Officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island nation in the South Asia near southeast India. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.
Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbors made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War Two. Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon. Sri Lanka's recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively ended when the Sri Lankan military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.
A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnicgroups,and languages. In addition to the majority Sinhalese, it is home to large groups of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, Moors, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the Aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli canon, dates back to the fourth Buddhist Council in 29 BC.
Sri Lanka is one of the few countries with a very vast and rich cultural diversity. The culture is itself very unique and thereby contributes to the Sri Lankan identity. Sri Lankan culture includes a lot of customs and rituals, whish date to more than 2000 years which were handed down from generation to generation. The most prominent feature of the Sri Lankan is its colorful festivals , which is one of the main tourist attractions. Religion plays an important role in molding the Sri Lankan culture and traditions.
Sri Lankan culture if often reflected by the use of art, architecture, sculptures, and even food. Some people would say that Sri Lanka has a more conventional culture which is obviously influenced by the prominent religions prevailing the country such as buddhism, hinduism, islam , etc. The Sri Lankan way of life is very simple and filled with humility and happiness , this is one of the reasons why the Sri Lankan have a very great sense in appreciating the simple things in life such as nature.
Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. Sri Lanka has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-aligned movement. Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of the two countries in South Asia that are currently rated among high human development on the human development index.