As the Maldives sinks into an increasingly repressive regime under the helm of current President Abdulla Yameen, we will be joined by exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed, journalist and author of The Maldives: Islamic Republic, Tropical Autocracy JJ Robinson, and others, to discuss the current situation in this small yet turbulent archipelago. With at least 100 Maldivian jihadists now fighting in Syria and Iraq, a significant share of the country’s modest population, we will also discuss the increasing role of Islamism – as well as the implications for the wider South Asia region. We will explore hopes for the future and the role of an increasingly-repressed media in supporting an eventual transition to democracy – all as the impending threat of climate change on the low-lying islands continues to loom large.
Jon Shenk’s The Island President tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced – the literal survival of his country and everyone in it.
After bringing democracy to the Maldives following thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed is now faced with an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1,200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable.