Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka|
Capital: Colombo; note - Sri
Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative
Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Sinhala (official and national language)
74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other
Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%,
Muslim 7% (1999)
| Map |
|Sri Lanka is an Island at the foot of India, resembling the shape of a teardrop. With a landmass of 64,740 sq km and a population of 19,576,783, Sri Lanka is one of the most densely populated countries in all of Asia. The inner country is covered with pockets of dense tropical rainforest. The island is home to some 86 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and many different types of trees, flowers & plants. Numerous waterfalls can be found dotted about the island, probably best visited in the wet season for obvious reasons. Sri Lankans or Sinhalese are a friendly people, especially curious of westerners and so keen and proud to reveal their culture. Buddhism is the state religion.|
Formerly named Ceylon, Sri Lanka has long been the victim of civil war and tourism has suffered since the fighting began in the early eighties. Sri Lanka was once annexed by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British and many aspects of colonial charm still embrace age old towns. Travelling around Sri Lanka can be very cheap indeed. 3-wheel taxis, also known as motor-rickshaws or Tuk Tuks, can be hired by the hour or even by the day. Buses and trains are also very cheap and guesthouse accommodation can be very comfortable and affordable.
Sri Lanka's main industries are rubber processing, tea and coconuts. Gem mining is big business in the southern hill country and many businessmen jet in from the Far East to benefit from Sri Lanka's precious stones. Agriculture accounts for 38% of Sri Lanka's workforce. The main products here are rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea and rubber. Sri Lanka's largest export partner is the USA.
Sri Lanka has a year-round tropical climate with two main rainy periods. The northeast monsoon blows from December to March and the southwest monsoon from June to October. The average annual daily temperature is 30�C.