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The Republic of Maldives is a small island country situated in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka and India to the south of Asia, consisting of 1,196 islands, of which 203 are inhabited, located about 450 km south of the peninsula Deccan. His only real border is with the Indian Territory of Lakshadweep, the north, but are also the nearest neighbors of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a group of islands located south of the Maldives.
Are grouped in 26 atolls, each having the name of one or two letters writing Thaana. His name was derived from maldwipa in the Malabar language, which hardly means "thousand" and Dwipa, "islands", or the Sanskrit Malaya (stick) Dwipa, "islands of Malabar."
Possess a tropical and humid with a rainfall of about 2000 mm per year. Islam is the predominant religion, which was introduced in 1153. It was a Portuguese colony (1558), Dutch (1654) and British (1887). In 1953 we tried to establish a republic, but a few months after the sultanate was restored. Gained independence in 1965 and in 1968 the republic was reinstated, however, in 38 years the country had only two Presidents, though political restrictions have decreased recently. It is the least populated country in Asia and also among the least populous Muslim countries.
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