non-Muslim Maldivians in this society."

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)11

Links:

6. The Internet

IT Security Risks
271USA3.68
270Russia2.42
269India2.10
...
264Sri Lanka1.67
263Angola1.61
262China1.59
261Maldives1.57
260Tanzania1.50
259Rwanda1.50
258Netherlands1.47
257Germany1.47
Data Source
Internet Users in Population
1Iceland95.64
2Norway93.28
3Netherlands90.70
...
93Ecuador29.00
94Mauritius28.73
95Nigeria28.43
96Maldives28.29
97Vietnam27.85
98Egypt26.74
99Jamaica26.48
100Georgia26.30
Data Source

Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.

Links:

7. More Charts and Comparisons to Other Countries

Human Rights Treaties
1Argentina24
2Ecuador23
3Germany23
...
103Chad15
104Cape Verde15
105St Vincent & Grenadines15
106Maldives15
107Sierra Leone15
108Mozambique15
109Tanzania15
110Liberia15
Data Source
Press Freedom Index
1Finland99.0
2Netherlands99.0
3Norway99.0
...
99Georgia99.3
100Lebanon99.3
101Albania99.3
102Maldives99.3
103Uganda99.3
104Peru99.3
105Kyrgyzstan99.3
106Fiji99.3
Data Source
Gross National Income
1Qatar$87 478
2Liechtenstein$84 880
3Kuwait$52 793
...
92Turkmenistan$7 782
93Thailand$7 722
94Bosnia & Herzegovina$7 713
95Maldives$7 478
96Ecuador$7 471
97Algeria$7 418
98Suriname$7 327
99Jamaica$6 701
Data Source
Environmental Performance
1Iceland93.5
2Switzerland89.1
3Costa Rica86.4
...
45Netherlands66.4
46Canada66.4
47Fiji65.9
48Maldives65.9
49Philippines65.7
50Australia65.7
51Morocco65.6
52Belarus65.4
Data Source
Gay Equality
1Netherlands405
2Belgium350
3Canada280
...
145Bahrain-20
146Singapore-20
147Guinea-20
148Maldives-20
149Korea, N.-20
150Swaziland-30
151Lebanon-30
152Ethiopia-30
Data Source

Current edition: 2013 May 01
http://www.humantruth.info/maldives.html
Parent page: Vexing International Issues

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

CIA
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Feb 20.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2013) .^
  4. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  5. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  6. According to ISO4217.^
  7. According to ITU-T.^
  8. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mv.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  9. Pew Forum (2012) publication "The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World´s Major Religious Groups as of 2010" (2012 Dec 18) accessed 2013 May 01.^
  10. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  11. IHEU (2012) . Added to this page on 2013 Oct 28.^

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