Geography

Geography
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..

 

 

People and Economy

People
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).

 

Government

Government
Type: Republic.
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.

Sri Lanka

Tidy (Fri, 27 Sep 2019)
Alex Eaton-Salners whirls in with a devilish puzzle.
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Why Is India Making Its Own People Stateless? (Wed, 11 Sep 2019)
The Modi government will stop at nothing, it seems, to repress the country’s Muslims.
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Buddhists Go to Battle: When Nationalism Overrides Pacifism (Mon, 08 Jul 2019)
A call to arms for Sri Lankan monks. Ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. A Buddhist faith known for pacifism is taking its place in a new age of nationalism.
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All 9 of Sri Lanka’s Muslim Ministers Resign, as Bombing Backlash Intensifies (Mon, 03 Jun 2019)
The resignations were in response to a hunger strike by a Buddhist monk who said he would fast until he died unless one of the ministers, as well as two Muslim governors, were removed from office.
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For Sri Lanka’s Bickering Leaders, Election Hopes Dim After Terrorist Attack (Tue, 21 May 2019)
The president and prime minister are being called on to step down even by supporters. Waiting in the wings is the family of the former strongman president, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
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