55 Facts About Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka has a population of around 22 million and is a multinational state, home to diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities.

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Sri Lanka's documented history goes back 3, 000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements that dates back at least 125, 000 years.

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The earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, known collectively as the Pali canon, date to the fourth Buddhist council, which took place in 29 BCE.

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Sri Lanka is a developing country, ranking 73rd on the Human Development Index.

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In Hindu mythology, the term Sri Lanka appears but it's unknown whether it refers to the modern day state.

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Pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125, 000 years and possibly even as far back as 500, 000 years.

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Sri Lanka established the Kingdom of Tambapanni, near modern-day Mannar.

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Vijaya is the first of the approximately 189 monarchs of Sri Lanka described in chronicles such as the Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Culavamsa, and Rajavaliya.

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Sri Lanka's mission won over the monarch, who embraced the faith and propagated it throughout the Sinhalese population.

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Sri Lanka experienced the first of many foreign invasions during the reign of Suratissa, who was defeated by two horse traders named Sena and Guttika from South India.

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The council was held in response to a year in which the harvests in Sri Lanka were particularly poor and many Buddhist monks subsequently died of starvation.

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Sri Lanka built 1, 470 reservoirs – the highest number by any ruler in Sri Lanka's history – repaired 165 dams, 3, 910 canals, 163 major reservoirs, and 2, 376 mini-reservoirs.

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Sri Lanka sailed from Kalinga 690 nautical miles on 100 large ships with a 24, 000 strong army.

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Sri Lanka's reign saw the massive migration of native Sinhalese people to the south and west of Sri Lanka, and into the mountainous interior, in a bid to escape his power.

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Early modern period of Sri Lanka begins with the arrival of Portuguese soldier and explorer Lourenco de Almeida, the son of Francisco de Almeida, in 1505.

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Sri Lanka was married to a Telugu-speaking Nayakkar princess from South India and was childless by her.

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Sri Lanka introduced the controversial Sinhala Only Act, recognising Sinhala as the only official language of the government.

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In 1987, the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord was signed and the Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in northern Sri Lanka to stabilise the region by neutralising the LTTE.

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Economic troubles in Sri Lanka started in 2019, when a severe economic crisis occurred caused by rapidly increasing foreign debt, massive government budget deficits due to tax cuts, a food crisis caused by mandatory organic farming along with a ban on chemical fertilizers, and a multitude of other factors.

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Sri Lanka is a pear-shaped Island nation in South Asia, lying on the Indian Plate, a major tectonic plate that was formerly part of the Indo-Australian Plate.

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Sri Lanka is separated from the mainland portion of the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait.

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Western Ghats of India and Sri Lanka were included among the first 18 global biodiversity hotspots due to high levels of species endemism.

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Sri Lanka has the highest biodiversity per unit area among Asian countries for flowering plants and all vertebrate groups except birds.

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Sri Lanka's protected areas are administrated by two government bodies; The Department of Forest Conservation and the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

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Statistics of Sri Lanka's forest cover show rapid deforestation from 1956 to 2010.

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Sri Lanka is a democratic republic and a unitary state which is governed by a semi-presidential system, with a mixture of a presidential system and a parliamentary system.

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Current political culture in Sri Lanka is a contest between two rival coalitions led by the centre-left and progressive United People's Freedom Alliance, an offspring of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), and the comparatively right-wing and pro-capitalist United National Party (UNP).

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Sri Lanka is essentially a multi-party democracy with many smaller Buddhist, socialist, and Tamil nationalist political parties.

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The anti-government sentiment across various parts of Sri Lanka has triggered unprecedented political instability, creating shockwaves in the political arena.

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Administrative purposes, Sri Lanka is divided into nine provinces and twenty-five districts.

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Provinces in Sri Lanka have existed since the 19th century, but they had no legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment of the 1978 constitution established provincial councils after several decades of increasing demand for a decentralisation of the government.

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Sri Lanka is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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At the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951, while many countries were reluctant, Sri Lanka argued for a free Japan and refused to accept payment of reparations for World War II damage because it believed it would harm Japan's economy.

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Sri Lanka played a vital role at the Asian–African Conference in 1955, which was an important step in the crystallisation of the NAM.

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Also, out of the 142 countries surveyed, Sri Lanka ranked 45th in health and primary education, 32nd in business sophistication, 42nd in innovation, and 41st in goods market efficiency.

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In 2016, Sri Lanka ranked 5th in the World Giving Index, registering high levels of contentment and charitable behaviour in its society.

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Sri Lanka has an extensive road network for inland transportation.

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Sri Lanka has three deep-water ports at Colombo, Galle, and Trincomalee, in addition to the newest port being built at Hambantota.

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In June 2021, Sri Lanka imposed a nationwide ban on inorganic fertilisers and pesticides.

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In November 2021, Sri Lanka abandoned its plan to become the world's first organic farming nation following rising food prices and weeks of protests against the plan.

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Sri Lanka has roughly 22, 156, 000 people and an annual population growth rate of 0.

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Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism of any predominantly Buddhist nation.

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Shaivism was the dominant branch practised by the Tamil peoples, thus most of the traditional Hindu temple architecture and philosophy of Sri Lanka drew heavily from this particular strand of Hinduism.

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On 8 July 2020, the World Health Organization declared that Sri Lanka had successfully eliminated rubella and measles ahead of their 2023 target.

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Sri Lanka has approximately 10, 155 government schools, 120 private schools and 802 pirivenas.

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Sri Lanka was ranked 95th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 89th in 2019.

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Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation is the oldest-running radio station in Asia, established in 1923 by Edward Harper just three years after broadcasting began in Europe.

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In recent years, freedom of the press in Sri Lanka has been alleged by media freedom groups to be amongst the poorest in democratic countries.

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On 29 July 2020, Human Rights Watch said that the Sri Lanka government has targeted lawyers, human rights defenders, and journalists to suppress criticism against the government.

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Sri Lanka is the home to two main traditional cultures: the Sinhalese and the Tamil (centred in Jaffna).

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Ancient Sri Lanka is marked for its genius in hydraulic engineering and architecture.

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The greatest literary feats of medieval Sri Lanka include Sandesha Kavya such as Gira Sandeshaya (parrot message), Hansa Sandeshaya (swan message) and Salalihini Sandeshaya (myna message).

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Sri Lanka has won the Asia Cup in 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2014.

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Sri Lanka once held the highest team score in all three formats of cricket.

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Sri Lanka has won the Carrom World Championship titles twice in 2012, 2016 and 2018, the men's team becoming champions and the women's team winning second place.

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