Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka
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{{redirect|Ceylon}}{{pp|small=yes}}{{short description|Island country in South Asia}}{{coord|7|N|81|E|region:LK_type:country_source:dewiki|display=title}}{{Use British English|date=January 2013}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2019}}

| common_name = Sri Lanka{{native nameශ්‍රී ලංකා ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජය|italics=off}}
|Srī Lankā prajātāntrika samājavādī janarajaya
|{{native name|ta|இலங்கை ஜனநாயக சோசலிச குடியரசு|italics=off}}
|Ilaṅkai jaṉanāyaka sōsalisa kuṭiyarasu
}}| image_flag = Flag of Sri Lanka.svg| image_coat = Emblem of Sri Lanka.svg| symbol_width = 50px| symbol_type = Emblem| national_motto =
Sri Lanka Matha"()(File:Sri Lankan national anthem, performed by the United States Navy Band.oga|center)| image_map = Sri Lanka (orthographic projection).svg| image_map2 = Sri Lanka - Location Map (2011) - LKA - UNOCHA.svg| capital = Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte6N52type:city}}| largest_city = ColomboSinhala language>SinhalaTamil languageHTTP://WWW.LANGUAGESDEPT.GOV.LK/WEB/PUBLISHER=, | languages_sub = yes| languages2_type = Recognised languagesSri Lankan English>EnglishSinhalese people>Sinhalese11.2% Sri Lankan Tamils9.2% Sri Lankan Moors4.2% Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka0.5% Others (incl. Burgher people>Burghers, Sri Lankan Malays, Veddas, Chinese people in Sri Lanka>Chinese, Africans)PUBLISHER= CIA THE WORLD FACTBOOK, Buddhism in Sri Lanka>Buddhism12.6% Hinduism in Sri Lanka9.7% Islam in Sri Lanka>Islam7.4% Christianity0.1% Other/None| demonym = Sri LankanUnitary state>Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republicPresident of Sri Lanka>President| leader_name1 = Maithripala Sirisena Prime Minister of Sri Lanka>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Ranil WickremesingheSpeaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka>Speaker of the Parliament| leader_name3 = Karu JayasuriyaChief Justice of Sri Lanka>Chief Justice| leader_name4 = Nalin PereraParliament of Sri Lanka>ParliamentHistory of Sri Lanka#Independence>Independence| sovereignty_note = from the United KingdomDominion of Ceylon>Dominion| established_date1 = 4 February 1948| established_event2 = Republic| established_date2 = 22 May 1972Current constitution}}| established_date3 = 7 September 1978| area_km2 = 65,610| area_rank = 120th | area_sq_mi = 25,332 | percent_water = 4.4 ACCESSDATE = 30 OCTOBER 2018, FORMAT=PDF WORK=DEPARTMENT OF CENSUS AND STATISTICS – SRI LANKA ARCHIVEDATE=6 DECEMBER 2013, | population_estimate_year = 2018| population_estimate_rank = 57th| population_census_year = 2012| population_census_rank = 57th| population_density_km2 = 327| population_density_sq_mi = | population_density_rank = 43rdPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=24 FEBRUARY 2019, | GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_rank = 61st| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $13,500| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 91st| GDP_nominal = $92.504 billion| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal_rank = 66th| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $4,265| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 109th| Gini = 39.8 | Gini_year = 2016| Gini_change = PUBLISHER=WORLD BANK, | Gini_rank = | HDI = 0.770 | HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increase YEAR=2018 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 76th| currency = Sri Lankan rupee| currency_code = LKRSri Lanka Standard Time>SLST| utc_offset = +5:30| utc_offset_DST = | DST_note = | time_zone_DST = dd-mm-yyyy |yyyy-mm-dd}}Right- and left-hand traffic>leftTelephone numbers in Sri Lanka>+94| iso3166code =ලංකා>.இலங்கை}}weblink}}}}{{Contains Indic text|compact=yes}}Sri Lanka ({{IPAc-en|UK|s|r|i|_|ˈ|l|æ|Å‹|k|É™|,_|ʃ|r|iː|_|-}}, {{IPAc-en|US|audio=En-us-Sri Lanka.ogg|-|_|ˈ|l|ɑː|Å‹|k|É™}};WEB,weblink "Sri Lanka" in several reference works,, 15 July 2014, WEB,weblink Carnegie Mellon University Pronouncing Dictionary, Carnegie Mellon University, 15 July 2014, {{IAST|ÅšrÄ« Laṃkā}}; Ilaá¹…kai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.BOOK,weblink Urbanization and sustainability in Asia: case studies of good practice, Roberts, Brian, Sri Lanka: Introduction, 2006, 978-971-561-607-2, It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC.BOOK,weblink Essential Buddhism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs and Practices, Jack Maguire, 2001, Simon and Schuster, 978-0-671-04188-5, 69, ... the Pali Canon of Theravada is the first known collection of Buddhist writings ..., WEB,weblink Religions – Buddhism: Theravada Buddhism, 2 October 2002, BBC, Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road.BOOK,weblink Sri Lanka and the silk road of the sea, Sri Lankan Role in the Maritime Silk Route, 21, 1990, 978-955-9043-02-7, Bandaranayake, Senake, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill described the moment a Japanese fleet prepared to invade Sri Lanka as "the most dangerous and distressing moment of the entire conflict". â€“ Commonwealth Air Training Program Museum, The Saviour of CeylonWEB,weblink A Brief History of Sri Lanka,, 14 August 2017, Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon ({{IPAc-en|s|ɪ|ˈ|l|É’|n}}, {{small|US also}} {{IPAc-en|s|eɪ|ˈ|l|É’|n}}). A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, which was granted in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972. Sri Lanka's recent history has been marred by a 26-year civil war, which ended decisively when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.Reuters Sri Lanka wins civil war, says kills rebel leaderreuters (18 May 2009). Retrieved on 18 November 2012.The current constitution stipulates the political system as a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system. It has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated "high" on the Human Development Index (HDI), with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations. The Sri Lankan constitution accords Buddhism the "foremost place", although it does not identify it as a state religion. Buddhism is given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution.WEB, Sri Lanka's Constitution of 1978 with Amendments through 2015,weblink, 29 October 2017, The island is home to many cultures, languages and ethnicities. The majority of the population are from the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils have also played an influential role in the island's history. Moors, Burghers, Malays, Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda are also established groups on the island.WEB,weblink Vedda, Encyclopædia Britannica, 15 July 2014,


In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names. According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni ("copper-red hands" or "copper-red earth"), because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area.BOOK, Nanda Pethiyagoda Wanasundera, Sri Lanka,weblink 2002, Marshall Cavendish, 978-0-7614-1477-3, 26, BOOK, John M. Senaveratna, The story of the Sinhalese from the most ancient times up to the end of "the Mahavansa" or Great dynasty, Asian Educational Services, 1997, 11, 978-81-206-1271-6,weblink In Hindu mythology, such as the Ramayana, the island was referred to as Lankā ("Island"). The Tamil term Eelam (), was used to designate the whole island in Sangam literature.BOOK,weblink Encyclopedia of the world's minorities, Skutsch, Carl, 2005, Routledge, 978-1579584702, en, BOOK,weblink Autonomy and Ethnic Conflict in South and South-East Asia, Ganguly, Rajat, 20 May 2013, Routledge, 978-1136311888, en, The island was known under Chola rule as Mummudi Cholamandalam ("realm of the three crowned Cholas").BOOK, Art of the Imperial Cholas, Dehejia, Vidya, 1990-10-18, Columbia University Press, 978-0231515245, 51, en, Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobanā () or TaprobanÄ“ ()WEB,weblink In Search of Taprobane: the Western discovery and mapping of Ceylon, Abeydeera, Ananda, from the word Tambapanni. The Persians and Arabs referred to it as SarandÄ«b (the origin of the word "serendipity") from CerentivuJOURNAL, Sri Lanka{{snd, The Pearl of the Orient | journal = Metropolis | url =weblink | archiveurl =weblink" title="">weblink | archivedate = 27 October 2002}} or SiṃhaladvÄ«paḥ.WEB,weblink Hobson-Jobson,, 1 September 2001, 15 August 2018, WEB,weblink Serendipity – definition of serendipity by The Free Dictionary,, 10 November 2017, 15 August 2018, Ceilão, the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese Empire when it arrived in 1505,JOURNAL, Sri Lanka: The untold story, Asia Times, Rajasingham, K. T.,weblink was transliterated into English as Ceylon.WEB,weblink Etymologies of Lanka, Serendib, Taprobane and Ceylon, Zubair, Lareef,weblink" title="">weblink 22 April 2007, As a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon; it achieved independence as Ceylon in 1948.The country is now known in Sinhala as {{IAST|ÅšrÄ« Laṃkā}} () and in Tamil as {{IAST|Ilaá¹…kai}} (, {{IPA-ta|iˈlaÅ‹É¡ai|IPA}}). In 1972, its formal name was changed to "Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka". Later, in 1978, it was changed to the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka".JOURNAL, Chapter I â€“ The People, The State And Sovereignty, The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,weblink 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 May 2014, dmy-all, As the name Ceylon still appears in the names of a number of organisations, the Sri Lankan government announced in 2011 a plan to rename all those over which it has authority.NEWS, Haviland, Charles,weblink Sri Lanka erases colonial name, Ceylon, BBC, 1 January 2011,


Prehistoric Sri Lanka

The pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years and possibly even as far back as 500,000 years.WEB, Deraniyagala, Siran U., Pre and Protohistoric settlement in Sri Lanka, XIII U. I. S. P. P. Congress Proceedings – Forli, 8–14 September 1996, International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences,weblink 15 July 2014, The era spans the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron Ages. Among the Paleolithic human settlements discovered in Sri Lanka, Pahiyangala (named after the Chinese traveller monk Faxian), which dates back to 37,000 BP,WEB,weblink Pahiyangala (Fa-Hiengala) Caves,, 15 July 2014, Batadombalena (28,500 BP)BOOK, Kennedy, Kenneth A.R., Disotell, T.W., Roertgen, J., Chiment, J., Sherry, J., Ancient Ceylon 6: Biological anthropology of upper Pleistocene hominids from Sri Lanka: Batadomba Lena and Beli Lena caves, 165–265, and Belilena (12,000 BP) are the most important. In these caves, archaeologists have found the remains of anatomically modern humans which they have named Balangoda Man, and other evidence{{Harvnb|De Silva|1981|pp=6–7}} suggesting that they may have engaged in agriculture and kept domestic dogs for driving game.BOOK, Deraniyagal, Siran, The Prehistory of Sri Lanka, Department of Archaeological Survey, 1992, Colombo, 454, 978-955-9159-00-1,weblink One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana, which provides details of a kingdom named Lanka that was created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma for Kubera, the Lord of Wealth.BOOK, Keshavadas, Sant, Ramayana at a Glance, Motilal Banarsidass, 1988, 978-81-208-0545-3,weblink It is said that Kubera was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, the powerful emperor who built a mythical flying machine named Dandu Monara.BOOK, Parker, H., Ancient Ceylon, Asian Educational Services, 1992, 7, 978-81-206-0208-3,weblink The modern city of Wariyapola is described as Ravana's airport.WEB,weblink Ravana – historical or mythical figure?, Padma Edirisinghe, The Sunday Observer, 2009, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 November 2014, dmy-all, Early inhabitants of Sri Lanka were probably ancestors of the Vedda people,WEB,weblink Early Man and the Rise of Civilisation in Sri Lanka: the Archaeological Evidence, Deraniyagala, S.U.,, 15 July 2014, an indigenous people numbering approximately 2,500 living in modern-day Sri Lanka. The 19th-century Irish historian James Emerson Tennent theorized that Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory, peacocks, and other valuables.

