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Sri Lanka (2002)

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 Sri Lanka
Administrative divisions 8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western; note - North Eastern province may have been divided in two - Northern and Eastern
Age structure 0-14 years: 25.6% (male 2,559,246; female 2,446,393)

15-64 years: 67.7% (male 6,446,320; female 6,802,515)

65 years and over: 6.7% (male 628,398; female 693,911) (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef
Airports 15 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 14

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 1 1

under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Area total: 65,610 sq km

land: 64,740 sq km

water: 870 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than West Virginia
Background The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced beginning in about the mid-3rd century B.C. and a great civilization developed at such cities as Anuradhapura (kingdom from c. 200 B.C. to c. 1000 A.D.) and Polonnaruwa (c. 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty seized power in the north and established a Tamil kingdom. Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796 and became a crown colony in 1802. As Ceylon it became independent in 1948; its name was changed in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted in violence in the mid-1980s. Tens of thousands have died in an ethnic war that continues to fester.
Birth rate 16.36 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $2.8 billion

expenditures: $4.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Capital Colombo; note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital
Climate tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Coastline 1,340 km
Constitution adopted 16 August 1978
Country name conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

conventional short form: Sri Lanka

former: Serendib, Ceylon
Currency Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Death rate 6.45 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $9.9 billion (2000)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador E. Ashley WILLS

embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3

mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo

telephone: [94] (1) 448007

FAX: [94] (1) 437345
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Devinda R. SUBASINGHE

chancery: 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 483-4025 (through 4028)

FAX: [1] (202) 232-7181

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

consulate(s): New York
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $577 million (1998) (1998)
Economy - overview In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for market-oriented policies and export-oriented trade. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of exports (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for 63%. GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% throughout the 1990s until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-2000 with average growth of 5.3%. But 2001 saw the first contraction in the country's history, due to a combination of power shortages, severe budgetary problems, the global slowdown, and continuing civil strife.
Electricity - consumption 6.156 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 6.619 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 32%

hydro: 68%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2000)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups Sinhalese 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay, and Vedda 1%
Exchange rates Sri Lankan rupees per US dollar - 93.383 (January 2002), 89.383 (2001), 77.005 (2000), 70.635 (1999), 64.450 (1998), 58.995 (1997)
Executive branch chief of state: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (since 9 December 2001) is the prime minister; in Sri Lanka the president is considered both the chief of state and head of government, in contrast to the more common practice of dividing the roles between the president and the prime minister when both offices exist

head of government: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note - Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (since 9 December 2001) is the prime minister; in Sri Lanka the president is considered both the chief of state and head of government, in contrast to the more common practice of dividing the roles between the president and the prime minister when both offices exist

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 21 December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2005)

election results: Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA reelected president; percent of vote - Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (PA) 51%, Ranil WICKREMASINGHE (UNP) 42%, other 7%
Exports 0 kWh (2000)
Exports $4.9 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities textiles and apparel 15%, tea, diamonds, coconut products, petroleum products
Exports - partners US 39%, UK 13%, Middle East 8%, Germany 4%, Japan 4% (2000)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels
GDP purchasing power parity - $62.7 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 21%

industry: 27%

services: 52% (2000)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $3,250 (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -1% (2001 est.)
Geographic coordinates 7 00 N, 81 00 E
Geography - note strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes
Highways total: 11,285 km

paved: 10,721 km

unpaved: 564 km (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 28% (1995)
Imports 0 kWh (2000)
Imports $6 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, textiles, petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports - partners Japan 9%, India 8%, Hong Kong 7%, Singapore 7%, South Korea 5% (2000)
Independence 4 February 1948 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate 1.4% (2001)
Industries rubber processing, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco
Infant mortality rate 15.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 14.2% (2001 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 5 (2000)
Irrigated land 6,510 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
Labor force 6.6 million (1998)
Labor force - by occupation services 45%, agriculture 38%, industry 17% (1998 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 13.43%

