Sri Lanka

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Sri Lanka
Background:
Definition Field Listing The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C. probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. Tens of thousands have died in the ethnic conflict that continues to fester. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006 and the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. In January 2008, the government officially withdrew from the ceasefire, and has begun engaging the LTTE in the northern portion of the country.
   Geography    Sri Lanka
Location:
Definition Field Listing Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 7 00 N, 81 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 65,610 sq km
land: 64,740 sq km
water: 870 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing 0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing 1,340 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
Definition Field Listing tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 13.96%
permanent crops: 15.24%
other: 70.8% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 7,430 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 50 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 12.61 cu km/yr (2%/2%/95%)
per capita: 608 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes
   People    Sri Lanka
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 21,128,772
note: since the outbreak of hostilities between the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid-1980s, several hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 24.1% (male 2,596,463/female 2,495,136)
15-64 years: 68% (male 7,019,446/female 7,340,809)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 783,823/female 893,096) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 30.4 years
male: 29.5 years
female: 31.4 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 0.943% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 16.63 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6.07 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -1.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 19.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 74.97 years
male: 72.95 years
female: 77.08 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.02 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3,500 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne disease: dengue fever and malaria
water contact disease: leptospirosis (2008)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjective: Sri Lankan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing 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
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.7%
male: 92.3%
female: 89.1% (2001 census)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
   Government    Sri Lanka
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
conventional short form: Sri Lanka
local long form: Shri Lamka Prajatantrika Samajaya di Janarajaya/Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu
local short form: Shri Lamka/Ilankai
former: Serendib, Ceylon
Government type:
Definition Field Listing republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing name: Colombo
geographic coordinates: 6 56 N, 79 51 E
time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative capital)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing 8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western
note: in October 2006, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court ruled voided a presidential directive merging the North and Eastern Provinces; many have defended the merger as a prerequisite for a negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict; a parliamentary decision on the issue is pending
Independence:
Definition Field Listing 4 February 1948 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Independence Day, 4 February (1948)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing a highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Kandyan, and Jaffna Tamil law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: President Mahinda RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; Ratnasiri WICKREMANAYAKE (since 21 November 2005) holds the largely ceremonial title of prime minister
head of government: President Mahinda RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 November 2005 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: Mahinda RAJAPAKSA elected president; percent of vote - Mahinda RAJAPAKSA 50.3%, Ranil WICKREMESINGHE 48.4%, other 1.3%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of an open-list, proportional representation system by electoral district to serve six-year terms)
elections: last held on 2 April 2004 (next to be held by 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party or electoral alliance - SLFP and JVP (no longer in formal UPFA alliance) 45.6%, UNP 37.8%, TNA 6.8%, JHU 6%, SLMC 2%, UPF 0.5%, EPDP 0.3%, other 1%; seats by party - UNP 68, SLFP 57, JVP 39, TNA 22, CWC 8, JHU 7, SLMC 6, SLMC dissidents 4, Communist Party 2, JHU dissidents 2, LSSP 2, MEP 2, NUA 2, UPF 2, EPDP 1, UNP dissident 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing All Ceylon Tamil Congress or ACTC [G.PONNAMBALAM]; Ceylon Workers Congress or CWC [Arumugam THONDAMAN]; Communist Party or CP [D. GUNASEKERA]; Eelam People's Democratic Party or EPDP [Douglas DEVANANDA]; Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front or EPRLF [Suresh PREMACHANDRAN]; Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP [Somawansa AMARASINGHE]; Lanka Sama Samaja Party or LSSP [Tissa VITHARANA]; Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (People's United Front) or MEP [D. GUNAWARDENE]; National Heritage Party or JHU [Ellawala METHANANDA]; National Unity Alliance or NUA [Ferial ASHRAFF]; People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam or PLOTE [D. SIDHARTHAN]; Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP [Mahinda RAJAPAKSA]; Sri Lanka Muslim Congress or SLMC [Rauff HAKEEM]; Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization or TELO [Selvam ADAIKALANATHAN]; Tamil National Alliance or TNA [R. SAMPANTHAN]; Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF [V. ANANDASANGAREE]; United National Party or UNP [Ranil WICKREMASINGHE]; Up-country People's Front or UPF [P. CHANDRASEKARAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE [Velupillai PRABHAKARAN](insurgent group fighting for a separate state); Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) or Karuna Faction [Vinayagamurthi MURALITHARAN] (paramilitary breakaway from LTTE and fighting LTTE)
other: Buddhist clergy; labor unions; radical chauvinist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ADB, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Bernard GOONETILLEKE
chancery: 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-4025 (through 4028)
FAX: [1] (202) 232-7181
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Robert O. BLAKE, Jr.
embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3
mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo
telephone: [94] (11) 249-8500
FAX: [94] (11) 243-7345
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing 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
   Economy    Sri Lanka
