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Sri Lanka at a Glance

Official name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Flag description: yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag andextends between the two panels

Government type: republic

Location: Latitude 5° 55. to 9° 50. north, longitude 79° 42. to 81° 52., 650km north of the equator

Dimensions: 430km north to south, 225km east to west

Coastline: 1,340km

Area: 65,525km

Currency (code): Sri Lankan rupee (LKR) (Exchange rates)

Independence: 4 February 1948

Administrative capital: Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte

Commercial capital: Colombo

Climate: Typically tropical, with a northeast monsoon (December to March) bringing unsettled weather to the north and east, and a southwest monsoon (June to October) bringing bad weather to the south and west

Terrain: Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior

Highest mountain: Pidurutalagala, 2,524m (8281 ft)


Highest waterfall: Bambarakanda, 263m


National Flower The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).

National parks and nature reserves area: 8,

Population: 21,128,773

Literacy rate : Female 87.9 Male 92.5

Ethnic groups: Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census)

Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population

Religion: Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10%

Time zone: Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

International dialing: +94

Electricity: 230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC.


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