permanent crops: 15.78%

other: 70.79% (1998 est.)
Languages Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%

note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Legal system a highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of a modified proportional representation system by district to serve six-year terms)

elections: last held 7 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2007)

election results: percent of vote by party or electoral alliance - UNP, SLMC and CWC 46.8%, PA and EPDP 38%, JVP 9.1%, Tamil National Alliance 3.89%, PLOTE 0.19%; seats by party or electoral alliance - UNP, SLMC and CWC 114, PA and EPDP 79, JVP 16, Tamil National Alliance 15, PLOTE 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 72.35 years

male: 69.83 years

female: 75 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 90.2%

male: 93.4%

female: 87.2% (1995 est.)
Location Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims contiguous zone: 24 NM

continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin

exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Merchant marine total: 18 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 137,321 GRT/233,367 DWT

ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 15, container 1, petroleum tanker 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 9, Hong Kong 1, United Arab Emirates 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $719 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 4.2% (FY98)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 5,347,153 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 4,148,825 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 193,522 (2002 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 4 February (1948)
Nationality noun: Sri Lankan(s)

adjective: Sri Lankan
Natural hazards occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Natural resources limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower
Net migration rate -1.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Pipelines crude oil and petroleum products 62 km (1987)
Political parties and leaders All Ceylon Tamil Congress or ACTC [KUMARGURUPARAM]; Ceylon Workers Congress or CWC [Arumugam THONDAMAN]; Communist Party or CP [D. GUNASEKERA]; Democratic United National (Lalith) Front or DUNLF [Shrimani ATULATHMUDALI]; Eelam People's Democratic Party or EPDP [Douglas DEVANANDA]; Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front or EPRLF [Suresh PREMACHANDRAN]; Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP [Tilvan SILVA]; National Unity Alliance or NUA [Ferial ASHRAFF]; People's Alliance or PA [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam or PLOTE [leader NA]; Sihala Urumaya or SU [Tilak KARUNARATNE]; Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; Sri Lanka Muslim Congress or SLMC [Rauff HAKEEM]; Sri Lanka Progressive Front or SLPF [P. Nelson PERERA]; Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization or TELO [SABARATNAM]; Tamil National Alliance or TNA [Nadarajah RAVIRAJ]; Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF [R. SAMPATHAN]; United National Party or UNP [Ranil WICKREMASINGHE]; Upcountry People's Front or UPF [P. CHANDRASEKARAN]; several ethnic Tamil and Muslim parties, represented in either Parliament or provincial councils
Political pressure groups and leaders Buddhist clergy; labor unions; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE [Velupillai PRABHAKARAN](insurgent group fighting for a separate state); radical chauvinist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
Population 19,576,783

note: since the outbreak of hostilities between the government and armed Tamil separatists in the mid-1980s, several hundred thousand Tamil civilians have fled the island; as of mid-1999, approximately 66,000 were housed in 133 refugee camps in south India, another 40,000 lived outside the Indian camps, and more than 200,000 Tamils have sought refuge in the West (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line 22% (1997 est.)
Population growth rate 0.85% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee
Radio broadcast stations AM 26, FM 45, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios 3.85 million (1997)
Railways total: 1,463 km

broad gauge: 1,404 km 1.676-m gauge

narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2001)
Religions Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 7% (1999)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: very inadequate domestic service, particularly in rural areas; likely improvement with privatization of national telephone company and encouragement to private investment; good international service (1999)

domestic: national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay; fiber-optic links now in use in Colombo area and two fixed wireless local loops have been installed; competition is strong in mobile cellular systems; telephone density remains low at 2.6 main lines per 100 persons (1999)

international: submarine cables to Indonesia and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (1999)
Telephones - main lines in use 494,509 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 228,604 (1999)
Television broadcast stations 21 (1997)
Terrain mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Total fertility rate 1.93 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.7% (2001)
Waterways 430 km (navigable by shallow-draft craft)
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