About Sri Lanka

Ayubowan – May you live long

Sri Lanka, located in the Indian Ocean, was once known as ‘Pearl of The Indian Ocean’ Sri Lanka has been known to the ancient world by a variety of names as ‘Taprobane’, ‘Serendib’, ‘Thambapani’. The British colonists called the beauty ‘Ceilao’, ‘Ceylan’ and ‘Ceylon’. It was with the new constitution of 1972 that the present name ‘Sri Lanka’ was formally established. A home to a multi-ethnic, multi- religious and multi-cultural society which is considered as one of the best tourism destinations in the world due to its authenticity, compactness and diversity.

Sri Lanka, the beautiful paradise which is full of surprises, provides a charming getaway that offers a novel viewpoint of the world we live in. Each destination of our attractive country are unique from one another, be it local traditions, natural landscapes, wildlife or may it be beaches, they all offer one of a kind escapes that provides an approach into what has made this a marvel.

A tropical island in South Asia, Sri Lanka is one of the few places in the world that can offer the traveller 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 kilometres lie eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres 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 and 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back more than 2,500 years.

Sri Lanka Fact Sheet

Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Government Type: Republic
Dimensions: 430 km North to South, 225 km East to West
Coastline: 1,340 km
Currency (code): Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Independence: Feb. 4, 1948
Administrative Capital: Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial Capital: Colombo
Climate: 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, 2,524 m
Highest Waterfall: Bambarakanda, 263 m
National Flower: The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea Stellata)
National Parks and Nature Reserves Area: 8,000 sq km
Population: 20,263,723
Population Growth Rate: 0.7%
Population Density: 323 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth: 74 years (female); 64 years (male)
Literacy Rate: Female 87.9%; Male 92.5%
Ethnicity: Sinhalese 74.9%; Sri Lanka Tamil 11.2%; Indian Tamil 4.2%; Sri Lanka Moor 9.2%; Burgher 0.2%; Malay 0.2%; Other 0.1 (2012 Census)
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language); Tamil (official and national language); English (a link language).
Religions: Buddhist 70.2%; Hindu 12.6%; Islam 9.7%; Roman Catholic 6.1; Other 1.3% (2012 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 Dialling: +94
Electricity: 230.240 volts, 50 cycles AC
Economy: 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 every year
Labour Force: Based on 2012 data, Sri Lanka has an economically active population of nearly 8.5 million of which 31% is employed in agriculture, 26.1% in the industry sector and 42.9% in the service sector. The unemployment rate is 4.0%.
Agriculture & Products: Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts, milk, eggs, fish
Industries: Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; Telecommunications, insurance and banking; Clothing, textiles, cement and petroleum refining
Exports: Textiles and apparel; Tea and spices; Diamonds, emeralds and rubies; Coconut products, rubber manufactures and fish
Imports: 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)
Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Government Type: Republic
Dimensions: 430 km North to South, 225 km East to West
Coastline: 1,340 km
Currency (code): Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Independence: Feb. 4, 1948
Administrative Capital: Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial Capital: Colombo
Climate: 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, 2,524 m
Highest Waterfall: Bambarakanda, 263 m
National Flower: The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea Stellata)
National Parks and Nature Reserves Area: 8,000 sq km
Population: 20,263,723
Population Growth Rate: 0.7%
Population Density: 323 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth: 74 years (female); 64 years (male)
Literacy Rate: Female 87.9%; Male 92.5%
Ethnicity: Sinhalese 74.9%; Sri Lanka Tamil 11.2%; Indian Tamil 4.2%; Sri Lanka Moor 9.2%; Burgher 0.2%; Malay 0.2%; Other 0.1 (2012 Census)
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language); Tamil (official and national language); English (a link language).
Religions: Buddhist 70.2%; Hindu 12.6%; Islam 9.7%; Roman Catholic 6.1; Other 1.3% (2012 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 Dialling: +94
Electricity: 230.240 volts, 50 cycles AC
Economy: 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 every year
Labour Force: Based on 2012 data, Sri Lanka has an economically active population of nearly 8.5 million of which 31% is employed in agriculture, 26.1% in the industry sector and 42.9% in the service sector. The unemployment rate is 4.0%.
Agriculture & Products: Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts, milk, eggs, fish
Industries: Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; Telecommunications, insurance and banking; Clothing, textiles, cement and petroleum refining
Exports: Textiles and apparel; Tea and spices; Diamonds, emeralds and rubies; Coconut products, rubber manufactures and fish
Imports: 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)