Maldives Victory Day is observed every year on November 3. This day celebrates the victory of the Government of Maldives over the forces that attempted a coup in the country. The day is a federal holiday and is observed throughout the country. The celebrations of the day usually involve several official functions and parades, speeches, and a flag-hoisting ceremony. The day honors the efforts of the international community that came together to help the government of Maldives. It is also a day for the people of Maldives to remember their love for their country and express it.
History of Maldives Victory Day
Maldives Victory Day is observed every year on November 3 to celebrate the victory of the Government of Maldives over the coup d’etat by a militant group called the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE). The day is an annual celebration held across the country of Maldives and is a federal holiday. Most schools and businesses are closed on this day.
The Maldives Victory Day commemorates victory over one especially dangerous coup attempt. However, this was not the first coup. In the 1980s, several efforts were made to assassinate the then president of the Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was an Islamic scholar and politician revered by the political parties and people of the Maldives. A lot of accusations of corruption and politically motivated violence — including murder have been laid at Gayoom’s feet by several human rights organizations. Nevertheless, Gayoom was the elected president of the people of the Maldives and held a stable government for several decades.
After the failure of the first two coup attempts, about 80 armed mercenaries from the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam landed in the capital city of Male, disguised as visitors. These mercenaries were well-armed and organized, and soon gained control over the city — including the airport, seaport, as well as radio and television broadcasting stations. The President was escorted to safety, and he reached out to the U.S. and U.K. for assistance, who were too far away to step in. On their advice, the President reached out to India, which convened an emergency council, and launched Operation Cactus through which Indian armed forces arrived in the Maldives and prevented the coup.
Maldives Victory Day timeline
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is elected as President of the Maldives based on popular vote.
The first among a series of coups is undertaken by political rivals and people discontent with the presidency of Gayoom.
Mercenaries belonging to PLOTE land in Male, and take over most of the capital while the president is moved to safety.
All the mercenaries who were captured in the coup stand trial and are sentenced to life imprisonment.
Maldives Victory Day FAQs
Who discovered the Maldives?
The Maldives was first settled in 500 B.C. by Buddhist seafarers from India and Sri Lanka.
How old is the Maldives?
The history of Maldives goes back more than 2,500 years.
What language do the Maldives speak?
Maldives’ official language is Maldivian, which is also known by its endonym Dhivehi or Divehi.
How to Observe Maldives Victory Day
Participate in the national celebrations
This is a great day to watch the national parades and ceremonies. Make sure you’re on time for the flag-hoisting as well.
Get together with family and friends
If the mercenaries had taken over, it would have destabilized the country, affecting many lives. This is a great day to celebrate the country and its government together with your friends and family.
Organize a local event
Get people together to give speeches or host a local parade. Display your love for the Maldives on Victory Day.
5 Facts About The Maldives Coup Of 1988 That You Probably Didn’t Know
The U.S. wanted to help
When President Gayoom reached out for assistance, the U.S. government wanted to help but was too far away to reach the Maldives on time.
Gayoom first went to the defense minister
President Gayoom allowed himself to be escorted to the home of the defense minister, who personally escorted the president to a safe house.
Other Asian countries declined to help
Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan all declined help to the Maldives because they didn’t have enough military power.
Many mercenaries fled by sea
The Indian Navy intercepted and caught mercenaries who tried to flee via freighter.
Imprisonment instead of death
Pressure from the Indian government forced President Gayoom to sentence the mercenaries to life imprisonment instead.
Why Maldives Victory Day is Important
We respect the government
A government elected by the people should be respected. We want to honor the votes and the choice of the people.
We love the celebrations
We enjoy watching the parades and national celebrations. We have a lot of fun at the flag-hoisting ceremonies.
We love to see people celebrating themselves
The people of Maldives use this day as a way to celebrate their identity and their country. We love to see their confidence and celebrations.
Maldives Victory Day dates