|About Sri Lanka:
Principal languages: Tamil (official)
Ethnicity/race: Sri Lankan Tamils (74%), Indian Tamils (5.5%), Moors (7.1%)
National Holiday: Independence Day, February 4
Literacy rate: 98.1%
Economic summary: GDP/PPP $6,500 (2013 est.) per capita $1,600. Real growth rate: 6.40%. Inflation: 5.1%. Unemployment: -0.20%. Arable land: 42.9%. Agriculture: rice, tea, fruits & vegetables, oilseed crops. Labor force: 8430666 Industries: tourism, tea export, apparel, textile, rice production and other agricultural products. Natural resources: limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, and clay. Exports: $18.4B billion. Imports: $10.4 billion. Major trading partners: UK, U.S., Italy, India, Germany, Belgium, UAE, Russia, Iran, France, Japan.
Member of Commonwealth of Nations
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 2,678,739 Est (December, 2014); mobile cellular: 22,123,000 Est (December, 2014). Radio broadcast stations: AM 15, FM 50, shortwave 5 Television broadcast stations: 19. Internet hosts: 10.
Transportation: Railways: total: 1,450 km. Waterways: 160 km Ports and harbors: Colombo Port, Hambantota Port, Dikkowitta Fishery Harbour, Kankesanthurai Port. Airports: 19.
Bilateral relations between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of India have been generally friendly, but were controversially affected by the Sri Lankan Civil War and by the failure of Indian intervention during the war. India is the only neighbour of Sri Lanka, separated by the Palk Strait; both nations occupy a strategic position in South Asia and have sought to build a common security umbrella in the Indian Ocean. Historically and culturally, the two nations have been considerably close, with 70% of Sri Lankans continuing to follow Theravada Buddhism to this day.
In recent years Sri Lanka has moved closer to China, especially in terms of naval agreements. India has signed the nuclear energy deal to improve relations
In the twelfth century, the explorer Marco Polo wrote that Sri Lanka was the finest island in the whole world. For centuries it had been a tourism destination, particularly for European travellers. Recently, the Sri Lankan Civil War that spanned over 25 years and ended in 2009 has had a negative impact on tourism and the growth of the industry stagnated, however following this era a resurgence in Sri Lanka as a tourist destination has been evident. In 2012, post office worldwide holiday costs barometer named Sri Lanka as the best valued destination for holidays. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka exceeded 1.5million in 2014.