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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
conventional short form: Sri Lanka
local long form: Shri Lamka Prajatantrika Samajaya di Janarajaya/Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu
local short form: Shri Lamka/Ilankai
former: Serendib, Ceylon
Gevernment typerepublic
Capital name: Colombo
geographic coordinates: 6 56 N, 79 51 E
time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative capital)
Flag descriptionyellow 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
CurrencySri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Internet country code.lk
Ports and terminalsColombo, Galle
Agriculture productsrice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef; fish
Industriesprocessing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining
Geography
LocationSouthern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Coordinates7 00 N, 81 00 E
ContinentAsia
Area total: 65,610 sq km
land: 64,740 sq km
water: 870 sq km
Boundaries0 km
Coastline1,340 km
Climatetropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Terrainmostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Natural resourceslimestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Natural hazardsoccasional cyclones and tornadoes
People
Population20,222,240
note: since the outbreak of hostilities between the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid-1980s, several hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsSinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9%, other 0.5%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
ReligionsBuddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
LanguagesSinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population

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