ශ්රී ලංකා ප්රජාතාන්ත්රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජය (Sinhala)
இலங்கை ஜனநாயக சமத்துவ குடியரசு (Tamil)
śrī laṁkā prajātāntarika samājavādī janarajaya (Sinhala)
Ilaṅkai jaṉanāyaka camattuva kuṭiyaracu (Tamil)
Republic of Sri Lanka
|Official language||Sinhala , Tamil|
de jure : Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte
de facto : Colombo
|Seat of government||Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte|
|State and form of government||presidential republic|
|Head of state||President Gotabaya Rajapaksa|
|Head of government||
|surface||(119.) 65,610 km²|
|population||21.9 million ( 57th ) (2020; estimate)|
|Population density||346 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 0.6% (estimate for 2019)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.782 ( 72nd ) (2019)|
|currency||Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)|
|independence||February 4, 1948
(from the United Kingdom )
|National anthem||Sri Lanka Matha|
|National holiday||February 4th (Independence Day)|
|Time zone||UTC + 5: 30|
|ISO 3166||LK , LKA, 144|
Sri Lanka ( Sinhalese ශ්රී ලංකා , śrī laṃkā , [ˌɕriːˈlaŋkaː] ; Tamil இலங்கை , ilaṅkai ), until 1972 Ceylon (since then Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ), is an island state in the Indian Ocean , 237 km (west coast of the island) east of the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent , and has a population of 21.9 million. The shortest distance between India (Kodiyakkarai) and Sri Lanka (Munasal) is 54.8 km.
Due to its location, the island formed a strategic hub for seafaring between the Middle East and Southeast Asia from ancient times to modern times . The south and the areas around Anuradhapura were centers of ancient Buddhism , whereas Hindu temple complexes existed in the north and east. Today the country is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation in which Christianity and Islam are major religions alongside Buddhism and Hinduism . The Sinhalese make up the majority of the population. The Tamils are the largest minority . Other ethnic minorities are the Moors , Malay , Burgher and the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, the Veddas .
Sri Lanka is known for the production and export of tea ( Ceylon ), coffee , rubber and coconuts . The island is a popular tourist destination due to its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage (for example Ayurveda , a traditional healing art) .
Sri Lanka was ruled by different local kingdoms for two millennia, until large parts of the island were colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century and then by the Dutch . Only the Kingdom of Kandy in the highlands of the island was able to hold its own against the colonizers. In 1815, however, the entire country finally became part of the British Empire . During the Second World War , Sri Lanka served the Allies as a strategically important base in the fight against the Japanese Empire . Since the beginning of the 20th century there have been increasing efforts for independence. In 1948, after peaceful negotiations, Sri Lanka gained independence from the British. In contrast to most states of the so-called “ Third World ”, a stable, democratic system has existed since independence, which, however, was and still is burdened by the contradictions between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority. Between 1983 and 2009 there was an open civil war in Sri Lanka between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese- dominated central government, which claimed numerous lives, especially among the civilian population. The human rights crimes of the civil war have not yet been dealt with independently. Mahinda Rajapaksa was president of the country between 2005 and 2015 and ruled the country with an authoritarian gesture. From January 2015 to November 2019, Maithripala Sirisena was president, who had promised to turn away from authoritarianism . Thereafter Gotabaya Rajapaksa , Mahinda's brother, was elected president. Mahinda became head of government.
In the Vedic period (approx. 1500–400 BC) the island was called "Laṃkā", "Laṅkādvīpa", "Lakdiva" and "Lakbima"; in Pali it was also called "Sihala"; at the time of the Indian Maurya empire under Ashoka (approx. 3rd century BC) Sanskrit "Tāmraparnī" or Pali "Tambapanni". The name "Taprobane" (Ταπροβανῆ), which was mainly used by the ancient Greeks, is derived from the latter two names, which can be found in the ancient Buddhist chronicles of Sri Lanka ( Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa ) and in the rock inscriptions of Ashoka . Under this name, the island is mentioned and described by Onesikritos , a Greek historian and participant in the Alexander procession , and later in the " Geography " of Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century AD). The name was also adopted by all later Roman authors, for example in the Naturalis historia Pliny the Elder . In the Gupta period (around 400 AD) and at the time of the Indian great king Harshavardhana (7th century) it was called "Singhala"; in the late Middle Ages (13th / 14th century) “Silan” and “Sarandib” (from which “Serendip” was derived), which is the old Persian name for the island. The Portuguese called the island “Ceilão”, the Dutch and British “Ceylon”. With the entry into force of the new constitution on May 22, 1972, the state was renamed "Sri Lanka" (from 1978 "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka"), which is Sanskrit for "honorable island" (" Sri " is a general honorary title). The island is called ලංකාව (laṃkāva) in Sinhala and இலங்கை (ilaṅkai) in Tamil . The inhabitants of the island are called in German "Sri Lanker" or "Sri Lanker" and the associated adjective is "Sri Lankan". Many state institutions retained the old name “Ceylon” as part of the name even after the renaming (for example the Bank of Ceylon ). On January 1, 2011, the Sri Lankan government announced its intention to consistently change this name to "Sri Lanka".
In prehistoric times, the Indian subcontinent was much larger in area than it is today; at that time Sri Lanka was linked to India. The land masses were likely between 6000 and 3500 BC. Chr. Separated. The " Adam's Bridge " (a group of islands between Talaimannar and Rameswaram in India) is the last visible trace of this connection.
Sri Lanka is located in the Indian Ocean , southeast of the Indian subcontinent , between 6 ° and 10 ° north latitude and between 79 ° and 82 ° east longitude . It measures about 445 kilometers in north-south and 225 kilometers in east-west. It is separated from India (state of Tamil Nadu ) by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar . The coral rock islands of the Adam's Bridge represent a loose connection between the northwest of Sri Lanka and the Indian mainland. According to reports from the British colonial period, this natural dam is said to have been almost complete, but was destroyed by a strong storm in 1480. The Palk Street is so narrow that you can see the Sri Lankan coast from Rameswaram . The southern tip of the island is Dondra Head .
Sri Lanka can be divided into three different landscapes: central highlands with the famous tea-growing areas and mountains up tohigh, lowland plains that were made fertile centuries ago by artificial irrigation and the coastal area with fishing and palm beaches.
