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History

Archaeological finds indicate the existence of an early Buddhist religious community.

400 v. Chr. Buddhist kingdom
1153 Conversion from Buddhism to Islam and founding of first Sultanate (Islam is the religion of the state). The first Sultan of the Maldives is Mohammed Ibn Abdullah (from 1141 to 1166, vanished on a pilgrimage to Mecca). 
1344 The Arab writer and traveller Ibn Battuta, visits the Maldives and works for a number of years as a judge. (first written description of the Maldives). 
1558 Conquest of the Maldives by the Portuguese. Sultan Ali is killed fighting the invaders. 
1573 Under the leadership of Mohammed Takurufan and his two brothers, the Maldives free themselves from 15 of Portuguese rule. Sultan Takurufan (Sultan from 1573 to 1585) is still celebrated as a national hero. 
1645 Until 1796 under sovereignty of the Dutch Crown.
1887 The Sultan of the Maldives signs a protectorate contract with Great Britain on 16.12.1887. The Sultan obtained protection for the Maldives against the payment of tribute to the British Crown. 
1932 The first Maldives constitution comes into force (constitutional sultanate).
1939 The British erect an air base at Gan.
1947 The last tribute payment to Great Britain.
1953 The republic is proclaimed on January 1st after 800 years of the sultanate. (Between 1153 and 1953 the Maldives were ruled by 4 sultanas and 93 sultans). The first president was Mohammed Amin Didi, but he already died in 1945. 
1959 The southern atoll declares its independence as the Republic of Suvadia the separatists are overthrown. 
1965 The Maldives gain their independence on 26th July they obtain full UN membership in the same year. 
1968 The Second Republic is founded on the 11th November (Presidential Republic by means of a plebiscite. Ibrahim Nasir is the first president. 
1972 Following the making of a first film of the Maldives above and under water by Hans Hass and the Xarifa in 1957 and 1958, tourism begins 
1976 Admission to the group of non-aligned states. The British close their air base at Gan. 
1978 President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is elected for the first time and is confirmed in office in elections of 1978,1983, 1988 and September 1994. 
1980 Failure of the putsch attempt by ex president Ibrahim Nasir.
1988 Putsch of Tamil separatists 3.9.1988. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom flees the capital Male e and calls for foreign help. The same evening 1600 Indian paratroops land and crush the revolt. The failed putsch costs 25 human lives. 
1989 The last Indian troops leave in November.
1995 Amnesty International condemns violations of human rights in Maldives prisons. 
2004

December 26th, 0:58 UTC: an undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean registering 9.3 on the Richter scale causes a tsunami. Two-thirds of the capitol island of Malé is flooded; the international airport on Malé is shut down until further notice. Some atolls were completely flooded, their buildings washed away into the sea.  A national disaster is declared; according to national accounts, the Maldives suffered a death toll of 80 people.