Country Name

Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Conventional short form: Sri Lanka

Former: Ceylon


Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte

Commercial Capital



65,525 sq km


An island off the south-eastern cost shores of India, 880 km north of the equator, in the Indian Ocean. Map of Sri Lanka

Independence Day

4th February (1948)

Time Zone

Five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time(GMT+5 ½). Daylight Saving Time is not observed.


Sri Lanka is a free, independent and sovereign nation with a population of 20,926,315 million (July 2007 est.). Legislative power is exercised by a Parliament, elected by universal franchise on proportional representation basis. A President, who is also elected by the people, exercises executive power inclusive of defence. Sri Lanka enjoys a multi party system, and the people vote to elect a new government every six years.

National Flag

National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. A Lion bearing a sword in its right hand is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the left end represent the minority ethnic groups. It is an adaptation of the standard of the last King of Sri Lanka.

National Anthem

"Sri Lanka Matha" composed by late Ananda Samarakoon.

National Flower

The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata) is the National Flower


20,926,315 million

Population Density

309 people per sq km

Life Expectancy at Birth

74 Female, 64 Male

Literacy rate


Voltage / Power Supply

230/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Round tree-pin plugs are usual, with bayonet lamp fittings.


Sinhala, Tamil and English are widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages where it might be Sinhala only or Tamil only.

Ethnic Groups

Sinhalese - 74%; Tami l- 18%; Muslim -7% ; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others - 1%


Buddhism - 70% ; Hinduism - 16 %; Christianity - 7 %; Islam - 7 %


Low Lands – tropical, average 27° C Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 14° C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon is from December to January. Sri Lanka climate is ideal for holiday-makers throughout the year.


Telecommunication service providers (Mobile & Landlines) are available island wide Sri Lanka Telecom & Mobitel, Dialog GSM, Airtel are among the top.

Sim Cards (MOBILE):

Sim cards can be bought from shops island wide.

Phone Cards:

Phone cards can be bought from shops near pay-phone kiosks

Annual per capita GNP

US$ 870


Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.

Agriculture - Products

Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, roots, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, meat.


Sri Lanka follows decimal currency system in Rupees (Rs.) and cents (Cts.) with 100 cents equal to a rupee. Currency notes are available in the denominations of Rs.10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 & 2000. Coins are issued in values of Cts. 25 and 50 and Rs.1, 2, 5 and 10. The intervention currency continuously will be the US Dollar.


Residents from permitted countries are issued visas on arrival. Consult your local Sri Lanka embassy, consulate, tourist office or your travel agent.

Working Days

Five working days (Monday to Friday)

Business Hours

Government offices 9.00 am. -5.00 pm, Monday to Friday


9.00 am. to 1.00pm. or 3.00pm Monday to Saturday

Post Office

8.30am- 5.00pm Monday to Friday

8.30am – 1.00pm on Saturday. The Central Mail Exchange, at D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, (Telephone : 2326203) is open 24-hours.