Ancient Sri Lanka

File:Ptolemy's Taprobana.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Ptolemy's world mapPtolemy's world mapAccording to the Mahāvamsa, a Sinhalese chronicle written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are said to be the Yakshas and Nagas. Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600 BC and other signs of advanced civilisation have also been discovered in Sri Lanka.WEB, Ancient graves during pre-Wijeya era found,weblink, 20 October 2015, Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BC with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, a semi-legendary prince who sailed with 700 followers to Sri Lanka, after being expelled from Vanga Kingdom (present-day Bengal).WEB,weblink The Coming of Vijaya, The Mahavamsa, He established the Kingdom of Tambapanni, near modern-day Mannar. Vijaya (Singha) is the first of the approximately 189 monarchs of Sri Lanka described in chronicles such as the Dipavamsa, Mahāvaṃsa, Cūḷavaṃsa, and Rājāvaliya.WEB,weblink Vijaya (Singha) and the Lankan Monarchs – Family #3000,, 15 July 2014, File:Buda de Avukana - 01.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|The Avukana Buddha statue, a {{convert|12|m}} tall standing Buddha statue from the reign of Dhatusena of AnuradhapuraDhatusena of AnuradhapuraThe Anuradhapura period (377 BC–1017 AD) began with the establishment of the Anuradhapura Kingdom in 380 BC during the reign of Pandukabhaya. Thereafter, Anuradhapura served as the capital city of the country for nearly 1,400 years.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 7 January 2004, World Heritage site: Anuradhapura,, 15 July 2014, dmy-all, Ancient Sri Lankans excelled at building certain types of structures such as tanks, dagobas and palaces.WEB,weblink Waterworld: Ancient Sinhalese Irrigation,, 15 July 2014, Society underwent a major transformation during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa, with the arrival of Buddhism from India. In 250 BC,WEB,weblink Buddhism in Sri Lanka: A Short History, Perera H. R.,, 15 July 2014, Mahinda, a bhikkhu and the son of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka arrived in Mihintale carrying the message of Buddhism.BOOK, Holt, John Clifford, Sri Lanka, 2004, Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Buswell, Robert E. Jr., 795–799, Macmillan Reference, 978-0-8160-5459-6,weblink His mission won over the monarch, who embraced the faith and propagated it throughout the Sinhalese population.WEB,weblink King Devanampiya Tissa (306 BC – 266 BC), Mahavamsa, 15 July 2014, Succeeding kingdoms of Sri Lanka would maintain many Buddhist schools and monasteries and support the propagation of Buddhism into other countries in Southeast Asia. Sri Lankan Bhikkhus studied in India's famous ancient Buddhist University of Nalanda, which was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji. It is probable that many of the scriptures from Nalanda are preserved in Sri Lanka's many monasteries and that the written form of the Tipitaka, including Sinhalese Buddhist literature, were part of the University of Nalanda.WEB,weblink Buddhism in Sri Lanka,, 15 July 2014, In 245 BC, bhikkhuni Sangamitta arrived with the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree, which is considered to be a sapling from the historical Bodhi tree under which Gautama Buddha became enlightened.{{Harvnb|Maung Paw|p=6}} It is considered the oldest human-planted tree (with a continuous historical record) in the world. (Bodhivamsa)WEB,weblink Historical trees: Overlooked aspect of heritage that needs a revival of interest, Gunawardana, Jagath, Daily Mirror, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 July 2012, dmy-all, {{better source|date=August 2019}}Sri Lanka experienced the first of many foreign invasions during the reign of Suratissa, who was defeated by two horse traders named Sena and Guttika from South India. The next invasion came immediately in 205 BC by a Chola named Elara, who overthrew Asela and ruled the country for 44 years. Dutugemunu, the eldest son of the southern regional sub-king, Kavan Tissa, defeated Elara in the Battle of Vijithapura. During its two and a half millennia of existence, the Sinhala Kingdom was invaded at least eight times by neighbouring South Asian dynasties such as the Chola, Pandya, Chera, and Pallava. These invaders were all subsequently driven back.WEB,weblink Distortion of history for political purposes, De Silva, Harris,, 15 July 2014, There also were incursions by the kingdoms of Kalinga (modern Odisha) and from the Malay Peninsula as well.File:Sigiriya.jpg|thumb|left|300px|The SigiriyaSigiriyaThe Fourth Buddhist council of Theravada Buddhism was held at the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka under the patronage of Valagamba of Anuradhapura in 25 BC. The council was held in response to a year in which the harvests in Sri Lanka were particularly poor and many Buddhist monks subsequently died of starvation. Because the Pāli Canon was at that time oral literature maintained in several recensions by dhammabhāṇakas (dharma reciters), the surviving monks recognized the danger of not writing it down so that even if some of the monks whose duty it was to study and remember parts of the Canon for later generations died, the teachings would not be lost.{{sfn|Lopez|2013|p=200}} After the Council, palm-leaf manuscripts containing the completed Canon were taken to other countries such as Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.Sri Lanka was the first Asian country known to have a female ruler: Anula of Anuradhapura (r. 47–42 BC).WEB, The History of Ceylon,,weblink 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 August 2014, dmy-all, Sri Lankan monarchs undertook some remarkable construction projects such as Sigiriya, the so-called "Fortress in the Sky", built during the reign of Kashyapa I of Anuradhapura, who ruled between 477 and 495. The Sigiriya rock fortress is surrounded by an extensive network of ramparts and moats. Inside this protective enclosure were gardens, ponds, pavilions, palaces and other structures.BOOK, Ponnamperuma, Senani, Story of Sigiriya, 2013, Panique Pty Ltd, Melboune, 978-0-9873451-1-0,weblink BOOK, Bandaranayake, Senake, Sigiriya: City, Palace, and Royal Gardens, 1999, Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Colombo, 978-955-613-111-6,weblink In AD 993, the invasion of Chola emperor Rajaraja I forced the then Sinhalese ruler Mahinda V to flee to the southern part of Sri Lanka. Taking advantage of this situation, Rajendra I, son of Rajaraja I, launched a large invasion in 1017. Mahinda V was captured and taken to India, and the Cholas sacked the city of Anuradhapura casing the fall of Anuradhapura Kingdom. Subsequently, they moved the capital to Polonnaruwa.BOOK, Siriweera, W. I., A Study of the Economic History of Pre Modern Sri Lanka, Vikas Publishing House, 1994, 978-0-7069-7621-2, 44–45,weblink

Post-classical Sri Lanka

Following a seventeen-year-long campaign, Vijayabahu I successfully drove the Chola out of Sri Lanka in 1070, reuniting the country for the first time in over a century.Codrington, Ch. 4WEB,weblink A Brief History of Sri Lanka, Lambert, Tim,, 15 July 2014, Upon his request, ordained monks were sent from Burma to Sri Lanka to re-establish Buddhism, which had almost disappeared from the country during the Chola reign.BOOK, Relations between Ceylon and Burma in the 11th Century AD, 23, 93–95, Bokay, Mon, 1966, Artibus Asiae Publishers, 1522637, Artibus Asiae Publishers, During the medieval period, Sri Lanka was divided into three sub-territories, namely Ruhunu, Pihiti and Maya.WEB,weblink Ancient Irrigation Works,, 15 July 2014, File:SriLanka BuddhistStatue (|upright|thumb|A Buddhist statue in the ancient capital city of PolonnaruwaPolonnaruwaSri Lanka's irrigation system was extensively expanded during the reign of Parākramabāhu the Great (1153–1186).BOOK, Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution, Herath, R. B., 2002, Trafford Publishing, 978-1-55369-793-0, Parakramabahu 1 further extended the system to the highest resplendent peak of hydraulic civilization of the country's history., 19,weblink This period is considered as a time when Sri Lanka was at the height of its power.BOOK, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 7, 1875, Cambridge University Press for the Royal Asiatic Society, Cambridge, ... and when at the height of its prosperity, during the long and glorious reign of Parakramabahu the Great ..., 152,weblink JOURNAL, Beveridge, H., 1894,weblink The Site of Karna Suvarna, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 62, His [Parakramabahu's] reign is described by Tumour as having been the most martial, enterprising, and glorious in Singhalese history., 324, Google Books, He built 1470 reservoirs – the highest number by any ruler in Sri Lanka's history – repaired 165 dams, 3910 canals, 163 major reservoirs, and 2376 mini-reservoirs. His most famous construction is the Parakrama Samudra,WEB,weblink Parakrama Samudra, International Lake Environment Committee, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2011, the largest irrigation project of medieval Sri Lanka. Parākramabāhu's reign is memorable for two major campaigns – in the south of India as part of a Pandyan war of succession, and a punitive strike against the kings of Ramanna (Myanmar) for various perceived insults to Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink ParakramaBahu I: 1153–1186,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2014, After his demise, Sri Lanka gradually decayed in power. In 1215, Kalinga Magha, a South Indian with uncertain origins, identified as the founder of the Jaffna kingdom, invaded and captured the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. He sailed from KalingaBOOK, Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution, Herath, R.B., 2002, Trafford Publishing, 978-1-55369-793-0, 18–21,weblink 690 nautical miles on 100 large ships with a 24,000 strong army. Unlike previous invaders, he looted, ransacked, and destroyed everything in the ancient Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Kingdoms beyond recovery.BOOK, Security dilemma of a small state, Part 1, Jayasekera, P.V.J., 1992, Institute for International Studies University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Peradeniya, 978-81-7003-148-2, ..His invasion in 1215 was more or less a looting expedition.., 25,weblink His priorities in ruling were to extract as much as possible from the land and overturn as many of the traditions of Rajarata as possible. His reign saw the massive migration of native Sinhalese people to the south and west of Sri Lanka, and into the mountainous interior, in a bid to escape his power.Nadarajan, V History of Ceylon Tamils, p. 72Indrapala, K Early Tamil Settlements in Ceylon, p. 16Sri Lanka never really recovered from the impact of Kalinga Magha's invasion. King Vijayabâhu III, who led the resistance, brought the kingdom to Dambadeniya. The north, in the meanwhile, eventually evolved into the Jaffna kingdom. The Jaffna kingdom never came under the rule of any kingdom of the south except on one occasion; in 1450, following the conquest led by king Parâkramabâhu VI's adopted son, Prince Sapumal.BOOK, Gnanaprakasar, Swamy, A Critical History of Jaffna, Asian Educational Services, 2003, New Delhi, 122, 978-81-206-1686-8,weblink He ruled the North from AD 1450 to 1467.BOOK, Holt, John Clifford, Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka, Oxford University Press, 1991, 304, 978-0-19-506418-6,weblink The next three centuries starting from 1215 were marked by kaleidoscopically shifting collections of kingdoms in south and central Sri Lanka, including Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa, Gampola, Raigama, Kotte,Codrington, Ch. 6 Sitawaka, and finally, Kandy. Chinese admiral Zheng He and his naval expeditionary force landed at Galle, Sri Lanka in 1409 and got into battle with the local king Vira Alakesvara of Gampola. Zheng He captured King Vira Alakesvara and later released him.WEB, Geoff Wade, 2005,weblink South East Aisa in Ming Shi-lu, 13 April 2015, MAGAZINE, National Geographic,weblink Voyages of Zheng He 1405–1433, 13 April 2015, WEB, Columbia University,weblink Ming Voyages, 13 April 2015, WEB, aramco world,weblink Admiral Zheng He, 13 April 2015,weblink 31 October 2014, dead, dmy-all, Zheng He erected the Galle Trilingual Inscription, a stone tablet at Galle written in three languages (Chinese, Tamil, and Persian), to commemorate his visit.WEB, lankalibrary forum,weblink The trilingual inscription of Admiral Zheng He, 13 April 2015, WEB, world heritage site,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 12 April 2010, Zheng He, 13 April 2015, dmy-all, The stele was discovered by S. H. Thomlin at Galle in 1911 and is now preserved in the Colombo National Museum.

