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Sri Lanka - Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southeast 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.

Country Profile

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)

Genting Highland – 2000 meters above sea level, Genting Highlands.

Independence

4 February 1948

Administrative Capital

Sri Jayewardenepura

Commercial Capital

Colombo.

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 (Nymphaeastellata).

Population

21,128,773

Population Growth Rate

1.3%

Population Density

309 people per sq km

Life Expectancy a Birth

74 female, 64 male

Literacy Rate

Female 87.9 Male 92.5

Ethnic Groups

Sinhalese 73.8%, SriLankan 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%, Muslim7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)

Time Zone

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

International Dialing:

+94

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