Is Sri Lanka A Country?

Building of Old Parliament, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Editorial credit: Aleksandar Todorovic /
Building of Old Parliament, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Editorial credit: Aleksandar Todorovic /

It is generally agreed upon that there are 195 countries in the world, of which 193 are UN members. Sri Lanka is a country situated in the southern region of Asia. Sri Lanka is a country internationally recognized by other governments as well as international organizations which affirm its status as a country.

Sri Lanka is situated within the Indian Ocean with the primary island occupying an area of about 25,200 square miles. Most of Sri Lanka's area comprises the main island with smaller islands making up about 132 square miles of the nation's territory. In the past, a natural bridge connected the Sri Lankan island of Mannar and India — however, the bridge has been submerged since the year 1480. According to historical sources, people previously could cross from one nation into the other using the land bridge.


Sri Lanka's history is one of the best documented in the world with records dating back at least 3,000 years. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have lived within Sri Lanka's borders for at least 125,000 years. During the nation's history, some kingdoms arose with one of the most famous being the Anuradhapura Kingdom. Sri Lanka also bears the distinction of being the first nation within Asia's recorded history to be ruled by a woman, Anula of Anuradhapura. The British took control of Sri Lanka primarily because they were afraid of the island falling into the hands of the French. British rule in the country was partially successful because of crops such as coffee and tea which provided an important source of income to the nation. During British rule, the nation was referred to as Ceylon, and the name was changed in 1972 a year after Marxists had tried to rise in the state. D. S. Senanayake, a leader who many consider the father of Sri Lanka, was the country's first prime minister after it gained independence in 1948.


According to estimates from the World Factbook in 2017, Sri Lanka was home to approximately 22,409,381 people. Close to 75% of Sri Lanka's population is made up of the Sinhalese with the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Sri Lankan Moors also making up a significant portion of the people. Much of Sri Lanka's population, nearly 70%, belongs to the Buddhist faith while other religions such as Hinduism and Islam also have a significant presence on the island. Colombo, Sri Lanka's financial hub, has the highest population in the country with about 5,648,000 living in the city. The other major city in Sri Lanka is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the nation's administrative capital city.

Famous Sri Lankans

Several Sri Lankans have distinguished themselves on the international stage including writers such as Tissa Abeysekera and Sybil Wettasinghe. Sri Lankans have also distinguished themselves in sports with notable examples being Susanthika Jayasinghe who in 2000, won a silver medal at the Olympics, and Matthew Abeysinghe, a swimmer who represented his country at some international events.


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