Early Modern Sri Lanka

{{See also|Portuguese Ceylon|Dutch Ceylon|British Ceylon period}}File:SpilbergenVimala.jpg|thumb|left|A 17th-century engraving of Dutch explorer Joris van SpilbergenJoris van SpilbergenThe early modern period of Sri Lanka begins with the arrival of Portuguese soldier and explorer Lourenço de Almeida, the son of Francisco de Almeida, in 1505.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka History, Thondaman Foundation, In 1517, the Portuguese built a fort at the port city of Colombo and gradually extended their control over the coastal areas. In 1592, after decades of intermittent warfare with the Portuguese, Vimaladharmasuriya I moved his kingdom to the inland city of Kandy, a location he thought more secure from attack.WEB,weblink King Wimaladharmasuriya, S.B. Karalliyadde – The Island, 15 July 2014, In 1619, succumbing to attacks by the Portuguese, the independent existence of Jaffna kingdom came to an end.BOOK, Knox, Robert, Robert Knox (sailor), 1681, An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, 19–47, Reprint. Asian Educational Services, London, An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, During the reign of the Rajasinghe II, Dutch explorers arrived on the island. In 1638, the king signed a treaty with the Dutch East India Company to get rid of the Portuguese who ruled most of the coastal areas.BOOK, The Dutch in Ceylon: an account of their early visits to the island, their conquests, and their rule over the maritime regions during a century and a half,weblink Anthonisz, Richard Gerald, Asian Educational Services, 2003, 978-81-206-1845-9, 37–43, The following Dutch–Portuguese War resulted in a Dutch victory, with Colombo falling into Dutch hands by 1656. The Dutch remained in the areas they had captured, thereby violating the treaty they had signed in 1638. An ethnic group named Burgher people emerged in Sri Lankan society as a result of Dutch rule.BOOK,weblink Being "Dutch" in the Indies: a history of creolisation and empire, 1500–1920, Bosma, U., University of Michigan, 2008, 978-0-89680-261-2, 1, The Kingdom of Kandy was the last independent monarchy of Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink A kingdom is born, a kingdom is lost, The Sunday Times, 15 July 2014, In 1595, Vimaladharmasurya brought the sacred Tooth Relic – the traditional symbol of royal and religious authority amongst the Sinhalese – to Kandy, and built the Temple of the Tooth. In spite of on-going intermittent warfare with Europeans, the kingdom survived. Later, a crisis of succession emerged in Kandy upon king Vira Narendrasinha's death in 1739. He was married to a Telugu-speaking Nayakkar princess from South India (Madurai) and was childless by her.Eventually, with the support of bhikku Weliwita Sarankara, the crown passed to the brother of one of Narendrasinha's princesses, overlooking the right of "Unambuwe Bandara", Narendrasinha's own son by a Sinhalese concubine.BOOK, Language, Religion, and Ethnic Assertiveness: The Growth of Sinhalese Nationalism in Sri Lanka0, Dharmadasa, K.N.O., University of Michigan Press, 1992, 978-0-472-10288-4, 8–12,weblink The new king was crowned Sri Vijaya Rajasinha later that year. Kings of the Nayakkar dynasty launched several attacks on Dutch controlled areas, which proved to be unsuccessful.Codrington, Ch. 9File:Sri Vikrama Rajasinha.jpg|thumb|Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of KandySri Vikrama Rajasinha of KandyDuring the Napoleonic Wars, fearing that French control of the Netherlands might deliver Sri Lanka to the French, Great Britain occupied the coastal areas of the island (which they called Ceylon) with little difficulty in 1796.WEB,weblink The first British occupation and the definitive Dutch surrender,, 18 February 2014, Two years later, in 1798, Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha, third of the four Nayakkar kings of Sri Lanka, died of a fever. Following his death, a nephew of Rajadhi Rajasinha, eighteen-year-old Kannasamy, was crowned.WEB,weblink History of Sri Lanka and significant World events from 1796 AD to 1948,, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 November 2013, The young king, now named Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, faced a British invasion in 1803 but successfully retaliated. The First Kandyan War ended in a stalemate.By then the entire coastal area was under the British East India Company as a result of the Treaty of Amiens. On 14 February 1815, Kandy was occupied by the British in the second Kandyan War, ending Sri Lanka's independence. Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last native monarch of Sri Lanka, was exiled to India.Codrington, Ch. 11 The Kandyan Convention formally ceded the entire country to the British Empire. Attempts by Sri Lankan noblemen to undermine British power in 1818 during the Uva Rebellion were thwarted by Governor Robert Brownrigg.WEB,weblink Keppetipola and the Uva Rebellion,, 15 July 2014, The beginning of the modern period of Sri Lanka is marked by the Colebrooke-Cameron reforms of 1833. They introduced a utilitarian and liberal political culture to the country based on the rule of law and amalgamated the Kandyan and maritime provinces as a single unit of government. An executive council and a legislative council were established, later becoming the foundation of a representative legislature. By this time, experiments with coffee plantations were largely successful.{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|p=115}}Soon coffee became the primary commodity export of Sri Lanka. Falling coffee prices as a result of the depression of 1847 stalled economic development and prompted the governor to introduce a series of taxes on firearms, dogs, shops, boats, etc., and to reintroduce a form of rajakariya, requiring six days free labour on roads or payment of a cash equivalent. These harsh measures antagonised the locals, and another rebellion broke out in 1848.WEB,weblink Gongale Goda Banda (1809–1849) : The leader of the 1848 rebellion, Wimalaratne, K.D.G., 15 July 2014, A devastating leaf disease, Hemileia vastatrix, struck the coffee plantations in 1869, destroying the entire industry within fifteen years.BOOK, Lennox A. Mills, Ceylon Under British Rule, 1795–1932,weblink 1964, Psychology Press, 246, 978-0714620190, The British quickly found a replacement: abandoning coffee, they began cultivating tea instead. Tea production in Sri Lanka thrived in the following decades. Large-scale rubber plantations began in the early 20th century.(File:Kandyan Chiefs in 1905.JPG|upright=1.45|thumb|left|British appointed Kandyan chiefs, 1905)By the end of the 19th century, a new educated social class transcending race and caste arose through British attempts to staff the Ceylon Civil Service and the legal, educational, and medical professions.{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|pp=116–117}} New leaders represented the various ethnic groups of the population in the Ceylon Legislative Council on a communal basis. Buddhist and Hindu revivalism reacted against Christian missionary activities.BOOK,weblink Bond, George D., The Buddhist revival in Sri Lanka: Religious tradition, reinterpretation and response, Motilal Banarsidass Publications, 1992, 11–22, 978-81-208-1047-1, WEB,weblink Cutting edge of Hindu revivalism in Jaffna, 25 June 2006, Balachandran, P.K., The first two decades in the 20th century are noted by the unique harmony among Sinhalese and Tamil political leadership, which has since been lost.{{Harvnb|De Silva|1981|p=387}}In 1919, major Sinhalese and Tamil political organisations united to form the Ceylon National Congress, under the leadership of Ponnambalam Arunachalam,{{Harvnb|De Silva|1981|p=386}} pressing colonial masters for more constitutional reforms. But without massive popular support, and with the governor's encouragement for "communal representation" by creating a "Colombo seat" that dangled between Sinhalese and Tamils, the Congress lost momentum towards the mid-1920s.{{Harvnb|De Silva|1981|pp=389–395}}The Donoughmore reforms of 1931 repudiated the communal representation and introduced universal adult franchise (the franchise stood at 4% before the reforms). This step was strongly criticised by the Tamil political leadership, who realised that they would be reduced to a minority in the newly created State Council of Ceylon, which succeeded the legislative council.WEB,weblink Chronology of events related to Tamils in Sri Lanka (1500–1948), National University of Malaysia, Hellmann-Rajanayagam, Dagmar, 15 July 2014, {{Harvnb|De Silva|1981|p=423}} In 1937, Tamil leader G. G. Ponnambalam demanded a 50–50 representation (50% for the Sinhalese and 50% for other ethnic groups) in the State Council. However, this demand was not met by the Soulbury reforms of 1944–45.

Contemporary Sri Lanka

{{See also|Sri Lankan independence movement|Sri Lankan Civil War}}File:SL Independence.jpg|thumb|right|300px|The formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament at Independence Square ]]The Soulbury constitution ushered in Dominion status, with independence proclaimed on 4 February 1948.WEB,weblink Sinhalese Parties, Library of Congress Country Studies, 15 July 2014, D. S. Senanayake became the first Prime Minister of Ceylon.WEB,weblink Sinhalese Parties, Library of Congress Country Studies, 15 July 2014, Prominent Tamil leaders including Ponnambalam and Arunachalam Mahadeva joined his cabinet.{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|pp=121–122}} The British Royal Navy remained stationed at Trincomalee until 1956. A countrywide popular demonstration against withdrawal of the rice ration, known as Hartal 1953, resulted in the resignation of prime minister Dudley Senanayake.WEB,weblink Bandaranaike and Hartal of 1953, Weerakoon, Batty, The Island, 15 July 2014, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was elected prime minister in 1956. His three-year rule had a profound impact through his self-proclaimed role of "defender of the besieged Sinhalese culture".{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|p=123}} He introduced the controversial Sinhala Only Act, recognising Sinhala as the only official language of the government. Although partially reversed in 1958, the bill posed a grave concern for the Tamil community, which perceived in it a threat to their language and culture.BOOK, Ganguly, Šumit, Brown, Michael E., Fighting Words: language policy and ethnic relations in Asia, The MIT Press, 2003, 136–138,weblink 978-0-262-52333-2, 15 July 2014, BOOK, Schmid, Bettina, Schroeder, Ingo, Anthropology of Violence and Conflict, Routledge, 2001, 185,weblink 978-0-415-22905-0, 15 July 2014, NEWS, Sri Lanka Profile,weblink BBC News, 5 November 2013, The Federal Party (FP) launched a movement of non-violent resistance (satyagraha) against the bill, which prompted Bandaranaike to reach an agreement (Bandaranaike–Chelvanayakam Pact) with S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, leader of the FP, to resolve the looming ethnic conflict.BOOK, Peebles, Patrick,weblink The History of Sri Lanka, Greenwood Press, 2006, 109–111, 978-0-313-33205-0, The pact proved ineffective in the face of ongoing protests by opposition and the Buddhist clergy. The bill, together with various government colonisation schemes, contributed much towards the political rancour between Sinhalese and Tamil political leaders.WEB, Staff profile: Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh,weblink 15 July 2014, Bandaranaike was assassinated by an extremist Buddhist monk in 1959.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka: The untold story – Assassination of Bandaranaike, Rajasingham, K. T., Asia Times, 2002, 15 July 2014, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the widow of Bandaranaike, took office as prime minister in 1960, and withstood an attempted coup d'état in 1962. During her second term as prime minister, the government instituted socialist economic policies, strengthening ties with the Soviet Union and China, while promoting a policy of non-alignment. In 1971, Ceylon experienced a Marxist insurrection, which was quickly suppressed. In 1972, the country became a republic named Sri Lanka, repudiating its dominion status. Prolonged minority grievances and the use of communal emotionalism as an election campaign weapon by both Sinhalese and Tamil leaders abetted a fledgling Tamil militancy in the north during the 1970s.{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|pp=128–129}} The policy of standardisation by the Sirimavo government to rectify disparities created in university enrolment, which was in essence an affirmative action to assist geographically disadvantaged students to obtain tertiary education,WEB,weblink 248–254, Affirmative Action Policies: The Sri Lankan Experience, De Silva, K. M., July 1997, International Center for Ethnic Studies, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 September 2011, resulted in reducing the proportion of Tamil students at university level and acted as the immediate catalyst for the rise of militancy.BOOK, Jayasuriya, J.E., Education in the Third World, Indian Institute of Education, 1981, Pune, 7925123, WEB,weblink The Exclusive Right to Write Eelam History, Taraki Sivaram, May 1994, Tamil Nation, The assassination of Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiyappah in 1975 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) marked a crisis point.BOOK, Hoffman, Bruce, Inside Terrorism, Columbia University Press, New York, 2006, 139, 978-0-231-12699-1,weblink WEB,weblink International and Regional Implications of the Sri Lankan Tamil Insurgency, Rohan Gunaratna, December 1998, The government of J. R. Jayawardene swept to power in 1977, defeating the largely unpopular United Front government.WEB,weblink Tamil militancy – a manifestation, Rajasingham, K.T., 2002, 15 July 2014, Jayawardene introduced a new constitution, together with a free-market economy and a powerful executive presidency modelled after that of France. It made Sri Lanka the first South Asian country to liberalise its economy. Beginning in 1983, ethnic tensions were manifested in an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the LTTE. An LTTE attack on 13 soldiers resulted in the anti-Tamil race riots in July 1983, allegedly backed by Sinhalese hard-line ministers, which resulted in more than 150,000 Tamil civilians fleeing the island, seeking asylum in other countries.NEWS, Remembering Sri Lanka's Black July – BBC News,weblink BBC News, 20 October 2015, 23 July 2013, WEB,weblink The Black July 1983 that Created a Collective Trauma, LankaWeb, Jayatunge, Ruwan M., 2010, 15 July 2014, File:Sri Dalada Maligawa Attack 1.jpg|thumb|right|Tamil Tigers bombed the sacred Sri Dalada MaligawaSri Dalada MaligawaLapses in foreign policy resulted in India strengthening the Tigers by providing arms and training.NEWS,weblink LTTE: the Indian connection, Sunday Times, 1997, 15 July 2014, NEWS,weblink Uppermost in our minds was to save the Gandhis' name, Express India, 1997, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 August 2007, WEB,weblink For firmer and finer International Relations, Sri Lanka Guardian, Wijesinghe, Sarath, 15 July 2014, In 1987, the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord was signed and the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was deployed in northern Sri Lanka to stabilise the region by neutralising the LTTE.JOURNAL, Stokke, K., Ryntveit, A.K., 2000, The Struggle for Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, A Journal of Urban and Regional Policy, 31, 2, 285–304, 10.1111/0017-4815.00129, The same year, the JVP launched its second insurrection in Southern Sri Lanka,BOOK, Rohan Gunaratna, Gunaratna, Rohan, Sri Lanka's Ethnic Crisis and National Security, South Asian Network on Conflict Research, Colombo, 1998, 353, 978-955-8093-00-9,weblink necessitating redeployment of the IPKF in 1990.WEB,weblink Chapter 30: Whirlpool of violence, Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Asia Times, 2002, 15 July 2014, In October 1990, the LTTE expelled Sri Lankan Moors (Muslims by religion) from northern Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink 1990, The War Year if Ethnic Cleansing Of The Muslims From North and the East of Sri Lanka,, 2008, 21 May 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2016, dmy-all, In 2002, the Sri Lankan government and LTTE signed a Norwegian-mediated ceasefire agreement.The 2004 Asian tsunami killed over 35,000 in Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink,, 29 December 2005, From 1985 to 2006, the Sri Lankan government and Tamil insurgents held four rounds of peace talks without success. Both LTTE and the government resumed fighting in 2006, and the government officially backed out of the ceasefire in 2008. In 2009, under the Presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the LTTE and re-established control of the entire country by the Sri Lankan Government.NEWS,weblink Sri Lanka declares end to war with Tamil Tigers, The Guardian, 19 May 2009, London, Matthew, Weaver, Gethin, Chamberlain, Overall, between 60,000 and 100,000 people were killed during the 26 years of conflict.NEWS, Up to 100,000 killed in Sri Lanka's civil war: UN,weblink Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Australia, 20 May 2009, NEWS, Sri Lanka,weblink New York Time, Erik, Olsen, 15 July 2014, Forty thousand Tamil civilians may have been killed in the final phases of the Sri Lankan civil war, according to an Expert Panel convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The exact number of Tamils killed is still a speculation that needs further study.NEWS,weblink 40,000 Tamil civilians killed in final phase of Lanka war, says UN report, Hindustan Times, 25 April 2011, Following the LTTE's defeat, the Tamil National Alliance, the largest Tamil political party in Sri Lanka, dropped its demand for a separate state in favour of a federal solution.NEWS, Sri Lanka Tamil party drops statehood demand, 13 March 2010,weblink BBC, Charles, Haviland, NEWS, Sri Lankan Tamils drop demand for separate independent homeland, 14 March 2010,weblink The Guardian, Jason, Burke, London, The final stages of the war left some 294,000 people displaced.NEWS, Sri Lanka ready for the challenge, 20 March 2011,weblink The Sunday Observer, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Sri Lanka's displaced face uncertain future as government begins to unlock the camps, Amnesty International, 11 September 2009, The UN Human Rights Council has documented over 12,000 named individuals who have undergone disappearance after detention by security forces in Sri Lanka, the second highest figure in the world since the Working Group came into being in 1980. In March 2009, 378 people had been killed in one day and at least another 1,212 injured. The report was based only on those casualties brought to the hospital. The UN described the situation as a "bloodbath", and one that its Colombo office had been warning against for some time. Their spokesperson Gordon Weiss said that over 100 children had been killed over the weekend in the "large-scale killing of civilians".WEB,weblink Bloodbath in Sri Lanka,, WEB, UN mourns Sri Lanka 'bloodbath', BBC News, 11 May 2009,weblink According to the Ministry of Resettlement, most of the displaced persons had been released or returned to their places of origin, leaving only 6,651 in the camps as of December 2011.NEWS, Situation Report as of 15-12-2011, 15 December 2011,weblink 2, Ministry of Resettlement in Sri Lanka, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2012, In May 2010, President Rajapaksa appointed the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to assess the conflict between the time of the ceasefire agreement in 2002 and the defeat of the LTTE in 2009.WEB, Sri Lanka: President appoints Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission,weblink ReliefWeb, 17 May 2010, NEWS, Sri Lankan commission: Civilians weren't targeted,weblink Mallawarachi, Bharatha, Associated Press/CBS News, 16 December 2011, Sri Lanka has emerged from its 26-year war to become one of the fastest growing economies of the world.WEB,weblink The 15 Fastest-Growing Economies in the World, Business Insider, 15 July 2014, NEWS, Lanka among fastest growing millionaire populations – report, 24 June 2011,weblink


