Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human occupation dating back at least 125,000 years. It has a rich cultural heritage and the earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist Council of 29 BC. J.-C.

Its geographical location and deep ports give it great strategic importance from the days of the ancient Silk Road to the modern Maritime Silk Road.

At the start of British colonial rule, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon.

A nationalist political movement arose in the country at the beginning of the 20th century to obtain political independence, which was granted to it in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972.

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Sri Lanka is Asia's oldest democracy.

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Sri Lanka's recent history has been marked by a 26-year civil war between Tamil Hindu separatists and the Sinhala Buddhist government, which ended decisively when the Sri Lankan government's armed forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

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Since this tragic war, the Sri Lankan government has been subject to several procedures for genocide and non-compliance with the Geneva Convention, initiated by the United Nations.

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Srilanka Mission d'evaluation Mars 2006
Srilanka Mission d'evaluation Mars 2006

Srilanka Mission d'evaluation Mars 2006
Srilanka Mission d'evaluation Mars 2006

2013.03.30.Backwaters-0019
2013.03.30.Backwaters-0019

Srilanka Mission d'evaluation Mars 2006
Srilanka Mission d'evaluation Mars 2006

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Population, geography

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The island is home to many cultures, languages ​​and ethnicities.

The majority of the population is of the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils ​​have also played an influential role in the history of the island. The Moors (Muslim population), Burgher (descendants of Portuguese and Dutch), Malays, Chinese and Vedda (native population) are also established groups on the island.

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Sri Lanka has 103 rivers. The longest of these is the Mahaweli River, which stretches for 335 kilometers. These waterways give rise to 51 natural waterfalls of 10 meters or more. The highest fall is that of Bambarakanda, with a height of 263 meters.

The coast of Sri Lanka stretches for 1,585 km. Sri Lanka claims an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles, roughly 6.7 times the size of its territory. The coastline and adjacent waters support highly productive marine ecosystems, such as fringing coral reefs and shallow beds of coastal and estuarine seagrass beds.

Sri Lanka has 45 estuaries and 40 lagoons. Sri Lanka's mangrove ecosystem spans 7,000 hectares and was instrumental in protecting against wave force during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The island is rich in minerals such as ilmenite, feldspar, graphite, silica, kaolin, mica and thorium. The existence of oil and gas in the Gulf of Mannar has also been confirmed and the extraction of recoverable quantities is underway.

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Weather


The climate is tropical and hot, due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Average temperatures range from 17 ° C in the central highlands, where frost can occur for several days in winter, to a maximum of 33 ° C in other low-lying areas. Average annual temperatures vary between 28 ° C and nearly 31 ° C. Daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary from 14 ° C to 18 ° C.

The precipitation pattern is influenced by monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The "wetland" and some of the windward slopes of the central highlands receive up to 2,500 millimeters of rain per year, but the leeward slopes to the east and northeast receive little rain . Most of the east, south-east and north of Sri Lanka constitute the "dry zone", which receives between 1200 and 1900 mm of precipitation annually.

The arid north-west and south-east coasts receive the lowest rainfall, between 800 and 1200 mm per year.

Periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rain to the southwest, northeast and east of the island. Humidity is generally higher in the southwest and mountainous areas and depends on seasonal rainfall patterns.

Economy

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One of Sri Lanka's main sources of foreign exchange is tea production. It represents 2% of the GDP and generated more than 1.5 billion US dollars in 2013 in the economy of Sri Lanka. It employs, directly or indirectly, more than a million people. In 1995, it directly employed 215,338 in plantations and tea plantations. In addition, tea plantation by smallholders is the source of employment for thousands of people and is also the main form of livelihood for tens of thousands of families. Sri Lanka is the world's fourth largest tea producer. In 1995 it was the world's largest exporter of tea, accounting for 23% of total world exports, but has since been overtaken by Kenya. The highest production of 340 million kg was recorded in 2013.

Flora and fauna

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Despite its small size, Sri Lanka has a high level of biodiversity and wildlife resources and ranks among the top 34 biodiversity hotspots in the world. Many species of flora and fauna are endemic to Sri Lanka. This has made the island a country with the highest rate of biological endemism in the world.

13% of Sri Lanka's land has been designated as Wildlife Protection Areas, which currently exceeds a total area of ​​8,500 km2. About 7% of the area is made up of national parks, areas accessible to the public for viewing and studying wildlife. Sri Lanka's national parks have become popular tourist destinations.

Tourism

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When the government decided to develop the tourism sector as a separate sector of the country's economy by establishing the Ceylon Tourism Bureau in 1966, the country had 18,969 foreign tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka. Tourist arrivals tended to increase until 1982, with the exception of 1971. Between 1976 and 1982, tourist arrivals had increased by 24% per year. Tourist traffic in 1982 showed remarkable growth in the number of tourists, with 407,230 arrivals. However, with the onset of the civil war in 1983, the growth in the number of tourist arrivals slowed down and stagnated between 300,000 and 500,000 arrivals per year.

In 2009, after the end of the civil war, the number of tourist arrivals rose to 448,000 and, in 2015, to 1,798,380, showing growth of over 300% in six years.

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Sri Lanka has nearly 1600 km of coastline with tropical beaches which are popular with local and foreign tourists. The country's coasts exhibit a variety of features such as bays, lagoons, sandbanks and rocky headlands. Recreational activities at sea, such as swimming, surfing, boating, diving, deep sea fishing, underwater photography, are present on most of these beaches.

The beaches of western and southern coasts of the country such as Tangalle, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentota, Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and Negombo are considered famous tourist beaches of the country. They are overcrowded, popular with low-cost tourism and are starting to suffer from the side effects of mass tourism.

The new beaches in the East and North of the country such as Arugam bay, Passikudah, Uppuvelli, Nilaveli and Casuarina bay have rather specialized in luxury tourism and are not for the moment subject to mass tourism.

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Heritage tourism involves visiting historic sites. Sri Lanka is very rich in prehistoric, proto-historical and historical monuments, which testify to its ancient civilization and its culture. Buddhism has mainly influenced the formation of the cultural heritage of the country. The historical period of Sri Lanka proper begins around 236 BC. J. - C. with the introduction of Buddhism in the country by the missionaries sent by the Indian empire Asoka.

UNESCO has declared six archaeological sites and two ecological sites as World Heritage. In addition to UNESCO sites, the government of Sri Lanka has declared a number of protected archaeological sites and monuments in the country.

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Tourism in Sri Lanka, despite its benefits for the local economy (it is one of the country's main sources of foreign exchange), has its detractors. Some studies indicate that rapid modern tourism development would not meet the specific needs of the local population. In addition, Sri Lanka's great biodiversity appears to be threatened by the development of mass tourism, which has already affected several nature reserves. Certain animal species seem to be seriously threatened by the rise of tourism in certain regions; This is the case of the Keerthisinghe frog, a species endemic to Sri Lanka.

Another type of tourism, called ecotourism, sustainable tourism or responsible tourism, allows travelers to sightsee all over Sri Lanka, while contributing to the well-being of local communities and ensuring that their environmental impact is limited. The Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation is the national organization that has created an official ecotourism network across the island, helping to develop sustainable tourism with many travel options.

In the same spirit, solidestionations offers you responsible stays, the law of mass tourism and in areas still poorly known such as the east and the north of the country.

Modified version of Wikipedia