The Maldives celebrates 57 years of independence from the United Kingdom on July 26, 2022.

Although governed as an independent Islamic sultanate from 1153 to 1968, the Maldives was a British protectorate from 1887 until 25 July 1965. On December 16, 1887, the Sultan of the Maldives signed a contract with the British Governor of Ceylon turning the Maldives into a British protectorate, losing her sovereignty in matters of foreign policy (Sajid, 2014).

Independence for the Maldives was significant because it enabled the country to seize control over its own economy and develop itself as it pleased.

When Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir signed the agreement for independence from the British, the population in the Maldives was merely 97,743. Both Sri Lanka and India, nearby countries under the same colonial power, had managed to gain independence from Britain at the conclusion of the World War.

The Maldives was particularly moved to seek this independence after three southern atolls were claimed as part of the brief Suvadive Republic between 1959 and 1963. Within two months of being granted this independence, Maldives gained membership in the United Nations (September 21, 1965). The country’s flag was then raised at the headquarters on the 12th of October 12, 1965.


  1. Public Holidays Asia (2019). Independence Day 2019 2020 in Maldives. Retrieved from:
  2. Sajid, M. (26 July 2014). Happy Independence Day! Retrieved from: