Sri Lanka (Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka) is an island state in southern Asia, which occupies the entire island of Ceylon. This island is located in the Indian Ocean north of the equator and south of India.
THE ANCIENT ISLAND OF CEYLON
The Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar separate the island from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The administrative capital of the country is the city of Colombo, located along the south-western coast and the legislative and judicial capital is Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte.
Apart from the capital city Colombo important cities along the south-western coast are Negombo, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Galle, Matara. In the interior of the island-country there is the city of Kandy. Jaffna lies in the north and along the east coast there are the ports of Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
The island – mostly flat – consists of large coastal plains. The northern part is flat and covered with savannahs and the only mountainous area of the country is the central-southern zone made up of plateaus and mountains that rise above 2,000 metres. Here are the Adams Peak (Sri Pada, 2,243 metres) and Pidurutalagala, the highest mountain in Sri Lanka (2,524 metres). The longest river of Sri Lanka is the Mahaweli Ganga (332 km).
AN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY
At the base of the economy of Sri Lanka is agriculture, among the most important crops are rice, tea (one of the largest producers in the world), rubber, coconut palm (walnuts, oil and copra), spices ( cardamom, lemongrass, pepper, cinnamon), cassava, batata, tobacco, cotton, coffee, vegetables and fruit.
Important are timber production and fishing. The subsoil resources are scarce (graphite, precious stones (rubies, sapphires, beryls, topazes). The industrial sector is largely linked to the transformation of agricultural products and textile industries. Important is the tourism. The main tourist destinations in the country are the beaches south and north of the capital Colombo. The country also has interesting archaeological areas such as those of Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Anuradhapura. Inland, the city of Kandy and the hilltop center of Nuwara Eliya are often visited.
The climate of Sri Lanka.
- Area: 65,610 sq km (Arable land 29%, Pastures 7%, Forests and Woodlands 32%, Uncultivated and Unproductive land 32%)
- Population: 20,700,000 (2006 data) (Singhalese 74%, Sri Lanka Tamil 12%, Moors 8%, Indian Tamil 5%, Burghers 0,4%)
- State Capital: Colombo (Sri Jayawardenapura).
- Languages: The official languages are Singhalese and Tamil. English is widely spoken.
- Religion: Buddhist 70%, Hinduist 13%, Muslim 9%, Christian 7% (Catholic 6%, Protestant 1%).
- Currency: Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR)
- Time: UTC+5.30 hours.