Sri Lanka is an island, located to the east of the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Located in the Indian Ocean it is a tropical island, with high temperatures and much rain, very fertile and with an interesting geology. The climate is ideal for growing coffee and especially tea, as a British colony it was known under the name Ceylon, and Ceylon tea was and is world famous. Today the island is an idependent Un country named Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, like India, belongs to Asia.
The Capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo, the biggest cities beneath Colombo are Jaffna, Kandy, Galle, and Trincomalee. The official languages are Sinhalese, Tamil, and still English. The main religions are Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. The island has an area of 66,000km² and a population 19 million people. 74% are Sinhalese, 18% Tamils, 7% Moor, and 1% others.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with friendly people and an ideal tourist destination. Still there are some drawbacks. A recent civil war, which is more or less over, left some ugly remains, like land mines. Numerous regions are still considered too dangerous to travel. Also tourism lead to a nasty level of crime, theft and violence, aimed at foreigners. And the recent tsunami of December 2004 added more inconvenience, for both locals and travellers. So when travelling to this country ask your doctor and your Foreign Office first.
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