Sri Lanka

democratic socialist Republic of
Sri Lanka
Flagge Sri Lankas Wappen Sri Lankas
(detail) (detail)
office language Singhalesisch, Tamil
capital Colombo (6° 55 ' N, 79° 50 ' O)
seat in parlament Sri Jayawardenepura
system of government Präsidialrepublik
president Mahinda Rajapaksa
prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake
surface 65,610 km ²
number of inhabitants 20.064.776
population density of 306 inhabitants per km ²
independence from Great Britain to 4. February 1948
currency Sri Lanka Rupie (LKR)
time belt UTC +6h
national anthem Sri Lanka Matha
national holiday 4. February
Kfz characteristic CL
Internet TLD .lk
preselection + 94
Karte von Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka (to 1972 Ceylon) is an southasiatic island state in the Indian ocean.

Table of contents


Sri Lanka lies in the Indian ocean, southeast the Indian Subkontinents, between 6° and 10° northern latitude and between 79° and 82° of eastern length. From India (Federal State Tamil Nadu) is separate it by the Palkstrasse and the gulf from Mannar. The Korallenfelsinseln of the Adam bridge represents a loose connection between the northwest Sri Lankas and the Indian mainland. Highest collection of the central mountain country is the Pidurutalagala with 2524 m over NN.

The climate Sri Lankas is tropical with different precipitation conditions due to the effects of the Monsune. While the southwest of the country (see climatic diagram Colombo) is perpetually damp, with two clear precipitation maxima in May and October, the southwest monsoon at the northeast and east coast brings only small precipitation, since this range is in the Lee of the central mountains. There most precipitation falls during the northeast monsoon in November and December (see climatic diagram Trincomalee).

The middle yearly temperature amounts to with Kandy 22,2° C, with Colombo 27,8° C, with Trincomalee 33° C. In Nuwara Eliya - thus in nearly 1,900 m height - can sink the temperatures against it to under the freezing point.

According to the precipitation conditions the vegetation from west changes to east: Within the range of the highest precipitation tropical rain and mountain forest prevail forwards, while in the north and the east xerophytische shrub vegetation is to be found. The plant world captivates by sumptuous abundance and diversity of species. Beside exclusively plants resident on Sri Lanka are also frontIndian, Southeast Asiatic and malaiische kinds. Important cultivated plants are rice, Zuckerrohr, Indigo, tobacco, coffee and Chinarinde as well as dte bushes.

Sri Lanka is rich at Bodenschätzen. Thus occur beside iron ore also Zinnerz, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, cobalt, arsenic, tungsten, tellurium and something gold . At jewels rubies, sapphires, Topase and spinels are won.

See also: List of the cities in Sri Lanka

Klimadiagramm Colombo
climatic diagram Colombo
Klimadiagramm Trincomalee
climatic diagram Trincomalee


the population Sri Lankas is ethnical heterogeneous. Originally Dravidi peoples in Sri Lanka lived. Today with approximately 70% the Singhalesen the largest group of peoples places population portion. The Tamilen, which are divided still into Ceylon and India Tamilen (see under history), are with 18% the largest minority in the country. 8% are descendants of Arab and malaiischer Muslims. The India or Kandy Tamilen became from the British during the colonial age particularly as workers on the dte - Plantagen employs, while the Ceylon Tamilen was used by the colonial gentlemen particularly in the administration and preferred opposite the Singhalesen. After the independence of the country this led to strong antipathies between these two subpopulations, which flowed into the attempt of the tamilischen population of the north and the east, first peacefully and after failure of these efforts with force of arms for the political autonomy of the tamilischen areas to use itself (see: Civil war in Sri Lanka).


the most important export goods Sri Lankas are textiles and clothing, dte, jewels, coconut products. After the armistice also the tourism wins increasingly meaning.

state and administration

Sri Lanka are administratively divided into eight provinces (in parentheses the capitals):


the 225 delegates of the parliament every six years are selected. Fifth president since independence Sri Lankas is since 2005 Mahinda Rajapaksa.

In „the tooth temple “of Kandy


the population majority of the Singhalesen admits itself predominantly to the Buddhismus (70%) in its form the Theravada.

Most Tamilen belongs to the Hinduismus (15%).

In addition there are singhalesische and tamilische Christians (8%). Further, particularly in the east and the large cities of the island, moorland (8%), descendants of Arab buyers, who belong to the Islam , live.


garden in the earlier capital Sigiriya
historical map (around 1888)

in the primeval times was surface-moderately clearly larger the Indian Subkontinent than today; at the time Sri Lanka was connected with India. The separation probably took place between 6000 and 3500 v.Chr. The “Adam bridge” (a Inselgruppe between Thalair Mannaar and Rameswaram in India) is the last visible trace of this connection.

In vedischer time (approx. 1500 - 400 v. Chr.) was called the island Lankâ; at present the Indian Maurya realm under Ashoka (approx. 3. Century v. Chr.) Tâmraparnî; with the Greek geographer Ptolemäus (2.Jhd. n.Chr.) she is called Taprobane; at the Gupta time (around 400 n. Chr.) and at present the Indian large emperor Harshavardhana (7. Century n. Chr.) was called it Singhala; in the late Middle Ages (13. /14. Century) silane and Sarandib (about which Serendip was derived). The Portuguese, dutchman and the Britisher called the island Ceylon, which was renamed after its independence in the year 1972 in Sri Lanka.

Around 500 v. Chr. come northIndian settlers (belonging to the Indoeuropäern), the later Singhalesen, to Sri Lanka (at that time Tâmraparnî). They meet the today's Veddas (also Yakka called ) a Urbevölkerung, which is probably related to the Australian Aborigines. These come up gradually in the Singhalesen. Today there are only few 100 of them. From that time also cult stones were found, which could suggest an early form of the Lingaverehrung. The Epos Ramayana has Sri Lanka as scene, it as realm of the Dämonenkönigs Rawana is described. The arischen immigrants, the 500 v.Chr. to Sri Lanka, called themselves “Singha Vamsa” came (in sink-guessed/advised and/or. Pali: “Singha” = lion, “Vamsa” = trunk; Origin). Therefore the lion (against the will of the Tamilen) was selected to the national symbol Sri Lankas.

Around 240 v. Chr. sends the Indian Maurya - emperors Ashoka his son Mahinda and its daughter Sanghamitta Theri to Sri Lanka, which there the Buddhismus in form of the Theravada - tradition admits makes. Around 200 v. Chr. a first buddhistisches kingdom on the island develops.

To 11. Singhalesische kingdoms with the capital Anuradhapura existed to century. Since that 13. Century gave it tamilische kingdoms with the capital to Jaffna. Up to 14. Century existed singhalesische kingdoms with the capital Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya.

These kingdoms were at the pressure to neighbouring south India, the Chola again and again - dynasty knew even some decades in the 11. Century the entire island control. With the southIndian rulers also the tamilische language came on the island, which became domestic there.

In the future several regional (singhalesische and tamilische) Kingdoms of, the most important thing developed were the kingdom of Kotte (today Sri Jayawardenepura), whose capital lay near the today's Colombo.

In the modern times Ceylon lost its self-sufficiency and by European colonial powers in possession was several times taken, which controlled however only the coastal plains. In the high country still the Kingdom of Kandy could maintain ground. First Portugal 1518 conquered the island. After Colombo became Netherlands already two years before, also the remainder of the island fell 1658 to the Oranier. 1796 began the British rule over Ceylon, which received 1803 the status of a crowning colony. After 1815 kingdom the Kandy were struck and the last singhalesische king, was arrested Wikrama Rajasingha, and spent to India, and after striking down several rebellions the island became perfectly British 1818. 1860 begin the cultivation of dte plan days. In June 1947 Ceylon became British Dominion, to 4. February 1948 finally independently within the British Commonwealth. To 22. May 1972 became Ceylon a republic and gave themselves the name Sri Lanka.

