Sri Lanka Information

Country Overview - General Information

Sri Lanka is a democratic socialist republic and a unitary state governed by a presidential system. The Sri Lankan people elect their President to rule the country every 6 years. The Sri Lankan people also elect their representatives to the Parliament every 5 years as a legislative body. The present Executive President is His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the tropical island of Sri Lanka has a recorded history of 30,000 years. Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British for over 450 years from 1505. It regained independence from the British on 4th February 1948.

The capital, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, is a suburb of the largest city, Colombo, which is the hub of Sri Lanka’s economic activities.

The country has the multi-ethnic population of approximately 20,811,000 of people1 ,74.9% of which is Sinhaleses; 15.4% of which is Tamils; 9.2% of which is Muslims; and 0.4% of which is Burghers2. Although, Buddhists are the majority of the population, Hindu, Muslim and Christianity are also the main religions that are practiced in the country.

Within an area of 65,6103 square kilometers, there are several waterfalls that flow from the mountains in the central hills through the rivers to the Indian Ocean. The island is rich in flora and fauna, and has several endemic species. It is a place where natural beauty remains abundant and unspoiled.

The two monsoon winds, which provide rain to the two corners of the country at various periods, make Sri Lanka’s beach a pleasant place for spending a holiday throughout the year. The North East winds make the South Western coast sunny and the sea calm from November to March4. The South West winds make the East Coast waters quiet with the constant sun shine. The annual average temperature is 26.4 degrees Celsius in the lowland, 19.7 degreesCelsius at the hill country5. The annual Rainfall is 2,500 mm to over 5,000 mm in South West of the Island and less than 1250 mm in the North West and South East of the Island and South West monsoon could be experienced from May to August and the North East Monsoon from November to February6. The Sri Lanka time is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time(GMT)7.