Minicoy Maldives history royal royaltyMaldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi
Minicoy Maliku    Minicoy is Not part of the Maldives

English-Mahl Dictionary
Fareesha Abdullah and
Michael O'Shea
in Australia

Mahl-English Dictionary
Click here or on graphic above for sample pages

The attitude of Maldivians over Minicoy, which was echoed in the Maldive ministerial speech of 1982 claiming sovereignty over Minicoy, is summed up in the comment below. This is an extract from the Guestbook of Husenko Goboligothi's Minicoy web site. The writer who appears to be from a southern atoll of the Maldives starts off by congratulating Shri Goboligothi for his site.

Name: Anbondige Mohammadha
Date: 3/3/2003 6:30:32 AM
Country: United atolls of Suvadheeb islands
Comments: "thah hama saabas, ma hithah araaa thafirin dhivehi rajje aai vakivegen, india ge alhuvethi kami dhashugai thibaa men thiya thibenee kiyevve ba? aharen saharo vey...."
Translation: "Congratulations to you. I wonder why you have broken away from the Maldives to be under the slavery of India? I feel sorry..."

Until the 16th Century, Minicoy may have been under the jurisdiction of the Maldive kings and queens. In the late 16th Century, a Maldive rebel leader, Mohamed Thakurufan, Kateeb of Utheem made a pact with the Ali Raja of Cannanore to displace the ruling House of Hilaaly from the Maldive throne. Thakurufan operated out of Minicoy.

The nature of the pact between Mohamed Thakurufan and the Ali Raja of Cannanore was outlined in a letter sent by a later Ali Raja, Mariambe Ali-Adi Raja Bibi, to the Sultan Mohamed Mueenuddine I, King of the Maldives. The letter was dated Friday 17 Jamada-el-oula Anno Hegirae 1243 (7 December AD 1827). According to the letter Mohamed Thakurufan had entered into a treaty ceding sovereignty of the Maldives to the Ali Raja of Cannanore in the event Thakurufan was established in power in Malé. (Refer page 294 of Divehi Tarikh).

The Coat of Arms of the Ali Raja of Cannanore, Amina Adi Raja Beebi. The Ali Raja of Cannanore was given the title of Sultan in 1909 by Edward VII, Emperor of India. This was in return for ceding sovereignty over Minicoy and the Laccadives. It was not customary in those days for Muslim rulers to ask for and be awarded with. crosses

Thakurufan eventually gained control in Malé by assassinating Andiri Andirin, the Regent of the Hilaaly King Manoel Siri Dhirikusa Loka. However Thakurufan tried to backtrack on the pact with the Ali Raja and entered into a deal with the King Siri Dhirikusa Loka, under which Thakurufan and his brother Hassan Thakurufan became joint-prime ministers in Malé of King Siri Dhirikusa Loka who remained in Goa.

Minicoy never returned to the sovereignty of the Maldive kings after it was passed on to the jurisdiction of the Ali Raja. The Ali Raja ceded Minicoy to the Emperor Edward VII of India in 1909, with retrospective effect from 1905. India formally annexed it on November 1, 1956.

The fact is that Minicoy is now not part of the Maldives.

Editorial Comment
Maldive Minister lays Claim

On 26 July 1982, a minister of the Maldive regime, a brother of the Maldive President who is still in power since before then, made a public speech claiming Minicoy for the Maldives. That precipitated a diplomatic crisis.

It must be remembered that Minicoy islanders live in a representative multi-party democracy where the rule of law prevails. They have the right to redress their grievances before impartial courts and have the benefit of a mature and reliable legal system. They are assured that their persons and property are not subject to arbitrary arrest, torture or confiscation. Minicoy islanders are not subjected to totalitarian regimes that have life expectancies of a quarter of a century or more.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Click logo to view the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Malayalam, the official language of Lakshadweep of which Minicoy is a part. The language of Minicoy called Mahl, also known as Divehi, is not an official language of India, but the official language of the Maldives.

Although the Maldives has been a member of the United Nations since 1965, there is no official Divehi translation of the Declaration.

Even today many Maldivians privately harbour sentiments such as expressed in the Maldive ministerial speech of 1982.

We need to remember that, in the civilised world many of us live in, what determines international borders is neither geographic proximity nor cultural affinity.

Since I uploaded this page more than one Maldivian have contacted to congratulate me for putting the historical record straight about, what they call, Maldive rights over Minicoy. I am sorry to disappoint them and others, but I do not subscribe to any such claims.

Some people who contact me have rather quaint ideas about international borders. A Maldivian recently wrote to me asking if I would make a statement claiming Maldive sovereignty over the Chagos Islands which is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Diego Garcia in the Chagos is the site of an American military facility. The person who wrote to me said that there was a Maldive name for the Chagos (Foalhavahi) and this would indicate that it was part of the Maldives. There are Maldive names for other parts of the world too.

The purpose of this site is not to placate the ego or contribute to the territorial aggrandisement of the Maldive Republic.

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