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Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka

Country Profile

Capital: Colombo (pop. 1.3 million--urban area)

Other Cities:
Kandy (150 000), Jaffna (100 000), Galle (80 000).

Local Time: UTC +6h

Location: Asia, South of the Indian subcontinent.
Area: 65 610 sq. km. (25 332 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Coastal plains in the northern third of country; hills and mountains in south-central Sri Lanka rise to 2 133 meters (7 000 ft.).

Climate: Tropical; rainy seasons--light in northeast, fall and winter, with average rainfall of 50 in.; heavy in southwest, summer and fall, with average rainfall of 200 in.

Type: Republic
Independence: February 4, 1948 (from the UK)
Constitution: August 31, 1978.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Sri Lankan(s).
Total Population: 19 million
GNI per capita PPP: $ 4145 (year) Ethnic groups: Sinhalese (74%), Tamils (18%), Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay, and Vedda 1%. Religions: Buddhism (69%), Hinduism (15%), Christianity (8%), and Islam (7%). Languages: Sinhala and Tamil (official), English.
Literacy: 91%


Currency: Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR)

Natural resources:
Agricultural products: Paddy, maha, yala, rubber, tea, coconut.

Agriculture products: Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef.

Industries: Rubber processing, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.

Exports partners:
USA 32.4%, UK 13.5%, India 6.8%, Germany 4.8% (2004)

Imports partners: India 18%, Singapore 8.7%, Hong Kong 7.7%, China 5.7%, Iran 5.2%, Japan 5.1%, Malaysia 4.1% (2004)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Government
The official web portal of the government of Sri Lanka.

President of Sri Lanka
Site of Her Excellency President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

Peace in Sri Lanka
The history of the conflict in Sri Lanka is long running and complex. The site of the Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) is about issues relating to the Peace Process.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sri Lanka
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides information on Sri Lanka.

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of Sri Lanka in the U.S.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C.
Sri Lanka Missions Overseas
Address list of Sri Lanka Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Missions In Sri Lanka
List of foreign embassies in Sri Lanka.

Department of Census and Statistics
Sri Lanka in figures.

Meteorological Department - Sri Lanka
Weather Forecasts and Astronomical Information.

Sri Lanka Map
Political Map of Sri Lanka.

Introduction Sri Lanka

Background:  Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and the
Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in
1802. As Ceylon it became independent in 1948; its name was changed
in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists
erupted in violence in the mid-1980s. Tens of thousands have died in an
ethnic war that continues to fester.

Geography Sri Lanka

Location:  Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India

Geographic coordinates:  7 00 N, 81 00 E

Map references:  Asia

Area:  total: 65,610 sq km water: 870 sq km land: 64,740 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  1,340 km

Maritime claims:   12 NM exclusive economic zone: Climate:  tropical
monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June
to October)

Terrain:  mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point:
Pidurutalagala 2,524 m

Natural resources:  limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates,
clay, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 13% permanent crops: 16% other: 71% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  6,510 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  occasional cyclones and tornadoes

Environment - current issues:  deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife
populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation
from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources
being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal;
air pollution in Colombo

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified:
Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:  strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes

People Sri Lanka

Population:  19,576,783 note: since the outbreak of hostilities between
the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid-1980s, several
hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island; as of mid-1999,
approximately 66,000 were housed in 133 refugee camps in south India,
another 40,000 lived outside the Indian camps, and more than 200,000
Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 25.6% (male 2,559,246; female 2,446,393)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 6,446,320; female 6,802,515) 65 years and over:
6.7% (male 628,398; female 693,911) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.85% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  16.36 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.45 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.91 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  15.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   75 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.93 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.07% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  7,500 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  490 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Sri Lankan(s) adjective: Sri Lankan

Ethnic groups:  Sinhalese 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay,
and Vedda 1%

Religions:  Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 7% (1999)

Languages:  Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national
language) 18%, other 8% note: English is commonly used in government
and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 90.2% male: 93.4% female: 87.2% (1995 est.)

