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Maldives Travel

The Presidential Palace in Male is the official residence of the head of state of the Republic of Maldives. Though, unlike many other presidential governments, the building is not the president’s office, His Excellency is known to host special functions for visiting heads of state here. Reconstructed on the site of the erstwhile presidential palace, the building was occupied by President Mohamed Nasheed when this picture was taken in 2010. He was ousted in an alleged coup d’état in February 2012. His Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan was sworn in as President in his place.

The Maldives in happier times

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago of 1,192 coral atolls (of which 200 are inhabited), is the smallest Asian nation. These islands, barely a few meters above sea level, are a magnet for wealthy tourists and scuba-divers: the former flock to their pristine beaches, the latter come to experience their wealth of stunningly beautiful coral reefs and marine wildlife. Over the last week, the Maldives, an Islamic nation, made international headlines for violent street protests culminating in a coup d’état that overthrew its elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, who has held office since 2008. The political situation is worrying for the Maldives’ economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. Not long ago, the Maldives were the happy isles of the Indian Ocean. Reminiscing on a visit he made to the Maldives in 2010, Yahoo! India’s Travel Editor BIJOY VENUGOPAL presents a dramatic photo-essay of a happy-go-lucky yet strangely troubled island nation