Sri Lanka
in Southern Asia
Asia

National active POI
Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Rupee - LKR
Spoken languages:
Sinhala, Tamil, English
Local electricity:
230 V - 50 Hz (plugs: D, G)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G
ISO 2-Letter code:
LK
Internet top level domain:
.lk
Country phone prefix:
+94
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours

Explore Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka with its capital Colombo is located in Asia (Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean). It covers some 65,611 square kilometers (slightly larger than West Virginia) with 22,409,400 citizens. Sinhala, Tamil and English are the languages commonly used by the people in Sri Lanka (consider regional differences). This country shares no land borders with another country.

Sri Lanka formerly known as Ceylon, is in Southern Asia. It is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India. Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, you can expect the rain anytime of the year in most parts. However, the two major rainy seasons are North-East monsoon (October to January) and South-West monsoon (May to July).

Impressions from the Sri Lankan capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what New Delhi is like. We have selected more pictures from New Delhi on our dedicated gallery page.

Popular Destinations in Sri Lanka

Administrative regions of Sri Lanka

About the country

The landscape is mostly low, flat to rolling plain and mountains in south-central interior. The average density of population is about 342 per km². The climate in Sri Lanka can be described as tropical monsoonnortheast monsoon (December to March), southwest monsoon (June to October). Potential threats by nature are occasional cyclones and tornadoes.

To reach someone Sri Lanka dial +94 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".lk". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 230 V - 50 Hz (plugs: D, G). The sign for the locally used currency Rupee is LKR.

Yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other larger panel depicts a yellow lion holding a sword on a maroon rectangular field that also displays a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels; the lion represents Sinhalese ethnicity, the strength of the nation, and bravery; the sword demonstrates the sovereignty of the nation; the four bo leaves - symbolizing Buddhism and its influence on the country - stand for the four virtues of kindness, friendliness, happiness, and equanimity; orange signifies Sri Lankan Tamils, green Sri Lankan Moors, and maroon the Sinhalese majority; yellow denotes other ethnic groups; also referred to as the Lion Flag.

Flag of Sri Lanka

The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced circa 250 B.C., and the first kingdoms developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (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 Portuguese controlled the coastal areas of the island in the 16th century and the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was formally united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Prevailing tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. 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. Both the LTTE and the government unofficially abrogated the ceasefire and violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. The government officially withdrew from the ceasefire agreement in January 2008 and by May 2009, the remnants of the LTTE had been defeated. Since the end of the conflict, the government has enacted an ambitious program of economic development projects, many of which are financed by loans from the Government of China. In addition to efforts at reconstructing its economy, the government has resettled more than 95% of those civilians displaced during the final phase of the conflict and released the vast majority of former LTTE combatants captured by Government Security Forces. Progress continues to be made on more contentious and politically difficult issues such as reaching a political settlement with Tamil elected representatives and holding accountable those alleged to have been involved in human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 123) 65,610sq km
Land (World Rank: 121) 64,630sq km
Water (World Rank: 111) 980sq km
Forest (World Rank: 144) 7.00%
Comparative slightly larger than West Virginia
Coastline
1340
Elevation
Highest point (World Rank: 101) 2,524m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 90) 43.50%
Arable (World Rank: 52) 20.70%
Permanent crops (World Rank: 15) 15.80%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 144) 7.00%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 54) 5,700sq km
Map reference
Asia
Environment
Issues
  • - air pollution in Colombo
  • - coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution
  • - deforestation
  • - freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff
  • - soil erosion
  • - waste disposal
  • - wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization
Agreement party
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Endangered Species
  • - Environmental Modification
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Law of the Sea
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Ship Pollution
  • - Wetlands
Agreement signed Marine Life Conservation
Hazzards occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Location
Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Climate
tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Terrain
mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 57) 22,409,400
Deathrate (World Rank: 154) 0.62%
Birthrate (World Rank: 125) 1.52%
Growthrate (World Rank: 136) 0.76%
Migration rate (World Rank: 112) -0.13%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 108) 2.07%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 97) 31.50
Female (World Rank: 87) 34.00
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 62) 2,750,000
0 14 female (World Rank: 63) 2,642,610
15 24 male (World Rank: 60) 1,666,860
15 24 female (World Rank: 61) 1,611,380
25 54 male (World Rank: 52) 4,571,200
25 54 female (World Rank: 51) 4,747,120
55 64 male (World Rank: 44) 1,043,200
55 64 female (World Rank: 43) 1,210,930
65 x male (World Rank: 44) 917,014
65 x female (World Rank: 40) 1,249,070
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 149) 0.84%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 78) 77years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 69) 81years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 90) 74years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 123) 0.73
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 60) 3.60
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 72) 95.10%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 182) 5.20%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 106) 95.60%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 91) 12,640,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 86) 11,720,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 142) 55.30%
Source nuclear (World Rank: 46) 41.10%
Source renew (World Rank: 104) 3.60%
Crude oil
Imports (World Rank: 59) 36,480bbl / day
Refined products
Production (World Rank: 84) 35,650bbl / day
Consumption (World Rank: 79) 103,000bbl / day
Export (World Rank: 110) 473bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 73) 60,840bbl / day
Natural gas
Consumption (World Rank: 125) 26
Carbon footprint
16000000