Government Sri Lanka

Country name:  conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of
Sri Lanka conventional short form: Sri Lanka former: Serendib, Ceylon

Government type:  republic

Capital:  Colombo; note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative

Administrative divisions:  8 provinces; Central, North Central, North
Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western; note -
North Eastern province may have been divided in two - Northern and Eastern

Independence:  4 February 1948 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 4 February (1948)

Constitution:  adopted 16 August 1978

Legal system:  a highly complex mixture of English common law,
Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Chandrika Bandaranaike
KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (since
9 December 2001) is the prime minister; in Sri Lanka the president is
considered both the chief of state and head of government, in contrast to
the more common practice of dividing the roles between the president and
the prime minister when both offices exist head of government: President
Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note -
Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (since 9 December 2001) is the prime minister; in
Sri Lanka the president is considered both the chief of state and head
of government, in contrast to the more common practice of dividing the
roles between the president and the prime minister when both offices
exist cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with
the prime minister elections: president elected by popular vote for
a six-year term; election last held 21 December 1999 (next to be held
NA December 2005) election results: Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA
reelected president; percent of vote - Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA
(PA) 51%, Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (UNP) 42%, other 7%

Legislative branch:  unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by
popular vote on the basis of a modified proportional representation system
by district to serve six-year terms) elections: last held 7 December 2001
(next to be held NA December 2007) election results: percent of vote by
party or electoral alliance - UNP, SLMC and CWC 46.8%, PA and EPDP 38%,
JVP 9.1%, Tamil National Alliance 3.89%, PLOTE 0.19%; seats by party
or electoral alliance - UNP, SLMC and CWC 114, PA and EPDP 79, JVP 16,
Tamil National Alliance 15, PLOTE 1

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts
are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders:  All Ceylon Tamil Congress or ACTC
[KUMARGURUPARAM]; Ceylon Workers Congress or CWC [Arumugam THONDAMAN];
Communist Party or CP [D. GUNASEKERA]; Democratic United National (Lalith)
Front or DUNLF [Shrimani ATULATHMUDALI]; Eelam People's Democratic Party
or EPDP [Douglas DEVANANDA]; Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation
Front or EPRLF [Suresh PREMACHANDRAN]; Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or
JVP [Tilvan SILVA]; National Unity Alliance or NUA [Ferial ASHRAFF];
People's Alliance or PA [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; People's
Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam or PLOTE [leader NA]; Sihala
Urumaya or SU [Tilak KARUNARATNE]; Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP
[Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; Sri Lanka Muslim Congress or SLMC
[Rauff HAKEEM]; Sri Lanka Progressive Front or SLPF [P. Nelson PERERA];
Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization or TELO [SABARATNAM]; Tamil National
Alliance or TNA [Nadarajah RAVIRAJ]; Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF
[R. SAMPATHAN]; United National Party or UNP [Ranil WICKREMASINGHE];
Upcountry People's Front or UPF [P.  CHANDRASEKARAN]; several ethnic
Tamil and Muslim parties, represented in either Parliament or provincial

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Buddhist clergy; labor
unions; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE [Velupillai
PRABHAKARAN](insurgent group fighting for a separate state); radical
chauvinist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against
Terrorism; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups

International organization participation:  AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Warnasena RASAPUTRAM consulate(s): New York
 [1] (202) 232-7181 telephone:  Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
E. Ashley WILLS embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3 mailing address:
P. O. Box 106, Colombo telephone: [94] (1) 448007 FAX: [94] (1) 437345

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

Economy Sri Lanka

Economy - overview:  In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies
and its import substitution trade policy for market-oriented policies
and export-oriented trade. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food
processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, telecommunications,
and insurance and banking. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of
exports (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted
for 63%. GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% throughout the 1990s
until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth
to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000 with average growth
of 5.3%. But 2001 saw the first contraction in the country's history,
due to a combination of power shortages, severe budgetary problems,
the global slowdown, and continuing civil strife.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $62.7 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  -1% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $3,250 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 21% industry: 27% services:
52% (2000)

Population below poverty line:  22% (1997 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 28% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  34.4 (1995)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  14.2% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  6.6 million (1998)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 45%, agriculture 38%, industry 17%
(1998 est.)

