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Sri Lanka

island republic in South Asia
(Redirected from Ceylon)

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකා in Sinhala, இலங்கை in Tamil) is a tropical island nation off the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent. The capital of the country is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte while the largest city is Colombo.

Anthem: Sri Lanka Matha
Mother Sri Lanka
Location of Sri Lanka
CapitalSri Jayawardenepura Kotte[1][2]
Largest cityColombo
Official languagesSinhala
Demonym(s)Sri Lankan
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
• President
Maithripala Sirisena
Ranil Wickremesinghe
Karu Jayasuriya
• Total
65,610 km2 (25,330 sq mi) (122nd)
• Water (%)
• 2010 estimate
20,238,000[3] (56th)
• Mid 2010 census
• Density
308.5/km2 (799.0/sq mi) (44th)
GDP (PPP)2012 estimate
• Total
$158 billion[5] (66th)
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2012 estimate
• Total
$64 billion[5] (73rd)
• Per capita
Gini (2010)36
HDI (2011)Increase 0.691[6]
medium · 97th
CurrencySri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone)
• Summer (DST)
not observed
Driving sideleft
Calling code94
ISO 3166 codeLK
Internet, .ලංකා, .இலங்கை

It was known as Ceylon before 1972, and Serendib and Sinhale, among other names, before that. It was South Asia's oldest democracy.

Ethnic make-upEdit

Sri Lanka has three main ethnic groups. They differ in their religions and origins, and there has often been difficulties between the groups. The total population of the island is over 20 million people, and rapidly expanding.

The largest of the three groups is the population of Sinhalese people, most of whom are Buddhist, and who have their own language, Sinhala. They make up about 75% of the population.

The second largest group is the Tamil people, who are Hindu. There are about 2,271,000 Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Civil War against Tamil separatists lasted 28 years.

The third largest group is the Sri Lankan Moors, who are Muslim. There are over one and a half million people in this group. They use Tamil as their language today.

There are a number of smaller ethnic groups, of which the Veddas are notable because they may be the original inhabitants of the island, or at any rate the earliest to survive today. They have "indigenous people" status in the island.


Buddhist missionaries arrived from India in 250 BC. The kings of the island, and eventually most of the Sinhalese people, became Buddhists.

The island was subject to waves of European settlement and eventually colonisation. The Portuguese in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, and lastly the British from 1796 to 1948. The British traded as the others had done, but also developed plantations of coffee and tea. Tea was planted after a fungus destroyed the coffee plantations in 1869. The tea plantations were the basis of Sri Lankan prosperity for a hundred years. Lastly, rubber plantations were started in the early 20th century. In 1965, Ceylon became the world's leading exporter of tea, with 200,000 tonnes of tea being shipped internationally annually.[7]

Independence from the British was got in 1948, together with Dominion status in the British Commonwealth of Nations. In 1972, Ceylon changed its name officially to the Republic of Sri Lanka, and is still a member of the Commonwealth.[8]

In 2009 came the end of a long civil war between Sinhalese and Tamils. Since then tourism has rapidly grown as a source of foreign investment and currency.

National symbols of Sri LankaEdit


The Sri Lanka flag is also known as the Lion flag because of the Lion on it. The Lion is holding a sword in its right paw. There is a crimson background with four leaves in each corner. There is a yellow border. On the left of the flag there are the colors green and saffron.

The lion represents bravery. The four leaves represents Karuna, Meththa, Muditha and Upeksha. The orange stripe represents the Sri Lankan Tamils and the green stripe represents the Sri Lankan Moors.


Related pagesEdit

Easter Sunday bombingsEdit

On April 21, 2019, bombings hit churches and hotels and left at least 290 people dead and 500 injured in the cities of cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. According to officials a Sri Lankan group called National Thowheed Jamath was behind the attacks.

Most of those killed were Sri Lankan nationals but there were also thirty one foreigners who died, including eight British, eight Indian, two Turkish, two Australian, one Bangladeshi, one Portuguese and four American nationals.[9][10]


  1. "Sri Lanka at a glance". Sri Lanka Board of Tourism. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  2. "Sri Lanka: Parliament History". The Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  3. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009) (PDF). World Population Prospects, Table A.1. 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  4. "Estimated mid year population by sex and district - 2010" (PDF). Department of Census and Statistics - Sri Lanka. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects: Sri Lanka". International Monetary Fund. April 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. "Human Development Report 2011. Human development index trends: Table 1" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  8. Dominion of Ceylon: definition of Dominion of Ceylon in the Free Online Encyclopedia. [1]

Other websitesEdit