(File:Topography Sri Lanka.jpg|thumb|upright|alt=A roughly oval island with a mountainous center|Topographic map of Sri Lanka)Sri Lanka lies on the Indian Plate, a major tectonic plate that was formerly part of the Indo-Australian Plate.WEB, Seth Stein, The January 26, 2001 Bhuj Earthquake and the Diffuse Western Boundary of the Indian Plate,weblink, It is in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal, between latitudes 5° and 10°N, and longitudes 79° and 82°E.WEB,weblink Geographic Coordinates for Sri Lanka Towns and Villages,, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka is separated from the mainland portion of the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait. According to Hindu mythology, a land bridge existed between the Indian mainland and Sri Lanka. It now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level.NEWS,weblink Gods row minister offers to quit, BBC, 15 September 2007, Legends claim that it was passable on foot up to 1480 AD, until cyclones deepened the channel.BOOK, Garg, Ganga Ram, Encyclopaedia of the Hindu World, A–Aj, 1992, South Asia Books, New Delhi, 978-81-261-3489-2, 142, Adam's Bridge, WEB,weblink Ramar Sethu, a world heritage centre?,, 15 July 2014, Portions are still as shallow as {{convert|1|m|ft|sigfig=1}}, hindering navigation.WEB, Adam's Bridge, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink 21 December 2015, The island consists mostly of flat to rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. The highest point is Pidurutalagala, reaching {{convert|2524|m|ft|0}} above sea level. File:Sri Paada1.JPG|thumb|right|A view of Sripada from MaskeliyaMaskeliyaSri Lanka has 103 rivers. The longest of these is the Mahaweli River, extending {{convert|335|km|mi|0}}.BOOK, Aves, Edward, 2003, Sri Lanka, Footprint Travel Guides, 372, London, 978-1-903471-78-4,weblink These waterways give rise to 51 natural waterfalls of 10 meters or more. The highest is Bambarakanda Falls, with a height of {{convert|263|m|ft|0}}.WEB,weblink Introducing Sri Lanka, Lonely Planet, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka's coastline is 1,585 km long.WEB,weblink 86, Depletion of coastal resources, United Nations Environment Programme, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 March 2012, dmy-all, Sri Lanka claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending 200 nautical miles, which is approximately 6.7 times Sri Lanka's land area. The coastline and adjacent waters support highly productive marine ecosystems such as fringing coral reefs and shallow beds of coastal and estuarine seagrasses.WEB,weblink 5 Coral Reefs of Sri Lanka: Current Status And Resource Management, Food and Agriculture Organization, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka has 45 estuaries and 40 lagoons. Sri Lanka's mangrove ecosystem spans over 7,000 hectares and played a vital role in buffering the force of the waves in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.WEB,weblink Information Brief on Mangroves in Sri Lanka, International Union for Conservation of Nature, 15 July 2014, The island is rich in minerals such as ilmenite, feldspar, graphite, silica, kaolin, mica and thorium.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka Graphite Production by Year,, 2009, 15 July 2014, WEB,weblink Availability of sizeable deposits of thorium in Sri Lanka, Tissa Vitharana, Asian Tribune, 2008, 15 July 2014, Existence of petroleum and gas in the Gulf of Mannar has also been confirmed and the extraction of recoverable quantities is underway.WEB,weblink iv–vii, Three Dimensional Seismic Survey for Oil Exploration in Block SL-2007-01-001 in Gulf of Mannar–Sri Lanka, Cairn Lanka, 2009, 15 July 2014,


(File:Koppen-Geiger Map LKA present.svg|thumb|left|Sri Lanka map of Köppen climate classification)The climate is tropical and warm, due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Mean temperatures range from {{convert|17|C|F|1}} in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of {{convert|33|C|F|1|abbr=on}} in other low-altitude areas. Average yearly temperatures range from {{convert|28|C|F|1|abbr=on}} to nearly {{convert|31|C|F|1|abbr=on}}. Day and night temperatures may vary by {{convert|14|C-change|F-change|1|abbr=on}} to {{convert|18|C-change|F-change|1|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink Climate & Seasons: Sri Lanka,, 15 July 2014, Rainfall pattern is influenced by monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The "wet zone" and some of the windward slopes of the central highlands receive up to {{convert|2500|mm|in|1}} of rain each year, but the leeward slopes in the east and northeast receive little rain. Most of the east, southeast, and northern parts of Sri Lanka comprise the "dry zone", which receives between {{convert|1200|and|1900|mm|in|abbr=on}} of rain annually.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka Rainfall,, 15 July 2014, The arid northwest and southeast coasts receive the least amount of rain at {{convert|800|to|1200|mm|in|abbr=on}} per year. Periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rains to the southwest, northeast, and eastern parts of the island. Humidity is typically higher in the southwest and mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal patterns of rainfall.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka Climate Guide,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2012, An increase in average rainfall coupled with heavier rainfall events has resulted in recurrent flooding and related damages to infrastructure, utility supply and the urban economy. Integrating urban agriculture and forestry into climate change action plans: Lessons from Sri Lanka, Marielle Dubbeling, the RUAF Foundation, 2014

Flora and fauna

File:Sri Lanka Elephants.JPG|thumb|The Sri Lankan elephant is one of three recognised subspecies of the Asian elephant. The 2011 elephant census estimated a population of 5,879.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka Survey Finds More Elephants Than Expected, 2 September 2011, Voice of AmericaVoice of AmericaLying within the Indomalaya ecozone, Sri Lanka is one of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world.BOOK, Russell Mittermeier, Norman Myers and Cristina Mittermeier, 2000, Hotspots: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions, Conservation International, Arlington County, Virginia, Arlington, Virginia, 978-968-6397-58-1,weblink Although the country is relatively small in size, it has the highest biodiversity density in Asia.WEB,weblink Environment Sri Lanka,, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2014, dmy-all, A remarkably high proportion of the species among its flora and fauna, 27% of the 3,210 flowering plants and 22% of the mammals (see List), are endemic.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 8 December 2012, An interview with Dr. Ranil Senanayake, chairman of Rainforest Rescue International,, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka has declared 24 wildlife reserves, which are home to a wide range of native species such as Asian elephants, leopards, sloth bears, the unique small loris, a variety of deer, the purple-faced langur, the endangered wild boar, porcupines and Indian pangolins.WEB,weblink Ecotourism Sri Lanka,, 15 July 2014, Flowering acacias flourish on the arid Jaffna Peninsula. Among the trees of the dry-land forests are valuable species such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, mahogany and teak. The wet zone is a tropical evergreen forest with tall trees, broad foliage, and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers. Subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudes.WEB,weblink Forests, Grasslands, and Drylands – Sri Lanka, 4, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 October 2007, File:Rainbirder - Leopard (1).jpg|thumb|left|The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is an endangered subspecies of leopardleopardYala National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant, deer, and peacocks. The Wilpattu National Park in the northwest, the largest national park, preserves the habitats of many water birds such as storks, pelicans, ibis, and spoonbills. The island has four biosphere reserves: Bundala, Hurulu Forest Reserve, the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya, and Sinharaja.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka, 1 September 2006, UNESCO, Of these, Sinharaja forest reserve is home to 26 endemic birds and 20 rainforest species, including the elusive red-faced malkoha, the green-billed coucal and the Sri Lanka blue magpie.File:Rhododendron arboreum zeylanicum flower.jpg|right|thumb|Maha rath mala (Rhododendron arboreum ssp. zeylanicum) is a rare sub-species of Rhododendron arboreum found in Central Highlands of Sri LankaCentral Highlands of Sri LankaThe untapped genetic potential of Sinharaja flora is enormous. Of the 211 woody trees and lianas within the reserve, 139 (66%) are endemic. The total vegetation density, including trees, shrubs, herbs and seedlings, has been estimated at 240,000 individuals per hectare. The Minneriya National Park borders the Minneriya tank, which is an important source of water for numerous elephants (Elephus maximus) inhabiting the surrounding forests. Dubbed "The Gathering", the congregation of elephants can be seen on the tank-bed in the late dry season (August to October) as the surrounding water sources steadily disappear. The park also encompasses a range of micro-habitats which include classic dry zone tropical monsoonal evergreen forest, thick stands of giant bamboo, hilly pastures (patanas). and grasslands (talawas).WEB,weblink Minneriya National Park,, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka is home to over 250 types of resident birds (see List). It has declared several bird sanctuaries including Kumana.WEB,weblink Kumana National Wildlife Park,, 15 July 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 29 July 2014, dead, During the Mahaweli Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka, the government set aside four areas of land totalling {{convert|1900|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}} as national parks. Sri Lanka's forest cover, which was around 49% in 1920, had fallen to approximately 24% by 2009.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 11 April 2009, Forests of Sri Lanka,, dmy-all, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Sri Lanka, MSN Encarta Encyclopedia, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2009, dmy-all,


File:Old Parliament Building, Colombo.JPG|thumb|The old Sri Lankan parliament building, near the Galle Face Green. It now serves as the Presidential SecretariatPresidential SecretariatSri Lanka is the oldest democracy in Asia.BOOK, Norton, James H.K., India and South Asia, McGraw-Hill, United States, 978-0-07-243298-5, 2001, The Donoughmore Constitution, drafted by the Donoughmore Commission in 1931, enabled general elections with adult universal suffrage (universal adult voting) in the country.BOOK, Russell, Jane, Communal Politics Under the Donoughmore Constitution, Tisara Publishers, Colombo, 1982, The first election under the universal adult franchise, held in June 1931, was for the Ceylon State Council. Sir Don Baron Jayatilaka was elected as Leader of the House.WEB,weblink The Constitution of Sri Lanka – Contents, Parliament of Sri Lanka, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 June 2010, In 1944, the Soulbury Commission was appointed to draft a new constitution. During this time, struggle for independence was fought on "constitutionalist" lines under the leadership of D. S. Senanayake.BOOK,weblink Kanapathipillai, Valli, Citizenship and Statelessness in Sri Lanka: The Case of the Tamil Estate Workers, Anthem Press, DS Senanayake, as the leader of the UNP and the first prime minister of Sri Lanka, wore the robes of a "constitutionalist" who peacefully pressured the British for constitutional rights, 187, India, 2009, 978-1-84331-791-3, The draft constitution was enacted in the same year, and Senanayake was appointed Prime Minister following the parliamentary election in 1947. The Soulbury constitution ushered in Dominion status and granted independence to Sri Lanka in 1948.

