General Information

Quick Facts

Country Name Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 
Conventional short form: Sri Lanka 
Former: Ceylon
Capital Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte
Commercial Capital Colombo
Size 65,525 sq km
Location An island off the south-eastern cost shores of India, 880 km north of the equator, in the Indian Ocean.
Map of Sri Lanka
Independence Day 4th February (1948)
Time Zone  Five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time
(GMT+5 ½). Daylight Saving Time is not observed.
Government Sri Lanka is a free, independent and sovereign nation with a population of 20,926,315 million (July 2007 est.). Legislative power is exercised by a Parliament, elected by universal franchise on proportional representation basis. A President, who is also elected by the people, exercises executive power inclusive of defence. Sri Lanka enjoys a multi party system, and the people vote to elect a new government every six years.
National Flag National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. A Lion bearing a sword in its right hand is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the left end represent the minority ethnic groups. It is an adaptation of the standard of the last King of Sri Lanka.

National Flower The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata) is the National Flower

Population 20,926,315 million
Population Density 309 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth 74 Female, 64 Male
Literacy rate 91.8%
Voltage / Power Supply 230/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Round tree-pin plugs are usual, with bayonet lamp fittings.
Languages Sinhala, Tamil and English are widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages where it might be Sinhala only or Tamil only.
Ethnic Groups Sinhalese - 74%; Tami l- 18%; Muslim -7% ; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others - 1%
Religions Buddhism - 70% ; Hinduism - 16 %; Christianity - 7 %; Islam - 7 %
Climate Low Lands – tropical, average 27° C Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 14° C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon is from December to January. Sri Lanka climate is ideal for holiday-makers throughout the year.
Communication Telecommunication service providers (Mobile & Landlines) are available island wide Sri Lanka Telecom & Mobitel, Dialog GSM, Airtel are among the top.

SIM CARDS (MOBILE): Sim cards can be bought from shops island wide.
PHONE CARDS: Phone cards can be bought from shops near pay-phone kiosks
Annual per capita GNP US$ 870
Industries Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.
Agriculture - Products Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, roots, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, meat.
Currency Sri Lanka follows decimal currency system in Rupees (Rs.) and cents (Cts.) with 100 cents equal to a rupee. Currency notes are available in the denominations of Rs.10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 & 2000. Coins are issued in values of Cts. 25 and 50 and Rs.1, 2, 5 and 10. The intervention currency continuously will be the US Dollar.
Visa Residents from permitted countries are issued visas on arrival. Consult your local Sri Lanka embassy, consulate, tourist office or your travel agent.
Working Days Five working days (Monday to Friday)
Business Hours Government offices 9.00 am. -5.00 pm, Monday to Friday
Banks 9.00 am. to 1.00pm. or 3.00pm Monday to Saturday
Post Office 8.30am- 5.00pm  Monday to Friday
8.30am – 1.00pm on Saturday. The Central Mail Exchange, at D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10,
(Telephone : 2326203) is open 24-hours.


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