The central highlands in the southern center of Sri Lanka are the heart of the country. In the core of the highlands lies a high plateau 65 kilometers long in north-south direction. The highest point in the country is the Pidurutalagala with above sea level . Two mountain ranges extend from the southern end of the plateau, one 50 kilometers to the east to Namunakula ( ) and one 50 kilometers to the west to Sri Pada ( ). The Sri Pada is the most important mountain for various religions. In the west and east the center of the highlands borders on two plateaus; in the north and south there are further mountains, each separated from the center by valleys. The 240 meter high Bambarakanda Falls are the tallest waterfalls in Sri Lanka.
Most of the island consists of large tropical plains that are 30 to 200 meters above sea level. In the southwest, mountain ridges and valleys slowly merge into the central highlands. In the southeast there are plains and hills covered with laterite . The transition from the plain to the central highlands is abrupt, so that the mountains look like a wall. The plain in the north and east is flat and divided by narrow granite ridges towards the highlands.
The island is surrounded by a coastal belt 30 meters above sea level. The coasts of Sri Lanka mostly consist of sandy beaches.
More than 85 percent of Sri Lanka's surface lies on a Precambrian layer, some of which is over two billion years old . The metamorphic rock surface was created by the transformation of very old sediments. The theory of plate tectonics assumes that these rock massifs, which form the largest part of the Indian subcontinent , belonged to Gondwana . The Indian subcontinent separated from Gondwana 200 million years ago and headed for the Asian plate. After India collided with the Asian plate 45 million years ago, Sri Lanka was separated from mainland India by earthquakes or volcanic events.
Sri Lanka is rich in natural resources. In addition to iron ore, there are also tin ore , manganese , molybdenum , nickel , cobalt , arsenic , tungsten , tellurium and some gold . At gems are rubies , sapphires , topaz and spinels won.
The climate of Sri Lanka is tropical with different rainfall conditions, caused by the monsoons . Due to its location between the 5th and 10th degrees of northern latitude , the country has a warm climate with mild sea breezes and high humidity. Average temperatures range from 16 degrees Celsius in Nuwara Eliya in the central highlands (where there can even be snow and frost in winter) to 32 degrees Celsius in Trincomalee on the northeast coast of the country. The average annual temperature for the entire country is between 28 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January and May is the warmest.
While the south-west of the country (see Colombo climate diagram) is always humid with two clear precipitation maxima in May and October, the south-west monsoon on the north-east and east coast brings only little rainfall, as this area is located in the lee of the central mountains. Most of the precipitation falls there during the northeast monsoon in November and December (see Trincomalee climate diagram). The rainfall pattern is influenced by the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal and is determined by four seasons. In the first season from mid-May to October, southwest winds bring moisture from the Indian Ocean. When these winds hit the central highlands, heavy rain showers occur on the mountains and in the south-west of the country. The east and northeast of the island get little rain during this time. In the second season from October to November, periodic gusts of wind and sometimes cyclones occur, which bring cloudy weather to the island. In the third season, from December to March, the northeast monsoon brings moisture from the Bay of Bengal to the north and northeast of the country. The last season from March to mid-May brings little rainfall.
Flora and fauna
According to the precipitation conditions, the vegetation changes from west to east: In the area of the highest precipitation there is tropical rainforest and mountain forest , while xerophytic bush vegetation can be found in the north and east . In addition to plants that are exclusively native to Sri Lanka, there are also North Indian, Southeast Asian and Malay species.
In Anuradhapura there is the bodhi tree, the oldest historically known tree in the world. It is a Ficus religiosa , a direct offshoot of the original Bodhi tree in Bodh-Gaya in India, under which Buddha is said to have been enlightened. There is a direct offshoot of the tree in Anuradhapura in every Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka there are monitor lizards , crocodiles and also giant snakes like the light tiger python , which occurs in a subspecies. There are also various monkeys ( hat monkeys , Hanuman langurs and whitebeard langurs ) as well as sambars , axis deer and wild boar . There are even larger wild populations of the critically endangered Asian elephant in Sri Lanka . The island is also home to the Sri Lankan leopard . This subspecies is threatened with extinction with fewer than 400 to 600 animals. A large population of feral dogs is noticeable. Geckos are ubiquitous . The species-rich and colorful bird life of Sri Lanka offers white and other herons , huge flocks of cormorants , which win rich fish prey from the many reservoirs, parrots and crows .
|1||Central Province||Kandy||Kandy , Matale , Nuwara Eliya||5,674||2,722,000|
|2||Northern Central Province||Anuradhapura||Anuradhapura , Polonnaruwa||10,472||1,349,000|
|3||Northern Province||Jaffna||Jaffna , Kilinochchi , Mannar , Vavuniya , Mullaitivu||8,884||1,119,000|
|4th||Eastern Province||Trincomalee||Ampara , Batticaloa , Trincomalee||9,996||1,677,000|
|5||Northwest Province||Kurunegala||Kurunegala , Puttalam||7,888||2,508,000|
|6th||Southern province||bile||Galle , Hambantota , Matara||5,544||2,611,000|
|7th||Uva||Badulla||Badulla , Monaragala||8,500||1,349,000|
|8th||Sabaragamuwa||Ratnapura||Kegalle , Ratnapura||4,968||2,028,000|
|9||Western province||Colombo||Colombo , Gampaha , Kalutara||3,684||6,081,000|
From 1987 to 2007 the north and east provinces were united to form the north east province . However, the association was declared invalid in 2006 by the Supreme Court, so that from 2007 the province was again separated into the original provinces.
In 2016, 18.4% of the population lived in cities or urban areas. The five largest cities are (as of 2012 census):
- Colombo : 561,314 inhabitants
- Kaduwela : 252,041 inhabitants
- Maharagama : 196,423 inhabitants
- Kesbewa : 185,122 inhabitants
- Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia : 184,468 inhabitants
Modern humans, coming from Africa, reached South Asia about 60,000 years ago. Until about 5,000 BC There was a land bridge between the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka so that human populations could move back and forth here. The oldest evidence of the settlement of modern people in Sri Lanka date approximately to the period 28,000 BC. BC, but there are also traces of archaic hominids that are up to 125,000 years old.
