THE PEARL OF INDIAN OCEAN
There is vibrant island in the Indian Ocean that they once called Serendib. A land of many colours that welcomes travellers from all walks of life. Just bring you curiosity and you will serendipitously come upon such precious wonders that would take you by surprise and leave you in awe. Be is the pristine beaches, a rich heritage, the healing powers of Ayurveda, the thrills of sports and adventure, the sprit of festivals, the diversity of food and culture, the scenic beauty of the hill country, or the love of nature and wildlife. Eight refreshing experiences in eight unforgettable days. Or in life time. Sri Lanka known as pearl of the Indian Ocean is part of South Asia. This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!
Lanka
Official Name Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
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)
Independence 4 February 1948
Administrative Capital Sri Jayewardenepura
Commercial capital Colombo
Administrative 9 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western, Eastern Province.
Divisions Southern, Uva, Western, Eastern Province.
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
Highest Waterfall Bambarakanda, 263m
National Flower The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata).
National Parks and Nature Reserve Areas 8,000 sq.km
Population 21,128,773 (Census)
Population Growth Rate 1.3%
Population Density 309 people per sq km
Life Expectancy at Birth 76.4 female, 71.7 male (2001 est)
Literacy Rate 92.5%(2003 est)
Ethnic Groups Sihalese, 74%; Tamil, 18%; Muslim 7%; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others
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 Buddhism 70%; Hinduism 16%; Christianity 7%; Islam 7%
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. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer
Economy Sri Lanka’s most dynamic sectors are; Food Processing, Textiles and Apparel, Food and Beverages, Port Construction, Telecommunications, and Insurance and Banking.
In 2006, plantation crops made up only 15% of exports (90% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than US$1 billion a year.
Labour Force 34.3% of the labour population is employed in agriculture,
25.3% in industry and 40.4% in services:
40.4% (30 June 2006 est.)
The unemployment rate is 5.7% (2007 est.)
Agriculture Products & Industries Rice, Sugarcane, Grains, Pulses, Oilseed, Spices, Tea, Rubber, Coconuts milk, Eggs, Hides, Beef, Fish
Industries Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining.
Exports Textiles and Apparel; Tea and Spices; Diamonds, Emeralds, Rubies; Coconut products, Rubber manufactures, & Fish
Imports Main import commodities are Textile fabrics, Mineral products, Petroleum, Foodstuffs, Machinery and transportation equipment: $10.61 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.).
Percentage of main commodities from main import partners: India 19.6%, China 10.5%, Singapore 8.8%, Iran 5.7%, Malaysia 5.1%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Japan 4.1% (2006)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Purchasing power parity: $81.29 billion (2007 est.).
Official exchange rate: $30.01 billion (2007 est.)
Real growth rate: 6.3% (2007 est.)
Per capita: $4,100 (2007 est.) composition by sector: Agriculture: 16.5% Industry: 26.9%
Gross National Product (GNP) Sri Lanka is placed in 76th place in GNP figures of the world.s nations with $22.8 billion (2005)
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 and extends between the two panels

BEACHES

Negomba

Mount Lavinia

Bentota

Hikkaduwa

Unawatana