07-01, East Tower
Word Trade Center
Echelon Square
Colombo 01
Sri Lanka.

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Hot Line: +94 11 4724269
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General Information

Fact File
  Country Name  
Conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Conventional short form: Sri Lanka
Former: Ceylon
  Size   65,525 sq km  
  Capital   Sri Jayawardenepura  
  Commercial Capital   Colombo  
  Government   Sri Lanka is a free, independent and sovereign nation with a population of 18.774 million (1998 mid year estimates). Legislative power is exercised by a Parliament, elected by universal franchise on proportional representation basis. A President, who is also elected by the people, exercises executive power inclusive of defence. Sri Lanka enjoys a multi party system, and the people vote to elect a new government every six years.  
  National Flag  
National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. A Lion bearing a sword in its right hand is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the mast end represent the minority ethnic groups. It is an adaptation of the standard of the last King of Sri Lanka.
  National Anthem   "Sri Lanka Matha" composed by late Mr. Ananda Samarakoon.  
  National Flower  
The Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea stellata) is the National Flower.
  Population   19 million  
  Population density   309 people per sq km  
  Life expectancy at birth   74 female, 64 male  
  Literacy rate   91.8%  
  Languages   Sinhala & Tamil English is widely spoken throughout Sri Lanka, with the exception of remote villages.  
  Ethnic mix   Sihalese- 74 per cent; Tamil- 18 per cent; Muslim -7 per cent; Burgher (descendants of Dutch and Portuguese colonist) and others- 1 per cent  
  Religion   Buddhism- 70 per cent; Hinduism- 16 per cent; Christianity- 7 per cent; Islam-7 per cent  
  Climate   Low Lands – tropical, average 270C
Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 140C. The south-west monsoon brings rain to the western, southern and central regions from May to July, while the north-eastern monsoon occurs in the north and east in December and January. Sri Lanka has a good climate for holiday-makers throughout the year.
  Annual per capita GNP   US$870  
  Industries   Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco.  
  Agriculture - Products   Rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, roots, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, meat.  
  Currency   Sri Lanka follows decimal currency system in Rupees (Rs.) and cents (Cts.) with 100 cents equal to a rupee. Currency notes are available in the denominations of Rs. 2,10,20,50,100,200, 500 and 1000. Coins are issued in values of Cts.1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 and Rs.1,2,5 and 10. The intervention currency continuously will be the US Dollar.  
  Visa   Residents from countries are issued visas on arrival. Consult your local Sri Lanka embassy, consulate, tourist office or your travel agent.
  Working week   Sri Lanka works a five-day week, from Monday to Friday.  
  Business hours   Government offices 9.00 a.m. -5.00 p.m, Monday to Friday  
  Banks   9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. or 3.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday  
  Post office   8.30 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.,
Monday to Friday
8.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. on Saturday. The Central Mail Exchange, at D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, (Telephone : 326203) is open 24-hours.
  Location   An island off the south-eastern cost shores of India, 880 km north of the equator, in the Indian Ocean.