Population: 20,277,597 (est.)
Language(s): Sinhala, Tamil
Capital: Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
- The Sri Lankan rupee is the official currency of Sri Lanka.
- Buddhism is the official and largest religion with around 69.1% of the population being adherents. Muslims account for 7.6%, Hindus 7.1%, Christians 6.2% and unspecified 10%.
- Sri Lanka continues to experience strong economic growth following the end of the 26-year conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ellam (LTTE).
- Sri Lanka has a tropical monsoon climate. The northeast monsoon takes place from December to March and the southwest from June to October.
- Sri Lanka gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 and became a republic in 1972.
- Sri Lanka has been called The tear drop of India because of its shape and location and is known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” because of its natural beauty.
- Sri Lanka has a Democratic Government, with an Executive President and a Parliament elected by the people.
- Sri Lanka is amongst the leading exporters of tea in the world.
- In most of the countries, nodding your head up and down means yes and moving it back and forth means no. It is the complete opposite in Sri Lanka.
- The most common meal in Sri Lanka is a spicy curry served with rice and a small side dish of vegetables.
- The country was known as Ceylon until 1972.
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.
Sri Lanka’s documented history spans three thousand years. Its location and deep harbours provided great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. Sri Lanka is the home of many religions, ethnicities and languages. The first Buddhist writings occurred on the island. The Sinhalese people are the majority. The many ethnic minorities include Tamils, Muslim Moors, Burghers, Kaffirs, Malays and the aboriginal Vedda people. The country’s recent history has been marred by a 3-decade inter-ethnic conflict which decisively but controversially ended in a military victory in 2009.
Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state governed by a presidential system. The capital Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, named by a president after himself, is a suburb of the largest city, Colombo. An important producer of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber and the native cinnamon, Sri Lanka has been called The tear drop of India because of its shape and location and is known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” because of its natural beauty. It is also known as “The nation of smiling people”. The island contains tropical forests, and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity.
The country has had a long history of international engagement, being a founding member of SAARC and a member of United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, G77 and Non-Aligned Movement.