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About Sri Lanka

Country overview: 

Short name SRI LANKA
ISO code LK
FIPS code CE
Language Sinhala (si), Tamil (ta), English (en)
Time zone +5:30
Capital Colombo

 

Ceylon was a British colony at the beginning of the 20th century. It became an independent member of the Commonwealth on 1948-02-04. On 1972-05-22, it became a republic and changed its English name to Sri Lanka.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Sri Lanka, Ceylon (obsolete)
  2. Dutch: Srilanka, Sri Lanka, Democratische Socialistische Republiek Sri Lanka (formal)
  3. English: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (formal), Ceylon (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Sri Lanka
  5. French: Sri Lanka m
  6. German: Sri Lanka n
  7. Icelandic: Srí Lanka
  8. Italian: Sri Lanka m
  9. Norwegian: Den demokratiske sosialistiske republikk Sri Lanka (formal) (Bokmål), Den demokratiske sosialistiske republikken Sri Lanka (formal) (Nynorsk), Sri Lanka
  10. Portuguese: Seri Lanca, Sri Lanka, República f Democrática Socialista do Sri Lanka m (formal), Ceilão m (obsolete)
  11. Sinhala: Sri Lanka Prajathanthrika Samajavadi Janarajaya (formal)
  12. Russian: Демократическая Социалистическая Республика Шри-Ланка (formal), Цейлон (obsolete)
  13. Spanish: Sri Lanka, República f Socialista Democrática de Sri Lanka m (formal), Ceilán (obsolete)
  14. Swedish: Sri Lanka
  15. Turkish: Sri Lanka Demokratik Sosyalist Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Sri is an honorific title; Lanka is the name of a mythical island country mentioned in the Ramayana

Primary subdivisions: 

Sri Lanka is divided into 25 distrikkaya (districts).

District   ISO FIPS Pab Pc CC Population Area(km.²) Area(mi.²) Prov
Ampara   52 CE01 APR 32 52 649,402 2,984 1,152 5
Anuradhapura   71 CE02 AD 50 71 860,575 7,128 2,752 7
Badulla   81 CE03 BD 90 81 815,405 2,818 1,088 8
Batticaloa   51 CE04 BC 30 51 526,567 2,463 951 5
Colombo   11 CE23 CO 10 11 2,324,349 642 248 1
Galle   31 CE06 GL 80 31 1,063,334 1,673 646 3
Gampaha   12 CE24 GQ 11 12 2,304,833 1,393 538 1
Hambantota   33 CE07 HB 82 33 599,903 2,593 1,001 3
Jaffna   41 CE25 JA 40 41 583,882 1,114 430 4
Kalutara   13 CE09 KT 12 13 1,221,948 1,606 620 1
Kandy   21 CE10 KY 20 21 1,375,382 2,365 913 2
Kegalle   92 CE11 KE 71 92 840,648 1,663 642 9
Kilinochchi   42       45 113,510 1,171 452 4
Kurunegala   61 CE12 KG 60 61 1,618,465 4,771 1,842 6
Mannar   43 CE26 MB 41 42 99,570 1,963 758 4
Matale   22 CE14 MT 21 22 484,531 1,987 767 2
Matara   32 CE15 MH 81 32 814,048 1,246 481 3
Moneragala   82 CE16 MJ 91 82 451,058 7,133 2,754 8
Mullaitivu   45 CE27 MP 42 44 92,238 1,580 610 4
Nuwara Eliya   23 CE17 NW 22 23 711,644 1,228 474 2
Polonnaruwa   72 CE18 PR 51 72 406,088 3,403 1,314 7
Puttalam   62 CE19 PX 61 62 762,396 2,976 1,149 6
Ratnapura   91 CE20 RN 70 91 1,088,007 3,237 1,250 9
Trincomalee   53 CE21 TC 31 53 379,541 2,616 1,010 5
Vavuniya   44 CE28 VA 43 43 172,115 2,642 1,020 4
25 districts 20,359,439 64,395 24,862
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4 (superseded).
  • Pab: Abbreviations used by the Sri Lanka Post Office.
  • Pc: Sri Lanka uses five-digit postal codes. The first two digits usually indicate the
    district, as shown here, although there are some deviations.
  • CC: Census code.
  • Population: 2012-03-20 census (source [12]).
  • Prov: ISO code of province containing this district.
  • Capitals: All district capitals have the same names as their districts.

 

Note: Because of civil strife, the 2001 census enumeration was incomplete or absent in seven districts. The populations for those districts were left blank in this table.