Political culture

The current political culture in Sri Lanka is a contest between two rival coalitions led by the centre-leftist and progressivist United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), an offspring of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), and the comparatively right-wing and pro-capitalist United National Party (UNP).{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|p=95}} Sri Lanka is essentially a multi-party democracy with many smaller Buddhist, socialist and Tamil nationalist political parties. As of July 2011, the number of registered political parties in the country is 67.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 5 August 2012, Political Parties in Sri Lanka, Department of Election, Sri Lanka, July 2011, Of these, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), established in 1935, is the oldest.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka's oldest political party, Daily News, 18 December 2010, The UNP, established by D. S. Senanayake in 1946, was until recently the largest single political party.WEB,weblink UNP: The Story of the Major Tradition,, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 May 2014, It is the only political group which had representation in all parliaments since independence. SLFP was founded by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, who was the Cabinet minister of Local Administration before he left the UNP in July 1951.WEB,weblink Charting a new course for Sri Lanka's success, Daily News, 16 November 2009, SLFP registered its first victory in 1956, defeating the ruling UNP in 1956 Parliamentary election. Following the parliamentary election in July 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the prime minister and the world's first elected female head of government.NEWS,weblink Ceylon chooses world's first woman PM, BBC, 20 July 1960, G. G. Ponnambalam, the Tamil nationalist counterpart of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike,BOOK,weblink Society of Jesus in India, New review, Volume 23, Macmillan and co. ltd., India, 78, 1946, founded the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) in 1944. Objecting to Ponnambalam's cooperation with D. S. Senanayake, a dissident group led by S.J.V. Chelvanayakam broke away in 1949 and formed the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), also known as the Federal Party, becoming the main Tamil political party in Sri Lanka for next two decades.BOOK,weblink Lakshman, W. D. and Clem Tisdell, Tisdell, Clem, Sri Lanka's development since independence: socio-economic perspectives and analyses, Nova Publishers, New York City, New York, 80, 978-1-56072-784-2, 2000, The Federal Party advocated a more aggressive stance toward the Sinhalese.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka: Post Colonial History, Lanka Library, 15 July 2014, With the constitutional reforms of 1972, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) created a common front called the Tamil United Front (later Tamil United Liberation Front). Following a period of turbulence as Tamil militants rose to power in the late 1970s, these Tamil political parties were succeeded in October 2001 by the Tamil National Alliance.NEWS,weblink Sri Lanka Tamil National Alliance denies having talks with Buddhist prelates, Asian Tribune, 24 February 2011, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a Marxist–Leninist political party founded by Rohana Wijeweera in 1965, serves as a third force in the current political context.WEB,weblink 139, Revolutionary Idealism and Parliamentary Politics, Asia-Pacific Journal of Social Sciences, December 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2011, It endorses leftist policies which are more radical than the traditionalist leftist politics of the LSSP and the Communist Party. Founded in 1981, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is the largest Muslim political party in Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink Sri Lankan Muslims: Between ethno-nationalism and the global ummah, Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism, January 2011, Dennis B. McGilvray,


{{Sri Lankan symbols}}(File:Supreme Court Colombo.jpg|thumb|The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Colombo)Sri Lanka is a democratic republic and a unitary state which is governed by a semi-presidential system, with a mixture of a presidential system and a parliamentary system.WEB,weblink Chapter 1 – The People, The State and Sovereignty, The Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 May 2014, dmy-all, Most provisions of the constitution can be amended by a two-thirds majority in parliament. The amendment of certain basic features such as the clauses on language, religion, and reference to Sri Lanka as a unitary state require both a two-thirds majority and approval in a nationwide referendum.In common with many democracies, the Sri Lankan government has three branches:

Administrative divisions

{{Sri Lankan Provinces and districts|float=right}}For administrative purposes, Sri Lanka is divided into nine provincesWEB,weblink The Constitution of Sri Lanka – Eighth Schedule,, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2014, dmy-all, and twenty-five districts.WEB,weblink The Constitution of Sri Lanka – First Schedule,, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2014, dmy-all, ProvincesThere have been provinces in Sri Lanka since the 19th century, but they had no legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 constitution established provincial councils after several decades of increasing demand for a decentralisation of the Government of Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink Provincial Councils, The Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka, 3 September 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 July 2009, dmy-all, Each provincial council is an autonomous body not under the authority of any Ministry. Some of its functions had been undertaken by central government ministries, departments, corporations, and statutory authorities, but authority over land and police is not as a rule given to provincial councils.NEWS,weblink Lanka heads for collision course with India: Report, Indian Express, 12 June 2011, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 6 October 2010, Accepting reality and building trust, Jehan Perera,, 14 September 2010, dmy-all, Between 1989 and 2006, the Northern and Eastern provinces were temporarily merged to form the North-East Province.WEB,weblink North-East merger illegal: SC,, 17 October 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 May 2009, dmy-all, WEB,weblink North East De-merger-At What Cost? Update No. 107, Hariharan, R.,, 19 October 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 13 June 2010, Prior to 1987, all administrative tasks for the provinces were handled by a district-based civil service which had been in place since colonial times. Now each province is administered by a directly elected provincial council:{| class="toc" border="0" style="font-size:90%"! colspan="8" style="background:#629BAB; color:white; font-weight:bold" | Administrative Divisions of Sri Lanka style="font-weight:bold; background:lavender;"! style="width: 10%; text-align: left;" | Province! style="width: 10%; text-align: left;" | Capital! style="width: 10%; text-align: right;" | Area (km2)! style="width: 10%; text-align: right;" | Area (mi2)! style="width: 10%; text-align: right;" | PopulationCentral Province, Sri Lanka>Central| Kandy 5,674 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 2,556,774style="background:#f0f0f0;" Eastern Province, Sri Lanka>Eastern| Trincomalee 9,996 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 1,547,377North Central Province, Sri Lanka>North Central| Anuradhapura 10,714 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 1,259,421style="background:#f0f0f0"Northern Province, Sri Lanka>Northern| Jaffna 8,884 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 1,060,023North Western Province, Sri Lanka>North Western| Kurunegala 7,812 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 2,372,185style="background:#f0f0f0"Sabaragamuwa Province>Sabaragamuwa| Ratnapura 4,902 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 1,919,478Southern Province, Sri Lanka>Southern| Galle 5,559 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 2,465,626style="background:#f0f0f0"Uva Province>Uva| Badulla 8,488 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 1,259,419Western Province, Sri Lanka>Western| Colombo 3,709 {{convertkm2disp=output number only}} 5,837,294Districts and local authoritiesSri Lanka is also divided into 25 districts.WEB,weblink District Secretariats Portal, District an Divisional Secretariats, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2011, Each district is administered under a District Secretariat. The districts are further subdivided into 256 divisional secretariats, and these, in turn, to approximately 14,008 Grama Niladhari divisions.WEB,weblink 3, List of Codes for the Administrative Divisions of Sri Lanka 2001, Department of Census and Statistics, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 May 2011, The Districts are known in Sinhala as Disa and in Tamil as Māwaddam. Originally, a Disa (usually rendered into English as Dissavony) was a duchy, notably Matale and Uva. A government agent, who is known as District Secretary, administers a district.(File:Sri lanka southern province aerial view.jpg|thumb|An aerial view of Southern Province.)There are three other types of local authorities: Municipal Councils (18), Urban councils (13) and Pradeshiya Sabha, also called Pradesha Sabhai (256).BOOK, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2004, Commonwealth Local Government Handbook, London, 978-0-9542917-9-2, 146,weblink Local authorities were originally based on feudal counties named korale and rata, and were formerly known as 'D.R.O. divisions' after the 'Divisional Revenue Officer'.BOOK, Dilesh Jayanntha, 2006, Electoral Allegiance in Sri Lanka, London, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-02975-9, 82–85,weblink Later the D.R.O.s became 'Assistant Government Agents' and the divisions were known as 'A.G.A. divisions'. These Divisional Secretariats are currently administered by a 'Divisional Secretary'.

Foreign relations

{{see also|South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation|Non-Aligned Movement}}File:Jayewardene presents elephant to Reagan.jpg|thumb|President J. R. Jayewardene gifting a baby elephant to US President Ronald ReaganRonald ReaganSri Lanka is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). While ensuring that it maintains its independence, Sri Lanka has cultivated relations with India.NEWS, Foreign Relations,weblink Library of Congress Country Studies, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka became a member of the United Nations in 1955. Today, it is also a member of the Commonwealth, the SAARC, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, and the Colombo Plan.One of the two parties that have governed Sri Lanka since its independence, the United National Party, has traditionally favoured links with the West, while its left-leaning counterpart, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, has favoured links with the East. Sri Lankan Finance Minister J. R. Jayewardene, together with then Australian Foreign Minister Sir Percy Spencer, proposed the Colombo Plan at the Commonwealth Foreign Minister's Conference held in Colombo in 1950.NEWS, Colombo Plan at 57,weblink Colombo Plan, Jayasekera, Upali S., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 January 2012, At the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951, while many countries were reluctant, Sri Lanka argued for a free Japan and refused to accept payment of reparations for World War II damage because it believed it would harm Japan's economy.NEWS, Sri Lanka excels at the San Francisco Peace Conference,weblink The Island, 7 September 2009, Sri Lanka-China relations started as soon as the PRC was formed in 1949. The two countries signed an important Rice-Rubber Pact in 1952.NEWS, Lanka-China bilateral ties at its zenith,weblink The Sunday Observer, 3 October 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, dmy-all, Sri Lanka played a vital role at the Asian–African Conference in 1955, which was an important step in the crystallisation of the NAM.NEWS, Bandung Conference of 1955 and the resurgence of Asia and Africa,weblink The Daily News, 21 April 2005, The Bandaranaike government of 1956 significantly changed the pro-western policies set by the previous UNP government. It recognised Cuba under Fidel Castro in 1959. Shortly afterward, Cuba's revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara paid a visit to Sri Lanka.NEWS, 'Lanka-Cuba relations should be strengthened',weblink The Daily News, 14 January 2004, The Sirima-Shastri Pact of 1964NEWS, 29 October 1964,weblink, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 January 2015, dmy-all, and Sirima-Gandhi Pact of 1974NEWS, Statelessness abolished?,weblink, 15 July 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 13 August 2014, dead, were signed between Sri Lankan and Indian leaders in an attempt to solve the long-standing dispute over the status of plantation workers of Indian origin. In 1974, Kachchatheevu, a small island in Palk Strait, was formally ceded to Sri Lanka.NEWS, India-Sri Lanka: 1921 Conference On Fisheries And Ceding Of Kachchatheevu – Analysis,weblink Albany Tribune, 22 August 2011, Suryanarayan, V., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 April 2012, By this time, Sri Lanka was strongly involved in the NAM and Colombo held the fifth NAM summit in 1976.NEWS, NAM Golden Jubilee this year,weblink The Sunday Observer, 10 July 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, dmy-all, The relationship between Sri Lanka and India became tense under the government of J. R. Jayawardene.JOURNAL, 10.1080/09700160008455216, Indo‐Sri Lankan security perceptions: Divergences and convergences, Strategic Analysis, 24, 2, 343, 2000, Murthy, P., As a result, India intervened in the Sri Lankan Civil War and subsequently deployed an Indian Peace Keeping Force in 1987.NEWS,weblink India airlifts aid to Tamil rebels, New York Times, 5 June 1987, Weisman, Steven R., In the present, Sri Lanka enjoys extensive relations with China,NEWS,weblink 6, Sri Lanka: Background and U.S. Relations, Federation of American Scientists, 15 July 2014, Russia,NEWS,weblink Russia and Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral relations, Asian Tribune, 15 July 2014, and Pakistan.NEWS,weblink World leaders send warm greeting to Sri Lanka on Independence Day, Asian Tribune, 15 July 2014, Branches of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces style"text-align:center;"File:Sri Lanka Military 0208.jpg">

