Sri Lanka is an island situated in the Indian Ocean, at the base of the Indian
Sub-Continent, 880 km north of the equator. Sri Lanka has a pleasant tropical
climate. The average temperature of the low lands ranges between 25-30 degrees
Celsius. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country with a diverse and rich
culture with a total population of 19 million. English is widely spoken and is
studied as a compulsory secondary language in school.

Sri Lanka's Per Capita GDP is presently US$ 900 - the highest in South Asia and
the Literacy rate is 92% - the highest in South Asia and second highest in Asia.
According to the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) Forecast 1998, Sri Lanka's
Business Environment ranks 11th in the region, and 42nd in the world, ahead of
India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan

Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes
total: 65,610 sq km
water:870 sq km
land: 64,740 sq km
1,340 km
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Natural resources:
limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 13.43%
permanent crops: 15.78%
other: 70.79%
Irrigated land:
6,510 sq km
international agreements:
Environment - international agreements:
party to: ClBiodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species,Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban,Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea
19,742,439 (2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.2% (male 2,543,336; female 2,431,223)
15-64 years: 67.9% (male 6,518,145; female 6,890,424)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 641,708; female 717,603) (2003 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.95% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
16.12 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.46 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjective: Sri Lankan
Ethnic groups:
Sinhalese 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay, and Vedda 1%
Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 7%
Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%,other 8%
note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.3%
male: 94.8%
female: 90% (2003 est.)
Country name:
conventional long form:Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
conventional short form: Sri Lanka
former: Serendib, Ceylon
Government type:
Colombo; note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital
Administrative divisions:
8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa,
Southern, Uva, Western
4 February 1948 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 4 February (1948)
adopted 16 August 1978
Legal system:
a highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese,and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:

Chief of state: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (since 9 December 2001) is the prime
minister; the president is considered both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12
November 1994); note - Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (since 9 December 2001) is the prime minister; the president is considered both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 21 December 1999

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of a modified proportional representation system by district to serve six-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
last held 7 December 2001 election results: percent of vote by party or electoral alliance - UNP, SLMC and CWC 46.8%, PA and EPDP 38%, JVP 9.1%, TNA 3.89%, PLOTE 0.19%; seats by party or electoral alliance - UNP, SLMC and CWC 114, PA and EPDP 79, JVP 16, TNA 15,PLOTE 1
Flag description:
yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and
extends between the two panels
purchasing power parity - $73.7 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 20%
industry: 26%
services: 54% (2001)
Population below poverty line:
22% (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 28% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
9.6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
6.6 million (1998)
Labor force - by occupation:
services 45%, agriculture 38%, industry 17% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate:
8% (2002)
Agriculture - products:
rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk,
eggs, hides, beef
$4.6 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
textiles and apparel, tea, Gems, coconut products, petroleum products
Exports - partners:
US 39.1%, UK 12.9%, Belgium 4.7%, Germany 4.5% (2002)
$5.4 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
textiles, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment
Imports - partners:
India 11%, Hong Kong 7.6%, Singapore 7.1%, China 6.3%, Taiwan 5.9%, South Korea 5.7%, Japan 5.3%, Iran 4.2% (2002)
Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Currency code:
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2000)
Internet users:
121,500 (2001)
total: total: 1,508 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2002)
total: 96,695 km
paved:91,860 km
unpaved:4,835 km (1999)
430 km (navigable by shallow-draft craft)
crude oil and petroleum products 62 km (1987)
Ports and harbors:
Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee
Merchant marine:
total: 15 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 62,157 GRT/84,898 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 9, Hong Kong 1, UAE 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type:cargo 13, container 1, petroleum tanker 1
15 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 14
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2002)
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
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