Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the Maldives. It is part of South Asia.

As a result of its location in the path of major sea routes, Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia. It was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road. Sri Lanka has also been a centre of the Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times and is one of the few remaining abodes of Buddhism in South Asia; along with Ladakh, Bhutan and the Chittagong hill tracts. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population; Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, form the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include Moors, Burghers, Kaffirs, Malays and the aboriginal Vedda people.

Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state which is governed by a semi-presidential system with its official seat of government in Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, the capital. The country is famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, coconuts, rubber and cinnamon, the last of which is native to the country. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka has led to the title “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The island is laden with lush tropical forests, white beaches and diverse landscapes with rich biodiversity. The country lays claim to a long and colourful history of over three thousand years, having one of the longest documented histories in the world. Sri Lanka’s rich culture can be attributed to the many different communities on the island.

Sri Lanka is a founding member state of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and a member of United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, G77 and Non-Aligned Movement. As of 2010, Sri Lanka was one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Its stock exchange was Asia’s best performing stock market during 2009 and 2010.

Source : wikipedia.org

 

Official name:Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Government type:Republic
Location:Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. north, longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km north of the equator
Dimensions:430km north to south, 225km east to west
Coastline:1,340km
Area:65,525km
Currency (code):Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Independence:4 February 1948
Administrative capital:Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial capital:Colombo
Administrative divisions:9 provinces; Central, North Central, Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western, Eastern Province.
Climate:Typically tropical, with a north east monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing bad weather to the south and west
Terrain:Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Highest mountain:Pidurutalagala, 2,524m
Highest waterfall:Bambarakanda, 263m
National FlowerThe Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).
National parks and nature reserves area:8,000sq.km
Population:21,128,773 (? Census)
Population growth rate:1.3%
Population Density:309 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth74 female, 64 male
Literacy rate :Female 87.9 Male 92.5
Ethnic groups:Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)
Languages:Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Religion:Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)
Time zone:Sri Lanka Standard Time isfive and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)
International dialing:+94
Electricity:230 – 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer
Economy:Sri Lanka.s most dynamic sectors are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, insurance and banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than US$1 billion a year.
Labour force34.3% of the labour population is employed in agriculture, 25.3% in industry and 40.4% in services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.) The unemployment rate is 5.7% (2007 est.)
Agriculture & productsRice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconut’s milk, eggs, hides, beef, fish
Industries:Processing of rubber, tea, coconut, tobacco and other agricultural commodities, telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles, cement, petroleum refining.
Exports:Textiles and apparel, tea and spices, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish
Imports:Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment: $10.61 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.). Percentage of main commodities from main import partners: India 19.6%, China 10.5%, Singapore 8.8%, Iran 5.7%, Malaysia 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Japan 4.1% (2006)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP):Purchasing power parity: $81.29 billion (2007 est.). Official exchange rate: $30.01 billion (2007 est.) Real growth rate: 6.3% (2007 est.) Per capita: $4,100 (2007 est.) composition by sector: Agriculture: 16.5% Industry: 26.9%
Gross National Product (GNP):Sri Lanka is placed in 76th place in GNP figures of the world’s nations with $22.8billion (2005)
Flag description:Yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels


Source : srilanka.travel