Portal:Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Portal

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Sri Lanka (UK: /sri ˈlæŋkə, ʃr -/, US: /- ˈlɑːŋkə/ (listen); Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකා, romanized: Śrī Laṅkā (IPA: [ʃriː laŋkaː]); Tamil: இலங்கை, romanized: Ilaṅkai (IPA: [ilaŋɡaj])), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and the Maldives. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, and Colombo is its largest city and financial centre.

Sri Lanka has a population of around 22 million (2020) and is a multinational state, home to diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities. The Sinhalese are the majority of the nation's population. The Tamils, who are a large minority group, have also played an influential role in the island's history. Other long established groups include the Moors, the Burghers, the Malays, the Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda.

Sri Lanka's documented history goes back 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements that dates back at least 125,000 years. The earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, known collectively as the Pāli canon, date to the fourth Buddhist council, which took place in 29 BCE. Also called the Teardrop of India, or the Granary of the East, Sri Lanka's geographic location and deep harbours have made it of great strategic importance, from the earliest days of the ancient Silk Road trade route to today's so-called maritime Silk Road. Because its location made it a major trading hub, it was already known to both Far Easterners and Europeans as long ago as the Anuradhapura period (377 BC–1017 AD). During a period of great political crisis in the Kingdom of Kotte, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka and sought to control the island's maritime trade, with a part of Sri Lanka subsequently becoming a Portuguese possession. After the Sinhalese-Portuguese war, the Dutch and the Kingdom of Kandy took control of those areas. The Dutch possessions were then taken by the British, who later extended their control over the whole island, colonising it from 1815 to 1948. A national movement for political independence arose in the early 20th century, and in 1948, Ceylon became a dominion. The dominion was succeeded by the republic named Sri Lanka in 1972. Sri Lanka's more recent history was marred by a 26-year civil war, which began in 1983 and ended decisively in 2009, when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. (Full article...)

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Sinhalese of India, Mumbai, India, 1897.jpg
A postcard image of a Sinhalese man from 1897

Sinhalese people (Sinhala: සිංහල ජනතාව, romanized: Sinhala Janathāva) are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group native to the island of Sri Lanka. They were historically known as Hela people (Sinhala: හෙළ). They constitute about 75% of the Sri Lankan population and number more than 16.2 million. The Sinhalese identity is based on language, cultural heritage and nationality. The Sinhalese people speak Sinhala, an insular Indo-Aryan language, and are predominantly Theravada Buddhists, although a minority of Sinhalese follow branches of Christianity and other religions. Since 1815, they were broadly divided into two respective groups: The 'Up-country Sinhalese' in the central mountainous regions, and the 'Low-country Sinhalese' in the coastal regions; although both groups speak the same language, they are distinguished as they observe different cultural customs.

According to the Mahavamsa and the Dipavamsa, a third–fifth century treatise written in Pali by Buddhist monks of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese descend from settlers who came to the island in 543 BCE from Sinhapura led by Prince Vijaya who mixed with the indigenous Yakka and later settlers from the Pandya kingdom. (Full article...)
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Fernandez in 2014

Jacqueline Fernandez (born 11 August 1985) is a Sri Lankan actress and model. She has worked in Indian films, predominantly in Hindi, besides appearing in reality shows and music videos. Debuting with Aladin in 2009 she has since then established a career in the Hindi film industry. Fernandez was born and raised in Bahrain to a multiracial Eurasian family of Sri Lankan, Canadian, and Malaysian descent. After graduating in mass communication from the University of Sydney and working as a television reporter in Sri Lanka, she joined the modeling industry. She was crowned Miss Universe Sri Lanka in 2006, and represented her country at Miss Universe 2006.

While on a modelling assignment in India in 2009, Fernandez successfully auditioned for Sujoy Ghosh's fantasy drama Aladin, which marked her acting debut. Fernandez had her breakthrough role with the psychological thriller Murder 2 (2011), her first commercial success. This was followed by glamorous roles in the commercially successful ensemble-comedy Housefull 2 (2012) and the action thriller Race 2 (2013), which garnered her an IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. Fernandez went on to star in the top-grossing action films Kick (2014) and Vikrant Rona (2022), and the comedies Housefull 3 (2016) and Judwaa 2 (2017). (Full article...)

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Tea plantation, Sri Lanka.jpg


Photo credit:Bernard Gagnon
Sri Lanka is renowned for its high-quality tea.

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