Friday, February 03, 2012
Sri Lanka (from the Sanskrit “Venerable Island”), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (pronounced /ˌʃriːˈlæŋkə/, Sinhalese: ශ්රී ලංකාව, Tamil: இலங்கை; known as Ceylon (/sɪˈlɒn/) before 1972 and as Taprobane (/təˈprɒbəniː/) in ancient times), is an island country in South Asia, located about 31 kilometres (19.3 mi) off the southern coast of India. It is home to around twenty million people.
Because of its location in the path of major sea routes, Sri Lanka is a strategic naval link between West Asia and South East Asia. It has been a center of Buddhist religion and culture from ancient times. The Sinhalese community forms the majority of the population; Tamils, who are concentrated in the north and east of the island, form the largest ethnic minority. Other communities include Moors, Burghers, Kaffirs and the Malays.