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India: Maldives
Country Study > Chapter 10 > National Security > Postindependence Developments > Peacekeeping Operations > Maldives


In 1988, the Indian Army experienced a small success in squashing an attempted coup in Maldives, 600 kilometers south of India in the Indian Ocean. Maldivian minister of foreign affairs Fathullah Jameel had called Rajiv Gandhi (India's prime minister from 1984 to 1989) at 5:30 a.m. on November 3, 1988 to request India's assistance. By 9:00 a.m. the same morning, India's Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs had been convened. At noon the same day, the committee gave its approval for military support to the regime of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Later in the day, the first Indian troops were airlifted from a military base at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Some 1,600 Indian troops were dispatched within hours. During the next three days, the mercenaries involved in the attempted coup were rounded up by Indian troops who had parachuted in. The Indian navy also effectively blocked maritime escape routes the coup leaders might have taken. The operation was completed by November 6.

Three important inferences can be made from this successful attempt at force projection. First, it demonstrated that sufficient interservice cooperation existed to allow the armed forces to respond rapidly to political directives. Second, it showed the capability of the armed forces to airlift troops regionally at short notice. And third, it demonstrated the willingness of the Indian political leadership to use its military strength in the region to support a friendly regime.

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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