Fast Facts

Country Name:
Conventional long form:
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Conventional short form: Sri Lanka
former: Ceylon

Government Type: Republic

Legislative Capital:
Sri Jayewardenepura- Kotte

Commercial Capital:

Sri Lanka is an island in located in the Indian Ocean. It is 880 km north of the equator and positioned off the south eastern tip of India.

Sri Lankan Rupee (Code: LKR)

4 February 1948 (declaration of independence from United Kingdom)

National Holiday:
Independence Day, 4 February (1948)

Humid and warm; South west monsoon during the months of May to July; North eastern monsoon during the months of December to January.

Geographic Coordinates:
7 00 N, 81 00 E

total: 65,610 sq km
land: 64,740 sq km
water: 870 sq km

1,340 km

mostly low, flat and sloping plain, mountains at south-central interior

Natural Resources:
limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 13.96%
permanent crops: 15.24%
other: 70.8% (2005)

Irrigated Land:
7,430 sq km (2003)

Environment – current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo

Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

21,2 million (2016)

Population density:
323 people per sq km (2007)

noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjectives: Sri Lankan

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)

Buddhism (70%), Brahmanism (15.%), Christianity (8%) and Islam (7%)

Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%; English is proficiently spoken by about 10% of the population, commonly used in government

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.7%
male: 92.3%
female: 89.1% (2001 census)

Administrative divisions:
Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces and 25 administrative districts.

adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978

18 years of age, universal


President Mahinda RAJAPAKSA, chief of state and head of government, elected for a 6-year term
Prime Minister Ratnasiri WICKREMANAYAKE

Unicameral 225-member Parliament

Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, subordinate courts.

Political parties:
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Tamil National Alliance, United National Party, several small Tamil and Muslim parties, and others

Flag description:
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

GDP (official exchange rate):
$83.2 billion (2007)

Annual growth rate:
6.7%. (2007)

GDP – per capita:
$4,100 (2007)

Labor force:
7.67 million (2007)

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 34.3%
industry: 25.3%
services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.)

Unemployment rate:
6.3% (2007)

Population below poverty line:
22% (2002)

Public debt:
85.9% if GDP (2007)

External debt:
$ 13.52 billion (2007)

Agriculture – products:
beef, eggs, milk, hides; grains, rice, sugarcane, spices, tea, pulses, oilseed, rubber, coconuts; fish

processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining; telecommunications, insurance, banking

Telephones – main lines in use:
2.742 million (2007)

Telephones – mobile cellular:
7.983 million (2007

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
6,198 (2007)

Internet users:
428,000 (2006)

18 (2007)

total: 1,449 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2006)

total: 97,287 km
paved: 78,802 km
unpaved: 18,485 km (2003)

160 km (primarily on rivers in southwest) (2006)

Military branches:
Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
IDPs: 460,000 (both Tamils and non-Tamils displaced due to long-term civil war between the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)) (2007)

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