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

Sri Lanka Suicide Bombers Included Two Sons of a Spice Tycoon (Wed, 24 Apr 2019)
The aura of success surrounding Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim, head of a Sri Lanka spice empire, crashed on news that two of his sons were Easter Sunday bombers.
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Sri Lanka’s Muslims Face an Angry Backlash After Easter Sunday Attacks (Wed, 24 Apr 2019)
The country had little history of Christian-Muslim violence, but when Muslim extremists bombed churches on Easter Sunday, everything changed.
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‘Daddy, What Is a Curfew?’ Sri Lankans Face the Shattering of a Hard-Won Peace (Wed, 24 Apr 2019)
Residents of the country’s once-besieged capital had grown used to life without barricades and checkpoints. All that has now changed again.
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The Terrorist Attacks in Sri Lanka (Wed, 24 Apr 2019)
Suicide bombings across the country killed hundreds of people. Top officials had been repeatedly warned of the threat.
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Sri Lanka Calls Bombers ‘Well Educated’ and Warns of Ongoing Threat (Wed, 24 Apr 2019)
The American ambassador warned of “ongoing terrorist plots,” and a Sri Lankan official said people involved in the Easter Sunday bombings could still be at large.
>> Read more

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