Military{| class"toccolours" style"float:right; margin:0 0 1em 1em; border:1px #ddd solid;"|+ Branches of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces style"text-align:center;"(File:Sri Lanka Military 0208.jpg

x120px)Sri Lanka ArmyT-55AM2 main battle tank(File:SLNS Sayurala(P623).jpgx120px)Sri Lanka NavyFlag Ship SLNS Sayurala(File:Mi24-March2011-01.JPGx120px)Sri Lanka Air ForceMil Mi-24 Attack HelicopterThe Sri Lanka Armed Forces, comprising the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy, and the Sri Lanka Air Force, come under the (wikt:purview|purview) of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).WEB,weblink CIA World Factbook: Sr Lanka, Central Intelligence Agency, 16 August 2011, The total strength of the three services is around 346,000 personnel, with nearly 36,000 reserves.BOOK, The Military Balance 2010, 370–371, International Institute for Strategic Studies, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Hackett, James, 3 February 2010, Routledge, London, 978-1-85743-557-3, IISS2010, Sri Lanka has not enforced military conscription.WEB,weblink Conscription (most recent) by country, NationMaster, Paramilitary units include the Special Task Force, the Civil Security Force, and the Sri Lanka Coast Guard.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 4 March 2016, Sri Lanka coast guard sets up bases, Lanka Business Online, 10 August 2009, WEB,weblink Coast Guard bill passed in Parliament, Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence, 7 October 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, dmy-all, Since independence in 1948, the primary focus of the armed forces has been internal security, crushing three major insurgencies, two by Marxist militants of the JVP and a 26-year-long conflict with the LTTE which has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by 32 countries. The armed forces have been in a continuous mobilised state for the last 30 years.NEWS,weblink How Sri Lanka's military won, BBC, 22 May 2009, NEWS, Doucet, Lyse,weblink BBC News – UN 'failed Sri Lanka civilians', says internal probe,, 13 November 2012, 10 September 2013, Marking a rare occurrence in modern military history, the Sri Lankan military was able to bring a decisive end to the Sri Lankan Civil War in May 2009.NEWS, LTTE defeated; Sri Lanka liberated from terror, 18 May 2009,weblink Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 May 2009, dmy-all, Sri Lanka has claimed to be the first country in the modern world to eradicate terrorism on its own soil.NEWS, The latest 'horror drama', 22 May 2009,weblink Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 February 2016, dmy-all, The Sri Lankan Armed Forces have engaged in United Nations peacekeeping operations since the early 1960s, contributing forces to permanent contingents deployed in several UN peacekeeping missions in Chad, Lebanon, and Haiti.WEB,weblink UN Mission's Summary detailed by Country – March 2012, 33, United Nations, April 2012,


{{see also|Agriculture in Sri Lanka|Tea production in Sri Lanka|Tourism in Sri Lanka|Transport in Sri Lanka}}(File:SriLankaExports.png|thumb|upright=1.6|Sri Lanka exports by product (2017) from Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity)According to the International Monetary Fund, Sri Lanka's GDP in terms of purchasing power parity is second only to the Maldives in the South Asian region in terms of per capita income.File:OldParliament-November2015-01.JPG|thumb|The Colombo World Trade Center in Colombo. Presidential SecretariatPresidential SecretariatIn the 19th and 20th centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber, and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export.WEB,weblink Echoes of a Plantation Economy,, Fernando, Maxwell, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 January 2012, The development of modern ports under British rule raised the strategic importance of the island as a centre of trade.WEB,weblink The Strategic Importance of Sri Lanka to Australia,, 15 July 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 7 August 2014, dead, dmy-all, From 1948 to 1977, socialism strongly influenced the government's economic policies. Colonial plantations were dismantled, industries were nationalised, and a welfare state established. In 1977, the free market economy was introduced to the country incorporating privatisation, deregulation, and the promotion of private enterprise.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka – an Overview, Fulbright Program, Fulbright commission, While the production and export of tea, rubber, coffee, sugar, and other commodities remain important, industrialisation has increased the importance of food processing, textiles, telecommunications, and finance. The country's main economic sectors are tourism, tea export, clothing, rice production, and other agricultural products. In addition to these economic sectors, overseas employment, especially in the Middle East, contributes substantially in foreign exchange.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 1 December 2011, Annual Report 2010, Ministry of Finance – Sri Lanka, 2011, 15 July 2014, {{As of|2010}}, the service sector makes up 60% of GDP, the industrial sector 28%, and the agriculture sector 12%. The private sector accounts for 85% of the economy.WEB,weblink PDF, 1, Country Partnership Strategy, Asian Development Bank, 2008, 15 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 November 2013, India is Sri Lanka's largest trading partner.WEB,weblink 65th Independence Day of India celebrates in Sri Lanka, InfoLanaka, 2011, 15 July 2014, Economic disparities exist between the provinces with the Western Province contributing 45.1% of the GDP and the Southern Province and the Central Province contributing 10.7% and 10%, respectively.NEWS,weblink Western Province share of national GDP falling: CB, Sunday Times, 17 July 2011, With the end of the war, the Northern Province reported a record 22.9% GDP growth in 2010.NEWS,weblink Sri Lanka's Northern province has recorded the highest GDP growth rate of 22.9 per cent last year, Asian Tribune, 18 July 2011, File:Sri Lanka 030.jpg|thumb|Sri Lanka's most widely known export, Ceylon tea, which weblink Sri Lanka Tea Board,, {{Dead link">date=September 2013}}The per capita income of Sri Lanka has doubled since 2005.WEB,weblink Per capita income has doubled,, 2011, During the same period, poverty has dropped from 15.2% to 7.6%, unemployment rate has dropped from 7.2% to 4.9%, market capitalisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange has quadrupled and the budget deficit has doubled. Over 90% of the households in Sri Lanka are electrified. 87.3% of the population have access to safe drinking water and 39% have access to pipe-borne water. Income inequality has also dropped in recent years, indicated by a Gini coefficient of 0.36 in 2010.WEB,weblink 3, Inequality drops with poverty, Department of Census and Statistics, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka's cellular subscriber base has shown a staggering 550% growth from 2005 to 2010. Sri Lanka was the first country in the South Asian region to introduce 3G, 3.5G (HSDPA), 3.75G (HSUPA) and 4G (LTE) mobile telecommunication technologies.WEB,weblink Saarc: Sri Lanka Takes a Lead,, 31 August 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 June 2012, dmy-all, The Global Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum, has described Sri Lanka's economy as transitioning from the factor-driven stage to the efficiency-driven stage and that it ranks 52nd in global competitiveness.JOURNAL,weblink 326–327, Schwab, Klaus, 2011, The Global Competitiveness Report 2011–2012, World Economic Forum, 15 July 2014, Also, out of the 142 countries surveyed, Sri Lanka ranked 45th in health and primary education, 32nd in business sophistication, 42nd in innovation, and 41st in goods market efficiency. Sri Lanka ranks 5th in the World Giving Index, registering high levels of contentment and charitable behaviour in its society.WEB, CAF world giving index 2016,weblink, Charities aid foundation, 18 August 2019, In 2010, The New York Times placed Sri Lanka at the top of its list of 31 places to visit.NEWS,weblink The 31 Places to Go in 2010, The New York Times, 24 January 2010, S&P Dow Jones Indices classifies Sri Lanka as a frontier market as of 2018,WEB, A Closer Look at Indices Country Classifications,weblink and Citigroup classified it as a 3G country in February 2011.WEB, Joe Weisenthal,weblink 3G Countries,, 22 February 2011, Sri Lanka ranks well above other South Asian countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) with an index of 0.750.Sri Lanka's road network consists of 35 A-Grade highways and two controlled-access highways (E01 and E03).WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 15 April 2009, Southern Expressway, Road Development Authority, 15 July 2014, dmy-all, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 17 April 2009, Colombo_Katunayaka Expressway, Road Development Authority, 15 July 2014, dmy-all, The railway network, operated by the state-run national railway operator Sri Lanka Railways, spans {{convert|1447|km|mi|-1}}.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 28 December 2012, Statistics – Sri Lanka Railways, Ministry of Transport Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka also has three deep-water ports at Colombo, Galle, and Trincomalee, in addition to the newest port being built at Hambantota. The port at Trincomalee is the fifth largest natural harbour in the world; during World War II, the British stated that they could place their entire navy in the harbour with room to spare.{{citation needed|date=January 2019}} Sri Lanka's flag carrier airline is SriLankan Airlines. Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka's Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BB-' with a "stable" outlook. With a grant of 20 million dollars from the US and help from China, a space academy has been set up for the purpose of developing an indigenous space sector to launch satellites of other nations as well as of Sri Lanka. This dual use of launching technology will also serve to develop missile technology. On 26 September 2012 China launched Sri Lanka's first satellite, with plans for more launches in the coming years.WEB, F_493,weblink Sri Lanka's first satellite launched from China – People's Daily Online,, 28 November 2012, 8 January 2014, WEB,weblink China to launch Sri Lanka's first satellite,, 18 November 2012, 8 January 2014, NEWS,weblink China launches Sri Lanka's first satellite as India watches ties grow, Reuters, 8 January 2014, Ranga, Sirilal, 27 November 2012, During the past few years, the country's debt has soared as it was developing its infrastructure to the point of near bankruptcy which required a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)WEB,weblink Why Sri Lanka's economic outlook is looking less rosy, Shaffer, Leslie, 2 May 2016, CNBC, CNBC LLC, 14 January 2017, While the government is aiming to raise its low revenue collection, partly through an increase in the value-added tax rate ... the country has a spotty record on tax collection., The IMF had agreed to provide a US$1.5 billion bailout loan in April 2016 after Sri Lanka provided a set of criteria intended to improve its economy. By the fourth quarter of 2016, the debt was estimated to be $64.9 billion. Additional debt had been incurred in the past by state-owned organizations and this was said to be at least $9.5 billion. Since early 2015, domestic debt increased by 12 percent and external debt by 25 percent.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka's Debt Crisis Is So Bad The Government Doesn't Even Know How Much Money It Owes, Shepard, Wade, 30 September 2016, Forbes, Forbes, 14 January 2017, "We still don't know the exact total debt number," Sri Lanka's prime minister admitted to parliament earlier this month., In November 2016, the International Monetary Fund reported that the initial disbursement was larger than US$150 million originally planned, a full US$162.6 million (SDR 119.894 million), to Sri Lanka. The agency's evaluation for the first tranche was cautiously optimistic about the future. Under the program Sri Lankan government implemented a new Inland Revenue Act and an automatic fuel pricing formula which were noted by the IMF in its fourth review. In 2018 China agreed to bail out Sri Lanka with a loan of $1.25 billion to deal with foreign debt repayment spikes in 2019 to 2021.WEB,weblink IMF Completes First Review of the Extended Arrangement Under the EFF with Sri Lanka and Approves US$162.6 Million Disbursement, 18 November 2016, IMF, IMF, 14 January 2017, [IMF] completed the first review of Sri Lanka's economic performance under the program supported by a three-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement., WEB,weblink Sri Lanka : 2018 Article IV Consultation and the Fourth Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Sri Lanka, IMF, en, 5 August 2018, WEB,weblink$1.25bn_in_2018-3-11431.html, China on track to bail out Sri Lanka with US$1.25bn in 2018,, en, 5 August 2018,


(File:SL population growth.png|thumb|upright=1.15|Sri Lanka's population, (1871–2001))(File:Bevölkerungspyramide Sri Lanka 2016.png|thumb|Population pyramid 2016)Sri Lanka is the 57th most populated nation in the world, with roughly 21,670,000 people, and an annual population growth rate of 1.14%. Sri Lanka has a birth rate of 17.6 births per 1,000 people and a death rate of 6.2 deaths per 1,000 people. Population density is highest in western Sri Lanka, especially in and around the capital. Sinhalese constitute the largest ethnic group in the country, with 74.8% of the total population.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka Census of Population and Housing, 2011 – Population by Ethnicity, Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka, 20 April 2012, Sri Lankan Tamils are the second major ethnic group in the island, with a percentage of 11.2%. Sri Lankan Moors comprise 9.2%. Tamils of Indian origin were brought into the country as indentured labourers by British colonists to work on estate plantations. Nearly 50% of them were repatriated following independence in 1948.BOOK, Hoole, Rajan, Sri Lanka: The Arrogance of Power, 2001, University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), 978-955-9447-04-7, 15,weblink They are distinguished from the native Tamil population that has resided in Sri Lanka since ancient times. There are also small ethnic groups such as the Burghers (of mixed European descent) and Malays from Southeast Asia. Moreover, there is a small population of Vedda people who are believed to be the original indigenous group to inhabit the island.WEB,weblink Early Man and the Rise of Civilisation in Sri Lanka: the Archaeological Evidence,, 15 July 2014,


(File:Distribution of Languages and Religious groups of Sri Lanka 1981.jpg|thumbnail|The distribution of languages and religious groups in Sri Lanka, 1981)Sinhala and Tamil are the two official languages of Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink Official Languages Commission, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 February 2012, The Constitution defines English as the link language. English is widely used for education, scientific and commercial purposes. Members of the Burgher community speak variant forms of Portuguese Creole and Dutch with varying proficiency, while members of the Malay community speak a form of Creole Malay that is unique to the island.WEB,weblink How unique is Sri Lanka Malay?, Peter Bakker, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,


