Until recently, the Maldives were most famous as a luxury holiday destination. Now, the islands are at the centre of a potentially explosive power struggle.
The country's first democratically elected President, Mohamed Nasheed, says he was forced to resign at gunpoint in a coup backed by Islamic hardliners.
Mark Davis speaks to him to shed new light on exactly what happened, and puts challenging questions to new President, Mohamed Waheed.
And he's on the streets of the tiny island capital of Malé, where there have been violent protests.
International concern is growing too over the future security and democracy of the islands, so what does it all mean for the Maldives?
WATCH - Click to see Mark's report.
Photo (protest): AAP