Sri Lanka - Education
After World War II there has been a massive expansion of the education
system, which became free and open to all. The British influence has sought to
diminish, but is still significant. At all levels, education is predominantly
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The primary school, which is for 5-16-year-olds and has very high adherence,
ends with the General Certificate of Education (GCE), o (rdinary) -level. Thereafter,
approximately 25% to GCE, a (advanced) level. There are ten universities as
well as a number of technical and professional institutions (1998).
OFFICIAL NAME: Sri Lanka Prajathanthrika Samajavadi Janarajaya (sinhala), Ilangai Janarayaka
Socialisa Kudiarasu (tamil)
CAPITAL CITY: Colombo
POPULATION: 20,200,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 65,610 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Sinhalese, Tamil, English, others
RELIGION: Buddhists 69%, Hindus 15%, Christians 8%, Muslims 8%
COIN: Sri Lanka rupee
CURRENCY CODE: LKR
ENGLISH NAME: Sri Lanka
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Sinhalese 83%, Tamils 9%, Moors (Tamil Muslims) 7%, others 1%
GDP PER residents: $ 1004 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 72 years, women 77 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.755
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 93
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .lk
Sri Lanka, island and republic of South Asia. Until 1948, the island was a
British colony as part of British India. The colony name Ceylon was retained
until 1972. The mountainous island was known in colonial times as a supplier of
coconut, natural rubber and primarily tea.
After independence, a development was achieved that achieved significant
results in the fields of education, social and health, but from 1983 to 2009 the
country was ravaged by a grueling war between government forces and Tamil
separatists in the north and east of the island. In December 2004, the country
was also hit by a catastrophic tsunami.
Sri Lanka - Constitution
Sri Lanka is an independent member of the Commonwealth with a constitution
from 1978. The legislative power lies with a unicameral parliament, which is
called the legislative power of the people. Its 225 members are
elected by universal suffrage for six years.
The executive has the president, who is directly elected for six years. He
appoints the Prime Minister and the other members of the government and has the
right to dissolve parliament, but no veto over legislation.
The Constitution allows for certain government functions to be transferred to
provincial councils. Sri Lanka is divided into 24 administrative districts, each
governed by a designated district minister.
Sri Lanka (Health conditions)
In 1996, life expectancy for men was 71 years and 75 years for women; at the
same time, infant mortality was 16 per 1000 live births, a decrease from 53 in
1970. The decrease can attributed to the fact that 97% of pregnant and
giving birth are reported to receive professional help.
For a long time, the country has been betting that the health service's
services should reach out to the local population. In 1993, approximately half of the
health budget used for the local health service. The country then spent 1.9% of
GDP on health care. There is also a focus on the training of nurses, of which in
1990 there were 5.7 per. 10,000 residents, while there were 1.4 doctors, which
is equivalent to 30% of what is in India.
Estimates of the causes of death are uncertain, but with 55% of smokers in
the male population (1988), cardiovascular disease and lung cancer are likely to
occur more frequently. At the same time, the problems of developing countries
will still persist, as 51% of the rural population in 1993 did not have a secure
water supply. In 1993, there were 363,000 cases of malaria.
Sri Lanka - Mass Media
There are 12 daily newspapers. The oldest is the English-language Observer,
which was first published in 1834, while the Sinhalese Dinamina is the largest
(circulation approximately 140,000). The largest Tamil newspaper is Virakesari
(circulation approximately 48,500). Ten Sunday newspapers and 27 other weeklies and
magazines are published (1999).
Five state radio stations, one of which is religious, broadcast on several
channels in the three languages; some overseas stations broadcast in several
Indian languages; in the early 2000-t. there were 11 commercial radio
stations. There are two state television channels, Rupavahini ('television') and
ITV, as well as four commercial ones. Regardless of names and ownership, the
media is under close state control and more or less wholeheartedly praises the
president and the government.
Sri Lanka ranks 115th out of 167 on Journalists Without Borders' worldwide
index of press freedom. With some delay, there is free sale of foreign
newspapers and magazines. 280,000 Sri Lankans use the Internet (2006).
Sri Lanka - architecture and visual arts
The handed down Sinhalese art of significance is related to Buddhism. The
oldest memorials are found in the ancient capital Anuradhapura, such as the
two stupas Thuparama Dagoba from 200 BC. and the 110 m high Ruvanveli Dagoba,
begun in the 1st century BC.
In Kandy is the famous temple Dalada Maligawa, which houses one of the teeth
of the Buddha; another famous monument near Kandy is Lankatilaka Vehera from
1344. In the town of Kalaveva is Aukana Vihare with a 12 m high statue of the
standing Buddha (400-500-t.), which like the famous Buddha statues at Gal Vehera
in Polonnaruva (1100- t.) is carved into the rock wall.
The frescoes on a rock wall in Sigiriya from the 500's. is the first testimony
to Sinhalese painting. Much later are the murals in the cave temples of Dambulla
with scenes from the life of the Buddha and from the history of Sri Lanka.
Modern artists, both in architecture, sculpture and painting, are under
strong Western influence; it is rare to see Sinhalese-inspired art.
Sri Lanka - literature
Sri Lanka's literary traditions are inextricably linked to Buddhism. It was
in Sri Lanka that the Theravada School's enormous collection of canonical works
in Pali was extensively commented on, also in Pali. Pali is also used as a
literary language in several prestigious Buddhist works.
The oldest evidence of Old Sinhalese (elu) as a
literary language comes from inscriptions from the ninth century, in the
form of short poems. A large number of works in Old Sinhalese from the 13th and
15th centuries have been preserved. These are paraphrases of the Pali texts,
edifying Buddhist works, as well as poetry and anonymous folk poetry.
Modern Sinhala literature with changing literary schools is partly inspired
by European role models, partly tied to the country's ancient traditions. One
finds the "modern novel", the lyrics and the drama and not least the short story
art in full bloom.
There is also considerable modern Ceylonese literature in Tamil and English,
for example by Michael Ondaatje and Shyam Selvadurai, both of whom write from
exile in Canada.