Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Capital: Colombo                                                HDI: 0.757 (73rd)

Language: Sinhalese, Tamil

GDP (PPP): $233.637 billion

Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee

Population: 20,277,597

Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), a tiny island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean, is a rugged land of rainforest, diverse wildlife and endless beaches. It’s famed for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, with its palace and frescoes, and the sacred city of Anuradhapura. Its flavorful cuisine reflects its history as a maritime hub and cultural melting pot.  A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnic groups, and languages.   In addition to the majority Sinhalese, it is home to large groups of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, Moors, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda.  Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, dates back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC.  Sri Lanka’s recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively ended when Sri Lankan military defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.

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