There is little in-depth knowledge of the origins of Sri Lanka's indigenous people. It is unclear whether the fossils known as Homo sapiens balangodensis , dated to an age of 12,000 years, belong to the circle of their ancestors. Mostly, sagas and legends are used as a source of information about the indigenous population of the island. Parts of the Hindu epic Ramayana are set in Sri Lanka. However, the main sources are considered to be the Mahabharata and the Mahavamsa . According to these scriptures, the Nagas and Yakkas make up the indigenous population of Sri Lanka. The Dravids and Indo-Aryans most likely did not come to Sri Lanka until the first millennium BC.
The descendants of the so-called Yakkas, the Veddas , still live in Sri Lanka today. Their habitat was destroyed early on by clearing the jungle and converting it to arable land. They were resettled in villages where they mixed with Sinhalese and Tamils . It became even more critical for the indigenous population in the 20th century when they were increasingly displaced from their traditional habitats by settlement projects. Today only a few of them live entirely according to their traditions. It is estimated that there are still around 600 Veddas, making them a clear minority of the country's population and threatened with extinction. Thus the Veddas threaten the fate of all indigenous peoples. Due to assimilation, they will lose their independent culture and language in the foreseeable future.
Around 500 BC North Indian settlers ( belonging to the Indo-Aryans ), the later Sinhalese, came to Sri Lanka. The Indo-Aryan immigrants called themselves Siṃha Vaṃsa (in Sanskrit or Pali: Siṃha = "lion", Vaṃsa = "tribe, origin"). That is why the lion became the national symbol of the Sinhalese. Vijaya (543–504 BC) was the mythical tribal father of the Sinhalese and the first king of Sri Lanka. He is said to have been in the 6th century BC. BC with his entourage from the Kingdom of Vanga in northeast India to Sri Lanka. Linguistic historical facts suggest that the first Indo-Aryan settlers came from north-west India.
Around 247 BC Chr. Made Mahinda and his sister Sanghamitta from her father, the Mauryan emperor Ashoka sent to Sri Lanka, where the Buddhism in the form of Theravada known -Tradition. On the Missaka mountain about seven kilometers east of Anuradhapura was Mihintale , one of the first Buddhist monasteries. Since around 200 BC Buddhism was the state religion of the kingdom of Anuradhapura.
From the 6th century BC Until the 11th century AD was the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom Anuradhapura . Until the 14th century, the capital changed several times, including Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya . At least since the 13th century there was a Tamil kingdom with the capital Jaffna . These kingdoms were repeatedly under pressure from neighboring southern India, and the Chola dynasty ruled the entire island for several decades in the 11th century. In the period that followed, several regional (Sinhala and Tamil) kingdoms developed. The most important was the kingdom of Kotte (now Sri Jayewardenepura).
In the 1st millennium AD, trade and cultural exchanges with other great empires of the world, such as the Roman Empire and China, began . The Silk Road became an important trade route for the Sri Lankan kingdoms. The Chinese pilgrim monk Faxian reached the island through them around AD 414.
- Conflicts with the Chinese Empire
Later in 1410/1411 a conflict broke out between the Ming dynasty and the kingdom of Kotte due to piracy and again because of the tooth relic . The Chinese admiral Zheng He broke into the capital of Kotte with 2,000 men, captured the then ruling King Vira Alakesvara and brought him to China. The king was later released, but had lost his power due to the loss of reputation. Around 1414 a Chinese delegation reached Kotte again to help a new king, favored by the Chinese, to power, who would represent the interests of the Ming dynasty at the strategically important trading hub. In the meantime, however, the later King Parakramabahu IV had united almost the entire island and was able to ascend the throne of Kotte himself in 1415 and drive out the Chinese.
In modern times the country lost some of its independence and was repeatedly taken over by European colonial powers , which, however, only ruled the coastal plains; In the highlands, the Kingdom of Kandy was initially able to assert itself . First Portugal conquered the coastal regions of the island in 1518. After Colombo had already become Dutch two years earlier, in 1658 the rest of the Portuguese part of the island also fell to the Dutch East India Company (see Dutch possessions in South Asia ). British rule over Ceylon began in 1796 and in 1803 it was given the status of a crown colony .
After the Kingdom of Kandy was conquered in 1815 , the last Sri Lankan king Vikrama Rajasinha was arrested and brought to India and several uprisings were suppressed, the entire island was finally contractually British in 1818 . Then the infrastructure was expanded and the cultivation of coffee in plantations was promoted. From 1840 Indian Tamils were recruited to work on the plantations in the highlands. Tea plantations replaced coffee cultivation in 1860 . The first national movements arose during the First World War . The Ceylon Reform League , founded in 1917 and merged into the Ceylon National Congress two years later , was able to push through a constitutional reform in which 19 out of 27 members of the Legislative Assembly were to be elected. This national movement broke up due to disputes between Sinhalese and Tamils . Even after the Donoughmore Commission (1927/28) there was no real participation of the local population in the government. Seven of the ten ministers were elected, but the three most important ministerial posts continued to be appointed by the British governor. Sri Lanka was one of the first countries in Asia and Africa to achieve women's suffrage . As part of the Donoughmore constitutional reforms of 1931, active and passive suffrage for women over the age of 21 was introduced on March 20, 1931. While the commission had recommended restricted voting rights for women over 30, when the reforms were introduced in 1931, all women over 21 were given the right to vote. Since then, however, women have only been represented in a very small number on political bodies. Of the members of the legislative assembly at the national level, they never made up more than 4% of the members, and participation at the level of the local governing bodies was also insignificant.
Ceylon became the British Dominion in June 1947, and finally independent within the British Commonwealth on February 4, 1948 . The two-chamber system consisted of the Parliament of Ceylon as the upper house and the House of Representatives as the lower house. When independence was achieved in 1948, active and passive voting rights for women were confirmed.
On May 22, 1972 Ceylon became a republic called "Sri Lanka".
