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About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. According to the census the population of Sri Lanka is 20,962,113 giving a population density of 327/km2.

Geography

The nation has a territory of 65,610 km2, which includes 64,740 km2 of land and 870 km² of water. Its coastline is nearly 1,600 km long. A length of 435 km and breadth of 240 km encompass beautiful tropical beaches, verdant vegetation, ancient monuments and a thousand delights to please all tastes. The relief features of the island consist of a mountainous mass somewhat south of the centre, with height exceeding 2,500 m, surrounded by broad plains. The mountainous region of the island is gifted with around 100 waterfalls, while giving birth to numerous rivers, of which the longest is 335 km.

Climate

As of the location of Sri Lanka, within the tropics between 5° 55' to 9° 51' North latitude and between 79° 42' to 81° 53' East longitude, the climate of the island is characterized as tropical. The island generally offers warmth and sunshine throughout the year. The average temperatures in Colombo are between 27°C–30°C in Colombo and coasts, and peak in April. The mean temperature in Nuwara Eliya which is in the central highland varies from a chilly low of 16 ⁰C, where even frost might occur for several days in the winter, to a high of 32 ⁰C in Trincomalee on the northeast coast. The coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes. Palm fringed beaches surround the island and the sea temperature rarely falls below 27°C.

Languages

The majority of Sri Lankans are conversant in English, so you are unlikely to face communication issues. Sri Lankans learn English as a second language at school starting from primary grades. Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages of Sri Lanka. Sinhala is widely spoken in the southern, western and central parts of the island, while Tamil is almost exclusively spoken in northern and eastern parts of the island. Sinhala is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 72% of Sri Lanka’s population, which equals approximately 13 million people. Tamil is Sri Lanka’s second official language, spoken by about five million (15%) people on the island.

Culture

The culture is itself very unique and thereby contributes to the Sri Lankan identity. Sri Lankan culture includes a lot of customs and rituals, dating back to more than 2000 years which were handed down from generation to generation. The most prominent feature of Sri Lanka is its colourful religious festivals, which play an important role in moulding the Sri Lankan culture and also reflected in the use of art, architecture, sculptures, and even food. The Sri Lankan way of life is very simple and filled with humility and happiness. This is one of the reasons why the Sri Lankans have a very great sense in appreciating the simple things in life such as nature.

Places to visit in Sri Lanka

INQAAHE Conference 2019 Secretariat

University Grants Commission

20, Ward Place, Colombo 07,

Sri Lanka

+ 94 113 056 886