|Biographical detail : ||Maldivian politician
Ibrahim Nasir led Maldives’ movement for independence from the British rule and became the archipelago nation’s first president in 1968.
Nasir became prime minister in 1957 when the Maldives was a British protectorate. He signed an agreement with the British that won independence for the country in 1965 – with a sultan still as head of the state. An Indian Ocean archipelago of 200 inhabited islands across which the Maldives’ 370,000 people are scattered.
Nasir modernised an impoverished nation of fishing communities that has gradually developed to become a luxury tourist destination for the world’s wealthy, for which the Maldives is now famous. He is widely praised for introducing modern education, radio and television and for building the country’s first international airport.
Nasir also stirred up controversy, for his suppression of political dissent and his harsh treatment of those islanders who wanted to break away.
Nasir resigned, in 1978, when he was accused of ruling the country as a dictator and forced into exile amid public resentment and unproven allegations of corruption in handling public funds.
Amir Ibrahim Nasir was born into a privileged royal family of former sultans. He passed away in Singapore. His body was flown back to the Maldivian capital, Male, where Nasir received a state funeral – a national holiday was declared a day before for people to pay respect to his body, lying in state.