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About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka (UK: /sri ˈlæŋkə, ʃriː -/, US: /- ˈlɑːŋkə/ ⓘ; Sinhala: Sri Lanka, romanised: Śrī Laṅkā (IPA: [ʃriː laŋkaː]); Tamil: Sri Lanka, romanised: Ilaṅkai (IPA : [ilaŋɡaj]), historically known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island state in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, separated from the Indian peninsula by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with the Maldives to the southwest and India to the northwest.

Sri Lanka has a population of approximately 22 million people and is home to numerous cultures, languages ​​and ethnicities. Sinhalese make up the majority of the national population, while Tamils, the largest minority group, are concentrated in northern Sri Lanka; Both groups have played an influential role in the island’s history. Other long-standing groups include Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Chinese, and Veddani.

Sri Lanka’s recorded history dates back 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements dating back 125,000 years. The earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, collectively known as the Pali canon, date back to the fourth Buddhist council, which took place in 29 BC. Also called the teardrop of India or the breadbasket of the East, Sri Lanka’s geographic location and deep ports have made it of great strategic importance, from the dawn of the ancient Silk Road trade route to today’s so-called Silk Road maritime.[ 18] [19] [20] Since its location made it an important trading center, it was already known to both East Asians and Europeans as early as the Anuradhapura period. During a period of great political crisis in the Kingdom of Kotte, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka and attempted to control the island’s maritime trade, so much so that part of Sri Lanka subsequently became a Portuguese possession. After the Sinhala-Portuguese War, the Dutch Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy took control of those areas. The Dutch possessions were then taken by the British, who later extended their control over the entire island, colonizing it from 1815 to 1948. In the early 20th century, a national movement for political independence arose, and in 1948 Ceylon became a dominion. The rule was succeeded by the Republic of Sri Lanka in 1972. Sri Lanka’s more recent history was marked by a 26-year civil war, which began in 1983 and ended in 2009, when the Sri Lankan armed forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. .

Sri Lanka is a developing country, ranked 73rd in the Human Development Index. It is the highest-scoring South Asian nation in terms of development and has the second-highest per capita income in South Asia. However, the ongoing economic crisis has resulted in currency collapse, rising inflation, and a humanitarian crisis due to a severe shortage of basic goods. It also led to the outbreak of street protests, with citizens successfully demanding the resignation of the president and government. The country has a long history of engagement with modern international groups: it is a founding member of SAARC and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Culture

The Sri Lankan culture is mainly influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism. Sri Lanka is home to two major traditional cultures: Sinhala (centered in Kandy and Anuradhapura) and Tamil (centered in Jaffna). Since then the Tamils ​​have co-existed with the Sinhala people, and early mixing has made the two ethnic groups almost physically indistinguishable. Ancient Sri Lanka is characterized by its genius in hydraulic engineering and architecture. British colonial culture also influenced the locals. The rich cultural traditions shared by all Sri Lankan cultures underlie the country’s long life expectancy, advanced healthcare standards and high literacy rate.

Food And Festivals

Dishes include rice and curry, pittu, kiribath, wholemeal roti, hoppers, wattalapam (a rich pudding of Malay origin made with coconut milk, jaggery, cashews, eggs and spices including cinnamon and nutmeg), kottu and appam. Jackfruit can sometimes replace rice. Traditionally the food is served on a plantain or lotus leaf. Middle Eastern influences and practices are found in traditional Moorish dishes, while Dutch and Portuguese influences are found in the island’s bourgeois community which preserves its culture through traditional dishes such as lamprais (rice cooked in broth and cooked in a banana leaf), breudher (Dutch feast biscuit) and Bolo fiado (Portuguese-style layer cake).

In April, Sri Lankans celebrate Buddhist and Hindu New Year festivals. Esala Perahera is a symbolic Buddhist festival consisting of dancing and decorated elephants held in Kandy during July and August. Fire dances, whip dances, Kandyan dances and various other cultural dances are an integral part of the festival. Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Tamils ​​celebrate Thai Pongal and Maha Shivaratri, while Muslims celebrate Hajj and Ramadan.

Climate

The climate is tropical and warm due to the moderate effects of ocean winds. Average temperatures range from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the central highlands, where frost can occur for several days in winter, to a maximum of 33 °C (91.4 °F) in low-altitude areas. Average annual temperatures range from 28 °C (82.4 °F) to nearly 31 °C (87.8 °F). Day and night temperatures can range from 14°C (57.2°F) to 18°C ​​(64.4°F).

