Area: 65,610 sq. km. (25,332 sq. mi.); about the size of West Virginia.
Cities: Capital--Colombo (pop. est. 1.3 million--urban area). Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte is the officially designated capital and is the site of Parliament. Other cities--Kandy (150,000), Galle (110,000), Jaffna (100,000). Terrain: Coastal plains in the northern third of country; hills and mountains in south-central Sri Lanka rise to more than 2,133 meters (7,000 ft.). Climate: Tropical. Rainy seasons--light in northeast, fall and winter, with average rainfall of 50 in.; heavy in southwest, summer and fall, with average rainfall of 200 in..
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Sri Lankan(s).
Population: 21.3 million.
Annual population growth rate: 0.9%.
Ethnic groups (2002): Sinhalese (74%), Tamils (18%), Muslims (7%), others (1%).
Religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.
Languages: Sinhala and Tamil (official), English.
Education: Years compulsory--to age 14. Primary school attendance--96.5%. Literacy--91%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--18.57/1,000. Life expectancy--73 yrs. (male); 77 yrs. (female).
Work force: 7.6 million (excluding northern provinces).
Independence: February 4, 1948.
Constitution: August 31, 1978.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
Branches: Executive--president, chief of state and head of government, elected for a 6-year term. Legislative--unicameral 225-member Parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, subordinate courts.
Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces and 25 administrative districts.
Political parties: Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, National Freedom Front, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Tamil National Alliance, United National Party, Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, National Unity Alliance, Ceylon Workers' Congress, Up-Country People's Front, several small Tamil and Muslim parties, Marxists, and others.
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