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Crossing Continents

(11am R4)

Julian Pettifer travels to the Maldives to talk to those fighting for the future of the islands. Following the tsunami disaster, the local government has requested help from the international community to restore their popular image as an island paradise. For many Maldivians, however, this carefully nurtured image belies the reality of political turmoil and human rights abuses. President Gayoom, who has ruled the country for 26 years, has taken a tough line against those who have dared to criticise him. The presenter reports on the country's parliamentary elections, and asks whether the aftermath of the tsunami will bring about the political changes longed for by the opposition.