Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior
Tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)
Nationality: Sri Lankan(s)
Population: 21,866,445 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution
Buddhist (official) 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10% (2001 census provisional data)
Sri Lanka continues to experience strong economic growth following the end of the 26-year conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The government has been pursuing large-scale reconstruction and development projects in its efforts to spur growth in war-torn and disadvantaged areas, develop small and medium enterprises and increase agricultural productivity. The government's high debt payments and bloated civil service have contributed to historically high budget deficits.
Although many Sri Lankans live in cities and towns, where their living conditions differ little from those of other city populations in southern Asia, they are by and large a rural people. They live in villages, hamlets, and isolated farmsteads scattered across the island.
US Military Presence/Support