|Capital||Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte|
|Official languages||Sinhala, Tamil|
|Area||65,610 km2, 25,332 sq mi|
|Currency||Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)|
|Time zone||SLST (UTC+5:30)|
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia.
Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3,000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II.Sri Lanka is a diverse country, home to many religions, ethnicities and languages.It is the land of the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage.
An important producer of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber, and the native cinnamon, Sri Lanka is known as "the Pearl of the Indian Ocean" because of its natural beauty, its shape and location, and "the nation of smiling people". The island contains tropical forests and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity.The country has had a long history of international engagement, being a founding member of SAARC and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Colombo is the executive and judicial capital of Sri Lanka. Situated on the west coast of the island, Colombo is a principal port of the Indian Ocean. It has one of the largest artificial harbours in the world and handles the majority of Sri Lanka’s foreign trade. Western influence in the city has diminished since Sri Lanka gained its independence in 1948.
Colombo’s important buildings include the Secretariat, the Town Hall, the Clock Tower, St. Lucia’s Cathedral, and the Galle Face Hotel. Other distinctive buildings in the city are the Wolvendahl Church, built by the Dutch in 1749; a complex of hospitals; the University of Colombo (1921); several Buddhist and Hindu temples; and the residences of the head of state and of the prime minister.