Location and Physical Features
Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean, is located to the south
of the Indian subcontinent. It lies between 5° 55’ and 9° 55'
north of the equator and between the eastern longitudes 79°
42' and 81° 52'. The total land area is 65,610 sq km and is
astonishingly varied. A length of 445 km and breadth of 225 km
encompasses 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
metres, surrounded by broad plains. Palm fringed beaches
surround the island and the sea temperature rarely falls below
Sri Lanka is mainly an agricultural country. The chief crop is
rice with which the country is almost self sufficient. Tea,
rubber and coconut are also important agricultural crops, with
tea being a major foreign exchange earner. In addition, other
crops of importance are cocoa and spices such as cinnamon,
cardamom, nutmeg, pepper and cloves. Fruit and vegetables,
native to both tropical and temperate regions, grow well in Sri
Lanka. Sri Lanka is also a major exporter of precious and semi-
precious stones. Within the last few years remittances from
Sri Lankans employed abroad have contributed a large share
towards foreign exchange.
There has been a rapid growth in manufacturing industries
which offer a wide range of export goods such as petroleum
products, leather goods, ready made garments and electronic
The last three decades have also seen tourism emerge as an
important industry albeit slowly and mainly in the south because
of the civil war. However in the year since the end of the civil
war tourism begin to take a strong hold in the north east as well.
Sri Lanka has a population of about 20 million of whom the
majority are Sinhalese (74%). Other ethnic groups are made up
of Sri Lankan Tamils (12.6%), Indian Tamils (5.5%), Moors,
Malays, Burghers (of Portuguese & Dutch descent) and others
Although Sri Lanka is a multi-religious country, Buddhists
constitute the majority with 69.3%. Other religious groups are
Hindus 15.5%, Muslims 7.6% and Christians 7.5%. Sri Lanka's
literacy rate of 88.6% is one of the highest in Asia.
The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a free,
independent and sovereign nation. A system of administration
through provincial councils was introduced in 1988. Legislative
power is exercised by Parliament, elected by universal
franchise on a proportional representation basis. Executive
power of the people, including defence, is exercised by the
President, who is also elected by the people.
The Sri Lankan Civil War
This conflict began on July 23, 1983, when there was an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers), a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil
Eelam in the north and the east of the island. After a 26 year long military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May
The insurgency caused significant hardships for the population, environment and the economy of the country, with an estimated 80,000-100,000
people killed during its course. The tactics employed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam resulted in their being branded as a terrorist
organization in 32 countries, including the United States, India, Australia, Canada and the member nations of the European Union.
After two decades of fighting and three failed attempts at peace talks, including the unsuccessful deployment of the Indian Army, the Indian
Peace Keeping Force from 1987 to 1990, a lasting negotiated settlement to the conflict appeared possible when a cease-fire was declared in
December 2001, and a ceasefire agreement signed with international mediation in 2002. However, limited hostilities renewed in late 2005 and
the conflict began to escalate until the government launched a number of major military offensives against the LTTE beginning in July 2006,
driving the LTTE out of the entire Eastern province of the island. The LTTE then declared they would "resume their freedom struggle to
In 2007, the government shifted its offensive to the north of the country, and formally announced its withdrawal from the ceasefire
agreement on 2 January 2008, alleging that the LTTE violated the agreement over 10,000 times. Since then, aided by the destruction of a
number of large arms smuggling vessels that belonged to the LTTE, and an international crackdown on the funding for the Tamil Tigers, the
government took control of the entire area previously controlled by the Tamil Tigers, including their de-facto capital Kilinochchi, main military
base Mullaitivu and the entire A9 highway, leading the LTTE to finally admit defeat on 17 May 2009. Following the end of the war, the Sri
Lankan government has described Sri Lanka as the first country in the modern world to eradicate terrorism on its own soil.
[Courtesy Wikipedia. More details on their site 'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_Civil_War'.]
SRI LANKA GENERAL INFORMATION
We live here
Sri Lanka is a nation of sportsmen. Many clubs offer temporary
membership to visitors and some of the games include Cricket, Tennis,
Swimming, Golf, Canoeing, Rowing, Rafting, Diving and Windsurfing. Other
water based recreational facilities for Water Skiing, Sailing, Boating,
Fishing, Yachting and Coastal Cruising are available in most beach resorts.
Climate and Seasons
In the lowlands the climate is typically tropical with an average
temperature of 27OC in Colombo. In the higher elevations it can be quite
cool with temperatures going down to 16OC at an altitude of nearly 2,000
metres. Bright, sunny warm days are the rule and are common even during
the height of the monsoon - climatically Sri Lanka has no off season. The
south west monsoon brings rain mainly from May to July to the western,
southern and central regions of the island, while the north-east monsoon
rains occur in the northern and eastern regions in December and January.
Jan-April May-August Sept-Dec
Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min.
Colombo 30C 22C 30C 24C 29C 22C
Kandy 31C 17C 29C 21C 28C 18C
Nuwara Eliya 21C 14C 18C 16C 18C 15C
Trincomalee 32C 24C 33C 25C 33C 23C
Click here to return to Home Page