The new president was interested in the fishermen’s situation, which was very bad then. He set up a state fisheries organization that controlled the country’s most important natural resource from catch for sale. Gayoom created schools in the 19 most important islands, opened the islands to the outside world and personally traveled to Europe, the Middle East and participated in the Alliance-Free Countries’ 6th Summit.
In May 1980, it was officially announced that his government had thwarted an invasion of mercenaries, led overseas by Ibrahim Nasir, who was asked to extradite from Singapore.
According to Countryaah data, the Republic of Maldives continues to identify itself with Islamic solidarity, alliance freedom, the cause of the Palestinians, the new economic world order, disarmament, African solidarity and the transformation of the Indian Ocean into a sea of peace. Although a small country with low population and limited resources, its strategic location provides considerable bargaining power and an independent position in foreign policy. At the same time, the will for freedom of alliance allowed support from all countries, without any major restrictions on its options for action.
In April 1980, the Maldives signed an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation with the Soviet Union, and in April 81 an agreement on trade cooperation was signed with India, the country’s largest partner in the region. In July 81, China’s then Foreign Minister, Huang Hua, visited Male and signed a technical cooperation agreement.
In July 82, the Islands became the 47th member of British state society. By 1979, the Maldives had joined the Alliance Free Movement. Yet the country refused to join the Southeast Asian Association, ASEAN, because this organization acts as a bloc following majority decisions. As the Maldives is the country closest to the US naval base on the island of Diego Garcia, other countries have shown interest in its internal affairs. In 83, Gayoom was re-elected president for another five-year term with 95.5% of the vote.
Three months before he was re-elected for the second time in August 88, a new coup attempt was revealed – probably led by Amir Nasir. 75 people were taken prisoner. Most Sri Lankans. 16 were sentenced to death and 59 were jailed.
The 37% increase in tourism between 1984 and 85 coincided with the almost complete closure of the Maldivian shipyards, as a result of drastic declines in imports and the loss of important international markets. Through 86, tourism maintained its economic importance and raised the country $ 42 million – approx. 17% of gross domestic product (GDP). In 1991, the Maldives was visited by 200,000 tourists, leaving $ 80 million in the country. But fishing remains the most important economic activity. It employs 45% of the workforce and accounts for 24% of GDP.
The environmental impact of the industrial activity of the developed capitalist world has raised awareness among the Maldives. In March 1990, thousands of school students in the capital’s streets demonstrated their concern over the rise of the ocean around the small archipelago. The increase is due to the «greenhouse effect», which is a result of the global warming, which melts the ice masses at the poles with the rise in the sea as a result. According to scientific calculations, most of the islands in the archipelago will disappear over the next 100 years if the current trend continues.
Monsoon storms in 1991 triggered the economic crisis in 93-94, and in addition came from 92 a chronic trade deficit. The government sold 25% of the shares in the Bank of Maldives and agreed to a free trade policy covering all sectors except the export of frozen fish.
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom began his fourth term in 1993 and continues at the same time as Minister of Defense, National Security and Finance. In the same year, 27% of the state budget was spent on education, health and national security. The fishing sector, which employs ¼ of the active population, received 30% of the budget.
Tourist revenue totaling $ 113 million in 1994 was the basis for the archipelago’s economic re-activation in 1995.
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According to thesciencetutor, despite the non-existence of political parties or organized opposition, young Maldives educated abroad began to show signs of rejection of the president’s rule. The rising religious extremism in the islands is another problem for the government of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.