Sri Lanka (GPS: 7 00 N, 81 00 E) located in Southern Asia, an island in the Indian Ocean, south of India. The country’s area measurements are total: 65,610 sq km; land: 64,630 sq km, water: 980 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than West Virginia. The total irrigated land is 5,700 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of Sri Lanka: Strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes. Adam’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals between the southeastern coast of India and the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this 50-km long Bridge once connected India and Sri Lanka. Ancient records indicate that a foot passage was possible between the two landmasses until the 15th century when the land bridge broke up in a cyclone.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Colombo’s GPS coordinates are 6 55 N 79 50 E. Colombo’s local time is 10.5 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+5.5.
The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced circa 250 B.C., and the first kingdoms developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (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 Portuguese controlled the island’s coastal areas in the 16th century, followed 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
Prevailing tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in July 1983. Fighting between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continued for over a quarter-century. Although Norway brokered peace negotiations that led to a ceasefire in 2002, the fighting slowly resumed and was again in full force by 2006. The government defeated the LTTE in May 2009. During the post-conflict years under President Mahinda RAJAPAKSA, the government initiated infrastructure development projects, many of which were financed by loans from China. His regime faced significant allegations of human rights violations and a shrinking democratic space for civil society. In 2015, a new coalition government headed by President Maithripala sirisena of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Prime Minister Ranil WICKREMESINGHE of the United National Party came to power pledges to advance economic, governance, anti-corruption, reconciliation, justice, and accountability reforms.
However, the implementation of these reforms has been uneven. In October 2018, President SIRISENA attempted to oust Prime Minister WICKREMESINGHE, swearing-in former President RAJAPAKSA as the new prime minister and issuing an order dissolve the parliament and hold elections. This sparked a seven-week constitutional crisis that ended when the Supreme Court ruled SIRISENA’s actions unconstitutional, RAJAPAKSA resigned, and WICKREMESINGHE was reinstated. In November 2019, Gotabaya RAJAPAKSA won the presidential election and appointed his brother, Mahinda, prime minister.
Sri Lanka’s names conventional long form: the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, conventional short form: Sri Lanka, local long form: Shri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajavadi Janarajaya/Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu, local short form: Shri Lanka/Ilankai, former: Serendib, Ceylon. Note: the name means “resplendent island” in Sanskrit. The name means “resplendent island” in Sanskrit.
Sri Lanka’s terrain is typically mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in the south-central interior. The country’s mean elevation: 228 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m, highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical monsoon: northeast monsoon (December to March): southwest monsoon (June to October).
The total number of border countries is 0; none are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Sri Lanka’s coastline is 1,340 km. Its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles or the edge of the continental margin. Waterways: 160 km (primarily on rivers in the southwest) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 43.5%; arable land 20.7%; permanent crops 15.8%; permanent pasture 7%; forest: 29.4%; other: 27.1% (2011 estimate).
The population in Sri Lanka 22,576,592 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 18.4% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative capital) 128,000 (2014); COLOMBO (capital) 707,000 (2015), while Sri Lanka has N/A. Their spoken languages are Sinhala (official language and national language) 74%, Tamil (official language and 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. Main religions in Sri Lanka are Buddhist (official) 70.2%, Hindu 12.6%, Muslim 9.7%, Roman Catholic 6.1%, other Christian 1.3%, other 0.05% (2012 estimate). The nation uses mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and Jaffna Tamil customary law. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 4 February (1948).
Economic overview for the country: Sri Lanka is attempting to sustain economic growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability under the IMF program it began in 2016. The government’s high debt payments and bloated civil service, which have contributed to historically high budget deficits, remain a concern. Government debt is about 79% of GDP and remains among the highest of the emerging markets. In the coming years, Sri Lanka will need to balance its elevated debt repayment schedule with its need to maintain adequate foreign exchange reserves.
In May 2016, Sri Lanka regained its preferential trade status under the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences Plus, enabling many of its firms to export products, including its top export garments, tax-free EU. In 2017, Parliament passed a new Inland Revenue Act to increase tax collection and broaden the tax base in response to recommendations made under its IMF program. In November 2017, the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering and terrorist financing listed Sri Lanka as non-compliant, but reported subsequently that Sri Lanka had made good progress in implementing an action plan to address deficiencies. Tourism has experienced strong growth in the years since the resolution of the government’s 26-year conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In 2017, the government promulgated plans to transform the country into a knowledge-based, export-oriented Indian Ocean hubby 2025.
Natural resources of Sri Lanka: limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower, arable land.
Main export partners for Sri Lanka, Asia are the US 26%, UK 9%, India 7.2%, Germany 4.3% (2015) for textiles and apparel, tea and spices; rubber manufactures; precious stones; coconut products, fish, while the main import partners for the country are: India 24.6%, China 20.6%, UAE 7.2%, Singapore 5.9%, Japan 5.7% (2015) for petroleum, textiles, machinery, and transportation equipment, building materials, mineral products, foodstuffs.
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in Sri Lanka: Occasional cyclones and tornadoes. At the same time, infectious diseases are a risk of high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A vectorborne disease: dengue fever water contact disease: leptospirosis animal contact disease: rabies (2016). Also, note that Sri Lanka faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation, Soil erosion, wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization, Coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution, Coral reef destruction, Freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff, waste disposal, Air pollution in Colombo.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Sri Lanka around its 0 km border – No border countries.