On November 17, 2005 Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected president of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) with 50.33% of the vote. The turnout in the Tamil areas was estimated to be just one percent. Rajapaksa was confirmed in office for a further six years on January 26, 2010 after an early election with 57.88% of the vote. Sarath Fonseka , the opposition leader and opposing candidate, received about 40% of the vote. Two days after the election, he announced that he would have the election result challenged and expressed concern about his security situation. On February 8, 2010, Sarath Fonseka was arrested by the government. A government spokesman said Fonseka was facing a military tribunal for plotting against the government. The government accused Fonseka of planning a coup against them. The opposition accused the government of wanting to prevent Fonseka from participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Sarath Fonseka, who as a former army leader had been accused of war crimes against the Tamils, announced that he would hand over information to the international tribunals about war crimes in the 25-year civil war. The parliamentary election on April 8, 2010 was won with a clear majority by Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). On April 21, 2010 DM Jayaratne was sworn in as the new Prime Minister in Parliament.
In October 2014, about 1½ years before the end of his second term, Rajapaksa surprisingly announced that new elections would be held in January 2015. At his instigation, the constitution had previously been changed to allow him to run for a third term, which was previously not possible. Surprisingly, his party colleague Maithripala Sirisena was proclaimed the top candidate of the opposition and won the presidential election on January 8, 2015 .
Environmental disasters off Sri Lanka
A devastating natural disaster struck Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004. A tsunami triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake destroyed large parts of the east and south coasts as well as the west coast south of Colombo and killed over 45,000 people.
From May 20 to June 1, 2021, the container ship X-Press Pearl of the X-Press Feeders Group of the Sea Consortium shipping company was in flames off Sri Lanka. Plastic parts, oil and debris from the fire washed up on the beaches. Eight containers with polyethylene pellets that had fallen from the ship caused serious environmental damage. "This is probably the worst beach pollution in our history," Sri Lankan Marine Protection Agency chairman Dharshani Lahandapura said on May 29, 2021. On June 2, 2021, the X-Press Pearl sank while attempting to drag it into deeper waters in the Indian Ocean .
The dominant population group in Sri Lanka are the Sinhalese . According to the 2012 census, they make up 74.9 percent of the island's population. The largest ethnic minority, with a total of 15.4 percent of the population, are the Tamils , who are divided into Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils . The native Sri Lankan Tamils make up 11.2 percent of the population and settle in the northern and eastern provinces . The Indian Tamils are descendants of Tamils who immigrated to Sri Lanka as plantation workers from South India ( Tamil Nadu ) during the British colonial period . Their share of the population is 4.2 percent, most of them live in the tea-growing areas in the central highlands. 9.2 percent of Sri Lanka's population are Moors , Tamil-speaking Muslims who identify themselves as descendants of Arab traders. They are scattered all over the island, with the highest percentage of the population in the Eastern Province. Smaller minorities are the 40,000 Malays , whose ancestors immigrated from what is now Indonesia and Malaysia during the Dutch and British colonial times , and the 37,000 Burgher , descendants of European colonists and native women. The indigenous people of Sri Lanka, the Veddas , have been almost completely displaced and are only estimated to be a few hundred individuals.
The Sinhalese speak Sinhala , an Indo-Aryan language , while the Tamils and Moors speak Tamil , which belongs to the group of Dravidian languages . English is widely used as a lingua franca and education. According to the constitutional amendment of 1987, Sinhala and Tamil are the official and national languages of Sri Lanka, and English is recognized as a connecting language.
- Ethnic conflict
Sinhalese and Tamils have lived in Sri Lanka for over 2000 years . Among the Tamils in Sri Lanka, a distinction is made between Indian Tamils and Sri Lankan Tamils . The Indian Tamils are the Tamils who were brought to Sri Lanka as plantation workers from South India ( Tamil Nadu ) during the English colonial period . They are located in the central mountains of Sri Lanka, while the native Tamils live in the northeastern coastal areas. The history of the Indian Tamils is often confused with that of the native Tamils, which leads to the occasional error that Tamils did not immigrate to Sri Lanka until the 19th century. The civil war was fought between the Sinhalese and the native Tamils.
- Colonial times
The main potential for conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils comes from the colonial era. At that time the Tamils, as a majority literate population group, were preferred as administrative officials and therefore identified by the Sinhalese with the colonial power. With independence, nationalist Sinhalese wanted to eliminate the Tamils' lead in power. Tamil , like English, should be banned from official offices and public life; Sinhala should be the common language. For the majority of Tamils, most of whom did not master it, this was neither practical nor acceptable. There were armed protests in the Tamil area and the formation of political movements with a spectrum of goals between federal territorial solutions, efforts to separate and join India.
Shortly before independence in 1948, the Tamils demanded constitutional protection of minorities with a guarantee that their human rights would be preserved. G. G. Ponnambalam, the leader of the Tamil Congress , had demanded equal voting rights for Tamils from the British Soulbury Commission , which was responsible for leading the Sri Lankan independence process. According to this right to vote, the Tamils should be seen as an equally represented voice despite their relatively small proportion of the total population (approx. 15%). This demand was unsuccessful, however, and the British left the island while political power went to the United National Party (UNP). At the time of its founding, the coalition consisted of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim parties. With G. G. Ponnambalam and C. Sundaralinkam there were two Tamil ministers in the cabinet.
The election victory of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in 1956, which had advertised with patriotic slogans, led to pro-Sinhala politics. The preference given to the Tamil minority during the colonial period in terms of education and profession (e.g. in colonial administration) was viewed by the Sinhalese majority as a social injustice. The government's aim was to reduce the disproportionate representation of Tamil minorities in administrative, educational and economic areas and to adapt it to the current demographic situation. This led to the preference for the Sinhalese language and Buddhism and a quota system based on regional affiliation for university admissions. This development was viewed as a future threat by the Tamil minority.
The Sri Lankan population explosion and youth unemployment of Tamils and Sinhalese made the political situation more difficult, as the governments were unable to offer any concrete measures to reduce youth unemployment after independence. This resulted in the Marxist uprising of part of the Sinhala youth (" Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna ") in 1971. At the same time, a tendency of part of the Tamil youth to armed uprising developed, supported by Marxist ideology.
In 1970, several Tamil parties joined together to form the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), which calls for its own Tamil state ( Tamil Eelam , spoken ˈtamiɭ ˌiːlam , German Tamil Lanka ) in the north and east of the island.
At the end of the reign of the SLFP under Sirimavo Bandaranaike , the conflict was temporarily calm. Despite these rapprochements, conflicts between the two ethnic groups continued. Tamil radical groups still insisted on separation. Out of these groups, the radical LTTE stood out, which also included moderate Tamils who were open to other conflict solutions, such as B. Alfred Dureiappa (Mayor of Jaffna 1975) or Amirthalingam, leader of the TULF, murdered. The LTTE was later also accused of ethnic cleansing in Jaffna and the mass murder of Sinhala farmers.
The United National Party (UNP), consisting of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, triumphed in 1977 with a constitution-changing majority under Junius Richard Jayawardene . He denied the Tamil MPs their guaranteed quota seats on generalized charges of separatism and declared them all enemies of the state. He also changed the constitution and headed a presidential system based on the French model. J. R. Jayawardene was relatively successful compared to his successors because he received external support from the Western powers and from within the Tamil, Muslim and Christian minorities.
- Civil war
Jayawardene's policies escalated the conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese from July 1983 . The radical Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who called for an independent Tamil state in the north and east of the island, were very popular. In 1986 the LTTE militias captured the Jaffna Peninsula, which is almost exclusively inhabited by Tamils, and large parts of the north-central and eastern provinces, the main settlement areas for the Tamils. The deployment of Indian peacekeeping troops with the approval of the Sri Lankan government in June 1987 met with opposition from the LTTE, which caused the fighting to escalate. Due to frequent misconduct, the Indian troops made themselves unpopular with both conflicting parties, so that the Sri Lankan government and the rebels even worked together (including undercover arms deliveries) to drive the peacekeeping out. After two years, Indian troops withdrew without resolving the conflict.
In the mid-1990s, the clashes between Sinhalese and Tamils escalated again when government troops recaptured the Jaffna Peninsula in December 1995. In November 1999, the Liberation Tigers launched a major offensive in the central north of the country, before a ceasefire was concluded between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels in February 2002. This was followed by peace negotiations between Sinhalese and Tamils in Geneva , which failed in February 2006. Through its brutal approach, for example the use of suicide squads ( Black Tigers ), the LTTE has lost a lot of foreign sympathy and is now viewed by the EU and the USA as a terrorist organization.
On August 12, 2005, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated. A political background was obvious, although the perpetrator could not be clarified. The LTTE denied having carried out the attack.
At the beginning of August 2006, according to estimates by the Red Cross, 6,000 to 7,000 families fled the predominantly Muslim city of Mutur ( Mooduthara on Sinhala), where the civil war flared up again. The fighting intensified massively in August. Well over 200 people were killed on August 12 alone, including a senior mediator in the peace process. In August, too, access to the crisis region was made difficult by foreign aid workers, and food was scarce. In March 2007, Sri Lanka was close to the outbreak of war after the army launched a major offensive against the LTTE in January. About 150,000 people fled.
On November 2, 2007, the head of the political wing and chief negotiator of the LTTE, SP Thamilselvan, was killed in an air strike by the Sri Lankan Air Force, a further blow to the peace negotiations.
The ceasefire agreement between the LTTE and the government was terminated by the government on January 2, 2008. A few hours before the expiry of the two-week notice period, there was an explosive attack on a bus near the southeastern town of Buttola, killing at least 22 people. The LTTE is presumed to be the originator.
At first several areas could be recaptured by government troops, but the advance came to a halt in front of the city of Kilinochchi . It was not until January 1, 2009 that the Sri Lankan army took the LTTE stronghold in the north after an offensive.
On January 25, 2009, Mullaitivu was captured by the Sri Lankan army. The LTTE thus lost the last city it still controlled. According to the United Nations, around 250,000 civilians were trapped in the combat area. In May, the military was also able to capture the last stretch of coast controlled by the LTTE. The LTTE's sphere of influence was now concentrated in a region of just a few square kilometers in the north-east of the island.
The fighting between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan army resulted in thousands of civilian deaths in the spring of 2009, up to 200,000 people had to leave the region held by the rebels and could not be adequately cared for. In view of the humanitarian situation, the United Nations Security Council formulated an official statement on the civil war in Sri Lanka for the first time on May 13, 2009 and called on the parties to the conflict to work for the security of the trapped population and to take care of the refugees.
- End of the civil war
In view of the territorial gains in May 2009, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared the LTTE defeated and the civil war over on May 16, 2009. The remaining rebels were surrounded by the military , initially nothing was known about the fate of the rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran . Through the Tamilnet website , the LTTE announced that it would abandon its weapons in order not to further endanger the civilian population.
According to confirmed information from the Sri Lankan Army, Velupillai Prabhakaran and the entire LTTE leadership elite were shot dead by a special unit on May 18, 2009 while they were fleeing from government troops.
On the protest march from Pottuvil to Polikandy from February 3rd to 7th, 2021, Tamil and Moorish minorities again expressed their will for political participation.
Sri Lanka's population grew from 7.9 million in 1950 to over 20 million in 2017. In the meantime, however, population growth has slowed significantly and amounted to 0.8% in 2016. The birth rate per woman was 2.1 children. For every 1000 inhabitants there were 15.5 births and 6.2 deaths annually. The median age was 32.5 years. Sri Lanka is a country of emigration and millions of Sri Lankans live abroad, especially in the Arab Gulf States and in the USA and Great Britain. In 2017 only 0.2% of the population was born abroad.
According to the 2012 census, 70.2 percent of Sri Lanka's population are Buddhists , 12.6 percent Hindus , 9.7 percent Muslim and 7.4 percent Christian (6.1 percent Catholics and 1.3 percent others). The distribution of religions reflects the ethnic breakdown of the population of Sri Lanka: The Sinhalese are mostly Buddhists, the Tamils are mostly Hindus and the Moors are exclusively Muslim. There are also Christian minorities among Tamils and Sinhalese.
Mahayana was widespread among Buddhists from the 8th to 11th centuries . Buddhists in Sri Lanka have belonged to the Theravada School since the 12th century . As a Buddhist country, Sri Lanka has a special position in the predominantly Hindu South Asia. Buddhism is given a special position in the Sri Lankan constitution: According to this, the state is obliged to “protect and promote” Buddhism. Among the Hindus in Sri Lanka, as with the Tamils on the Indian mainland, Shaivism is the most widespread religious tendency. The Muslims of Sri Lanka are Sunnis of the Shafiite school of law. As a result of the Portuguese missionary work during the colonial period, Catholicism dominated the Christians, but there were also Anglicans ( Church of Ceylon ) and Protestant groups. The following maps show the percentage of the population of the largest religious communities by district.
Since 2015 the number of attacks by Buddhist extremists on members of religious minorities has increased. Since then, Christians, Muslims and Hindus in particular have increasingly been victims of religiously motivated violence .
The largest terrorist attack in Sri Lanka was carried out on Easter Sunday 2019 . Muslim terrorists primarily targeted Christians in a series of attacks on one day; four of the attacks were carried out on Christian churches during the Easter service. A total of 253 people were killed and around 500 injured. The Islamic State claimed the attack for itself. The first six explosions were carried out by suicide bombers.
|Period||Life expectancy||Period||Life expectancy|
In 2015, the female life expectancy was 78.0 years and the male 71.2 years. Government spending on health care in 2006 was approximately $ 105 ( purchasing power parity ).
In Sri Lanka there are around 48.9 doctors for every 100,000 people. The organization Doctors Without Borders is active in the country.
The current constitution in Sri Lanka was passed in 1977 under the government of the United National Party . As a result, Sri Lanka is a presidential democracy with a strong position of the president. The president, whose regular term of office is 6 years, is directly elected by the people. He appoints the Prime Minister who runs the business of government. The parliament, which is made up of 225 members, is also elected every six years with a mixture of proportional and majority voting.
Politics in Sri Lanka has been shaped by two large parties since independence ( two-party system ), on the one hand the United National Party (UNP), which belongs to the conservative-liberal spectrum, on the other hand the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) , a socialist party. There are also smaller interest parties, e.g. B. the Tamils in the northern and eastern provinces ( Tamil National Alliance , TNA), the Tamils in the interior ( Tamil Progressive Alliance , TPA), the Muslims ( Sri Lanka Muslim Congress , SLMC), Sinhala Buddhist parties ( Jathika Hela Urumaya , JHU ) and other. The communists were also important in the past (e.g. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna , JVP), but their share of the vote has been declining for a long time. The UNP and SLFP took turns in government at irregular intervals. More or less forced by the electoral system, the country's smaller parties usually join one of the two large parties before parliamentary elections and form party alliances, e.g. B. the United People's Freedom Alliance under the SLFP or the United National Front (UNF) under the UNP. This guarantees the smaller parties a few seats in parliament.
|Name of the index||Index value||Worldwide rank||Interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||81.8 out of 120||52 of 178||Stability of the country: big warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|Democracy index||6.14 out of 10||68 of 167||Incomplete democracy
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
|Freedom in the World Index||56 of 100||-||Freedom status: partially free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Freedom of the press ranking||42.2 out of 100||127 of 180||Difficult situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
|Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)||38 out of 100||94 of 180||0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean||2020|
The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 15.5 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 10.9 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 5.6% of GDP . The national debt was 77.3% of GDP in 2016. Due to the relatively high foreign debt, the country's government bonds are rated B + by the American rating agency Standard & Poor’s (as of November 2018). Government bonds from Sri Lanka are therefore considered "junk".
In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:
Sri Lanka is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement . As a former colony, its principle of non-interference in internal affairs is one of the guiding principles of the country's foreign policy. Sri Lanka is also a. Member of the Commonwealth of Nations , the United Nations and the SAARC . Sri Lanka is the headquarters of the Colombo Plan , an organization that aims to promote regional development in South and Southeast Asia.
Relations between the country and western nations have fluctuated over the past few decades, with the United National Party advocating closer ties between the country and the western community of states and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party advocating rapprochement with the countries of the so-called Third World. Over time, however, the overriding importance of India in the country's foreign and domestic politics remained constant. During the civil war India supported the central government of Sri Lanka against the insurgents in order to keep its immediate geographical environment stable and to prevent a possible spread of Tamil separatism into its own national territory. From 1987 to 1990 India intervened directly in the war, which is why Tamil extremists murdered Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in revenge in 1991 . Ten Indians and 16 Sri Lankans were later convicted of the crime. Because of these events and India's role as a big brother, relations between the two states were not always free of tensions. However, they have improved significantly since the end of the war in 2009. Economically, politically and diplomatically, both countries have become close partners and Sri Lanka supports India's application for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council .
From 2007 the People's Republic of China began to steadily increase its presence in Sri Lanka. Starting with diplomatic and military support for the government in the war against the Tamil Tigers, economic cooperation in particular intensified, and the PRC began to invest specifically in the country's infrastructure. Beijing's strategic intention behind this is the development of the so-called maritime Silk Road , in which Sri Lanka occupies an important position between the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca . This increased presence in the Indian Ocean (pearl necklace strategy) is in turn perceived by India as an encirclement, which leads to increasing tensions in the Indian Ocean. The state's high debts to the People's Republic of China for various construction projects, which were also partly overshadowed by corruption scandals, are also proving to be problematic. In 2017, the state could no longer service a loan and had to lease the newly built port in Hambantota for 99 years to the Chinese company China Merchants Port Holdings .
Other countries with which Sri Lanka has close ties are the United Kingdom, the United States and the Arab Gulf States, where most of the state's diaspora live. Relations with Germany are characterized by the Foreign Office as good and friendly. At the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, President Sirisena was on 17/18. February 2016 visiting Germany. In 2017, 130,000 German tourists visited Sri Lanka (in 2010 there were only 46,000). In 2018, both countries celebrated the 65th anniversary of their mutual diplomatic relations.
The armed forces of Sri Lanka consist of the army ( Sri Lanka Yuddha Hamudawa ), the navy ( Sri Lanka Navika Hamudawa ) and the air force ( Sri Lanka Guwan Hamudawa ). The Sri Lankan armed forces had a staff of around 250,000 in 2020. The military budget has since expanded significantly and amounted to US $ 1.89 billion in 2021.
In the civil war in Sri Lanka that lasted from 1983 to 2009 , the army was ultimately able to defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The civil war ended on May 18, 2009 with the complete military victory of the Sri Lankan government forces over the rebels. The death toll during the war between 1983 and 2009 is estimated at 80,000 to 100,000.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the plantation economy dominated and the island was mainly known for the cultivation of cinnamon , rubber and tea ( Ceylon ). The ports were modernized under British rule, making the island strategically important as a hub for long-distance trade. During the Second World War, the Allies stationed equipment and troops on the island. In 2013, Sri Lanka was the third largest exporter of tea in the world after Kenya and the People's Republic of China in terms of export volume.
After independence from 1948 to 1977, the economic policies of the incumbent governments were shaped by socialism. Colonial plantations were abolished and industrial facilities were nationalized. During this period, living standards improved and illiteracy rates fell, but the economy suffered from inefficiency, slow growth and a lack of foreign investment. In 1977 the government broke nationalization and has been promoting the private sector ever since.
In the “Doing Business Index” of the World Bank, Sri Lanka reached 110th place out of 190 in 2016. 80 percent of the gross domestic product is generated by the private economy. However, socialist labor legislation and unclear bureaucratic decision-making processes are still an obstacle for foreign investors. In 2015, the gross domestic product (GDP) was USD 81.1 billion, or USD 3,920 per capita. In purchasing power parity , the GDP is 274.7 billion US dollars or about 12,800 US dollars per inhabitant (2017). Real growth in the same year was 3.1%. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Sri Lanka ranks 85th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2017, the country was ranked 112th out of 180 countries in the Index for Economic Freedom .
Unemployment is around 4.2%. The problem is the high youth unemployment rate of around 20%. According to World Bank figures , 1.9% of the population lived on less than 1.90 US dollars a day in 2012 and thus lived in extreme poverty. In 1985 the proportion was 13.3%.
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
( purchasing power parity )
|GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
The Foreign Trade Sri Lanka
The main export goods from Sri Lanka are textiles, clothing, tea, precious stones and coconut products. After the end of the civil war, the number of visitors increased. For December 2017, over 240,000 arriving tourists were registered.
Sri Lanka has been a member of the International Monetary Fund since 1950 ; After almost three decades, the IMF recently closed its office in the country, a move that was welcomed by the government. According to an IMF official, the reason for the closure of the IMF office was because the Sri Lankan government refused to help the organization and there were no more ongoing IMF programs. The World Bank , according to the country should increase its foreign exchange reserves because it is vulnerable to external shocks. In the course of 2006, the Sri Lankan government sold about $ 400 million to shore up the country's currency, which was under pressure.
The Federal Republic of Germany is providing financial aid to Sri Lanka. The economic relations between the two countries are governed by several trade agreements (1950, 1955, 1958), a double taxation agreement (1979), a framework agreement on technical cooperation (1973) and an investment promotion and protection agreement (2000).
Most of the cities of Sri Lanka are connected by the rail network of the state-owned railway company Sri Lanka Railways . The first line was inaugurated on April 26, 1867 and connected Colombo with Kandy. In 2012, the entire road network covered around 114,093 km, of which 16,977 km were paved. The government has launched several projects to build high-speed lines to improve the economy and the national transport system.
Road and water transport
The state-run Sri Lanka Transport Board is responsible for the bus transport system across the island. Sri Lanka also has a water transport system with a length of 430 kilometers. The three largest ports in Sri Lanka are in Colombo , Trincomalee and Galle . There is also a port for barges in Kankesanturai, north of Jaffna .
Sri Lanka has 16 civil airports (as of 2021, see the list of airports in Sri Lanka ). Officially, there are five international airports, although so far only the Bandaranaike International Airport has been served to a large extent in international scheduled air traffic . It is located in Katunayake , about 35 kilometers north of Colombo . The operator is Airport & Aviation (Sri Lanka) Limited . SriLankan Airlines is Sri Lanka's second official flag carrier after the disbanded Air Ceylon and has been named the best airline in South Asia by Skytrax .
Culture and sport
See also: World Heritage in Sri Lanka
Although the official national sport of Sri Lanka is volleyball , cricket tops the list of the most popular sports by a wide margin. The Sri Lankan national cricket team is one of the best in the world. Even though Sri Lanka got the status of a test cricket team in 1982 , it did not advance to the top of the world cricket world until the early 1990s, which culminated in winning the World Cup in 1996 and the Asia Cup in 1997 . Since then, Sri Lanka has played regularly for the crown of the world's best. The ICC Champions Trophy was shared with India in 2002 , and it was runner-up both in 2007 (against Australia ) and in 2011 (against India ), as well as in the ICC T20 World Cups in 2009 and 2012 . Sri Lanka also won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh after defeating India in the final. The national team also won the Asia Cups in 1986 , 1997, 2004 , 2008 and 2014 . Sri Lanka was co-host of the World Cups 1996 and 2011, as well as the ICC World Twenty20 2014. The Asia Cup was also held several times in Sri Lanka.
Other popular sports include rugby , water sports , athletics , soccer , basketball, and tennis . Sri Lankan schools and universities hold regular competitions to compete on a regional or national level.
Sri Lanka's national rugby union team is considered the fourth strongest in Asia after Japan , Hong Kong and South Korea , but they have not yet qualified for a rugby union world cup . Sri Lanka takes part in the Asia Rugby Championship , where you compete against other emerging national teams. With around 103,000 registered rugby players, Sri Lanka is the second largest rugby nation in Asia after Japan.
Sri Lanka has a large number of sports stadiums - the most famous include the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground and R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, as well as the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla and the Galle International Stadium in Galle .
The largest radio and television stations are under government control. The government also owns the largest publishing house. In 2019, 34% of the population used the internet.
The non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders reports that all media, including news portals on the Internet, require a state license. Laws dating from the time of the civil war heavily regulate the media and also led to journalists' self-censorship.
The traditional music of Sri Lanka has been influenced by the cultural influences since the immigrants from northern India in the middle of the 1st millennium BC. Chr. Recognizable. From them the Sinhalese emerged, who since the 3rd century BC. Are followers of Theravada Buddhism. Since, according to Buddhist teaching, no rituals are required and salvation can only be striven for by each individual, neither ceremonial music nor music in the community of believers would be required. The religious music of the Sinhalese, which is still present, arose from the folk religion and consists predominantly of drum rhythms and chants corresponding to the occasion, with which protective gods, ancestral gods and demons are invoked and worshiped. Otherwise, music was promoted by the Sinhalese kings who, according to the Mahavamsa Chronicle (5th century AD), ruled the island since the arrival of the Northern Indians.
