The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) wishes to extend its full cooperation in the celebration and commemoration of the Republic of Maldives on its 58th Independence Day this July 26, 2023. May we all embrace the spirit of nationhood so that we can all work together towards the path to economic and social development.


Photo: Signing of the Declaration of Independence in Colombo by Maldivian Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir, and High Commissioner of UK to Sri Lanka Sir Michael Walker (Maldives Independent)

Although governed as an independent Islamic sultanate from 1153 to 1968, 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 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 with the British, the population in 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. Maldives was particularly moved to seek this independence after three southern atolls were claimed as part of a brief Suvadive Republic between 1959 and 1963. Within two months of being granted this independence, Maldives gained membership at the United Nations (September 21, 1965). The country’s flag was then raised at the headquarters on the 12th of October 12, 1965.

Current Government Type

Photo: His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during the 2020 Independence Day Virtual Reception (The Presidents’ Office, Republic of Maldives)

The Republic of Maldives is a presidential democratic republic in which a President is elected every five years by an absolute majority through a two-round electoral system. The President both serves as head of state and government supervising all ceremonial and statutory functions in its executive branch. The legislative body, called The People’s Majlis, are elected by a plurality vote in their respective districts. They have the authority to enact, amend, and revise laws aside from the constitution. The judiciary is composed of judges appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, upon approval of the People’s Majlis.


If you were to visit Maldives in July, you would be promised a show on the 26th. Every year, the country celebrates its Independence Day with a series of festivities held on the island of Male’. The entire country is very much connected through a series of ferries, and most events you can expect to encounter on Independence Day will be held at Republic Square in the heart of the Male’ Island. Here are a few things that are promised each year during these festivities at the Square:

  • A series of festivities led by the National Security Services
  • Parades also lead by the National Cadet Corps
  • A variety of performances done by school children who are dressed in very colorful costumes

Photo: Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) during the parade on July 26, 2022 or 57th Maldives Independence Day (Sun News, Maldives)


  1. Sajid, M. (26 July 2014). Happy Independence Day! Retrieved from: Pictures:
  2. ___ (). Maldives: Government Retrieved from: