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The Maldives was long a sultanate, first under Dutch and then under British
protection. It became a republic in 1968, three years after independence. President
Maumoon Abdul GAYOOM dominated the islands' political scene for 30 years, elected
to six successive terms by single-party referendums. Following riots in the capital
Male in August 2004, the president and his government pledged to embark upon
democratic reforms including a more representative political system and expanded
political freedoms. Progress was sluggish, however, and many promised reforms were
slow to be realized. Nonetheless, political parties were legalized in 2005. In June
2008, a constituent assembly - termed the "Special Majlis" - finalized a new
constitution, which was ratified by the president i n August. The first-ever presidential
elections under a multi-candidate, multi-party system were held in October 2008.
GAYOOM was defeated in a runoff poll by Mohamed NASHEED, a political activist who
had been jailed several years earlier by the former regime. Challenges facing the new
president include strengthening democracy and combating poverty and drug abuse.
Maldives officials have been prominent participants in international climate change
talks due to the islands' low elevation and the threat from sea-level rise.


Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India


  298 sq km
 298 sq km
  0 sq km


Current Weather

tropical; hot, humid; dry, n ortheast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest
monsoon (June to August)


Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by
most government officials

Sunni Muslim


Tourism, Maldives' largest economic activity, accounts for 28% of GDP and more than
60% of foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from
import duties and tourism-related taxes. Fishing is the second leading sector.
Agriculture and manufacturing continue to play a lesser role in the economy,
constrained by the limited availability of cultivable land and the shortage of domestic
labor. Most staple foods must be imported. The Maldivian Government implemented
economic reforms, beginning in 1989 that initially lifted import quotas, opened some
exports to the private sector, and liberalized regulations to allow more foreign
investment. Real GDP growth averaged over 7.5% per year for more than a decade,
and registered 18% in 2006, due to a rebound in tourism and reconstruction following
the tsunami of December 2004. GDP slowed in 2007-08, then con tracted in 200 9 due
to the global recession. Falling tourist arrivals and fish exports, combined with high
government spending on social needs, subsidies, and civil servant salaries contributed
to a balance of payments crisis, which was eased with a December 2009, $ 79.3 million
dollar IMF standby agreement. Diversifying the economy beyond tourism and fishing,
reforming public finance, and increasing employment opportunities are major
challenges facing the government. Over the longer term Maldivian authorities worry
about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country;
80% of the area is 1 meter or less above sea level


petroleum products, ships, foodstuffs, clothing, intermediate and capital goods




The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and
2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern I ndia. Aryan tribes from the
northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with
the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya
Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA -
united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered i n by the Gupta dynasty (4th to
6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread
across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries,
Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th
century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty which ruled India for
more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India
during the 16th century. By the 19th century , Great Britain had become the dominant
political power on the subcontinent. The British Indian Army played a vital role in
both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and
Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually brought about independence in 1947. Communal
violence led to the subcontinent's bloody partition, which resulted in the creation of
two separate states, India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars
since independence, the last of which in 197 1 resul ted in East Pakistan becoming the
separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 caused Pakistan
to conduct its own tests that same year. In November 2008, terrorists allegedly
originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated atta cks in Mumbai, India's
financial capital. Despite pressing problems such as significant overpopulation,
environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and widespread corruption, rapid
economic development is fueling India's rise on the world stage.

coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite,
titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land


The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least
5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second
millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan
peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the
Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The
Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th an d 17th centuries; the British came to
dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into
the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India
was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars - in 19 47-48
and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries
in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's marginalization of Bengalis in
Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of
Bangladesh. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its
own tests in 1998. The dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions
and confidence-building measures have helped the two countries begin to work
through their issues. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in
September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif
Ali ZARDARI to the presidency. Pakistani government and military leaders are
struggling to control domestic insurgents, many of whom are located in the tribal
areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. Indi a-Pakistan relations have been
rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but bo th coun tries are taking small
steps to put relations back on track.

land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore,
copper, salt, limestone


In 1951, the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary
premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established
a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. An
insurgency led by Maoist extremists broke out in 1996. The ensuing ten-year civil war
between insurgents and government forces witnessed the dissolution of the cabinet
and parliament and assumption of absolute power by the king. Several weeks of mass
protests in April 2006 were followed by several months of peace negotiations between
the Maoists and government officials, and culminated in a November 2006 peace
accord and the promulgation of an interim constitution. Following a nation-wide
election in April 2008, the newly formed Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a
federal democratic republic and abolished the monarchy at its first meeting the
following month. The Constituent Assembly elected the coun try's first president in
July. The Maoists, who received a plurality of votes in the Constituent Assembly
election, formed a coalition government in August 2008, but resigned in May 2009
after the president overruled a decision to fire the chief of the army staff.

quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper,
cobalt, iron ore


In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Si nchulu, under which Bhutan would
receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India.
Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 19 07; three years later, a treaty
was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs
and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its fo reign affairs. This role was assumed by
independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord
returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by th e British, formalized the annual subsidies
the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign
relations. A refugee issue of over 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved;
90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye
WANGCHUCK unveiled the government's draft constitution - which would introduce
major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a na tional referendum for its
approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar
Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the
democratic transition. In early 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to
allow Bhutan greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu
continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007,
seven ministers of Bhutan's ten-member cabinet resigned to join the political process,
and the cabinet acted as a caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the
country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king ratified the
country's first constitution in July 2008.

timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate


Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th
century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of
British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim)
separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan.
East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-
part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis
marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan
in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime
suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform
the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent
street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the
parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and
Sheikh HASINA Wajed was reelected prime minister. About a third of this extremely
poor country floods annually during the monsoon rai ny season, hampering economic

natural gas, arable land, timber, coal

The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C. probably from
northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a
great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200
B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 120 0). In the 14 th
century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka.
The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th cen tury
and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796,
became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon,
it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions
between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After
two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations.
Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006 and the
government regained control of the Easte rn Province in 2007. In May 200 9, the
government announced that its military had finally defeated the remnants of the LTTE
and that its leader, Velupillai PRABHAKARAN, had been killed.

limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Antas ng Wika [baguhin]

Nahahati ang wika at salitain sa apat na uri. Una, ang

, na siyang pinakamababa. Halimbawa: "epal
(mapapel), iskapo (takas), elib (bilib), istokwa (layas), haybol (bahay) at bomalabs (malabo)".

Ikalawang uri naman ay ang lalawiganin. Kabilang sa antas na ito ang mga salitain ng mga katutubo sa
lalawigan. Halimbawa, ang wikang Tagalog, may temang lalawiganin sa kani-kanilang dila ang
mga Kabiteño, Batangueño, at taga-Quezon. Matibay na indikasyon ng lalawiganing tema ang
pagkakaroon ng punto.

Ang ikatlong uri naman ang pambansa. Sa Pilipinas, laman pa rin ng pagtatalo kung ano ang kasama sa
antas na ito. Marami ang nagsasabingwikang Filipino ang Wikang Pambansa,
samantalang Tagalog namang ang sa iba. Kung mauunawaan na maunlad ang Filipino at ang
kaniyangalpabeto (simpleng alpabeto), at may mga hiram na titik. Maaaring ituring ang Filipino naman
na kalipunan ng mga salitain ng lahat ng mga Filipino (tao) maging lalawiganin man, o balbal, Tagalog
man o banyaga. Sa kadahilanang ito, ang Tagalog ang siyang tinuturing na wikang Pambansa at hindi ang
Filipino. Gayunpaman dahil kasulatan at kasaysayan, ang Filipino pa rin ang naitala at kinikilalang wikang

Ang ikapat na uri naman ng wika ay ang pampanitikan. Sa apat na antas ng wika, ito ang may
pinakamayamang uri. Madalas itong ginagamitan ng mga salitang may iba pang kahulugan. Ginagamit
ang idioma, eskima, tayutay at iba't ibang tono, tema at punto sa pampanitikan. May isang bihasa sa
wika ang nagsabi na ang panitikan ay "Kapatid na babae ng kasaysayan", dahil ang wikang pampanitikan
ay makasaysayan at may kakayahang tumaliwas sa kasaysayan dahil sa kakayahang lumikha ng mga
tauhang piksyunal o hindi totoo. Malayang magamit sa pagkatha ng dula, palabas, at iba pang likhang-
pampanitikan ay kadalasang nagaganap.


Ang dalawang kategorya ng paggamit ng wika ay    at    o    .


Ang R  ay ang mga salitang istandard, karaniwan, o pamantayan dahil kinikilala, tinatanggap at
ginagamit ng higit na nakararami lalo na mga nakapag-aral ng wika. Ginagamit ito sa mga usapang
pormal. Narito ang mga uri nito:

  - mga karaniwang salitang ginagamit sa mga aklat pangwika o
pambalarila sa mga paaralan, gayundin sa pamahalaan.
- mga salitang gamitin sa mga akdang pampanitikan,
karaniwang matatayog, malalalim, makulay, at masining.

Ang R  o  R  ay mga salitang karaniwang palasak at madalas gamitin sa pang-araw-araw na
pakikipagusap. Ginagamit ito sa mga hindi pormal na usapan. Narito ang mga uri nito:

1.?     - mga bokabularyong diyalektal. Gamitin ito sa mga partikular na pook o
lalawigan lamang.
 - mga salitang nahango lamang sa pagbabago o pag-usod ng panahon, mga
salitang nabuklat sa lansangan.
  - mga salitang ginagamit sa mga pagkakataong inpormal. Ang pagpapaikli ng
isa, dalawa, o higit pang salita ay mauuri rin sa antas na ito.
Bauxite calcium carbonate

Chromite coal

Cobalt clay
Copper diamond

Gem graphite

Gypsum iron ore

Limestone manganese

Mica mineral sand

Phosphate quartz

Rock salt titanium ore