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Population (2001) 19.6 million
Area 62,705 Sq Km.#
Population (1999)
GDP in 2001 16,346
Per Capita Income US $ 830
Exports (US$ million) 4,900
Imports (US$ million) 6,100
Sri Lankan Rupee
Exchange Rate (Re/US $) 97.27 per US $ 1
Standard Time GMT+ 6 hours
Total Number of Tourist Arrivals (2000) 400,414 #
Source: World Development Report-2003
# Statistical Abstract 2001, Department of Census and Statistics, Govt. of Sri Lanka
* The Statesman’s Year Book- 2002, Page No. 1484

National Symbols

Sri Lanka National Flag
Sri Lanka National Emblem
National Flag
National Emblem

Wali Kukula or Ceylon Jungle Fowl

Nil Manel or Blue Water Lily
National Bird
National Flower

National Anthem

Sri Lanka Matha, apa Sri Lanka,
Namo Namo Namo Namo Matha.
Sundara siri barini,
Surndi athi Sobamana Lanka Danya Dhanaya neka mal palathuru piri
Jaya bhomiya ramya
Apahata sepa siri setha sadana jeevanaye matha
Prema wada sama beda durerada
Namo Namo Matha

Important Festivals

Sri Lanka has a range of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim festivals. The Kandy Esala Perahera (July/August) is the country's most important and spectacular pageant. It climaxes in a great procession honoring the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Second in importance is the Duruthu Perahera (January) held in Colombo, which celebrates a visit by the Buddha to Sri Lanka.

Other celebrations include the National Day, celebrated with parades, dances and national games; Sri Lankan New Year (March/April), celebrated with elephant races, traditional games and pillow fights; Vesak (May), a sacred full-moon festival commemorating the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha; the Hindu Vel festival (July/August) in Colombo, when the ceremonial chariot of Skanda, the God of War, is hauled between two temples; and the predominantly Hindu Katargama festival (July/August).

National Day

February 4

Important Games

Cricket is probably the most popular sport.

Major Tourist Spots

Outside of Colombo, Sri Lanka offers a host of attractions to the tourist including many splendid beaches and scenic sites and the historic cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya. Other places of interest include Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Ratnapura. Nature lovers can visit the botanical gardens, national parks and bird sanctuaries.

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