Maldives president wants nation relocation

Nov. 12, 2008 at 11:42 AM
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MALE, Maldives, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed says he wants to buy land elsewhere in order to relocate his entire island country.

The former political prisoner who officially accepted the presidency this week said global climate change is threatening his island nation, meaning his people must relocate or face an uncertain future, CNN reported Wednesday.

Nasheed said climate change, in addition to damage from a tsunami in December 2004, have placed his country in a dire situation that could potentially worsen without action.

"We will invest in land," Nasheed said. "We do not want to end up in refugee tents if the worst happens."

Among the countries named by CNN as potential partners with the Maldives are Sri Lanka and India, due to the countries' cultural similarities with the Indian Ocean nation.

The country's nearly 1,200 coral islands lie 4.9 feet above sea level and experts have predicted a sea level increase of at least 7.1 inches by the end of the century, CNN said.

About 300,000 people live in Maldives.

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