ATbar Ningthoujam, Alvite Singh

Ningthoujam, Alvite Singh

Alvite Singh Ningthoujam is a Doctoral candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

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Maldives is No Longer a ‘Paradise’

02/04/2015

Maldives, a small nation in the Indian Ocean, is best known for its picturesque tourist attractions, and the travellers who popularly consider it to be a ‘paradise’.  The state, with an approximate population of 394,000 people, is comprised of 1,192 small islands, grouped in 26 atolls. With the influx of about 600,000 tourists every year, tourism activity has remained the main source of the country’s income, which also accounts for 30 percent of its GDP. While these statistics highlight the bright side of this tiny nation, there is a developing trend which has become a major concern, not only for the country but for the region. There is a mounting fear that Maldives will no longer be a revellers’ destination, but may transform into a safe haven for jihadists who are aspiring to fight not only in war-torn Syria and Iraq, but who would want to establish strict Sharia law inside the country. It appears that the tentacles of the Islamic State (IS) have reached Maldives, and that its regional neighbours have a major challenge before them to tackle this rising phenomenon. 

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