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  Sri Lanka  
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of Sri Lanka

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Sri Lanka
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced beginning 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 1000 A.D.) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty seized power in the north and established a Tamil kingdom. Occupied 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 in violence in the mid-1980s. Tens of thousands have died in an ethnic war that continues to fester. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam began a ceasefire in December 2001, with Norway brokering peace negotiations.

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   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: 13.86%
permanent crops: 15.7%
other: 70.44% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
6,510 sq km (1998 est.)
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

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   People    Sri Lanka
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19,905,165
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; as of yearend 2000, approximately 65,000 were housed in 131 refugee camps in south India, another 40,000 lived outside the Indian camps, and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 24.8% (male 2,526,143; female 2,414,876)
15-64 years: 68.2% (male 6,589,438; female 6,976,487)
65 years and over: 7% (male 655,636; female 742,585) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 29.1 years
male: 28 years
female: 30.1 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.81% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.88 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.47 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 14.78 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.01 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 72.89 years
male: 70.34 years
female: 75.57 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.88 children born/woman (2004 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
4,800 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
250 (2001 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjective: Sri Lankan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Sinhalese 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay, and Vedda 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 7% (1999)
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: 92.3%
male: 94.8%
female: 90% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Sri Lanka
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
conventional short form: Sri Lanka
former: Serendib, Ceylon
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Colombo; note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western; note - North Eastern province may have been divided in two - Northern and Eastern
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
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
a highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary 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 Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Mahinda RAJAPAKSE (since 6 April 2004)i s 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 - Mahinda RAJAPAKSE (since 6 April 2004) 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 (next to be held NA December 2005)
election results: Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA reelected president; percent of vote - Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA 51%, Ranil WICKREMASINGHE 42%, other 7%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
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)
elections: last held 2 April 2004 (next to be held by 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party or electoral alliance - SLFP and JVP 45.6%, UNP 37.83%, TNA 6.84%, JHU 5.97%, SLMC 2.02%, UPF 0.54%, EPDP 0.27%, others 0.93%; seats by party or electoral alliance - SLFP and JVP 105, UNP 82, TNA 22, JHU 9, SLMC 5, UPF 1, EPDP 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 [KUMARGURUPARAM]; Ceylon Workers Congress or CWC [Arumugam THONDAMAN]; Communist Party or CP [D. GUNASEKERA]; Democratic United National (Lalith) Front or DUNLF [Shrimani ATULATHMUDALI]; Eelam People's Democratic Party or EPDP [Douglas DEVANANDA]; Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front or EPRLF [Suresh PREMACHANDRAN]; Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna or JVP [Tilvan SILVA]; National Unity Alliance or NUA [Ferial ASHRAFF]; National Heritage Party or JHU [Uduwe DHAMMALOKA]; People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam or PLOTE [leader NA]; Sihala Urumaya or SU [Tilak KARUNARATNE]; Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; Sri Lanka Muslim Congress or SLMC [Rauff HAKEEM]; Sri Lanka Progressive Front or SLPF [P. Nelson PERERA]; Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization or TELO [SABARATNAM]; Tamil National Alliance or TNA [Nadarajah RAVIRAJ]; Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF [R. SAMPATHAN]; United National Party or UNP [Ranil WICKREMASINGHE]; Up-country People's Front or UPF [P. CHANDRASEKARAN]; several ethnic Tamil and Muslim parties, represented in either Parliament or provincial councils
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Buddhist clergy; labor unions; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE [Velupillai PRABHAKARAN](insurgent group fighting for a separate state); radical chauvinist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AsDB, C, CP, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Devinda R. SUBASINGHE
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 Jeffrey J. LUNSTEAD
embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3
mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo
telephone: [94] (1) 448007
FAX: [94] (1) 437345
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

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   Economy    Sri Lanka
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for market-oriented policies and export-oriented trade. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. In 2003, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for 63%. GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% in the early 1990s until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000 with average growth of 5.3%, but 2001 saw the first contraction in the country's history, -1.4%, due to a combination of power shortages, severe budgetary problems, the global slowdown, and continuing civil strife. Growth recovered to 4.0% in 2002 and 5.2% in 2003. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% in the Middle East. They send home about $1 billion a year. The struggle by the Tamil Tigers of the north and east for a largely independent homeland continues to cast a shadow over the economy.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $73.7 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 19.9%
industry: 26.3%
services: 53.8% (2003)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.7% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
22% (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 28% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
34.4 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.3% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.17 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 38%, industry 17%, services 45% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.4% (2003)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $3.229 billion
expenditures: $4.526 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
105.1% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
rubber processing, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.8% (2003)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.36 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.915 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
75,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-278 million (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.269 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles and apparel, tea, diamonds, coconut products, petroleum products
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 33.4%, UK 11.6%, Germany 4.4%, Belgium 4.1%, India 4.1% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.626 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
India 13.3%, China 7.3%, Singapore 7.1%, Hong Kong 5.9%, Japan 5.5%, South Korea 4.9%, Taiwan 4.6%, UAE 4.5% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.273 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10.52 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$577 million (1998)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
LKR
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Sri Lankan rupees per US dollar - 96.521 (2003), 95.6621 (2002), 89.383 (2001), 77.0051 (2000), 70.6354 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Sri Lanka
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
881,400 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
931,600 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: very inadequate domestic service, particularly in rural areas; likely improvement with privatization of national telephone company and encouragement to private investment; good international service (1999)
domestic: national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use in Colombo area and two fixed wireless local loops have been installed; competition is strong in mobile cellular systems; telephone density remains low at 2.6 main lines per 100 persons (1999)
international: country code - 94; submarine cables to Indonesia and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (1999)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 26, FM 45, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
21 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.lk
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,882 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
200,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Sri Lanka
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,449 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 96,695 km
paved: 91,860 km
unpaved: 4,835 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
430 km (navigable by shallow-draft craft)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil and petroleum products 62 km (1987)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 120,924 GRT/173,604 DWT
by type: cargo 14, container 2, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: Germany 8, Singapore 1
registered in other countries: 4 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
14 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 13
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Sri Lanka
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 5,418,496 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 4,195,736 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 179,869 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$518 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.2% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Sri Lanka
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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