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Google has started a new feature- News Archive Search. I tried searching for Maldives news items- some interesting things came up (slight spelling corrections made below);

“Holland Evening Sentinel - NewspaperArchive - Jul 7, 1952, THE BENIGHTED MALDIVES LACK CIVILIZED WOES; Now that the Maldive islands, in the Indian ocean, have adopted a republican form of government, it is obvious that something ought to be done to bring the benefits twentieth century civilization to the inhabitants. The MALDIVES, known chiefly to stamp collectors, seem to be singularly backward. They have no relations to speak of with other nations, and hence no cold war tensions. They have no television, and only a few automobiles, limited to one' of the inhabited islands. They have no crime and no jails. The islanders never need aspirin or pheno-barbital. The people, it seems, spend most of their time fishing, fashoning lacquer work, making rope and collecting. They've never learned to get stirred up over things. When the time comes to change their government, they don't make a lot of fuss and speeches; they simply tell some- ody to sit under a palm tree and up a constitution. It's something of a mystery why these benighted people have not tried before this to improve their sorry lot and learn how to enjoy he boons we civilized people take or granted. There's a possible answer which we hate to consider, .faybe they're smarter than we.”

Native Revolt In Maldives Is Disclosed; LONDON, Jan. 8 1959 (AP)--Angry mobs swarming from a canoe armada have wrecked and burned offices of the native Government on a remote ...

Reno Evening Gazette - NewspaperArchive - Dec 7, 1934, Maldive Islands lack a sultan Until recently this Indian ocean archipelago had a ruler, Sultan Shamsudeen Iskander, who paid tribute to the British government of Ceylon. Caught trying to substitute an absolute monarchy for the established representative government of the MALDIVES, he has just been dethroned by King George V. "Dreamers who long for an Idyllic Island existence would find their dreams punctured by a visit to the Maldive Islands says a bulletin from the Washington, D C headquarters of the NATIONAL Geogiaphic Society.

Tourists are warned against sleeping on the islands, as they, even more than natives, fall prey to strange complaints…; climate more than anything else, has hindered the development of these islands, especially their foreign intercom se "Only seventeen of the two thousand Islands are inhabitable, …But even agriculture In the MALDIVES has its drawbacks. Natives have to fight armies of rats which menace their cocoanut crops. All the rice consumed must be imported, and is so expensive that only the wealthy can afloid It …..So frequent are wrecks on this and other Maldive Islands that the governor of Ceylon, in granting Ceylon's, and therefore Britain's protection to the MALDIVES, stipulated that, In return, the islanders must aid all Europeans wrecked on their atolls. "In spite of bad climate, bad water, and other obstacles that would discourage most people, the eighty thousand Maldive Islanders live fairly comfortably. Most of them are short, dark copper in color, Intelligent and Industrious They weave their own cloth, and their own boats and nautical Instruments They are skilled navigators and spend much time on the water fishing for bonito. Several of the islands maintain training schools for sailors Maldivans are Mohammedans and occasionally make pilgrim voyages to the Red Sea …

"Native products are peddled among the Islands in native boats, but all trading with foreign countries is done from Male Island, capital of the group. Male, or Sultan’s Island, Is one of the nine inhabited islands ol a group of fifty which compiise Male atoll. On its small surface, less than one square mile In extent, aie crowded trees, houses along sandy streets, foits, the Sultans tomb, and the dethroned sultan's wall-enclosed palace One thousand of Its approximate five thousand Inhabitants are soldiers. "Coral patches and tide lips make one side of Male Island inaccessible, but the harbor on Its east side, protected by a rough breakwater is good. Once a month, two-masted sailing vessels leave for Colombo, Ceylon, with mail, reaching there in three days If the monsoon winds are favorable, sometimes not for thirty days, If they are unfavorable. In August 01 September boats leave for Ceylon, and Calcutta India, carrying principally coir yarn Male Island reaches its peak of activity and excitement when the annual foreign tiaclers call in March. Natives who have brought their product from other atolls gather on the shore to hall ijith delight ships from Ceylon, Sumatia, and Chittagong, India. Duty, consisting of bags of rice, red handkerchiefs, and other commodities such as onions coriander seed and cummin seed, was formerly presented to the Sultan and his government officials "To watch Maldivians do their equivalent of Christmas shopping is to witness a colorful sight. Foreign traders purchase from them large quantities of bonito, which is in great demand in Sumatra and Ceylon. They also buy tortoise shells, coconuts, coir yam, woven glass mats, and cowrie shells used as currency by some Asiatics. In return, the islanders receive rice, dates, salt, curry- stuff, leaf tobacco and betel nuts. They prize red and white checkered handkerchiefs, coarse white cloth, and colored waist cloths. Chinaware and Indian pottery go over big. Although they make a kind of sugar from cocoanuts, they are glad to get coarse brown sugar. They will also trade their cowrie shells for small quantities of steel, thread and brass."


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on September 6, 2006 4:27 PM.

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