{{Bar box |float=right |titlebar=#dddPew Research Center>Pew Research)Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project: Sri Lanka. Pew Research Center. 2010.|left1=religion|right1=percent|bars={{bar percent|Buddhist|Gold|70}}{{bar percent|Hindu|orange|13}}{{bar percent|Muslim|green|9.7}}{{bar percent|Christian|lightblue|7.4}}{{bar percent|Other|gray|0.04}}PUBLISHER=DEPARTMENT OF CENSUS AND STATISTICS, SRI LANKA, 20 April 2012, }}Sri Lanka is a multi-religious country. Buddhists comprise 70 per cent of the population,WEB,weblink Sri Lanka, International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 14 September 2007, with the Theravada school being predominant. Most Buddhists are of the Sinhalese ethnic group. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 2nd century BCE by Venerable Mahinda. A sapling of the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment was brought to Sri Lanka during the same time. The Pāli Canon (Thripitakaya), having previously been preserved as an oral tradition, was first committed to writing in Sri Lanka around 30 BCE.WEB,weblink Theravada Buddhism and Shan/Thai/Dai/Laos Regions Boxun News,, 28 March 2005, Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism of any predominantly Buddhist nation,WEB,weblink Theravada: Buddhism in Sri Lankan,, 15 July 2014, with the Sangha having existed in a largely unbroken lineage since its introduction in the 2nd century BCE. During periods of decline, the Sri Lankan monastic lineage was revived through contact with Thailand and Burma. Buddhism is given special recognition in the Constitution which requires Sri Lankans to "protect and foster the Buddha Sasana".WEB,weblink The Constitution of Sri Lanka: Chapter II – Buddhism, The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e), dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, dmy-all, Hinduism is the second most prevalent religion in Sri Lanka and predates Buddhism. Today, Hinduism is dominant in Northern, Eastern and Central Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink Hinduism in Sri Lanka,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 May 2009, 14 January 2016, Islam is the third most prevalent religion in the country, having first been brought to the island by Arab traders over the course of many centuries, starting around the 7th century CE. Most Muslims are Sunni who follow the Shafi'i school.WEB,weblink Lankan Muslims' historical links with India,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, dmy-all, Most followers of Islam in Sri Lanka today are believed to be descendants of those Arab traders and the local women they married.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 29 July 2014, Origins and Affinities of the Sri Lankan Moors, Christianity reached the country through Western colonists in the early 16th century.BOOK, The carpenter-heretic: a collection of Buddhist stories about Christianity from the 18th century Sri Lanka, 1998, 978-955-9098-42-3, Young, R. F., Sēnānāyaka, J. E. B., yes, Colombo: Karunaratne & Sons.,weblink Around 7.4% of the Sri Lankan population are Christians, of whom 82% are Roman Catholics who trace their religious heritage directly to the Portuguese. Sri Lankan Tamil Catholics attribute their religious heritage to St.Francis Xavier as well as Portuguese missionaries. The remaining Christians are evenly split between the Anglican Church of Ceylon and other Protestant denominations.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka – Christianity, Mongabay, There is also a small population of Zoroastrian immigrants from India (Parsis) who settled in Ceylon during the period of British rule,WEB,weblink The Parsi Community of Sri Lanka,, but this community has steadily dwindled in recent years.WEB,weblink Sri Lankan Parsis facing extinction?, The Sunday Times, Religion plays a prominent role in the life and culture of Sri Lankans. The Buddhist majority observe Poya Days each month according to the Lunar calendar, and Hindus and Muslims also observe their own holidays. In a 2008 Gallup poll, Sri Lanka was ranked the third most religious country in the world, with 99% of Sri Lankans saying religion was an important part of their daily life.WEB,weblink What Alabamians and Iranians Have in Common, The Gallup Organization, 9 February 2009,

Urban centres

{{List of Sri Lankan cities by population}}


Sri Lankans have a life expectancy of 77.9 years at birth, which is 10% higher than the world average. The infant mortality rate stands at 8.5 per 1,000 births and the maternal mortality rate at 0.39 per 1,000 births, which is on par with figures from the developed countries. The universal "pro-poor"WEB,weblink Our Pro-poor health care policy rewarded, The Island, health care system adopted by the country has contributed much towards these figures.WEB,weblink Universal Health Care,, 15 July 2014, Sri Lanka ranks first among southeast Asian countries with respect to commitment of suicide, with 33 deaths per 100,000 persons. According to Department of Census and Statistics, poverty, destructive pastimes and inability to cope with stressful situations, are the main causes behind the high suicide rates.WEB,weblink Social Conditions of Sri Lanka, 15–17,,weblink" title="">weblink 17 November 2017, 10 March 2018,


File:Sarachchandra Theatre.jpg|thumb|The University of Peradeniya's Sarachchandra open-air theatre, named in memory of Ediriweera SarachchandraEdiriweera SarachchandraWith a literacy rate of 92.5%, Sri Lanka has one of the most literate populations amongst developing nations.JOURNAL, Problems of Illiteracy in a Literate Developing Society: Sri Lanka, Gunawardena, Chandra, 1997, 43, 5/6, 595–609, International Review of Education, 3445068, 10.1023/A:1003010726149, 1997IREdu..43..595G, Its youth literacy rate stands at 98%,WEB,weblink Sri Lanka – literacy rate,, computer literacy rate at 35%,WEB,weblink Govt targets 75% computer literacy rate by 2016, The Daily News, and primary school enrollment rate at over 99%.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka – Statistics, UNICEF, An education system which dictates 9 years of compulsory schooling for every child is in place. The free education system established in 1945,BOOK, De Silva, K.M., A Short History of Sri Lanka, University of California Press, 1981, Los Angeles, 472, 978-0-520-04320-6,weblink is a result of the initiative of C. W. W. Kannangara and A. Ratnayake.WEB,weblink Honouring the Father of Free Education, The Daily News, WEB,weblink Who was "Father" of free education in Sri Lanka?: C.W.W. Kannangara or A. Ratnayake?, Trans Currents, 21 November 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, dead, dmy-all, It is one of the few countries in the world that provide universal free education from primary to tertiary stage.WEB,weblink Education: Traditional and Colonial Systems, Library of Congress Country Studies, Kannangara led the establishment of the Madhya Maha Vidyalayas (Central Schools) in different parts of the country in order to provide education to Sri Lanka's rural children. In 1942 a special education committee proposed extensive reforms to establish an efficient and quality education system for the people. However, in the 1980s changes to this system saw the separation of the administration of schools between the central government and the provincial government. Thus the elite National Schools are controlled directly by the Ministry of Education and the provincial schools by the provincial government. Sri Lanka has approximately 9675 government schools, 817 private schools and Pirivenas.Sri Lanka has 15 public universities.WEB,weblink 3, Sri Lanka University Statistics 2010, University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka), University Grants Commission, A lack of responsiveness of the education system to labour market requirements, disparities in access to quality education, lack of an effective linkage between secondary and tertiary education remain major challenges for the education sector.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 23 June 2013, 3–4, Facing Global and Local Challenges: The New Dynamics for Higher Education – Sri Lanka Country Report, UNESCO, A number of private, degree awarding institutions have emerged in recent times to fill in these gaps, yet the participation at tertiary level education remains at 5.1%.WEB,weblink Educational Indicators 1980–2009, University Grants Commission (Sri Lanka), dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 February 2011, The proposed private university bill has been withdrawn by the Higher Education Ministry after university students' heavy demonstrations and resistance.WEB,weblink Private University Bill, Sri Lanka University News, The British science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke served as Chancellor of Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka from 1979 to 2002.WEB,weblink Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, University of Moratuwa, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 June 2014, dmy-all,


Sri Lanka has an extensive road network for inland transportation. With more than 100,000 km of paved roads,Sri Lanka: Transport At a Glance – Core Road Performance Indicators it has one of the highest road densities in the world (1.5 km of paved roads per every of land). E-grade highways are the latest addition to Sri Lanka's road network. These are access-controlled, high-mobility roads with permitted speeds up to 100 km/h.WEB,weblink Safe use of the Expressway,, These highways connect local communities together, by-passing busy and congested town centers.A and B grade roads are national (arterial) highways administered by Road Development Authority.WEB,weblink Class A, B & E Roads, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 April 2016, C and D grade roads are provincial roads coming under the purview of the Provincial Road Development Authority of the respective province. The other roads are local roads falling under local government authorities.The rail network of Sri Lanka consists of main lines, coastal lines, and up-country lines.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka / Ceylon Railway,, en-US, 8 March 2018, 29 September 2015, In addition, air- and water-based transportation modalities augment the inland transport of the country.

Human rights and media

The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (formerly Radio Ceylon) is the oldest-running radio station in Asia,WEB, Radio Ceylon/Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation: The history of broadcasting in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation,weblink 1, 15 September 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2016, dead, dmy-all, established in 1923 by Edward Harper just three years after broadcasting began in Europe. The station broadcasts services in Sinhala, Tamil, English and Hindi. Since the 1980s, many private radio stations have also been introduced. Broadcast television was introduced to the country in 1979 when the Independent Television Network was launched. Initially, all Television stations were state-controlled, but private television networks began broadcasts in 1992.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka Press, Media, TV, Radio, Newspapers,, {{As of|2010}}, 51 newspapers (30 Sinhala, 10 Tamil, 11 English) are published and 34 TV stations and 52 radio stations are in operation. In recent years, freedom of the press in Sri Lanka has been alleged by media freedom groups to be amongst the poorest in democratic countries.WEB,weblink 5–6, Media under fire: Press freedom lockdown in Sri Lanka, International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission to Sri Lanka, Alleged abuse of a newspaper editor by a senior government ministerNEWS, Jansz, Frederica, Gota goes berserk,weblink 24 November 2012, Sunday Leader, 8 July 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 20 October 2012, dead, achieved international notoriety because of the unsolved murder of the editor's predecessor, Lasantha Wickrematunge,NEWS, Chronicle of a death foretold,weblink 24 November 2012, The Economist, 15 January 2009, who had also been a critic of the government and had presaged his own death in a posthumously published article.NEWS, Wickramasinghe, Lasantha, And then they came for me,weblink 25 November 2012, Sunday Leader, 11 January 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2012, dead, Officially, the constitution of Sri Lanka guarantees human rights as ratified by the United Nations. However, human rights in Sri Lanka have come under criticism by Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture, Human Rights Watch,WEB,weblink Amnesty International{{snd, Sri Lanka Human Rights Reports | publisher = Amnesty International }} and the United States Department of State.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 7 June 2001, Sri Lanka: Country Report on Human Rights Practices, United States Department of State, 23 February 2001, British colonial rulers,NEWS, Keerthisinghe, Lakshman I.,weblink The British duplicity in protecting human rights in Sri Lanka, Daily Mirror, 2013, 21 October 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2013, dead, dmy-all, the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and the government of Sri Lanka are accused of violating human rights. A report by an advisory panel to the UN secretary-general has accused both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government of alleged war crimes during final stages of the civil war.WEB,weblink Report of the Secretary – General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, 71, 31 March 2011, United Nations, NEWS,weblink L'ONU a caché l'ampleur des massacres au Sri Lanka,, 26 February 2013, Le, 28 May 2009, Corruption remains a problem in Sri Lanka, and there is currently very little protection for those who stand up against corruption.WEB, Business Corruption in Sri Lanka,weblink Business Anti-Corruption Portal, 8 April 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 April 2014, The 135-year-old Article 365 of the Sri Lankan Penal Code criminalizes gay sex and provides for a penalty of up to ten years in prison.WEB,weblink Department for Justice, The UN Human Rights Council has documented over 12,000 named individuals who have undergone disappearance after detention by security forces in Sri Lanka, the second highest figure in the world since the Working Group came into being in 1980.WEB, United Nations, Human Rights Council Nineteenth session, Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances,weblink UN, 24 November 2012, 3,113, 'The original mandate derives from Commission on Human Rights resolution 20 (XXXVI) of 29 February 1980','Since its establishment, the Working Group has transmitted 12,460 cases to the Government; of those, 40 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the source, 6,535 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the Government, 214 cases were found to be duplications and were therefore deleted, and 5,671 remain outstanding.', The Sri Lankan government has confirmed that 6,445 of these are dead. Allegations of human rights abuses have not ended with the close of the ethnic conflict.NEWS, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Murky business: People are disappearing{{snd, and the government has been accused|url=|accessdate=24 November 2012|newspaper=The Economist|date=14 January 2012}}UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay visited Sri Lanka in May 2013. After her visit, she said: "The war may have ended [in Sri Lanka], but in the meantime democracy has been undermined and the rule of law eroded." Pillay spoke about the military's increasing involvement in civilian life and reports of military land grabbing. She also said that, while in Sri Lanka, she had been allowed to go wherever she wanted, but that Sri Lankans who came to meet her were harassed and intimidated by security forces.WEB,weblink UN Human Rights Commissioner: 'democracy has been undermined' in Sri Lanka, GlobalPost, 31 August 2013, 10 September 2013, NEWS,weblink BBC News – UN's Navi Pillay attacks Sri Lanka human rights record,, 31 August 2013, 10 September 2013, In 2012, the UK charity Freedom from Torture reported that it had received 233 referrals of torture survivors from Sri Lanka for clinical treatment or other services provided by the charity. In the same year, Freedom from Torture published Out of the Silence, which documents evidence of torture in Sri Lanka and demonstrates that the practice has continued long after the end of the civil war in May 2009.Sri Lanka: Out of the Silence.


