Significance of PM Visit to Maldives

  • To attend swearing in ceremony of newly elected President.
  • In 2012 Mohammed Nasheed was ousted of power and later India’s relations with Maldives strangled.
  • The Chinese presence increased after that. Many projects were given to China.
  • Belt and Road initiative was signed and the hotbed for Islamic fundamentalism increased.
  • Maldives total debt out of which 70 percent from China which will in turn used by China for favouring policies.
  • This will be another pearl from String of pearls.

Geography of Maldives:

  • Situated in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India. It consists of 26 atolls(dominant), spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, making this one of the most disparate countries in the world.
  • Composed of live coral reefs and sand bars, the atolls are situated atop a submarine ridge 960 kilometres long that rises abruptly from the depths of the Indian Ocean and runs from north to south.
  • Only near the southern end of this natural coral barricade do two open passages permit safe ship navigation from one side of the Indian Ocean to the other through the territorial waters of Maldives.
  •  Atolls of the Maldives consist of a large, ring-shaped coral reef supporting numerous small islands. Islands average only one to two square kilometres in area, and lie between one and 1.5 meters above mean sea level.
  • The tropical vegetation of Maldives differs in the inhabited and in the uninhabited islands. Inhabited islands have small groves of banana, papaya, drumstick and citrus trees by the homesteads, while breadfruit trees and coconut palms are grown in available patches of land.
  • On the other hand, uninhabited islands have mostly different kinds of bushes and mangroves along the waterline as well as some coconut trees. Two seasons dominate Maldives’ weather: the dry season associated with the winter northeast monsoon and the rainy season brought by the summer southwest monsoon.
  • The weather in Maldives is affected by the large landmass of the South Asia to the north. The presence of this landmass causes differential heating of land and water.
  • Scientists also cite other factors in the formation of monsoons, including the barrier of the Himalayas on the northern fringe of the South Asia and the sun’s northward tilt, which shifts the jet stream north. These factors set off a rush of moisture-rich air from the Indian Ocean over the South Asia, resulting in the southwest monsoon.
  • The hot air that rises over the South Asia during April and May creates low-pressure areas into which the cooler, moisture-bearing winds from the Indian Ocean flow.
  • In Maldives, the wet southwest monsoon lasts from the end of April to the end of October and brings the worst weather with strong winds and storms.
  • In May 1991 violent monsoon winds created tidal waves that damaged thousands of houses and piers, flooded arable land with seawater, and uprooted thousands of fruit trees. The damage caused was estimated at US$30 million.
  • The shift from the moist southwest monsoon to the dry northeast monsoon over the South Asia occurs during October and November. During this period, the northeast winds contribute to the formation of the northeast monsoon, which reaches Maldives in the beginning of December and lasts until the end of March.
  • However, the weather patterns of Maldives do not always conform to the monsoon patterns of the South Asia. Rain showers over the whole country have been known to persist for up to one week during the midst of the dry season.
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