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| Official languages
|Sinhalese, Tamil, and English.|
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
| 65,610 km2|
republic (Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic)
| Time zone
| SLST (UTC+5:30)|
Sri Lankan rupee
Sri Lanka (Sinhalese: ශ්රී ලංකාව, śrī laṃkāva, Tamil: இலங்கை, ilaṅkai), is a third world country located in the Indian Ocean, south of the country of India. It used to be known as Ceylon until 1972. The small country (about the size of Alabama) earned its independence officially on February 4, 1948. Sri Lanka is a country with a deep history and rich culture. Sri Lanka, currently and for centuries, has been a known island for tourism and the rich culture today.
Sri Lanka, today, is a republic and a unitary state governed by a presidential system. The country's capital is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, near the biggest city (which is wrongly claimed as the capital of Sri Lanka), Colombo. Sri Lanka is an important producer of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber, and cinnamon. Sri Lanka's two nicknames are the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean" and "The Nation of Smiling People". Sri Lanka is also part of the United Nations.
History[edit | edit source]
According to the Mahavamsa, a traditional date of ancient Sri Lanka is the landing of Vijaya, who arrived in Sri Lanka with 700 followers with him and ruled Sri Lanka from 543 BC – 505 BC (Modern time now: 38 years!). Vijaya played an important role in Sri Lanka, such as the establishment of the Kingdom of Tambapanni. Vijaya played an important role in the country's ancient history.
Another annual date of ancient Sri Lanka is the arrival of Buddhism from Devanampiya Tissa of Sri Lanka. Epigraphic sources show the appearance of Buddhism around the 3rd century B.C.
The entire ancient period of ancient Sri Lanka is dominated by the Anuradhapura Kingdom, which includes Sri Lanka's ancient history in one place. The Sri Lanka Kingdom moved into Anuradhapura in 380 B.C., from there onwards, the city of Anuradhapura stayed as the capital of Sri Lanka for more than 1000 years, until the fall of the kingdom in 1017 A.D., when Rajendra I sent a large invasion on the kingdom. Thus, the capital then moved to Polonnaruwa.
After more than a century under Chola control, Vijayabahu I of Polonnaruwa successfully drove off the Chola Empire, thus, reuniting the country back together once again. Also, reuniting the country back in Buddhism culture too when Vijayabahu I, in request, sent monks from Burma to Sri Lanka.
The next centuries consist of Tamil rulers fighting over the island, which resulted in the north section ruled by Tamils, primarily Hindus, and the south section controlled by the Sinhalese, primarily Buddhists.
Independence[edit | edit source]
Colonial Powers finally achieved power over Sri Lanka in 1505, when the Portuguese took possession in the county until the Dutch India Company took control in 1658 until 1796 when the British took over the country, Sri Lanka became an English Colony officially in 1802. The British (which means Sri Lanka did too) developed Coffee, Tea, and Rubber. Finally, in 1948, (after uniting the Tamils and Sinhalese) Ceylonese rulers finally gained independence from the British. Sri Lanka became part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike became Sri Lanka's prime minister in 1956, resulting in championship of Sinhalese Nationality (resulting in minorities of Tamil civilians, in result, the Tamil Tigers are founded) and full support of Buddhism. S.W. was assassinated by a monk in 1959. Left is his widow, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who became the world's first female Prime Minister.
The name Ceylon turned into Sri Lanka in May 22, 1972.
Species & Animals[edit | edit source]
Mammals[edit | edit source]
- Monkeys - Two specific type of monkeys that live in Sri Lanka forests, and even in some streets, are the Tocque maca and Red Faced Macaques. These monkeys are usually found in homes, temples, shopping centers, roadsides and in their more natural state in the wildlife sanctuaries.
- Sri Lankan elephant - A famous and most common animal in Sri Lanka, is the Sri Lankan elephant, which habits most of the forests and possibly wide spreaded lands.
- Leopard - Most leopards in Sri Lanka hide in places such as bushes. All leopards are mostly preserved in Yala National Park
- Golden Jackal
- Wild boar - Most of these animals can be found commonly in Sri Lanka's National Parks.
- Indian Mongoose - Found everywhere, usually on roads.
Reptiles[edit | edit source]
- Mugger or Swamp Crocodile - These reptiles can be found throughout the country in lakes, rivers, ponds, streams and marshes.
- Land Monitor - These Sri Lankan reptiles can climb trees using claws and can use there long tongue to smell/sense prey.
Climate[edit | edit source]
Sri Lanka is known as a Tropical Country, so that would mean that the climate is usually wet from rain, or Monsoons, which are periods of rain over a certain amount of time, India's monsoons travel down to Sri Lanka, so you would expect much rain.
Other than rain, the temperatures at Sri Lanka are hot - extremely hot all year long, that is why residents at Sri Lanka where "man skirts", or sarongs, to keep cool.
Culture[edit | edit source]
The Sri Lankan Culture is very interesting, from the foods to the religion. But, the culture did, in-fact, dramatically changed when the British lost possession of the country, which means that there are no Sri Lankans with baskets on there heads walking on the streets working for the British government, as what the country was going through, even though the culture totally changed, it has yet, maintained most of there more earlier traditions. They still do work for the British somewhat, with clothing, and the production of rubber.
Yet, Sri Lanka has also been maintaining ancient aspects too, such as the arrival of Buddhism. Due to the island's history of immigrants and Indian rulers, the island's culture is somewhat widespread, and mixed in with Indian Culture also.
Well, Sri Lanka is best known for a couple of traditions they have, one of them is the main sport of the country, cricket, which has been a sport there for a quite a long time. The traditional music and food are also pretty "main" in the culture as well. The Demographics of Sri Lanka are: Sinhalese 74.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.23%, Indian Tamil 4.16%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.21% and Other 0.6%.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- English Wikipedia, Sri Lanka
- InfoPlease - Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka - 50 webs - History
- Ehow - Where Do Monkeys Live?
- Hacking Families - Sri Lanka Animals
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