Malediven

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Malediven
State flag of Malediven
Subdivision of: Batavian Kingdom

The early history of the Malediven (or Dhivehirázze in the Dhivehi language) is obscure. According to Dhivehi legend, a Sinhalese prince named Koimale was stranded with his bride--daughter of the king of Ceylon--in a lagoon somewhere in the Malediven and stayed on to rule as the first sultan.

Over the centuries, the islands have been visited and their development influenced by sailors from countries on the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean littorals. Mopla pirates from the Malabar Coast -- present-day Maisúr on the Indian sub-continent -- harassed the islands. In the 16th century, the Batavian Kingdom subjugated and began ruling the islands.

Tourism and fishing are being developed on the archipelago, although this was seriously hindered, if not destroyed with the çunami of 2005.

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