Sri Lanka

Coordinates: 7°N 81°E / 7°N 81°E / 7; 81

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  • ශ්‍රී ලංකා ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජය (Sinhala)
  • இலங்கை சனநாயக சோசலிசக் குடியரசு (Tamil)
  • Sinhala:Śrī Laṅkā Prajātāntrika Samājavādī Janarajaya
    Tamil:Ilaṅkai Jaṉanāyaka Sōsalisak Kuṭiyarasu
Anthem: "Sri Lanka Matha"
(English: "Mother Sri Lanka")
Location of Sri Lanka
CapitalSri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative)[1]
Colombo (executive and judicial)[2]
6°56′N 79°52′E / 6.933°N 79.867°E / 6.933; 79.867
Largest cityColombo
Official languagesSinhala
Tamil[3]
Recognised languagesEnglish
Ethnic groups
(2012[4])
74.9% Sinhalese
11.2% Sri Lankan Tamils
9.2% Sri Lankan Moors
4.2% Indian Tamils
0.5% Others (incl. Burghers, Malays, Veddas, Chinese, Indians)
Religion
(2012)
70.2% Buddhism (official)[5]
12.6% Hinduism
9.7% Islam
7.4% Christianity
0.1% Other/None
Demonym(s)Sri Lankan
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
• President
Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena[6]
Jayantha Jayasuriya
LegislatureParliament
Independence 
• Kingdom established[7]
543 BCE
• Rajarata established[8]
437 BCE
1796
• Kandyan Convention signed
1815
4 February 1948
• Republic
22 May 1972
7 September 1978
Area
• Total
65,610 km2 (25,330 sq mi) (120th)
• Water (%)
4.4
Population
• 2020 estimate
Increase22,156,000[9] (57th)
• 2012 census
20,277,597[10]
• Density
337.7/km2 (874.6/sq mi) (24th)
GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
Increase$306.997 billion[11] (56th)
• Per capita
Increase$13,909[11] (88th)
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
Increase$84.532 billion[11] (64th)
• Per capita
Increase$3,830[11] (113th)
Gini (2016)39.8[12]
medium
HDI (2019)Increase 0.782[13]
high · 72nd
CurrencySri Lankan rupee (Rs) (LKR)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (SLST)
Date format
  • dd-mm-yyyy
  • yyyy-mm-dd
Mains electricity230 V–50 Hz
Driving sideleft
Calling code+94
ISO 3166 codeLK
Internet TLD
Website
www.gov.lk

Sri Lanka (UK: /sri ˈlæŋkə, ʃr -/, US: /- ˈlɑːŋkə/ (About this soundlisten); Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, romanized: Śrī Laṅkā; Tamil: இலங்கை, romanized: Ilaṅkai), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and the Maldives. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, and Colombo is its largest city and financial centre.

Sri Lanka's documented history goes back 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements that dates to at least 125,000 years ago.[14] It has a rich cultural heritage. The earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, known collectively as the Pāli canon, date to the fourth Buddhist council, which took place in 29 BCE.[15][16] Sri Lanka's geographic location and deep harbours have made it of great strategic importance, from the earliest days of the ancient Silk Road trade route to today's so-called maritime Silk Road.[17][18][19] Because its location made it a major trading hub, it was already known to both Far Easterners and Europeans as long ago as the Anuradhapura period. The country's trade in luxury goods and spices attracted traders of many nations, which helped to create Sri Lanka's diverse population. During a period of great political crisis in the Sinhalese kingdom of Kotte, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka (largely by accident) and then sought to control the island's maritime regions and its lucrative external trade. Part of Sri Lanka became a Portuguese possession. After the Sinhalese-Portuguese war, the Dutch and the Kingdom of Kandy took control of those areas. The Dutch possessions were then taken by the British, who later extended their control over the whole island, colonising it from 1815 to 1948. A national movement for political independence arose in the early 20th century, and in 1948, Ceylon became a dominion. The dominion was succeeded by the republic named Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's more recent history was marred by a 26-year civil war, which began in 1983 and ended decisively in 2009; when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.[20]

Today, Sri Lanka is a multinational state, home to diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities. The Sinhalese are the majority of the nation's population. The Tamils, who are a large minority group, have also played an influential role in the island's history. Other long established groups include the Moors, the Burghers, the Malays, the Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda.[21]

The island has had a long history of engagement with modern international groups: it is a founding member of the SAARC and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Sri Lanka is the highest ranked South Asian nation on the Human Development Index, and has the second highest per capita income in South Asia.

  1. ^ "Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Colombo". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Official Languages Policy". languagesdept.gov.lk. Department of Official Languages. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  4. ^ "South Asia: Sri Lanka". CIA. 22 September 2021.
  5. ^ https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-report-on-international-religious-freedom/sri-lanka/
  6. ^ "Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena elected as the New Speaker". Parliament of Sri Lanka. 20 August 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  7. ^ De Silva, K. M. (1981). A History of Sri Lanka. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-19-561655-2. A History of Sri Lanka.
  8. ^ Nicholas, C. W.; Paranavitana, S. (1961). A Concise History of Ceylon. Colombo University Press.
  9. ^ "Mid‐year Population Estimates by District & Sex, 2016 ‐ 2021". statistics.gov.lk. Department of Census and Statistics. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing 2011 Enumeration Stage February–March 2012" (PDF). Department of Census and Statistics – Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2021". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Gini Index". World Bank.
  13. ^ Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 343–346. ISBN 978-92-1-126442-5. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  14. ^ Roberts, Brian (2006). "Sri Lanka: Introduction". Urbanization and sustainability in Asia: case studies of good practice. ISBN 978-971-561-607-2.
  15. ^ Jack Maguire (2001). Essential Buddhism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs and Practices. Simon and Schuster. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-671-04188-5. ... the Pali canon of Theravada is the earliest known collection of Buddhist writings ...
  16. ^ "Religions – Buddhism: Theravada Buddhism". BBC. 2 October 2002.
  17. ^ Bandaranayake, Senake (1990). "Sri Lankan Role in the Maritime Silk Route". Sri Lanka and the silk road of the sea. p. 21. ISBN 978-955-9043-02-7.
  18. ^ British Prime Minister Winston Churchill described the moment a Japanese fleet prepared to invade Sri Lanka as "the most dangerous and distressing moment of the entire conflict". – Commonwealth Air Training Program Museum, The Saviour of Ceylon Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "A Brief History of Sri Lanka". localhistories.org. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  20. ^ Reuters Sri Lanka wins civil war, says kills rebel leader Archived 16 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reuters (18 May 2009). Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Vedda". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 15 July 2014.

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