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Sri Lanka at a Glance

Sri Lanka at a Glance

Sri Lanka Fact File

 

srilankamap

 

Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time.  It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.


Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location.  Within a mere area of  65,610 kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline - much of it pristine beach - 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.

 

Official Name:

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Government Type:

Republic

Location :

Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. north, Longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km north of the equator

Dimensions :

430km North to South, 225km East to West

Coastline :

1,340km

Area :

65,525km

Currency (code):

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Independence:

4 February 1948

Administrative Capital :

Sri Jayewardenepura

Commercial Capital :

Colombo

Administrative Divisions:

Typically tropical, with anortheast monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing bad weather to the south and west

Terrain:

Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior

Highest Mountain :

Pidurutalagala, 2,524m

Highest Waterfall :

National Anthem:

Bambarakanda, 263m

"Sri Lanka Matha" composed by late Mr. Ananda Samarakoon.

National Flower:

National Tree:

National Bird:

The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).

The Ironwood (Na Tree), botanically known as ”Mesua Nagassarium”

Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl – Very colourful ground bird

National Parks and Nature Reserves Area :

8,000sq.km

Population:

21,128,773

Pop. Growth Rate:

1.3%

Population Density:

309 people per sq km

Life Expectancy at Birth

74 female, 64 male

Literacy Rate :

Female 87.9 Male 92.5

Ethnic Groups:

Sinhalese, 74%; Tamil, 18%; Muslim 7%; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others 1%

Languages:

Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population

Religion:

Buddhism 70%; Hinduism 16%; Christianity 7%; Islam 7%

Time Zone :

Sri Lanka Standard Time isfive and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

International Dialing :

+94

Electricity :

230. 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer

Economy:

Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, insurance and banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than US$1 billion a year.

Labour Force

34.3% of the labour population is employed in agriculture, 25.3% in industry and 40.4% in services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.) The unemployment rate is 5.7% (2007 est.)

Agriculture & Products

Rice, Sugarcane, Grains, Pulses, Oilseed, Spices, Tea, Rubber, Coconuts, milk, Eggs, Hides, Beef, Fish

Industries:

Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities, telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles, cement, petroleum refining.

Exports:

Textiles and apparel; tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish

Imports:

Main import commodities are textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment: $10.61 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.). Percentage of main commodities from main import partners: India 19.6%, China 10.5%, Singapore 8.8%, Iran 5.7%, Malaysia 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Japan 4.1% (2006)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP):

Purchasing power parity: $81.29 billion (2007 est.). Official exchange rate: $30.01 billion (2007 est.) Real growth rate: 6.3% (2007 est.) Per capita: $4,100 (2007 est.) composition by sector: Agriculture: 16.5% Industry: 26.9%

Gross National Product (GNP):

Sri Lanka is placed in 76th place in GNP figures of the world’s nationswith $22.8billion (2005)

 
(Courtesy:www.gov.lk /Sri Lanka Tourism)

 

 

Flag description:

 flag of sri lanka 

 

The National Flag of Sri Lanka represents the country and her heritage as rallying device that integrates the minorities with the majority race.

Sri Lanka National Flag is an improvisation of the civil standard of the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Wickrama Rajasingha.

The civil standard had a passant royal lion with a sword in its right fore paw at the center, and a bo-leaf on each of the four corners on a plain border.

When Sri Lanka gained her independence from Great Britain on February 04, 1948, it was the lion flag of the last king of Sri Lanka was hoisted once again.

  • The first Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka, D.S.Senanayake, appointed a committee to advice the government on the design of a new national flag. The design approved by the committee in February 1950 retained the symbol of the lion with the sword and the bo-leaves from the civil standard of the last king of Sri Lanka, with the inclusion of two vertical stripes green and orange in colour. the significance of each symbol of the national flag is as follows:
     

  • The lion in the flag represents the Sinhala race.

  • The sword of the lion represents the sovereignty of the country.
  • Curly hair on the lion's head indicates religious observance, wisdom and meditation.
  • The beard denotes purity of words.
  • The handle of the sword highlights the elements of water, fire, air and earth.
  • The nose indicates intelligence.
  • The two front paws purport to purity in handling wealth.
  • The vertical stripe of orange represent the minority Tamil race and the green vertical stripe the minority Muslim race.
  • The four virtues of kindness: KINDNESS, FRIENDLINESS, HAPPINESS, EQUANIMITY are also represented in the flag.
  • The border round the flag, which is yellow in colour, represents other minor races.
  • The bo-leaves at the four corners of the flag represent Buddhism and its influence on the nation. They also stand for the four virtues - Kindness, Friendliness, Happiness and Equanimity.
  • The maroon coloured portion of the flag manifests the other minor religions.
  • The national flag was hoisted for the first time on March 3, 1950

 

 

 (Courtesy: www.gov.lk )

 

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