The rainfall pattern is influenced by the monsoon winds coming from the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The “wetland” and some of the windward slopes of the centrThe arid northwest and southeast coasts receive less rainfall, 800 to 1,200 mm (31 to 47 in) per year. Periodic thunderstorms occur, and tropical cyclones sometimes bring cloudy skies and rain to the southwest, northeast, and eastern parts of the island. Humidity is typically higher in the south-west and in mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal pattern of precipitation. An increase in average rainfall coupled with more intense rainfall has resulted in recurrent flooding and related damage to infrastructure, public service provision and the urban economy.al highlands receive up to 2,500 millimeters (98.4 in) of rain each year, but the leeward slopes in the east and northeast receive little rain. Most of the eastern, southeast, and northern parts of Sri Lanka comprise the “dry zone”, which receives between 1,200 and 1,900 mm (47 and 75 in) of rainfall per year.

The arid northwest and southeast coasts receive less rainfall, 800 to 1,200 mm (31 to 47 in) per year. Periodic thunderstorms occur, and tropical cyclones sometimes bring cloudy skies and rain to the southwest, northeast, and eastern parts of the island. Humidity is typically higher in the south-west and in mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal pattern of precipitation. An increase in average rainfall coupled with more intense rainfall has resulted in recurrent flooding and related damage to infrastructure, public service provision and the urban economy.

Flora And Fauna

The Western Ghats of India and Sri Lanka have been included in the top 18 global biodiversity hotspots due to the high levels of species endemism. The number of biodiversity hotspots has now increased to 34. Sri Lanka has the highest biodiversity per unit area among Asian countries for flowering plants and all vertebrate groups except birds. A remarkably high percentage of flora and fauna species, 27% of the 3,210 flowering plants and 22% of mammals, are endemic. Sri Lanka supports a rich avifauna that amounts to 453 species and this includes 240 bird species that are known to breed in the country. 33 species are accepted by some ornithologists as endemic while some ornithologists consider only 27 endemic and the remaining six are considered proposed endemics. Sri Lanka’s protected areas are administered by two government bodies; The Department of Forest Conservation and the Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Department of Wildlife Conservation administers 61 wildlife reserves, 22 national parks, four wildlife reserves, three hard nature reserves and one jungle corridor, while the Department of Forest Conservation oversees 65 protected forests and one heritage wilderness area national. 26.5% of the country’s territory is legally protected. This is a higher percentage of protected areas than in the rest of Asia.

Sri Lanka contains four terrestrial ecoregions: Sri Lanka lowland rainforests, Sri Lanka montane rainforests, Sri Lanka dry zone dry evergreen forests, and Deccan thorn forests. Flowering acacias thrive on the arid Jaffna peninsula. Among the trees of the mainland forests there are valuable species such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, mahogany and teak. The wetland is a tropical evergreen forest with tall trees, extensive canopy and a dense undergrowth of vines and climbing plants. Evergreen subtropical forests similar to those in temperate climates thrive at higher elevations. Yala National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant, deer and peacocks. Wilpattu National Park in the northwest, the largest national park, preserves the habitats of many water birds such as storks, pelicans, ibises and spoonbills. The island has four biosphere reserves: Bundala, Hurulu Forest Reserve, Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya and Sinharaja. Sinharaja is home to 26 endemic birds and 20 rainforest species, including the elusive red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and Sri Lankan blue magpie. The untapped genetic potential of the Sinharaja flora is enormous. Of the 211 woody trees and lianas present in the reserve, 139 (66%) are endemic. The total density of vegetation, including trees, shrubs, grasses and seedlings, was estimated at 240,000 individuals per hectare. Minneriya National Park borders the Minneriya Tank, which is an important water source for the elephants that inhabit the surrounding forests. Nicknamed “The Gathering”, the congregation of elephants can be seen at the bottom of the tank in the late dry season (August to October) as surrounding water sources steadily disappear. The park also includes a number of microhabitats that include classic dry zone tropical monsoon evergreen forest, dense stands of giant bamboo, hilly pastures (patanas), and grasslands (talawas). During the Mahaweli Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka, the government set aside four areas of land totaling 1,900 square km (730 square miles) as national parks. Sri Lanka’s forest cover statistics show rapid deforestation from 1956 to 2010. In 1956, 44.2% of the country’s land area was covered by forest. Forest cover has been rapidly depleted in recent decades; 29.6% in 1999, 28.7% in 2010.

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