Unemployment rate:  7.7% (2001)

Budget:  revenues: $2.8 billion expenditures: $4.1 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  rubber processing, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural
commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate:  1.4% (2001)

Electricity - production:  6.619 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 31.86% hydro: 68.14%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  6.156 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed,
spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef

Exports:  $4.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  textiles and apparel 15%, tea, diamonds, coconut
products, petroleum products

Exports - partners:  US 39%, UK 13%, Middle East 8%, Germany 4%, Japan 4%

Imports:  $6 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, textiles, petroleum,

Imports - partners:  Japan 9%, India 8%, Hong Kong 7%, Singapore 7%,
South Korea 5% (2000)

Debt - external:  $9.9 billion (2000)

Economic aid - recipient:  $577 million (1998)

Currency:  Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)

Currency code:  LKR

Exchange rates:  Sri Lankan rupees per US dollar - 93.383 (January 2002),
89.383 (2001), 77.005 (2000), 70.635 (1999), 64.450 (1998), 58.995 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Sri Lanka

Telephones - main lines in use:  494,509 (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  228,604 (1999)

Telephone system:  general assessment: very inadequate domestic service,
particularly in rural areas; likely improvement with privatization of
national telephone company and encouragement to private investment; good
international service (1999) domestic: national trunk network consists
mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use
in Colombo area and two fixed wireless local loops have been installed;
competition is strong in mobile cellular systems; telephone density
remains low at 2.6 main lines per 100 persons (1999) international:
submarine cables to Indonesia and Djibouti; satellite earth stations -
2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (1999)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 26, FM 45, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios:  3.85 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  21 (1997)

Televisions:  1.53 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .lk

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  5 (2000)

Internet users:  121,500 (2001)

Transportation Sri Lanka

Railways:  total: 1,463 km broad gauge: 1,404 km 1.676-m gauge narrow
gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2001)

Highways:  total: 11,285 km paved: 10,721 km unpaved: 564 km (1998 est.)

Waterways:  430 km (navigable by shallow-draft craft)

Pipelines:  crude oil and petroleum products 62 km (1987)

Ports and harbors:  Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee

Merchant marine:  total: 18 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 137,321
GRT/233,367 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 15, container 1, petroleum
tanker 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag
of convenience: Germany 9, Hong Kong 1, United Arab Emirates 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  15 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 14 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437
m: 7 914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Military Sri Lanka

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 5,347,153 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 4,148,825
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 193,522
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $719 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  4.2% (FY98)

Transnational Issues Sri Lanka

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Colombo Page
Sri Lankan Internet Newspaper.
Daily Mirror
Sri Lankan news paper.
Daily News
The widest coverage in Sri Lanka (Lake House Newspapers).
The Island
Daily national and international news.
Lanka Business Online
Sri Lanka businesse news.
Official Sri Lanka News
by the Department of Information - Sri Lanka.
Spotlight on Sri Lanka
Infoscope's newsclips from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka News Web
by a Sri Lankan portal.
The Sunday Observer
(Lake House Newspapers)
The Sunday Times
Weekly News

Yahoo! News Full Coverage-Sri Lanka
Press agencies news on Sri Lanka

Sinhala Newspapers:
The sinhala e magazine.

Arts & Culture
Architectural investigations to Sri Lanka
Research on Architectural sites in Sri Lanka by Japanese Waseda University
The Gallery Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's first virtual exhibition shows a collection of photographs and Computer Graphic art with a Sri Lankan flavour.
National Library of Sri Lanka
The National Library and Documentation Centre.
RealAudio Sinhala Songs.
Pandith Amaradeva
Master musician and most influential force in Sri Lankan music.
Sri Lankan Cricket
The Official Home of Sri Lankan Cricket.

