Maldives is sinking… and so?

January 16, Mohamed Nasheed, the president of Maldives ordered the military forces to arrest the chief justice of the Criminal Court. Street protests and a boycott of sessions by all the republic’s courts ensued.

February 7, Nasheed resigned his presidency.

February 8, Nasheed organized a street protest in the capital, Malé. Clashes with the police. Violence spread to other islands.

February 9, a criminal court issued a warrant arrest for Nasheed …

The first question would be, why Maldivians go into civil strife, knowing that their country will “sink” in a decade or so!

Maldives is a constellation of 1,190 coral islands, mostly inhabited. The highest peak of this republic reaches 2.3 meters. And, it is probably the first country to be submerged due to global warming. Aware of this fact, the government is taking steps for an eventual mass migration: to buy land in Australia.

An attentive reader brought a critical related issue: “if an island nation is submerged beneath the ocean, does it maintain its membership in the United Nations?

Considering, that humans are a land-based-specie, one wonders if a country (a land-based creation of humans) looses its geographical dimension can still be considered a country. Of course, loosing a UN membership will surely be a devastating blow, as it was in the case of Atlantis.

Another point, why shouldn’t Maldivians stay in Maldives even if it was submerged? It is true that the highest point of this nation barely exceeds 2 meters, but most construction are 6 or 7 floors high, which will take them many many centuries to drown completely. Is it necessary for streets to be made of solid ground? What about canals?… Imagine the headlines: the Venice of the Indian Ocean, the Real Atlantis … for sure these slogan sucks, but it will attract an increasing number of tourists, the main industry of Maldive. The second most important economic activity is: fishing. Hmmm, how much the land-factor is crucial in the actual economic equation?

Well, at least, an alternative based on staying on the islands (or what used to be islands) , and the adoption of adequate policies will provide, for sure, “more employment and will further develop tourism in the area”, than constructing two new airports that will serve, after few years, underwater planes only.


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