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Ministry of Tourism, Sri Lanka

Tourism Promotion Bureau in the UK


High Commission of Sri Lanka
No.13, Hyde Park Gardens
London W2 2LU,
United Kingdom.

Tel:  2072621841-6
Fax: 2072627970
Email: mail@slhc-london.co.uk

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Facts at a Glance

Country Name
Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

conventional short form: Sri Lanka
former: Ceylon

Size 65,525 sq km
Capital Sri Jayawardenepura
Commercial Capital Colombo
Government Sri Lanka, is a free, independent and sovereign nation with a population of 18.774 million (1998 mid year estimates). Legislative power is exercised by a Parliament, elected by universal franchise on proportional representation basis. A President, who is also elected by the people, exercises executive power inclusive of defense. Sri Lanka enjoys a multi party system, and the people vote to elect a new government every six years.
National Flag
National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. A Lion bearing a sword in its right hand is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the mast end represent the minority ethnic groups. It is an adaptation of the standard of the last King of Sri Lanka.
 
Flag of Sri Lanka
National Anthem
"Sri Lanka Matha" composed by late Mr. Ananda Samarakoon.
Click on the Speaker Icon to listen or to stop the National Anthem
National Tree
the Naa tree (Mesua Ferrea) is the National Tree. Naa Tree
National Flower
the Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata) is the National Flower. Blue Water Lilly
National Bird
the Wali Kukula (Gallus Lasseyapti) is the National Bird. Wali Kukula (Gallus Lasseyapti)
Population 19 million
Population density 309 people per sq km
Life expectancy at birth 74 female, 64 male
Literacy rate 91.8%
Languages Sinhala & Tamil English is widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages.
Ethnic mix Sihalese- 74 per cent; Tamil- 18 per cent; Muslim -7 per cent; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others- 1 per cent
Religion Buddhism- 70 per cent; Hinduism- 16 per cent; Christianity- 7 per cent; Islam-7 per cent
Climate Low Lands tropical, average 27C
Central Hills cooler, with temperatures dropping to 14C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon occurs in the north and east in December and January. Sri Lanka has a good climate for holiday-makers throughout the year.
Annual per capita GNP US$870
Industries Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.
Agriculture - Products Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, roots, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, meat.
Currency Sri Lanka follows decimal currency system in Rupees (Rs.) and cents (Cts.) with 100 cents equal to a rupee. Currency notes are available in the denominations of Rs. 2,10,20,50,100,200, 500 and 1000. Coins are issued in values of Cts.1,2,5,10, 25 and 50 and Rs.1,2,5 and 10. The intervention currency continuously will be the US Dollar.
Visa Residents from countries are issued visas on arrival. Consult your local Sri Lanka embassy, consulate, tourist office or your travel agent.
 
Working week Sri Lanka works a five-day week, from Monday to Friday.
Business hours Government offices 9.00 a.m. -5.00 p.m, Monday to Friday
Banks 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. or 3.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday
Post office 8.30 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.,
Monday to Friday
8.30 a.m. 1.00 p.m. on Saturday. The Central Mail Exchange, at D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, (Telephone : 2326203) is open 24-hours.
Location An island off the south-eastern cost shores of India, 880 km north of the equator, in the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka Map with India

Sri Lanka Socio-Economic Data

Population (Mid-Year) '000 (a) 18,732
Land Area (Excluding Inland Waters)
62,705


Population and Land Area by Provinces
Province
Population (a)
'000
Land Area
(Sq. km.)
Density of Population
(No. Per Sq .km)
Western
5,361
3,593
1,492
Central
2,415
5,575
433
Southern
2,277
5,383
423
North-Western
2,157
7,506
287
Sabaragamuwa
1,788
4,921
363
Northern
1,042
8,290
126
Eastern
1,415
9,361
151
Uva
1,171
8,335
141
North-Central
1,106
9,741
114
Total
18,732
62,705
299
 
Composition of Population (1981 Census) (b)
By Ethnicity
%
By Religion
%
Sinhalese
74.0
Buddhists
69.3
Sri Lankan Tamils
12.6
Hindus
15.5
Indian Tamils
5.5
Muslims
7.5
Moors
7.1
Christians
7.6
Others
0.8
Others
0.1
By Sector %      
Rural 72.2 Urban 21.5 Estate 6.3
 
Population Growth: (c) 1.4%

GNP at Market Prices : Rs. Bn. 1,377.1 US$ Bn. 15.4
GNP per Capita : Rs. 73,528 US$ 823

Rate of Growth of GDP (In real terms): -1.4%

Sectoral Composition of GDP, %
Agriculture 19.4
Industry 26.5
Services 54.1

 

Exports: Rs. Bn. 430.430.7% of GDP
Imports: Rs. Bn. 533.038.1% of GDP

Govt. Expenditure: Rs. Bn. 383.727.4% of GDP
Budget Deficit: Rs. Bn. 152.210.9% of GDP

Money Stock M2b : Rs. Bn. 549.1 39.2% of GDP
Unemployment Rate, % of Labour Force: 7.9% (d)
Inflation : Change of CCPI 14.2% Change of CDCPI 10.3%

Life Expectancy:
73 Years (Male: 71 yrs - Female: 76 yrs)
Literacy Rate (Aged 5 Years and Above) (1999): 91.4%

Human Development Index (1999): 0.735 (Min:0.;Max:1)
 

 
Temperature: oC (oF)
Minimum
Maximum
Low Country
24.5 (76.1)
31.7 (89.1)
Hill Country
17.1 (62.8)
26.3 (79.3)
 
(a) Provisional estimates from Department of Census & Statistics (DCS) on the basis of the Census of Population and Housing- 2001.

(b)
Data refer to population census- 1981 as comparative data based on Census of Population and Housing- 2001 are yet to be estimated.

(c)
Calculated by the Central Bank using mid-year population estimates received from DCS.

(d)
Average of 1st, 3rd & 4th Quarters.

Based on Central Bank of Sri Lanka

 


** Information with the courtesy of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

 

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