A Brief Description
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea, between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Straight.
The capital of the country is, Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte and the commercial capital and the largest city in the island is Colombo. There are 9 provinces and 25 districts in the country where the total area is 65,610 km², with 64,740 km² of land and 870 km² of water. Its coastline is 1,340 km (830 mi) long. The main island of Sri Lanka has an area of 65,268 km²; it is the twenty-fifth largest island of the world by area.
History of Sri Lanka
The history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years and possibly even as far back as 500,000 years. There are many legends and even proof has been found that the Sri Lankan possess such an old history. In one of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana, which provides details of a kingdom named Lanka that was created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma for Kubera, the Lord of Wealth. It is said that Kubera was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, the powerful emperor who built a mythical flying machine named Dandu Monara
After that era Sri Lanka was ruled by more than 200 kings for more than 2000 years. The first kingdom was Anuradapuraya(437 BC – 1017 AD) and the first ruler was, king Pandukabaya. After him many rulers ruled the country while the capital was Anuradapura. King Devanampiyathissa, King Dutugamunu are some great rulers. After that era of Polonnaruwa(1055–1236) started. In that era Sri Lanka was attacked by Kalinga Maga who was an Indian princess. It was a dead shot to the ruling system of the country. The country was freed by king Parakramabahu II and he build his new kingdom in Dambadeniya. After that several kings ruled the country and the last kingdom was Mahanuwara(Kandy)(1591–1815).
During the above mentioned period of time many important incidents had occurred. Building of tanks, Arrival of Portugal s, Vijayaba Kollaya, arrival of Dutch s and the arrival of British are a handful of them. Somehow in 1815 Sri Lanka was captured by the crown of Britain. Then after Sri Lanka was ruled by British till 1948. During that time also many important incidents such as battles, agreements, changes in the authority took place.
In 1948 Sri Lanka got freedom from Britain empire and by then Sri Lanka is ruled by the Sri Lankan government untill now.
The Sri Lankan culture is highly attached with Buddhism, which is the main religion in Sri Lanka. It should be mentioned that most of the Sri Lankan people are very religious. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka by arahanth Mahinda thero in the time of king Devanmpiyathissa(307 BC - 267 BC). After the king embrassed Buddhism it was spread through out the country. Many religious places were built in the country. Ruwanweliseya, Sri Maha Bodiya, Mirisawetiya, Awukana sthupa, samadhi sthupa are some examples for sacred places of Buddhists.
Even today most of the Sri Lankans are Buddhists while some other people follow other religions. Christians, Catholics and Islamist are some of them. Although there are different religions all the Sri Lankan's live in peace and harmony.
Politics in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a democratic republic with an executive presidency based on the French model. Under the 1978 constitution, the head of state and government is the President. There is universal adult suffrage with proportional representation; parliamentary and presidential elections are held every six years. Parliament has a single chamber with 225 members. Members are directly elected, but vacant seats occurring during the life of a Parliament go to nominees of the party holding the seat.
Ministers are appointed by the President, who chairs the cabinet and appoints the independent judiciary. Amendments may be made to the constitution, subject to a two-thirds majority in Parliament; however, to amend certain entrenched articles of the constitution approval in a national referendum is also required. The constitution provides for provincial councils.
Culture and people
As mentioned above Sri Lankan culture is highly attached with Buddhism. Somehow Sri Lanka is now a place for many ethanic groups.
Sri Lanka was colonized 3 times by Portuguese, Dutch and by British in order. So those cultural items has been added to Sri Lankan culture now. At the same time Sri Lanka finished the civil war in 2009. Due to that war the development of the country was distracted in a large scale.
The main language in Sri Lanka is Sinhala while Tamil and English is used also. Most of the Sri Lankan who live in urban areas are capable of speaking in English. The main meal of Sri Lankans id Rice and curry. A complete meal of steamed heirloom or basmati rice surrounded by all sorts of curries. The types of curry vary from meats, poultry and fish curry to vegetable and even fruit curries. These are accompanied by sambols, which are fresher concoctions made either with coconut or leaves to freshen up the palette. An unmissable addition is the papadum, also a tool to eat it all with just your right hand.
And it should be said that all most all the Sri Lankans are good at hospitality. They are very friendly and willing to help other.
So we wish you a happy and safe journey in Sri Lanka.