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Sri Lanka

Population: 21 866 445

GDP: 71 570 000 000.00 $

Description

 

The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka.

 

 

The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was formally united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations.

 

 

Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. By May 2009, the government announced that its military had defeated the remnants of the LTTE. Since the end of the conflict, the government has enacted an ambitious program of economic development projects, many of which are financed by loans from the Government of China.

 

 

In addition to efforts to reconstruct its economy, the government has resettled more than 95% of those civilians who were displaced during the final phase of the conflict and released the vast majority of former LTTE combatants captured by Government Security Forces. At the same time, there has been little progress on more contentious and politically difficult issues such as reaching a political settlement with Tamil elected representatives and holding accountable those alleged to have been involved in human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict.

Population

 

Population: 21,866,445 (2014).

 

Nationality: noun: Sri Lankan(s), adjective: Sri Lankan.

 

Ethnic groups: Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, other 0.5%.

 

Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%.

note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution.

 

Religions: Buddhist (official) 70.2%, Hindu 12.6%, Muslim 9.7%, Roman Catholic 6.1%, other Christian 1.3%, other 0.05%.

GDP

 

GDP: $ 71 570 000 000.00 (2014).

Military Organization

 

Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Coast Guard.

Conflicts and Disputes

 

Internally displaced persons (IDPs): up to 90,000 (civil war; more than half displaced prior to 2008; many of the more than 480,000 IDPs registered as returnees have not reached durable solutions) (2014).

Geographical Information and Map

 

Capital: Colombo. Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital.

 

Location: Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India. Strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes.

 

Geographic coordinates:

7 00 N, 81 00 E.

 

Area:

total: 65,610 sq km

land: 64,630 sq km

water: 980 sq km

 

 

Land boundaries: 0 km.

 

Coastline: 1,340 km.

 

Natural resources: limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower, arable land.