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Sri Lanka

Area: 65,610 sq. km. (25,332 sq. mi.); about the size of West Virginia.
Cities: Capital--Colombo (pop. est. 1.3 million--urban area). Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte is the officially designated capital and is the site of Parliament, but it is currently only an administrative center. Other cities--Kandy (150,000), Galle (110,000), Jaffna (100,000).
Terrain: Coastal plains in the northern third of country; hills and mountains in south-central Sri Lanka rise to more than 2,133 meters (7,000 ft.).
Climate: Tropical. Rainy seasons--light in northeast, fall and winter, with average rainfall of 50 in.; heavy in southwest, summer and fall, with average rainfall of 200 in.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Sri Lankan(s).
Population (2003): 19.4 million.
Annual growth rate: 0.08%.
Ethnic groups (2002): Sinhalese (74%), Tamils (18%), Muslims (7%), others (1%).
Religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.
Languages: Sinhala and Tamil (official), English.
Education: Years compulsory--to age 14. Primary school attendance--96.5%. Literacy--91%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--15/1,000. Life expectancy--71 yrs. (male); 76 yrs. (female).
Work force: 7.2 million.

Type: Republic.
Independence: February 4, 1948.
Constitution: August 31, 1978.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
Branches: Executive--president, chief of state and head of government, elected for a 6-year term. Legislative--unicameral 225-member Parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, subordinate courts.
Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces and 25 administrative districts. (The northern and eastern provinces, however, have been technically jointly administered since 1988.)
Political parties: Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Tamil National Alliance, United National Party, several small Tamil and Muslim parties, and others. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, along with several small leftist parties, operate under an umbrella organization known as the “United People’s Freedom Alliance.” The United National Party and several other smaller parties operate as the “United National Front.”

Economy (2003)
GDP: $18.4 billion (est. 2003).
Annual growth rate: 5.9%.
Natural resources: Limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, and phosphate.
Agriculture (20.1% of GDP): Major products--rice, tea, rubber, coconut, and spices.
Services (53.6% of GDP): Major types--tourism, transport, telecom, banking and finance.
Industry (26.3% of GDP): Major types--garments and leather goods, food processing, chemicals, refined petroleum, wood products, basic metal products, and paper products.
Trade: Exports--$5.1 billion: garments and footwear, tea, rubber products, jewelry and gems, refined petroleum, and coconuts. Major markets--U.S. ($1.8 billion), U.K., Germany, Japan, Belgium. Imports--$6.4 billion. Major suppliers--India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, U.K., U.S. ($155 million). [U.S. data]

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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