Sri Lanka (Geography)
Geologically, Sri Lanka is a southern continuation of the Indian Peninsula, separated only by the shallow Palk Strait. Deccan’s hard, crystalline rocks are found in the highlands of the central and southern part of the island, while the broad coastal plains lie predominantly on laterite and to the north on limestone. Sri Lanka’s crystalline rocks are known for their content of precious stones (rubies and sapphires), semi-precious stones and graphite. The highest mountain is Pidurutalagala (2524 m), but the spectacular Adam’s Peak (2243 m) is better known. Along the shores are long sandy beaches with crooked mud alternating with mangroves and coral shores.
The location close to the equator provides a distinct tropical climate with little temperature variation both during the day and throughout the year. Colombo thus has a gnsntl. diurnal variation of only 7 °C and temperatures of 26.1 °C and 28.2 °C in January and May. Vegetation and agriculture are strongly influenced by the change of monsoon winds throughout the year. The southwestern quarter of the island has year-round rain and rainforest with extra rainfall from the southwest monsoon in April-June and from the northeast monsoon in October-November. Savannah is found to the southeast, where rain also comes from both monsoons, but as the winds blow along the coast, they release less water here. The northern half of the island has dry season from May to October; the northeast monsoon provides rain here in December-January, and the natural vegetation is a lush savannah. Farthest to the north, the drying time is longer, and the drought is intensified by the limestone of the subsoil.
With 316 residents per. km2, Sri Lanka is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The population has more than doubled in 1947-2005, but the growth rate has been declining slightly throughout the period. The population is composed, characterized by several immigrants from the north. The majority, however, are Sinhalese, who are predominantly Buddhists. They live mainly in the northern and eastern parts of the country, to which they came in 1000-1300-t. The 7% murderare Tamil-speaking Muslims; they have Arab-Indian roots after sailors and merchants and inhabit especially the south and east coasts. In the 1800’s. the British imported Tamils from South India to the tea plantations in the Kandy area; the descendants of these are predominantly Hindus. Other small groups are the so-called burghers, descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonists. They are now mixed with the rest of the population. This also applies to the descendants of the coolies that were imported from East Africa and Java. Sri Lanka’s indigenous people, the Veddas, are so married to the Sinhalese that they can hardly be separated. The last to maintain the traditional hunter-gatherer culture of the Veddas were expelled from Nadura Oya National Park in 1983 for failing to comply with the park’s rules.
- Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Sri Lanka? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Compared to other developing countries, Sri Lanka’s infrastructure is well developed. Both road and rail networks cover the entire island and are quite densely meshed, albeit somewhat worn. Colombo was formerly one of the most important ports on the routes to the East, but developments in international shipping have diminished its importance. The opposite has happened for Katunayake International Airport north of Colombo. In its vicinity, a free zone was established in 1978, offering favorable conditions for foreign companies for export production. Clothing and electronics are mainly manufactured here.
Agriculture and fisheries. Virtually all suitable land has been cultivated. The southwestern, humid part is characterized by export crops with tea on the slopes of the highlands around Kandy as the main single crop. In the rainforest climate, rubber and cocoa are also grown, and along the coasts, coconut palms can be seen everywhere. Incidentally, the moist savannah is predominantly cultivated with rice, but the island has not been self-sufficient in food since the 1700’s. Irrigation is necessary everywhere, and especially to the north the landscape is characterized by tanks for collecting water in the rainy season; the oldest are more than 2000 years old. The irrigated area has doubled since the 1950’s, and in the same period the area under plowing has increased to one third of the entire area, and grain production has tripled. This is mainly due to the use of new, high-yielding cereals (seethe green revolution). The tear area has also grown, while rubber production has decreased in the competition with natural rubber from SEA and with synthetic rubber. In addition, new export crops such as coffee and tropical fruits have been introduced. Agriculture employs almost 40% of the labor force and contributes 19% to GDP (2004).
Fisheries are evolving, but catches cannot meet the needs of the country. There is good growth potential and part of the catch is exported as specialties to island countries.
Industry and service.Apart from some insignificant coal reserves, Sri Lanka has no energy resources. On the other hand, the hydropower potentials are almost fully utilized and supply 95% of the electricity production. During colonial times, Sri Lanka was completely concentrated on the role of supplier of plantation products to the mother country, and only 5% of GDP came from industry. In the first years of independence, the socialist government emphasized development under the auspices of the state, of cement, textile and ceramic industries. The shift in 1977 to a liberal policy put time in the tourism industry with extensive hotel construction, especially on the west coast. In 2004, the economic growth rate was 5.2% and the industrial sector accounted for 26% of GDP. However, the economy is still characterized by high unemployment (8.4% in 2003) and a significant informal sector in the craft and services sector. It is estimated that up to 800. 000 Sri Lankans work abroad, especially in the Middle East. The country’s exports go primarily to the West and Japan, and the United States has long since taken over Britain’s role as the most important market. The imports are mainly provided by the Asian neighbors.
Sri Lanka – language
Official language of Sri Lanka is the Indo-Aryan language Sinhalese, spoken by almost three quarters of the population, as well as the Dravidian language Tamil (see Tamils (language)), spoken by approximately a quarter, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the island. Smaller groups speak Vedda, a Sinhalese dialect, as well as Malay. In the mass media, administration and trade, English is still used, and in the religious context, Pali and Sanskrit are still used. For culture and traditions of Sri Lanka, please check animalerts.
Sri Lanka (Religion)
According to the Constitution, there is freedom of religion in Sri Lanka, but Buddhism occupies a special position. approximately 73% of the population are Buddhists. According to tradition, King Ashoka’s son, Mahinda, brought Buddhism from India to Sri Lanka in 200 BC. The Sinhalese Buddhists belong to the Theravada School (see Theravada).
The monks have a close relationship with the lay people, who endow them with food and clothing. They are often invited to larger family events in the homes, reciting specific texts from the canonical writings on Pali – a ceremony called pirit ‘protection’.
Buddhism plays a significant political role in Sri Lanka. The state has close ties to the monastic order (sangha), and often Buddhist monks have become involved in party politics.
Pre-Buddhist notions with the worship of a number of gods and demons have over time merged with Buddhism. In the temples, the Buddha is not worshiped for personal gain in this life – the Buddha is honored with a view to a spiritual maturation in future existences in the hope of moving closer to nirvana. When it comes to achieving material goods here and now, good health, fertility, etc., one directs his prayers to the gods and demons who can help.
The largest religious minority, the Hindus, who are especially found among the Tamil minority, make up approximately 15% of the population. There are about 7% Muslims and 5% Christians, the majority of whom are Catholics.