Sri Lanka: An Overview of the Democratic Socialist Republic


Welcome to DHPL Travels’ guide to Sri Lanka! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, its geography, people, government, economy, and more. Let’s dive in!


Sri Lanka, located in the Indian Ocean, is an island with an area of 65,610 sq. km. The country boasts a diverse landscape, including coastal plains in the northern region and hills and mountains in the south-central part, reaching heights of over 2,133 meters. The tropical climate brings rain to different parts of the country at different times, with rainfall averaging 50 inches in the northeast and 200 inches in the southwest.


Sri Lanka is home to a population of 20.1 million people, comprising various ethnic groups. The Sinhalese form the majority at 74%, residing mainly in the southwest. The Tamil community, including both Ceylon Tamils and Indian Tamils, accounts for 18% and 5% of the population, respectively. Other minority groups, such as Muslims, Burghers, and Veddahs, make up the remaining 3%. The country is known for its religious diversity, with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity being the main religions observed. The official languages are Sinhala, Tamil, and English.


Sri Lanka follows a republican form of government, with an executive president serving as the head of state and government. The president, elected for a 6-year term, holds significant power. The legislative branch consists of a 225-member Parliament, while the judicial branch comprises the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, and subordinate courts. Sri Lanka is divided into nine provinces and 25 administrative districts. The political landscape features several parties, including the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Tamil National Alliance, and United National Party.


With a GDP of $32.4 billion and an annual growth rate of 6.7%, Sri Lanka is classified as a lower-middle-income developing nation. The economy is driven by three sectors: services, industry, and agriculture. Services make up the largest portion, contributing around 56% to the GDP and encompassing various sectors like tourism, trade, transportation, and financial services. The industry sector, accounting for 27% of GDP, includes garment manufacturing, rubber products, food processing, and more. Agriculture, while employing 33% of the workforce, contributes around 17% to the GDP, with major products being rice, tea, rubber, and coconut.

Foreign Relations

Sri Lanka follows a nonaligned foreign policy, emphasizing its sovereignty, independence, and development. The country actively participates in multilateral diplomacy, striving to promote the interests of developing nations. Sri Lanka is a member of international organizations such as the United Nations, Commonwealth, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. The United States, with its respect for Sri Lanka’s independence and democratic values, maintains cordial relations with the country, supporting its unity, territorial integrity, and social and economic development.


We hope this overview gives you a good understanding of Sri Lanka, its rich geography, diverse population, democratic government, and growing economy. Stay tuned for more articles from DHPL Travels, your go-to source for all things Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka

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