Sri Lanka – General information

65,610 sq km
20,482,000 (2004)
Population density:
312 per sq. Km
Sri Jayewardenepura (seat of government)
120,800 (2004)
Colombo: (de facto capital).
Inhabitants: 669,700 (2004)
The island of Sri Lanka is located off the coast of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is separated from India by the Indian Ocean, in which the island chain Adam’s Bridge lies. The landscape of Sri Lanka is unusual, with low-lying coastal plains stretching inland from the north and west coasts. The middle and southern areas rise to hills and mountains. The highest point is the Pidurutalagala (2524 m).
Socialist Presidential Republic (in the Commonwealth) since 1978. Constitution of 1978, last amendment in 1987. One-Chamber Parliament (National Assembly) with 225 deputies. Head of State and Government: Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, since 1994. Prime Minister: Mahinda Rajapakse, since 2004. Independent since 1948 (former British colony).
The official language is Sinhala (Sinhala) (74%) and the national language is Tamil (18%). English is trade and education language (10%). Malay is also spoken.
Buddhism (70%); Hindus (15%), Christian (8%) and Muslim (7%) minorities.
local time:
CET + 5 (UTC + 6)
Power supply:
230/240 V, 50 Hz. Three-pin round plug and light bulbs with bayonet mount
International direct dialing in the largest cities. Phone cards are available in post offices and in the shops that are located near the public phones.
Country Code:
mobile phone
GSM 900. Mobile communications companies include i.a. Celltel Lanka (Internet:, Lanka Bell (Internet: and MTN Networks (Internet: ,
Available in the larger hotels and the main post office in Colombo, Duke Street.
Internet / E-mail:
Main Provider: Sri Lanka Web Server (Internet: Internet cafes are available in the larger cities.
Airmail to Europe is traveling 10-14 days. There are post offices in every town and village, as well as private courier services in most major cities. For further information, please contact the main post office, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 10, Tel: 32 62 03, opposite the Presidential Palace. Always send the postcards from the post office counter, making sure that the stamp is stamped. Postal fees are also given by hotels. Postal storage is possible. The main post office is open day and night for the sale of stamps and for local calls.
German wave:
Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is recommended that the current frequencies be contacted directly by Deutsche Welle customer service (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: http: //www.dw-

Sri Lanka – Food and drink

The specialty in Sri Lanka is a simple curry dish prepared with coconut milk, onion slices, chillies, aromatic spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron.

Hoppers resemble a half-toasted bun with a soft fried egg.

Stringhoppers are steamed rice flour pasta, slightly thinner than spaghetti.

Jaggery, a kind of caramel candy from the juice of the Kitulpalme, is also delicious.
The national drink is tea, which belongs to the best in the world.

Toddy (palm juice) is a popular drink. If this is fermented, one receives Arrak, which gives it in different alcohol strengths.

On the Poya holiday (on every full moon) no alcohol is served.
Some hotels in Colombo have restaurants with dance music.

There are theaters, cinemas with American films, ballets and concerts.
Shopping Tips
Objects of silver, brass, ceramics, wood and terracotta, as well as tubular baskets, straw hats, reed mats, ebony elephants and drums.
Opening hours of the shops:
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.30, Sat 09.00-13.00. Many shops are also open on Saturday mornings.

Questions about the destination Sri Lanka?