Business & Economy
Central Bank of Sri Lanka
National Development Bank of Sri Lanka
Promotes the industrial, agricultural and commercial development in Sri Lanka.

Chambers of Commerce
National Chamber of Commerce

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Import and Export
Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association
Sri Lanka Export Development Board - EDB
Sri Lanka Business Portal of the premier state organisation dealing with the promotion and development of exports.

Board of Investment of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Products
Sri Lanka Teaboard
Largest exporter of Ceylon tea.
Ceylon Tea.
Mabroc Teas
Trading and marketing of Ceylon Tea.

Sri Lanka business news
Lanka Business Online
SL business news.

Yellow Pages
Lanka Link
Sri Lanka's largest web directory and search engine.
Sri Lanka Yellow Pages

Sri Lankan Airlines
The former Sri Lankan flag carrier Air Lanka. Site provides Flight schedules, reservations, vacation information and more.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority
Sri Lanka has four commercial sea ports, Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee and Kankasanthurai. These ports are managed by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Destination Sri Lanka - Travel and Tour Guides
Discover Sri Lanka, the "resplendent land": Colombo (Kola-amba-thota, the "harbour with mango trees"), Dambulla, Galle, Jaffna (Yazhppanam), Kandy (Kanda Uda Rata), Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya
Accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, adventure, ayurveda, buddhism, temples, elephant riding, biking, hiking, cruising, diving, tours and much more.

Sri Lanka Tourist Board
The official Ceylon Tourist Board web sIte provides travel and tourism information.

A travel portal with comprehensive information on travel and tourism in Sri Lanka.

Intended for people interested in Sri Lanka, live in Sri Lanka, want to travel to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan community portal with broad information on country and society.

Sri Lanka Web Server
Sri Lanka portal.

Sri Lanka UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Site about the Royal Rock Temple of Dambulla.
Ancient City of Polonnaruwa.
The 'Mount of Remembrance' Sigiriya or Sihigiriya.

City Guides
Site with comprehensive information about the city of Jaffna.

Kandy City
Official website of Kandy, the city formerly named Senkadagalapura or Kanda Uda Rata.
Sri Dalada Maligawa 
Official web site of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic; Kandy.

Lanka Academic Network
Our mission is to enhance educational opportunities in Sri Lanka
University of Colombo
The oldest campus in Sri Lanka
University of Moratuwa
The University has its origins in the Ceylon Technical College of Maradana, which was established in 1893
University of Peradeniya
Successor to the University of Ceylon, the first institution of its kind in the country, founded in 1942

Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society
Organization to conserve and preserve the dwindling biodiversity of Sri Lanka.
The Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's leading biodiversity exploration and research institution and natural- history publisher.

Overview of the various periods of Sri Lanka's history.
History & Archaeology - Sri Lanka Explorer
Links to history of Ceylon/Sri Lanka
History & Archaeology
by WWW Virtual Library Sri Lanka.
The People of Sri Lanka ... a historical perspective
History of Sri Lanka and its people.
Sri Lanka: The untold story
Background information about Sri Lanka's cultural and social development by Asia Times.

Sinhala-english dictionary
Online dictionary for sinhala, singhalese.
Sinhala and Tamil fonts
Free fonts for download.

WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan People and Ethnic Groups.
Veddhas: The unspoilt children of nature
Sri Lanka's aboriginal inhabitants.

Science and Research
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Initiate, facilitate and support scientific research by universities, science and technology institutions and scientists.

The Tamil point of view.
Issues concerning the Tamil people and developments in the war-torn northeast.

A gateway to Sri Lanka.
Lanka Link
Sri Lanka's largest web directory and search engine.
Our Lanka
Sri Lanka web directory.

Newsgroup of Sri Lanka




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