Thinadhoo (Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll)
|Administrative atoll||Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll|
|Distance to Malé||409.2 km (254.3 mi)|
|• Council||Thinadhoo Council|
|• Total||1.192 km2 (0.460 sq mi)|
|• Length||1.560 km (0.969 mi)|
|• Width||0.922 km (0.573 mi)|
|• Density||12,000/km2 (30,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+05:00)|
Thinadhoo is the capital of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and the proposed capital for the Upper South Province of the Maldives. It has its own dialect of Dhivehi which is considerably different from northern and mid-Maldivian speech. Kaadedhdhoo Domestic Airport is situated on a nearby island connected by ferry.
This island was formerly known as Havaru Thinadhoo and it was the traditional seat of the Atoll Chief.
Written history of the island is sparse, but Thinadhoo is known to have a rich history.
Occupation of Thinadhoo
It is told in stories that Thinadhoo reverted from Islam shortly after conversion. This is likely to be a political move in order to establish a military occupation as there is no evidence of practice of Buddhism after the conversion. It should be noted that the first to convert were from Suvadive. That is Addu and then Huvadu and then the rest of Maldives.
The story goes that when Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam captured Male' in 1573 AD, he journeyed to the South of the country and visited Thinadhoo to find its inhabitants practicing Buddhism. Bodu Thakurufaanu convinced the people to convert to Islam. Days later a calamity befell the island - all new born children were dying. With the advice of a woman from Rahadhoo who had claimed that this would not have happened if [the islanders] had lived as you lived before, the people reverted to Buddhism.
Suvadive was already a flourishing fishing industry with its own sustained economy when the Havaru was established.
Bodu Thakurufaanu using the backstory of reversion from Islam sent his Generals, dubbed 'Havaru', who were based in Malé. They were organized as two ranks of three divisions each: the Is Thinvaru (the lead three powers) - Dhoshimeynaa Varu, Velaanaa Varu and Hakuraa Varu; and the Fas Thinvaru (the rear three powers) - Maafaiy Varu, Dhaharaa Varu and Faamuladheyri Varu.
These 'Havaru' went to Thinadhoo and recaptured the island after much bloodshed. The generals then returned to Malé and for their victory Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam offered them the island of Thinadhoo, He ordered that the 'dhandu kolhu', 'medhu ruganddu' and 'Baraaseel' to be given to Havaru along with the islands of Thinadhoo Maahuttaa, Kaadedhdhoo and Kuddu. The island itself was renamed Havaru Thinadhoo signifying the occupation.
When 'havaru' were given these six regions they leased them to the people of Thinadhoo under the Vaaru system. Each year Thinadhoo people were to send the annual Varuvaa to the 'Havaru' based in Male'. This practice lasted till the sultanate of Muhammad Mueenuddeen I who was the sultan of the Maldives from 1798 to 1835.
This practice was abolished by the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir.
On 9 July 1959, the Ministry of Defense called for volunteers to accompany the Government mission to the southern atolls. The Maldivian Government vessel, the Maldive Star was prepared for the mission and a total of 700 volunteers and army personnel were chosen. Accompanying this small force were Mr. Gadhdhoo Ali Kaleyfaanu and Gadhdhoo Khatheeb Hussain Maniku, two of the leaders from Huvadhoo Atoll who had come to Male’ earlier to report on the situation in the atoll. The "Maldive Star" left Male’ on 14 July 1959, travelling first to Haddummathi, and then on to Gadhdhoo in Huvadhoo Atoll. The population of Gadhdhoo were loyal to the Maldivian Government and played a significant role in keeping the Male’ Government informed of the situation in the atoll. The leaders of this group were Ali Kaleyfaanu, Gadhdhoo Khatheeb Hussain Maniku, and Ahmed Thakurufaanu. The island of Gadhdhoo was targeted for punishment by the dissidents, possibly because they exhibited their loyalty to the Maldivian government.
When the ship arrived in Gadhdhoo harbour, hostile activities were instigated by members of a "military force" from Havaru Thinadhoo, the capital of the atoll, who had been in charge of Gadhdhoo Island since the beginning of the rebellion. These were about 200 men from Havaru Thinadhoo, calling themselves "sifain" (soldiers) who had roamed the island, looting and terrifying the islanders, consisting mainly of women and children, after most of the able bodied men had been captured and taken away. Soon afterwards, the men from Havaru Thinadhoo capitulated and were handed over to the ship by the islanders. Essential food items were off-loaded from the Maldive Star, which then left for Havaru Thinadhoo.
