Sri Lanka Profile, Name, Location, Demographics

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Country name:
Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Conventional short form: Sri Lanka
Former: Serendib, Ceylon

Location:
Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India. A strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes

Map references:
Asia

Population: 19,668,000 (2005 est.)
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 many Tamils have sought refuge in the West

Annual population growth rate :
1.2% (2005 est.)

Crude Birth rate:
18.1 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Crude Death rate:
6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Gender distribution:
Male: 47.6%
Female: 52.4% (2004 est.)

Nationality:
Noun: Sri Lankan(s)
Adjective: Sri Lankan

Ethnic groups:

Ethnic groups
Percentage %
Sinhalese
81.89%
Sri Lankan Moors
8%
Indian Tamil
5.08%
Sri Lankan Tamil
4.37%
Other
0.66%
(2001 census provisional data)

Religions:

Religions
Percentage %
Buddhist
76.71%
Muslim
8.49%
Hindu
7.88%
Christian
6.06%
Other
0.86%
(2001 census provisional data)

Languages:
Sinhala (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

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 92.5%
Male: 94.5%
Female: 90.6% (2003 est.)

Government type:
Republic

Capital:
Colombo: note – Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital

Administrative divisions:
8 provinces: Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western

Independence:
4 February 1948 (from UK)

Constitution:
Adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978

Legal system:
A highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ; the President is considered both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ; the President is considered both the chief of state and head of government

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the President in consultation with the prime minister

Elections: President elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 17 November 2005

Legislative branch:
Unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of a modified proportional representation system by district to serve six-year terms)

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts are appointed by the president

GDP (purchasing power parity):
Rs. 2366 billion (2005 est.)

Percapita GDP at Market Prices:
Rs. 104,347 Million (2004 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:
Agriculture: Rs. Million 175,182
Industry: Rs. Million 259,256
Services: Rs. Million 545,487

Employment:
Agriculture – 30.7%
Industry – 24.5%
Services – 44.8% (2005 est.)

Disputes – international:
None

Migration, Persons per 1000 households-
Internal (within last 12 months) – 29.0%
External (within last 24 months)- 60.5% (2001 est.)