Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoiled.
Few places in the world can offer the traveler such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometers lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometers of coastline – much of it pristine beach – 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.
This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!
|Official Name:||Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
|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
|Currency (code):||Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
|Independence:||4 February 1948
|Administrative Capital:||Sri Jayewardenepura
|Administrative Divisions:||Typically tropical, with a northeast 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 Flower||The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).
|National Parks and Nature Reserves Area:||8,000sq.km
|Population Growth Rate:||1.3%
|Population Density:||309 people per sq km
|Life Expectancy at Birth||74 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
Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)
Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)
230. 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer
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.
34.3% of the labor 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 & Products
Rice, Sugarcane, Grains, Pulses, Oilseed, Spices, Tea, Rubber, Coconuts, milk, Eggs, Hides, Beef, Fish
Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities, telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles, cement, petroleum refining.
Textiles and apparel; tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish
Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, and 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 $22.8 billion (2005)
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
Sri Lanka rising
With the end of the three decade long war Sri Lanka is seeing a sudden burst in infrastructure development and a of a new Sri Lanka rising.
Today post-war Sri Lanka is seeing a rapid and wide spread infrastructure development within rural and urban areas as never seen in the country before.
The island-wide road development program is at the center of this effort.
The improved connectivity enabled by road development, particularly rural roads, generates significant economic and social returns. It is having a transformative impact on the lives of people around the country. The completion of the highway network (commencing with the Southern Highway, Katunayake Expressway and Colombo Ring Road) will bring about significant cost-savings that will boost the competitiveness of the economy.