Sri Lanka at a Glance

Country Name

Sri Lanka

Size

65,525 sq km

Location

An island off the south-eastern cost shores of India, 880 km north of the equator, in the Indian Ocean.

Capital

Sri Jayawardenepura

Commercial Capital

Colombo

Government

Sri Lanka is a free, independent and sovereign nation with a population of 20,926,315 (July 2007 est.). Legislative power is exercised by a Parliament, elected by universal franchise on proportional representation basis. A President, who is also elected by the people, exercises executive power inclusive of defence. Sri Lanka enjoys a multi party system, and the people vote to elect a new government every six years.

National Flag

National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. A Lion bearing a sword in its right hand is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the left end represent the minority ethnic groups. It is an adaptation of the standard of the last King of Sri Lanka.
National Anthem

“Sri Lanka Matha” composed by late Ananda Samarakoon. Click on the Speaker Icon to listen to a few bars of the Anthem

National Flower

The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).

Population

20,926,315 million

Population Density

309 people per sq km

Life Expectancy at Birth

74 female, 64 male

Literacy rate

91.8%

Languages

Sinhala, Tamil and English are widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages where it might be Sinhala only or Tamil only.

Languages

Sinhala, Tamil and English are widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages where it might be Sinhala only or Tamil only.

Ethnic Groups

Sinhalese- 74 per cent; Tamil- 18 per cent; Muslim -7 per cent; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others- 1 per cent
Religions

Buddhism- 70 per cent; Hinduism- 16 per cent; Christianity- 7 per cent; Islam-7 per cent

Climate

Low Lands – tropical, average 27C
Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 14C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon is from December t0 January. Sri Lanka climate is ideal for holiday-makers throughout the year.

Annual per capita GNP

US$870

Industries

Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.
Agriculture – Products
Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, roots, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, meat

Currency

Sri Lanka follows decimal currency system in Rupees (Rs.) and cents (Cts.) with 100 cents equal to a rupee. Currency notes are available in the denominations of Rs.10,20,50,100,200, 50, 1000 & 2000. Coins are issued in values of Cts. 25 and 50 and Rs.1,2,5 and 10. The intervention currency continuously will be the US Dollar.

Visa

Residents from permitted countries are issued visas on arrival. Consult your local Sri Lanka embassy, consulate, tourist office or your travel agent.
Working Days

Five working days (Monday to Friday)

Business Hours

Government offices 9.00 am. -5.00 pm, Monday to Friday

Banks

9.00 am. to 1.00pm. or 3.00pm Monday to Saturday

Post Office

8.30am- 5.00pm
Monday to Friday
8.30am – 1.00pm on Saturday.
The Central Mail Exchange, at D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, (Telephone : 2326203) is open 24-hours.