Sri Lanka Profile
Official name of country
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
PresidentH.E. Maithripala Sirisena
Prime Minister
Prime MinisterHon. Ranil Wickramasinghe
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign MinisterHon. Mangala Samaraweera
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs                                 

 Hon. Harsha De SIlva                   Deputy Foreign Minister

Between 5° 55' and 9°50' North Latitude,
between 79°42' to 81°53' of East Longitude
Total Area - 65,610
Low Country - Min. 24.4° C - Max 31.7° C
Hill Country - Min. 17.1° C - Max 26.3° C
Life Expectancy Rate
75.18 (yrs)
Adult Literacy Rate
97% (15-24 years; 2010)
Sri Jayewardenepura (Administrative)
Colombo (Commercial)
Ethnic Groups
Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity
Official languages : Sinhala and Tamil
Link language : English
Sri Lanka Rupee
GDP-Real Growth Rate
7.4% (2014)
Per Capita GDP
US$ 3,625 (2014)
Exchange Rates (An average as at 11 January 2016)
Rs./US $ - Rs. 143.00
Rs./Rand - Rs. 16.00
International Airport
Bandaranaike International Airport – Katunayake
Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee, Hambantota
Time Standard Time
GMT + 2 hrs
National Emblem
Sri Lanka used the British emblem when it was a British Crown Colony and even after gaining independence in 1948. Only years later a select committee appointed devised a state emblem more suitable for Sri Lanka (Ceylon). It had a Lion with Sword in its right fore paw encircled with a Palapethi open petal design top. A new republican emblem was chosen after the country was declared a Republic on May 22, 1972. In addition to the lion with a sword and the Palapethi open petal design it portrays the Punkalasa, dhammachakka, sun, moon and two sheaves of paddy.
National Flag
The necessity of a National Flag was discussed even before Sri Lanka gained independence on February 4th, 1948. Mr. A. Sinnalebbe, MP for Batticaloa tabled a motion in the State Council on January 16th, 1948 suggesting that the Lion Flag of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe which was taken to Britain in 1815 should be ade the National Flag. This was debated and later Prime Minister Rt. Hon. D.S. Senanayake named an Advisory Committee for the formulation of a National Flag.

The Members of the Committee were Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (Chairman), Sir John Kotalawela, Mr. J.R. Jayewardene, Mr. T.B. Jayah, Dr. L.A. Rajapakse, Mr. G.G. Ponnambalam and Senator S. Nadesan, and Dr. Senarath Paranavithana (Secretary)." "The National Flag recommended by the special committee was presented to Parliament by Mr. D.S. Senanayake on March 2nd, 1951 and adopted. It had two strips, one green and the other orange representing other ethnic groups. Each of these strips had to be equal to one seventh the size of the flag."
Sri Lanka has been known, from ancient times, to several civilizations of the world by a variety of names. The Greeks called her “Taptrobane”, the Arabs named her “Serendib”, and the old colonial powers of Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain, called here “Ceilao”, “Zeylan” and “Ceylon” respectively. Sri Lanka is an ancient indigenous name, meaning the “resplendent island”.

Sri Lanka has been a settlement since pre-historic time and evidence exists of Stone Age hunters. Recorded history begins from about 4th century BC when people settled down in Anuradhpapura.

As settlement shifted to the dry zone of the country, an elaborate system of irrigation, by means of artificial lakes and canals, was constructed by the kings of the day. By then, Buddhism had been introduced to the island. Religion and culture flourished under the patronage of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka.

Settlement gradually moved southwards across the island, mainly due to the threat on invasions from Southern India. Trade began to assume importance in the economy. Early trade centred around spices and precious stones and soon attracted Arab, Persian and Chinese merchants. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese, who took control of the western coastal plains in the 16th century. They also introduced Christianity to the island.

The Portuguese were ousted by the Dutch, who introduced the Roman Dutch legal principles that continue in the island to this date. The British finally took control of the Maritime Provinces from the Dutch, in 1796. The British assumed control of the whole island, when the last remaining local kingdom, in Kandy, was annexed in 1815. Coffee was introduced as a plantation crop and this was later replaced by tea in the hilly regions. Rubber was planted in the lower elevations. Railways and roads were built and an economic and social infrastructure came into being. The economy developed around the plantations.

The foundation of a strong democracy was laid in the 1930s, when universal adult franchise was introduced into the country. Sri Lanka achieved independence from the British in 1948. From the status of a dominion, she became a republic in 1972, opting to stay with the British Commonwealth.

During the post-independence period, Sri Lanka developed into a state with strong foundations, whose standards of literacy (90 percent), education, health (life expectancy 76 years for females and 72 years for males) and nutrition, are among the best in the developing world. UNDP and UNICEF rate Sri Lanka as one of the best among developing countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) basis.
The Land and its People
Sri Lanka, the 25332 square mils (65810 sq. Km) island in the Indian Ocean les at the southern tip of India. The island is 278 miles (447 Km) long and 136 miles (219 Km) wide which is slightly small than the South African province of Mpumalanga.

The population of Sri Lanka is around 20.67 million. The composition of the population is Sinhalese (73.8%), Tamils (8.5%), Moors (7.2%), Others 0.5%, unspecified 10%.

The majority of the population is Buddhist (69.1%), while Muslims 7.6%, Hindus 7.1%,Christians6.2% unspecified 10% form the rest of the denominations. Language constitutes an important fact I the cultural mosaic of the community. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages while English, which is the link language is widely spoken countrywide
Sri Lanka National Anthem
Sinhalese Lyrics English Translation
Sri Lanka Matha, apa Sri Lanka, Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha. Sundara siri barini, Surändi athi Sobamana Lanka Dhanya dhanaya neka mal pala thuru piri, jaya bhoomiya ramya. Apa hata sä pa siri setha sadana, jee vanaye Matha! Piliganu mana apa bhakti pooja,Namo Namo Matha. Apa Sri Lanka, Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha, apa Sri Lanka, Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha.

Obave apa vidya obamaya apa sathya obave apa shakti apa hada thula bhakti oba apa aloke apage anuprane oba apa jeevana ve apa muktiya obave Nava jeevana demine nithina apa Pubudu karan matha Gnana veerya vadavamina ragena yanu mana jaya bhoomi kara Eka mavekuge daru kala bavina yamu yamu wee nopama Prema vadamu sama bheda durara da Namo Namo Matha

English Translation
Mother Lanka - we salute Thee! Plenteous in prosperity, Thou, Beauteous in grace and love, Laden with corn and luscious fruit And fragrant flowers of radiant hue, Giver of life and all good things, Our land of joy and victory, Receive our grateful praise sublime,Lanka! we worship Thee.

Thou gavest us Knowledge and Truth, Thou art our strength and inward faith, Our light divine and sentient being, Breath of life and liberation. Grant us, bondage free, inspiration. Inspire us for ever. In wisdom and strength renewed, Ill-will, hatred, strife all ended, In love enfolded, a mighty nation Marching onward, all as one, Lead us, Mother, to fullest freedom.

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