Nation

Budget
Education (World Rank: 157) 2% of GDP
Military (World Rank: 40) 2% of GDP
Health (World Rank: 173) 4% of GDP
Surplus (World Rank: 153) -5% of GDP
National symbol
water lily
National colours
yellow
Adjective
Sri Lankan
Noun
Sri Lankan(s)
Background
The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced circa 250 B.C., and the first kingdoms developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (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 Portuguese controlled the coastal areas of the island in the 16th century and the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was formally united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Prevailing tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. 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. Both the LTTE and the government unofficially abrogated the ceasefire and violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. The government officially withdrew from the ceasefire agreement in January 2008 and by May 2009, the remnants of the LTTE had been defeated. Since the end of the conflict, the government has enacted an ambitious program of economic development projects, many of which are financed by loans from the Government of China. In addition to efforts at reconstructing its economy, the government has resettled more than 95% of those civilians displaced during the final phase of the conflict and released the vast majority of former LTTE combatants captured by Government Security Forces. Progress continues to be made on more contentious and politically difficult issues such as reaching a political settlement with Tamil elected representatives and holding accountable those alleged to have been involved in human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict.
Flag description
yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other larger panel depicts a yellow lion holding a sword on a maroon rectangular field that also displays a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels; the lion represents Sinhalese ethnicity, the strength of the nation, and bravery; the sword demonstrates the sovereignty of the nation; the four bo leaves - symbolizing Buddhism and its influence on the country - stand for the four virtues of kindness, friendliness, happiness, and equanimity; orange signifies Sri Lankan Tamils, green Sri Lankan Moors, and maroon the Sinhalese majority; yellow denotes other ethnic groups; also referred to as the Lion Flag

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 61) 261,100,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 51) 4.40%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 121) 12,300USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 102) 8.20%
Source industry (World Rank: 73) 30.60%
Source service (World Rank: 103) 62.60%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 56) 8,805,000
In poverty (World Rank: 159) 6.70%
Products
Industries
  • - banking
  • - cement
  • - clothing
  • - coconuts
  • - construction
  • - information technology services
  • - insurance
  • - other agricultural commodities
  • - petroleum refining
  • - processing of rubber
  • - shipping
  • - tea
  • - telecommunications
  • - textiles
  • - tobacco
  • - tourism
Agriculture
  • - beef
  • - coconuts
  • - eggs
  • - fish
  • - fruit
  • - grains
  • - hides
  • - milk
  • - oilseed
  • - pulses
  • - rice
  • - rubber
  • - spices
  • - sugarcane
  • - tea
  • - vegetables
Exports
  • - apparel
  • - coconut products
  • - fish
  • - precious stones
  • - rubber manufactures
  • - spices
  • - tea
  • - textiles
Imports
  • - building materials
  • - foodstuffs
  • - machinery
  • - mineral products
  • - petroleum
  • - textiles
  • - transportation equipment

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 52) 2,479,800
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 130) 11.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 88) 116.00
Assessment 0
Internet
Users (World Rank: 60) 7,126,540
Population (World Rank: 150) 32.10%

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 98) 15.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 157) 4.00
Heliports (World Rank: 90) 1.00
Rail
Total length (World Rank: 82) 1,447
Road
Total length (World Rank: 42) 114,093
Paved length (World Rank: 64) 16,977
Unpaved length (World Rank: 20) 97,116
Water
Total length (World Rank: 102) 160.00