In the year 2004 (7. February) dissolves president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga the parliament and arranges new elections for the 2. April on, from which it comes out as Siegerin. For the first time some buddhistische monks stand as a candidate with the parliamentary elections and win 9 seats for its party (JHU - Jathika Hela Urumaya). With their constitutional challenge they prevent a longer term of office of the president. Toward end of the yearly (26. December) meets a gigantic natural catastrophe in form of a Tsunamis (Flutwelle due to ground connection or sea-quake) Sri Lanka. Large parts of the east and south coast as well as the west coast south of Colombo are destroyed. Ten thousands humans die. 2005 (12. August) is murdered minister of foreign affairs Kadirgamar. A political background is to be accepted, the complicity is however not clarified. The LTTE disclaims. 2005 (17. November) is selected Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) with 50,33% of the voices to the president. The election turnout of the Tamilen amounted to according to estimations only 1%.

conflict between Singhalesen and Tamilen

see also: Civil war in Sri Lanka

Tamilen and Singhalesen live already for at least 2000 years on Sri Lanka. And again and again there was also a change of power between the tamilischen and singhalesischen realms. The Tamilen on Sri Lanka is divided into “Indian Tamilen” and into “native Tamilen”. The Indian Tamilen is those Tamilen, which were brought during the English colonial age from south India (Tamil Nadu) as plan day workers to Sri Lanka. They are settled in the central mountains Sri Lankas, whereas the native Tamilen in the northeast coastal regions lives. Frequently one confounds the history of the “Indian Tamilen” with that the native Tamilen, which leads occasionally to the mistake, Tamilen is only starting from that 19. Century to Sri Lanka immigrated. The today's civil war is delivered exclusively with the native Tamilen.

The main conflict potential between Singhalesen and Tamilen originates from the colonial age. At that time the Tamilen was consulted as a to a large extent writing-well-informed subpopulation preferentially as administrative assistants and identified therefore of the Singhalesen with the colonial power. With independence nationalistic Singhalesen wanted to eliminate therefore also this power projection/lead of the Tamilen. Tamil should be banished just like English from the offices and from the public life; Singhala should be the general language. Because of the complete Unverwandtheit of both languages and writings (Singhala is indoeuropäisch, Tamil drawidisch) this was neither practicable nor acceptable for the majority of the Tamilen. Föderalen area solutions, separate ion efforts and connection efforts came at India in the Tamilengebiet to armed protests and to the education of political movements with a spectrum of goals between.

The choice victory Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) 1956, which had recruited with singhalesisch nationalistischen slogans and a very per singhalesische policy operated (preference of the singhalesischen language, the Buddhismus, ratio regulation on basis of the ethnical affiliation for the university University of etc.), stirred up these tensions again on. Starting from 1970 several tamilische parties united to the Tamil United liberation front (TULF), which demands its own Tamilenstaat (Tamil Eelam ) in the north and the east of the island.

At the end of the reign of the SLFP under Sirimavo Bandaranaike the conflict was temporarily calmed down. Tamil, Singhala and English were embodied as equal office languages in the condition. All documents as well as local and strassenschilder had to be implemented in three languages. The Tamilen constitutionally appropriate portion of the seats in parlament was guaranteed to their population portion.

The United national Demokratic party (UNDP) triumphed 1981 with majority containing a constitutional amendment under Junius smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Jayawardene. It refused its proportionately guaranteed seats in parlament under the generalized reproach of the separatism to the tamilischen delegates and explained it all as public enemies. Furthermore it changed the condition and sat down to the point of a Präsidialsystems.

Thus the conflict between Tamilen and Singhalesen escalated starting from 1983. The radical liberation of tiger OF Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which the independent Tamilienstaat demand, received strong inlet. 1986 conquered the militias of the LTTE the tamilisch dominated Jaffna peninsula and the far parts of the north central and of the east provinces, the main settlement areas of the Tamilen. The delegation of Indian peacekeeping forces with UN-mandate under agreement of the government Sri Lankas in June 1987 encountered refusal of the LTTE, whereby the fights expanded. After two years the Indian troops withdrew themselves, without the conflict had been solved.

The arguments between Singhalesen and Tamilen escalated center of the 1990er again, when government troops back-conquered the Jaffna peninsula in December 1995. In November 1999 launched the liberation of tiger a large offensive in the central north of the country, before in February 2002 an armistice between the government of Sri Lanka and the tamilischen rebels was closed. That followed peace negotiations between Singalesen and Tamilen in Geneva, which failed however in February 2006.

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Sri Lanka - word origin, synonyms and translations
Wiktionary: Ceylon - word origin, synonyms and translations

coordinates: 6° 55 ' n. Break, 79° 50 ' o. L.


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