File:Vavuniya Kavadi.JPG|thumb|Hindu devotees engaging in Kavadi at a temple in VavuniyaVavuniyaThe culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2500 years.WEB,weblink Sri Lankan culture and history,, It is influenced primarily by Buddhism and Hinduism.WEB,weblink Pre-Colonial Sri Lankan History,, Sri Lanka is the home to two main traditional cultures: the Sinhalese (centred in the ancient cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura) and the Tamil (centred in the city of Jaffna). In more recent times, the British colonial culture has also influenced the locals. Sri Lanka claims a democratic tradition matched by few other developing countries.{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|p=94}}The first Tamil immigration was probably around the 3rd century BC. Tamils co-existed with the Sinhalese people since then, and the early mixing rendered the two ethnic groups almost physically indistinct.{{Harvnb|Nubin|2002|p=97}} Ancient Sri Lanka is marked for its genius in hydraulic engineering and architecture. The rich cultural traditions shared by all Sri Lankan cultures is the basis of the country's long life expectancy, advanced health standards and high literacy rate.

Food and festivals

(File:SL-rice and curry.jpg|thumb|Sri Lankan rice and curry)Dishes include rice and curry, pittu, kiribath, wholemeal roti, string hoppers, wattalapam (a rich pudding of Malay origin made of coconut milk, jaggery, cashew nuts, eggs, and spices including cinnamon and nutmeg), kottu, and hoppers.BOOK, Jayakody, Padmini, Simply Sri Lankan,, 3, Australia, 978-1-4092-1942-2,weblink 2008, Jackfruit may sometimes replace rice. Traditionally food is served on a plantain leaf or lotus leaf.Middle Eastern influences and practices are found in traditional Moor dishes, while Dutch and Portuguese influences are found with the island's Burgher community preserving their culture through traditional dishes such as Lamprais (rice cooked in stock and baked in a banana leaf), Breudher (Dutch Holiday Biscuit), and Bolo Fiado (Portuguese-style layer cake).In April, Sri Lankans celebrate the Buddhist and Hindu new year festival.BOOK, Wickremeratne, Swarna, 2006, Buddha in Sri Lanka: remembered yesterdays, SUNY Press, 31, 978-0-7914-6881-4,weblink Esala Perahera is a symbolic Buddhist festival consisting of dances and decorated elephants held in Kandy in July and August.BOOK, Dassanayake, M. B., 1970, The Kandy Esala perahera: Asia's most spectacular pageant, Lake House Bookshop, 7, Colombo, Fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandian dances and various other cultural dances are integral parts of the festival. Christians celebrate Christmas on 25 December to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Tamils celebrate Thai Pongal and Maha Shivaratri, and Muslims celebrate Hajj and Ramadan.

Visual, literary and performing arts

File:The landmark Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre.JPG|thumb|right|The Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa TheatreNelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa TheatreThe movie Kadawunu Poronduwa (The broken promise), produced by S. M. Nayagam of Chitra Kala Movietone, heralded the coming of Sri Lankan cinema in 1947. Ranmuthu Duwa (Island of treasures, 1962) marked the transition cinema from black-and-white to colour. It in the recent years has featured subjects such as family melodrama, social transformation and the years of conflict between the military and the LTTE.BOOK, Dissanayake, Wimal, 2006, Contemporary Asian cinema: popular culture in a global frame, Chapter 8, Berg, 108–119, 978-1-84520-237-8,weblink The Sri Lankan cinematic style is similar to Bollywood movies. In 1979, movie attendance rose to an all-time high, but has been in steady decline since then.BOOK, Lakshman, W. D., 2000, Sri Lanka's development since independence, Nova Publishers, 253, New York City, New York, 978-1-56072-784-2,weblink An influential filmmaker is Lester James Peiris, who has directed a number of movies which led to global acclaim, including Rekava (Line of destiny, 1956), Gamperaliya (The changing village, 1964), Nidhanaya (The treasure, 1970) and Golu Hadawatha (Cold heart, 1968).NEWS, Dr. Lester James Peiris, Father of Sri Lankan Cinema, celebrates 90th Birthday, Asian Tribune,weblink Sri Lankan-Canadian poet Rienzi Crusz, is the subject of a documentary on his life in Sri Lanka. His work is published in Sinhala and English. Similarly, naturalized-Canadian Michael Ondaatje, is well known for his English-language novels and three films.The earliest music in Sri Lanka came from theatrical performances such as Kolam, Sokari and Nadagam.BOOK, Brandon, James R., 1997, The Cambridge guide to Asian theatre, Cambridge University Press, 226–229, Cambridge, 978-0-521-58822-5,weblink Traditional music instruments such as Béra, Thammátama, Daŭla and Răbān were performed at these dramas. The first music album, Nurthi, recorded in 1903, was released through Radio Ceylon (founded in 1925). Songwriters like Mahagama Sekara and Ananda Samarakoon and musicians such as W. D. Amaradeva, Victor Ratnayake, Nanda Malini and Clarence Wijewardene have contributed much towards the upliftment of Sri Lankan music.BOOK, McConnachie, James, 2000, World music: the rough guide, Volume 2, Rough Guides, 230, 978-1-85828-636-5,weblink Baila is another popular music genre in the country, originated among Kaffirs or the Afro-Sinhalese community.BOOK, Atkinson, Brett, 2009, Lonely Planet Sri Lanka, Lonely Planet, 50, 978-1-74104-835-3,weblink (File:Sri Lanka traditional drum.jpg|thumb|A Low Country drummer playing the traditional Yak Béra)There are three main styles of Sri Lankan classical dance. They are, the Kandyan dances, low country dances and Sabaragamuwa dances. Of these, the Kandyan style, which flourished under kings of the Kingdom of Kandy, is more prominent. It is a sophisticated form of dance,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Kandyan dance, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink that consists of five sub-categories: Ves dance, Naiyandi dance, Udekki dance, Pantheru dance and 18 Vannam.BOOK, Cummings, Joe, 2006, Sri Lanka, Lonely Planet, 50–52, 978-1-74059-975-7,weblink An elaborate headdress is worn by the male dancers and a drum called Geta Béraya is used to assist the dancer to keep on rhythm.WEB, Dance of Sri Lanka,,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 July 2014, 28 July 2014, In addition, four folk drama variants named Sokri, Kolam Nadagam, Pasu, and several devil dance variants such as Sanni Yakuma and Kohomba Kankariya can be also observed.The history of Sri Lankan painting and sculpture can be traced as far back as to the 2nd or 3rd century BC.WEB, History of painting and sculpture in Sri Lanka,,weblink The earliest mention about the art of painting on Mahavamsa, is to the drawing of a palace on cloth using cinnabar in the 2nd century BC. The chronicles have description of various paintings in relic-chambers of Buddhist stupas, and in monastic residence.Theatre moved into the country when a Parsi theatre company from Mumbai introduced Nurti, a blend of European and Indian theatrical conventions to the Colombo audience in the 19th century. The golden age of Sri Lankan drama and theatre began with the staging of Maname, a play written by Ediriweera Sarachchandra in 1956.WEB, The Sinhala Theatre of Sri Lanka: A Form of Political Discourse,,weblink It was followed by a series of popular dramas like Sinhabāhu, Pabāvatī, Mahāsāra, Muudu Puththu and Subha saha Yasa.Sri Lankan literature spans at least two millennia, and is heir to the Aryan literary tradition as embodied in the hymns of the Rigveda. The Pāli Canon, the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, was written down in Sri Lanka during the Fourth Buddhist council, at the Alulena cave temple, Kegalle, as early as 29 BC.WEB, Challenge to Buddha Jayanthi Stamp Selection Board, The Island,weblink Ancient chronicles such as the Mahāvamsa, written in the 6th century, provide vivid descriptions of Sri Lankan dynasties. According to the German philosopher Wilhelm Geiger, the chronicles are based on Sinhala Atthakatha (commentary), that dates few more centuries back. The oldest surviving prose work is the Dhampiya-Atuva-Getapadaya, compiled in the 9th century.The greatest literary feats of medieval Sri Lanka include Sandesha Kāvya (poetic messages) such as Girā Sandeshaya (Parrot message), Hansa Sandeshaya (Swan message) and Salalihini Sandeshaya (Myna message). Poetry including Kavsilumina, Kavya-Sekharaya (diadem of poetry) and proses such as Saddharma-Ratnāvaliya, Amāvatura (Flood of nectar) and Pujāvaliya are also notable works of this period, which is considered to be the golden age of Sri Lankan literature.WEB, A survey of Sinhalese poetry from ancient times to the modern period,,weblink The first modern-day novel, Meena, a work of Simon de Silva appeared in 1905, and was followed by a number of revolutionary literary works. Martin Wickramasinghe, the author of Madol Doova is considered the iconic figure of Sri Lankan literature.WEB, Martin Wickramasinghe: An icon of world intellectual heritage, The Daily News,weblink


While the national sport in Sri Lanka is volleyball, by far the most popular sport in the country is cricket.NEWS,weblink Can Sri Lanka form an invincible cricket team?, Gurusinghe, Nimal, The Daily News, 2 October 2008, Rugby union also enjoys extensive popularity,NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 8 April 2012, Rugby: Sri Lanka, Asia's little-known rugby haven, Dawn (newspaper), Dawn, 25 May 2011, as do athletics, football (soccer), netball and tennis. Sri Lanka's schools and colleges regularly organise sports and athletics teams, competing on provincial and national levels.The Sri Lanka national cricket team achieved considerable success beginning in the 1990s, rising from underdog status to winning the 1996 Cricket World Cup.NEWS,weblink Sri Lanka light up the world, Selvey, Mike, The Guardian, 18 March 1996, London, They also won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 played in Bangladesh, beating India in the final. In addition, Sri Lanka became the runners-up of the Cricket World Cup in 2007WEB,weblink Final: Australia v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown, Apr 28, 2007, ESPNcricinfo, and 2011,NEWS,weblink India power past Sri Lanka to Cricket World Cup triumph, Sheringham, Sam, BBC, 2 April 2011, and of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2012.WEB,weblink Afridi fifty seals title for Pakistan, McGlashan, Andrew, 21 June 2009, ESPNcricinfo, Former Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has been rated as the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack,NEWS,weblink Murali 'best bowler ever', BBC Sport, 13 December 2002, London, and four Sri Lankan cricketers ranked 2nd (Sangakkara), 4th (Jayasuriya), 5th (Jayawardene) and 11th (Dilshan) highest ODI run scorers of all time, which is the second best by a team. Sri Lanka has won the Asia Cup in 1986,WEB,weblink John Player Gold Leaf Trophy (Asia Cup) 1985/86 (Final), 6 April 1986,, 1997,WEB,weblink Pepsi Asia Cup, 1997–98, Thawfeeq, Sa'adi, ESPNcricinfo, 2004,WEB,weblink Sri Lanka win the Asia Cup, Vasu, Anand, 1 August 2004, ESPNcricinfo, 2008WEB,weblink Asia Cup 2008, 6 July 2008, ESPNcricinfo, and 2014.WEB,weblink Asia Cup 2014, 8 March 2014, ESPNcricinfo, Sri Lanka once held highest team score in all three formats of cricket, where currently holds Test team total.WEB,weblink Sri Lanka National Cricket Team,, The country co-hosted the Cricket World Cup in 1996 and 2011, and hosted the 2012 ICC World Twenty20.Sri Lankans have won two medals at Olympic Games, one silver, by Duncan White at 1948 London Olympics for men's 400 metres hurdlesWEB,weblink Duncan White – the greatest Sri Lankan athlete, 12 June 2008, The Daily News, and one silver by Susanthika Jayasinghe at 2000 Sydney Olympics for women's 200 metres.WEB,weblink Athlete Susanthika Jayasinghe,, 20 June 2016, In 1973, Muhammad Lafir won the World Billiards Championship, the highest feat by a Sri Lankan in a Cue sport.WEB,weblink LKY's prejudice, 7 June 2010, Daily Mirror, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 December 2013, dmy-all, Sri Lanka has also won the Carrom World Championship titles twice in 2012, 2016WEB,weblink Sri Lanka emerged as world champions, 10 November 2016, Prepare, and 2018, men's team becoming champions and women's team won second place. Aquatic sports such as boating, surfing, swimming, kitesurfingWEB,weblink Kitesurf Sri Lanka,, and scuba diving on the coast, the beaches and backwaters attract many Sri Lankans and foreign tourists. There are two styles of martial arts native to Sri Lanka, Cheena di and Angampora.WEB,weblink Sri Lankan martial arts,, The Sri Lanka national netball team has won the Asian Netball Championship five times and are the current Asian Champions as well.

See also

{{Wikipedia books|Sri Lanka}} {{-}}



Cited references

  • BOOK, Codrington, H.W., A Short History of Ceylon, Macmillan & Co., 1926, London, 978-0-8369-5596-5, 2154168,weblink
  • BOOK,weblink Nubin, Walter, Sri Lanka: Current issues and historical background, Nova Publishers, 2002, 978-1-59033-573-4, harv,
  • WEB,weblink Theri Sanghamitta and the Bodhi Tree, Paw, Maung,,
  • BOOK, De Silva, K. M., A history of Sri Lanka,weblink University of California Press, 1981, 978-0-520-04320-6, harv,

External links

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Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott