Geography of Sri Lanka
General information about Sri Lanka
The official name is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajawadi Janarajaya). It is located in southern Asia, on the island of the same name in the Indian Ocean, southeast of the Indian subcontinent. The area is 65610 km2, the population is 19.58 million people. (2002). The official languages are Sinhalese and Tamil; English is the language of international communication. The capital is Colombo (642 thousand people, 2001). The administrative capital is Sri Jayewardenepura Kote (seat of Parliament). Public holiday – Independence Day February 4 (since 1948). The monetary unit is the rupee.
Member of the British Commonwealth of Nations (since 1948), WTO (since 1948), UN (since 1955), SAARC (since 1985), etc.
Geography of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is located between 79°50′ and 82°00′ East longitude and 6°00′ and 9°50′ North latitude. Washed by the Indian Ocean. The length of the coastline is 1340 km. OK. 80% of the territory is occupied by low and sometimes hilly plains (30–200 m above sea level). In the central and southern parts there is a stepped upland. The average height of the mountains is 1000-2000 m above sea level. The highest point of the island is Mount Pidurutalagala (2524 m).
Main minerals: limestone, graphite, precious and semi-precious stones, coastal-marine “black” sands (with ilmenite, rutile, zircon and monazite), phosphates, kaolin and other clays. The soils are red earth and lateritic, along the river valleys and along the coasts there are strips of alluvial soils.
According to Bridgat, the climate is tropical monsoon. The average annual temperature in the country is +27°С. Temperature changes throughout the year are insignificant. The two main monsoon periods are summer and winter. On the southwestern slopes of the highlands, precipitation falls from 2500 to 5000 mm per year, on the southeastern slopes – from 1200 to 2000 mm. The rivers start in the central highlands. The longest are Mahaweli Ganga (335 km) and Aruvi Aru (170 km).
1/3 of the territory is covered with forests. Natural forests of the humid zone have survived only in the interior of the southwest. In the north and east there are secondary deciduous forests. Fauna of the Indomalayan type, with an admixture of Madagascar species.
Population of Sri Lanka
Natural population growth in 1991-2002 decreased from 1.5% to 0.85%. The birth rate dropped sharply (16.4%). Mortality 6.5‰, infant mortality 15.7 pers. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 72.4 years. Because of the civil war, there is a negative balance of migration (more than 200 thousand Tamils left for Western countries, more than 100 thousand – for India).
Women make up 50.8% of the population. The share of young people (up to 15 years of age) is 25.6%. Urban population 22.8% (2000). Among the population over 15 years of age, St. 91.6% (2000).
74% of the population are Sinhalese, 18% are Tamils. Sinhalese speaking the Sinhalese language (belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of Indo-European languages) inhabit the western, central and southern regions of the country, and Tamils speaking the Ceylonese dialect of the Tamil language (belongs to the southern group of Dravidian languages) inhabit the northern and eastern regions (a small part “Indian” Tamils live in the central regions). OK. 7% of the population are so-called. Ceylon Moors (Muslims claiming to be of Arab origin, but apparently coming from South India). There are also burghers (descendants of Dutch settlers), Malays and other ethnic groups. The most ancient population are extremely small Veddas.
70% of the population (Singhalese) are Buddhists, 15% (Tamils) are Hindus, 8% (burghers, some Tamils, etc.) are Christians, 7% (Moors, Malays) are Muslims (2000).