Overview website for Sri Lanka


Provides an overview of Sri Lanka, including key events and facts about this tropical island off India’s southern tip.www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11999611


Sri Lanka has changed dramatically since the end of the armed conflict in 2009. The Sri Lankan economy grew approximately 8% in 2011. Resettlement of …


The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka covers a landmass of 65,525km, 1,340km of which is coastline. It is located off the South Eastern shores of India, …


Sri Lanka. Strengthening critical institutions of justice and local governance after the … Read country overview, descriptions of key projects to improve local …\


Vivanta by Taj – Bentota, Sri Lanka, delightfully located along one of the finest beaches on the South West coast, is now riding on a fresh new wave. Yet it …

The country context has changed dramatically in recent years. A 26-year conflict ended in May 2009, and resettlement of internally displaced persons is largely complete. The macroeconomic situation is much improved. Sri Lanka has become a middle-income country, and its credit-worthiness has opened its access to International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), allowing for significantly increased financial support from the World Bank during the coming years.

A look back at growth performances of other comparable economies, post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC), shows Sri Lanka maintaining relatively stronger growth of over 8% in both 2010 and 2011, largely spurred by private-sector demand. Sri Lanka posted the fastest growth in South Asia in 2011 and is expected to achieve the same in 2012. Growth remained strong in the first half of 2012 at 7.2%, but for the year as a whole it is expected to decline to around 6.5% – largely owing to the weakening external demand and tighter credit conditions domestically.

Sri Lanka was able to maintain relatively strong growth (about 5% per year) even during the war, though growth dropped to 3.5% in 2009 during the final military campaign, which coincided with the GFC. The post-conflict rebound helped all sectors both on the supply side and the demand side: Agricultural land in conflict-affected areas could once again be cultivated; double shifts in manufacturing became possible as workers no longer had to worry about security restrictions; domestic consumers’ and investors’ confidence revived; and services related to tourism picked up as tourist arrivals surged after the end of the war.

As Sri Lanka’s economy grew, unemployment and poverty rates fell. As of the second quarter of 2011, unemployment was only 4.2%, though higher among youth, women, and the more educated. Poverty rates have also fallen, from 15% of the population in 2006-07 to 9% in 2009-10. The most dramatic declines have been in the estate sector (from 32% to 11%) following a major wage increase at the beginning of 2010. Poverty rates in Colombo District are under 4%, though there are pockets of poverty in all other parts of the country

Sri Lanka is on track to meeting most of the Millennium Development Goals. UNDP has identified Sri Lanka as an early achiever on 10 of the 21 indicators, including those related to the goals of universal primary education and gender equality. Sri Lanka is also expected to meet the goals of maternal health and HIV/AIDS. However, Sri Lanka is making slower progress on the goals related to malnutrition and child mortality. Indicators are mixed on the environment goal: While Sri Lanka is an early achiever on indicators of protected area, ozone-depleting substance consumption, safe drinking water, and basic sanitation, it has stagnated or is slipping backward on forest cover and CO2 emissions.

As with all prolonged conflicts, social inclusion has been slow to be established. A long-lasting solution to the ethnic problem and putting in place effective means of addressing grievances of minority communities is vital for sustained peace. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (appointed by President Rajapaksa to investigate the final phase of the war), presented its final report to Parliament in December 2011.

Sri Lanka’s demographic transition is having dramatic impacts on education and health as well as the economy. By 2036, more than 22% of the population will be over 60 and there will be 61 dependents per 100 adults. Unless labor force and employment rates increase, a very small number of employed persons will need to provide for a very large number of non-working people – straining the budgets of families and the government. As the population becomes older and has a higher income, the types of public services required will change. The education system will need to increase emphasis on computer, English, and higher-level cognitive skills. The health system will need to deal (both preventively and curatively) with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, including injuries and mental health problems, and provide rehabilitation and long-term care, especially for the elderly. Social protection for the elderly will need to be enhanced. Increasing urbanization will require investments in mass transit; expanded water and sewage networks; improved road safety; better control of air pollution, noise pollution, and other environmental hazards; and better town planning to allow for elderly-friendly design aspects.

Sri Lanka (pronunciation: /sri??l???k?/, /sri??læ?k?/ or Listeni/?ri? ?l???k?/;[7][8] Sinhala: ????? ?????, s’ri- lam.ka-, Tamil: ??????, ilan.kai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon (pron.: /s??l?n/, /se??l?n/, or /si??l?n/), Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.

Sri Lanka’s documented history spans three thousand years.[9] Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road[10] through to World War II.[11] Sri Lanka is a diverse country home to many religions, ethnicities and languages.[12] The Sinhalese people are the majority, although there are many ethnic minorities, including Tamils, Muslim Moors, Burghers, Kaffirs, Malays and the aboriginal Vedda people.[13] Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings were composed on the island.[14] The country’s recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively but controversially[15] ended in a military victory in 2009.[16]

Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system. The capital Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte, is a suburb of the largest city, Colombo. An important producer of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber and the native cinnamon,[17] Sri Lanka has been called The tear drop of India because of its shape and location and is known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” because of its natural beauty. It is also known as “The nation of smiling people”.[18] The island contains tropical forests, and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity.

The country has had a long history of international engagement, being a founding member of SAARC and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.

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