Sri Lanka is an island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean. Its diverse landscapes range from rainforest and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches.
Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Trending
Formerly Known As: Ceylon
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
Ethnic groups (2012): 74.9% Sinhalese; 11.2% Sri Lankan Tamils; 9.2% Sri Lankan Moors; 4.2% Indian Tamils; 0.5% other
Did you Know:
Sri Lanka was first colonised by the Portuguese in 1505, then the Dutch in 1658 and then the British in 1796. Finally, the country gained full independence in 1948.
Sri Lanka used to be called Ceylon which is a transliteration of Ceilao, the name of the country under the island’s first colonial rulers, Portugal. It changed its name to Sri Lanka when it became a republic in 1972.
The oldest living tree known to be planted by man is in Sri Lanka. Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura has been tended continuously for over 2,000 years.
The world’s first female prime minister was Si Lankan. In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the sixth Prime Minister of Ceylon and the world’s first female prime minister.
Sri Lanka was the second-worst hit country by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. More than 30,000 people were killed with over half a million displaced.
Tea is Sri Lanka’s largest export, accounting for 12% of its export by product (2014). It’s the fourth largest exporter of tea in the world (Source updated 13/02/18), and in February 2017, marked its 150th anniversary of tea exportation. Ceylon Tea which that Sri Lanka is most known for, is considered the cleanest tea in the world by the ISO