Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajawadi Janarajaya (Sinhala)
Llankais Sananayaka Socialisak Kutiyarasa (Tamil)
Political Status: Independent since February 4, 1948; present constitution adopted on August 6, 1978, effective September 7.
Area: 25,332 sq. mi. (65,610 sq. km.).
Population: 16,864,544 (2001C); 20,010,000 (2006E). The census figure is provisional and lacks results from several districts where security concerns prohibited enumeration.
Major Urban Centers (2005E): SRI JAYEWARDENEPURA (Kotte, administrative capital, 119,000), Colombo (Kolamba, commercial capital, 650,000), Dehiwala–Mount Lavinia (219,000), Jaffna (154,000), Kandy (Maha Nuwara, 111,000).
Official Languages: Sinhala, Tamil. English is recognized as a “link language.”
Monetary Unit: Rupee (market rate November 2, 2007: 110.43 rupees = $1US).
President: Mahinda RAJAPAKSE (United People’s Freedom Alliance); served as prime minister from April 6, 2004; elected president on November 17, 2005, and sworn in November ...