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for more market-oriented policies, export-oriented trade, and encouragement of foreign investment. Recent changes in government, however, have brought some policy reversals. Currently, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party has a more statist economic approach, which seeks to reduce poverty by steering investment to disadvantaged areas, developing small and medium enterprises, promoting agriculture, and expanding the already enormous civil service. The government has halted privatizations. Although suffering a brutal civil war that began in 1983, Sri Lanka saw GDP growth average 4.5% in the last 10 years with the exception of a recession in 2001. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took about 31,000 lives, left more than 6,300 missing and 443,000 displaced, and destroyed an estimated $1.5 billion worth of property. Government spending and reconstruction drove growth to more than 7% in 2006 but reduced agriculture output probably slowed growth to about 6 percent in 2007. Government spending and loose monetary policy drove inflation to nearly 16% in 2007. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only about 15% of exports (compared with more than 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 $1 billion a year. The struggle by the Tamil Tigers of the north and east for an independent homeland continues to cast a shadow over the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $82.02 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $30.01 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $4,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 11.7%
industry: 29.9%
services: 58.4% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.489 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 34.3%
industry: 25.3%
services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing 22% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 39.7% (FY03/04)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing 50 (FY03/04)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 15.8% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 24.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $5.384 billion
expenditures: $7.608 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 85.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.6% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 8.411 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.072 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 84,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 691.5 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 82,390 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -$1.019 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $8.135 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing textiles and apparel, tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing US 23.2%, UK 11.1%, India 10.2%, Belgium 4.7%, Germany 4.5%, Italy 4.1% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $10.36 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing India 22%, China 11.9%, Singapore 7.2%, Iran 6.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $1.189 billion (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $3.644 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $12.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $7.769 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing Sri Lankan rupees per US dollar - 110.78 (2007), 103.99 (2006), 100.498 (2005), 101.194 (2004), 96.521 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing calendar year
   Communications    Sri Lanka
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.742 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.983 million (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: telephone services have improved significantly and are available in most parts of the country
domestic: national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use in Colombo area and 2 fixed wireless local loops have been installed; competition is strong in mobile cellular systems and mobile cellular subscribership is increasing; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 50 per 100 persons
international: country code - 94; the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 15, FM 52, shortwave 4 (2007)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing 14 (2006)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .lk
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6,198 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 771,700 (2007)
   Transportation    Sri Lanka
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 18 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 14
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2007)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 1,449 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 97,286 km
paved: 78,802 km
unpaved: 18,484 km (2003)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 160 km (primarily on rivers in southwest) (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 25 ships (1000 GRT or over) 159,312 GRT/237,126 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 17, chemical tanker 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 5 (Germany 5)
registered in other countries: 2 (Panama 2) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Colombo
   Military    Sri Lanka
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 5,458,720
females age 16-49: 5,594,006 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 4,477,437
females age 16-49: 4,683,716 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 174,065
female: 168,593 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.6% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Sri Lanka
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing none
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing IDPs: 460,000 (both Tamils and non-Tamils displaced due to long-term civil war between the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)) (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
Definition Field Listing current situation: Sri Lanka is a source and destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation; Sri Lankan men and women migrate willingly to the Persian Gulf, Middle East, and East Asia to work as construction workers, domestic servants, or garment factory workers, where some find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude when faced with restrictions on movement, withholding of passports, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and debt bondage; children are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and, less frequently, for forced labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - for a second consecutive year, Sri Lanka is on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of human trafficking, particularly in the area of law enforcement; the government failed to arrest, prosecute, or convict any person for trafficking offenses and continued to punish some victims of trafficking for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; Sri Lanka has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)


Free classified ads to find a job in your area


Students of the World => Countries of the World => Sri Lanka
Home About us Penpals for students Countries of the World Schools of the World Games Blogs Clubs Forums Links

Countries of the World - Detailed information about Sri Lanka - www.StudentsoftheWorld.info
Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

Since 2003, January 19