The population of Havaru Thinadhoo was quite hostile to the Maldivian Government. Letters were sent ashore to the leaders of the rebellion, and orders were given the islanders to submit peacefully and that no harm would come to them, but these orders had no effect. When the Maldivian force led by Mr. Ibrahim Nasir, some Government officials, Maldivian army officers and volunteers, arrived in the island harbor, there was a skirmish in which three of the islanders were injured. It was Friday, and at prayer time the Government force went back to their vessel telling the islanders to submit and come in peace after the Friday prayers. After prayers, the Maldivian force went back to the island and eventually the dissidents gave up, and the leaders of the rebellion in the atoll were brought to the "Maldive Star". The rest of the day and most of the night were spent in unloading necessary foodstuffs from the boat to the island.
The Atoll Chief Mr. N.T. Hassan Didi, who had been in Havaru Thinadhoo when the rebellion took place, had been imprisoned, beaten up, and badly mistreated by the rebels, was also brought to the vessel, where he received a very warm welcome. After picking up the leaders of the rebels, the ship left for Male’ on 18 July 1959. Fifty army personnel and one hundred civilians who had come aboard the ship from Male’ were to stay in Havaru Thinadhoo to look after matters in the atoll.
On 28 January 1962, the Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir left Male’ for the atolls in the yacht "Silver Crest", accompanied by Mr. Ahmed Hilmy Didi, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, Mr. Muhammad Imadhudhdhin and Mr. Maizan Ibrahim Maniku. Others accompanying him were the navigator Mr. Maalimee Muhammad Maniku and the wireless operator Mr. Maizan Umar Maniku. It was assumed by people in Male’ that this was one of the regular trips the Prime Minister had been making to different atolls.
"Silver Crest" headed south and reached Feeali in North Nilande Atoll where it made its first stop. On 29 January it travelled to Maamendhoo in Hadhdhunmathi. The yacht picked up nine army officers who were at the island and set sail at 2 o’clock in the morning of 30 January, heading towards Huvadhoo Atoll. At this time those on board came to know that the yacht was carrying some sub-machine guns.
On 4 February 1962, Havaru Thinadhoo was completely destroyed on the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir to end the separatist movement of the United Suvadive Republic. The islanders were ordered to go to the shallow reef, where they were forced to stand for hours with water up to their necks. Meanwhile, all houses were razed, all wells destroyed and filled with rubble, all trees were cut down and much property was looted while the islanders watched from afar. The island was then depopulated and its people dispersed. Women and children were allegedly raped in front of their families. Between 200 and 300 prisoners were taken back to Malé, where they were tortured and most killed.
The 4800 residents of Thinadhoo at the time fled to nearby islands where most were subjected to maltreatment. It was said that some settlers in Vaadhoo had to trade gold for a handful of rice. In almost all the islands to which they dispersed their numbers were declining.
Havaru Thinadhoo was resettled on 22 August 1966 by 1800 people. 440 households were rebuilt. Unofficial death count is estimated to be over 2,400. Those who died were buried with anonymity by Ibrahim Nasir's government without notice.
On 4 February 2009, an NGO named HAND (Huvadhoo Association for National Development) organized a programs to celebrated the day after 46 years. The programs held on that day were, releasing a video song which shows some videos of that day (04/02/1962), and a video report which provided much information's about how massacre as it happened. This program was held at Thinadhoo Abaadhee Marukazu. And from 16:00 hrs to 18:00, a large number of people in black T-shirt had a walk around some roads of Thinadhoo. And it was the first time that the day was celebrated in over 46 years.
The name of this island was changed from Havaru Thinadhoo to Thinadhoo on 27 June 1979 by then president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.
Enamaa boat incident
The Maldive boat Enamaa was carrying far more than its capacity of up to 126 when a wave overturned it. Twenty one people died with two missing when Enamaa capsized into the sea of Gaafu Dhaalu atoll on March 17, 2004.
The Enamaa boat was traveling at nine and a half nautical miles per hour to Thinadhoo Island after watching the home team play a football match in Vilingili Island in Gaafu Alifu atoll.
Thinadhoo is served by 5 pre-schools, 2 primary schools, 1 secondary/high-school and 1 university campus.
- Maldives National University Thinadhoo Campus
- Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll Education Centre
- Thinadhoo School
- Aboobakuru School
- Raula Preschool
- Tutorial Preschool
- M.M. Preschool
- Ameer Ibrahim
- N. T. Hassan Didi (2005). "Kureege Huvadhoo Atholhu". Novelty Press.
- Who is to take responsibility for the horrific Enamaa boat disaster? Accessed June 4, 2008. Archived 10 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Ministry of Education Stat Book 2015" (PDF). Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education. Retrieved 24 April 2016.