Country Overview- Sri Lanka

Source: Government of Sri Lanka Country Overview1

Land & Geography

Geographic Location An island off the south-eastern cost shores of India, 880 km north of the equator, in the Indian Ocean. It lies between 5° 55′ and 9° 55′ north of the equator and between the eastern longitudes 79° 42′ and 81° 52′.2
Geography The relief features of the island consist of a mountainous mass somewhat south of the centre, with height exceeding 2,500 metres, surrounded by broad plains. Palm fringed beaches surround the island and the sea temperature rarely falls below 27°C.3
Climate Low lands – tropical, average 27°C Central Hills – cooler, with temperatures dropping to 14°C. 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.4
Area 65,610 sq km5
Coastline 1,340 km6
Natural Hazard Floods mostly due to monsoonal rain or effects of low pressure systems and droughts due to failure of monsoonal rain are the most common hazards experienced in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is also prone to hazards such as landslides, lightning strikes, coastal erosion, epidemics and effects of environmental pollution. In 2004, almost two-thirds of the Sri Lankan coast was affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami highlighting the country’s vulnerability to low-frequency but high impact events. 7


Official Name Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Capital Sri Jayewardenepura
Independent since February 4, 1948
Type of Government President of the Republic of Sri Lanka is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. 8
(Article 30(1) Constitution of Sri Lanka)
Head of State President His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena9
Constitution The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has been the constitution of the island nation of Sri Lanka since its original promulgation by the National State Assembly on 7 September 1978. As of May 2015 it has been formally amended 19 times. The 19th Amendment (19A) to the Constitution of Sri Lanka was passed by the 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament with 215 voting in favor, one against, one abstained and seven were absent, on 28 April 2015. The amendment envisages the dilution of many powers of Executive Presidency, which had been in force since 1978. It is the most revolutionary reform ever applied to the Constitution of Sri Lanka since JR Jayawardhane became the first Executive President of Sri Lanka in 1978. 10
System of Parliament The Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the supreme legislative body of Sri Lanka. It is modeled after the British Parliament. It consists of two hundred and twenty-five (225) members known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected by proportional representation for five-year terms, with universal suffrage. The President of Sri Lanka has the power to summon, suspend, prorogue, or terminate a legislative session and to dissolve the Parliament 11
Parliament Party Leaders and Positions
Elections Due 2019 Sri Lankan Presidential Elections  
“The poll for the election of the President shall be taken not less than one month and not more than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the President in office.”
(Section 31(3) of Constitution)

People & Society

Total Population 20,359,439 13 (As per Population and Housing Census 2012)
Density (per Sq. Km) 325 persons per sq Km 14 (As per Population and Housing Census 2012)
Ethnic Groups Sinhalese (74.5%); Sri Lankan Tamils (11.1%); Indian Tamils (4.1%); Moors, Malays, Burghers (of Portuguese & Dutch descent) and others (9.8%) 15
(As per Population and Housing and Housing Census 2012)
Languages Sinhala, Tamil and English are official languages in Sri Lanka. Sinhala, a language of Indo-Aryan origin is the language of the majority. Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly in North-east Sri Lanka. English is widely spoken and understood.16
(As per Population and Housing Census 2012)
Religions 20,359400 are Religious. Buddhist (70.1%), Hindu(12.58%), Muslim (9.66%), Christian (6.16%), and Other (0.03%).17
(As per Population and Housing Census 2012)
Literacy 95.7% of population aged 10 and above.18
(As per Population and Housing Census 2012.)
Life Expectancy 72 (male), 78 (female)19
(Life Tables for Sri Lanka 2011 –2013 By District and Sex, Department of Census & Statistics Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs)
Sex Ratio 0.94 male(s)/female20
(As per Population and Housing Census 2012)


Currency Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) 21
GDP (Nominal) 82.55 US$ Billion – Year 2017 22
GDP (PPP) 0.22% 23
(IMF Data Mapper for the year 2017) 12,860 USD per capita 24
(IMF Data Mapper for the year 2017)
GDP (Growth Rate) 3.4%25
(For the year 2017 as mentioned by Central Bank Sri Lanka in “Sri Lanka: Macroeconomic Developments in Charts Fourth Quarter 2018”)
Per Capita GDP 4104 (US$)26
(For the year 2017 as mentioned by Central Bank Sri Lanka in “Sri Lanka: Macroeconomic Developments in Charts Fourth Quarter 2018”)
Foreign Debt 59.103%27
(% of GNI as stated by World Bank for the year 2017)
Public Debt 82.9%28
(As per Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2018 “Part 1 Chap 6 Fiscal Policy and Government Finance”)
Rate of Inflation Headline Inflation 3.60% Core Inflation 6.30% 29 NCPI April 2019 (As per Central Bank of Sri Lanka Consumer Price Inflation)
Foreign Investment 161.44 USD Million from 2001 until 2019 30
Foreign Exchange Reserves 8590 (US$ Million)31
Foreign Trade (Export & Import) Total Export – 11,741,036,786 (US$)
Total Import – 21,316,199,950 (US$)32  
(As per World Bank datamapper 2017)
Total Trade Balance -9,575,163.16 (US$)33
Major Items of Export Textiles and apparel, Tea and spices, Diamonds, Emeralds, Rubies, Coconut products, Rubber manufactures, Fish.34
Major Items of Import Textile fabrics, Mineral products, Petroleum, Foodstuffs, Machinery and transportation equipment.35
Major Trading Partners India, China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Japan, United States, the United Kingdom, Germany 36

Military & Security

Military Expenditure Year Wise Expenditure (US$ Million)37
Military Expenditure Percentage of GDP Percent of GDP (%)38

Last Updated: 13th  August 2019


2 ibid

3 ibid

4 ibid

5 ibid

6 ibid










16 A3.pdf

17 A32.pdf 

18 A4.pdf

















35 ibid

36 ibid