The Tamils, as the second largest population group, maintain their own musical traditions with Hindu cult music from South India. This goes back to the 11th century when the Tamil Chola Empire ruled Sri Lanka. Further musical connections can be ascribed to the geographical location of the island, which had been on a sea trade route between the East African coast, Arabia and Southeast Asia since the second half of the 1st millennium. One such link is the rabana frame drum , the name of which is not known in India. It came to the Malay Islands with the Arab-Islamic culture , where it is played as rebana by the Muslims in religious music, and from there to Sri Lanka. From the 16th century onwards, the musical influences of the European colonists followed: Portuguese (from 1505) who brought African slaves with them in the 17th century, Dutch (from 1658) and British (from 1796) who had Africans in their ranks in the 19th century Army led.
First, a distinction is made between the ritual and religious music of the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Sinhala cult music is stylistically divided into three major cultural regions, which roughly correspond to the use of certain Sinhalese drum types. The vast majority of the repertoire of drum rhythms belongs to ritual dance styles and popular religious practices. The most famous is the cultural region of the central highlands around Kandy. The dance and drum styles of the highlands (preferably with the barrel drum gata bera and the large cylinder drum dawula ) are propagated as Sinhalese national styles and staged on stages because the Kingdom of Kandy was not replaced by British rule until 1815, i.e. later than the coastal regions therefore the local musical culture is considered to be the most traditional. Even if the dance and music styles were previously only practiced on ritual occasions by male members of socially inferior professional castes, today they are part of the repertoire at entertainment events and are performed by both sexes and all social classes. The second cultural region is the lowlands in the south with the southwest and south coast, where a long, slender cylinder drum ( yak bera ) accompanies the dances in cult acts directed at protective deities ( deva tovil ) and in private possession ceremonies . The third cultural region lies in between and coincides with the province of Sabaragamuwa (where the cylinder drum dawula is preferred).
Buddhist rituals include the chanted recitation of religious texts by monks and temple processions ( perahera ), especially the annual Esala Perahera procession around the Sri Dalada Maligawa ("Temple of the Tooth") in Kandy. A group of hymn singers ( kavikara maduva ), who praise the Buddha in hymns ( prashasti ), and large drum ensembles perform here . Three times a day, a temple ensemble ( hevisi ) usually plays a musical sacrificial ceremony with the cylinder drum dawula , which always serves as a ceremonial drum , a pair of kettle drums tamattama and a small cone oboe horanewa , sometimes supplemented by hand cymbals ( talampata ). On special occasions, a snail horn sounds at the beginning .
The former ritual mask theater Kolam on the southwest coast is now performed for entertainment on some festive days. All roles are only performed by men and, apart from the recitations, all scenes are accompanied by cylinder drums ( yak bera ). Other traditional folk theater of the Sinhalese are the Sokari dance and mask theater in the highlands , which emerged from fertility rites and the nadagam , which became popular in the second half of the 19th century and which goes back to the older Tamil folk theater Nattukuttu , which has now disappeared .
The Hindu temple music of the Tamils includes the barrel drum tavil, known from South India, and the long double-reed instrument nadaswaram . For other rituals, such as funeral processions, the lower Tamil professional caste of the Paraiyar plays the double-headed cylinder drum parai and the pair of kettle drums tampattam . The Muslims cultivate Quran recitations and forms of Sufi music. The Tamil-speaking population in the north and on the east coast knows their own forms of folk dramas such as Vada modi, Ten modi and Koothu . The Malay minority, who converse in a combination of Malay , Sinhala, and Tamil, has a tradition of orally transmitted ballads that primarily belong to the pantun genre . In addition, there are religious songs for the worship of Muhammad among the Malays .
In addition to the mask plays Sokari and Kolam staged on open stages in the villages and the nadagam dance performance , the popular Nurti music theater was developed in Colombo at the beginning of the 20th century and performed in theaters in front of a paying audience. Nurti was from the wandering music theaters of parsing marked and placed according to opulent stage, costumes and music. Historical, mythical and religious stories were offered. The Nurti music style was predominant in the cities until the 1930s when it was replaced by Indian film music. A dance music style that is still popular today and goes back to the influence of the Portuguese and the black African slaves they abducted is baila . The Portuguese introduced the guitar, which, together with clapping of hands, formed the simple accompaniment of the older acoustic Baila songs. Modern Baila ensembles use electric guitars , synthesizers and drums to accompany the sappy songs that are standard at weddings and other parties. Typically, a baila ensemble with electric instruments also uses the guitar, banjo or mandolin , violin , the frame drum rabana and a pair of congas .
From the 1960s onwards, Sinhala Pop developed from a mixture of Indian film music, Western pop music and reggae . Such a band consists of a singer, electric guitar, synthesizer and an electric drum set. The light classical music (Sinhala sarala gi ) heard in the cities orchestrates catchy melodies with instruments known from classical Indian music such as violin, sitar , sarod , flute ( bansuri ) and tabla .
There is general compulsory schooling from 5 to 14 years of age. At the five-year primary school ( Primary School ) join in secondary education three years of junior secondary school (middle education) and the three-year Senior Secondary School (Degree: university) to. The languages of instruction are Sinhala and Tamil . English is a compulsory subject. The literacy rate in 2006 was around 91 percent, that of 15 to 24-year-olds around 96 percent. This is mainly thanks to the introduction of free education in 1945 by the first Minister of Education of Sri Lanka, CWW Kannangara .
Schools and universities
The primary schools established in all regions guarantee schooling for all residents. All students are required to wear a school uniform, the purchase of the material is financed by the state. - Despite compulsory schooling, around a third of the children do not attend school or are taken out of school early because they have to help at home or even work for the family's income. - At around ten percent, the illiteracy rate is well below the average for the world population (23%).
There are 13 universities including the University of Colombo and the University of Peradeniya . The oldest such facility is in the town of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (founded in 1873); H. the one with the most students is the university in Colombo (11,604 students; as of 2021). The thirteen cities with universities:
- Sri Jayewardenepura
- Sri Lankabhimanya , Sri Lanka's highest national award
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