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’s Disputed Prime Minister Will Step Down (Fri, 14 Dec 2018)
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will step down from his claim to be the country’s premier, but Sri Lanka’s economy has been badly damaged.
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A Hotline for the Broken-Hearted and the Poison-in-Hand (Tue, 11 Dec 2018)
Everyday Sri Lankans — a retired banker, a former nurse, a marriage counselor — volunteer at a phone counseling line to ease burdens in a war-traumatized country.
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After War’s End, a Long Struggle to Patch Invisible Wounds in Sri Lanka (Tue, 04 Dec 2018)
A government psychiatrist in Sri Lanka goes door to door in an area scarred by civil war, doing whatever he can to meet a staggering need for help.
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Teaching Children Regardless of Grade (Tue, 04 Dec 2018)
Educators in a remote valley in India devised a community approach to instructing students when teachers were sparse. It’s catching on.
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Sri Lanka Court Temporarily Blocks Mahinda Rajapaksa From Prime Minister’s Job (Mon, 03 Dec 2018)
The Court of Appeal issued an order preventing Mr. Rajapaksa from governing for now, the latest twist in the political crisis that has paralyzed the country.
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