Further subdivisions:

Subordinate to the districts, there are the pradeshiya mandalaya (divisional council) and gramodaya mandalaya (village council). Since the late 19th century, both palata (provinces) and districts have coexisted, with each province being a group of districts. The provinces had no administrative function until 1988. The Northern and Eastern provinces have been provisionally merged into a North Eastern province, intended to placate Tamil demands for greater self-rule. The merger will become permanent after a referendum which has been repeatedly postponed. Some lists now show eight provinces, and some nine.

International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Sri Lanka, the draft standard showed both provinces and districts. Each province or district had a two-digit code. Three codes were duplicated: a province had the same code as a district. In the final standard, the two-digit province codes were replaced with one-digit codes. Obviously, this did away with any duplications. The draft standard showed North Eastern province. The final standard replaced it with separate Northern and Eastern provinces. The standard is now set up so that you can tell which province each district is in by their codes. The first digit of a district code is the same as the code for the province in which it belongs.

Update 1 to the U.S. standard "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" showed the splitting of North Eastern province (former FIPS code CE31) into Eastern and Northern.

The provinces and their codes are shown in this table.

Province ISO FIPS Area(km.²) Capital Sinhalese name
Central 2 CE29 5,584 Kandy Madhyama
Eastern 5 CE37 9,951 Trincomali Negenahira
North Central 7 CE30 10,724 Anuradhapura Uturumeda
Northern 4 CE38 8,882 Jaffna Uturu
North Western 6 CE32 7,812 Puttalam Wayamba
Sabaragamuwa 9 CE33 4,902 Ratnapura Sabaragamuwa
Southern 3 CE34 5,559 Galle Dakunu
Uva 8 CE35 8,488 Badulla Uva
Western 1 CE36 3,709 Colombo Basnahira
  • ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a
    global context, prefix "LK-" to the code (ex: LK-8 represents Uva).
  • FIPS: Recent FIPS lists show eight provinces; CE31 represents
    North Eastern.

Territorial extent: 

All districts are situated mostly on the island of Sri Lanka.

  1. Jaffna is located on the Jaffna peninsula, which is nearly separated from the rest of Sri Lanka. It also contains some islands in Palk Strait, such as Delft, Velanai, Karaitivu, and Punkudutivu.
  2. Mannar includes Mannar Island, part of the chain of islands and peninsulas called Adam's Bridge.

Origins of names: 

Colombo: possibly Sinhala kolamba: port, ferry; assimilated to Columbus's name by Portuguese colonists

Change history: 

  1. ~1958: Chilaw district merged with Puttalam district, both in North-Western province; Amparai district split from Batticaloa; Moneragala district split from Badulla; Polonnaruwa district split from Anuradhapura.
  2. 1974-06-28: Kachchativu island transferred from India to Sri Lanka.
  3. 1978-08-31: New constitution adopted. Gampaha district split from Colombo. Mullaitivu district formed from parts of Jaffna, Mannar, and Vavuniya.
  4. 1982: Some governmental functions moved from Colombo to Sri Jayawardenapura (formerly Kotte).
  5. 1983-10-04: Kilinochchi district split from Jaffna by the seventh amendment to the constitution.
  6. 1987-11-14: Thirteenth amendment to the constitution passed, authorizing the establishment of provincial councils to govern the nine provinces.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. districts:
  2. Ampara: Amparai (variant)
  3. Batticaloa: Matakalapuva (Sinhala)
  4. Jaffna: Yapanaya (Sinhala)
  5. Kandy: Maha Nuwara (variant)
  6. Kegalle: Kegalla (variant)
  7. Mannar: Mannarama (Sinhala)
  8. Moneragala: Monaragala (variant)
  9. Mullaitivu: Mulativ (Sinhala); Mulativu, Mullaittivu (variant)
  10. Nuwara Eliya: Nuvara Eliya (variant)
  11. Trincomalee: Trikunamalaya (Sinhala)
  12. Vavuniya: Vavuniyava (Sinhala)
  13. provinces:
  14. Central: Madhyama (Sinhala)
  15. Eastern: Nægenahira (Sinhala)
  16. North Central: Uturumæda (Sinhala)
  17. North Western: Vayamba, Wayamba (Sinhala)
  18. Northern: Uturu (Sinhala)
  19. Sabaragamuwa: Sabaragamuva (Sinhala)
  20. Southern: Dakunu (Sinhala)
  21. Western: Basnahira (Sinhala)

Population history:

Province 1901-03-01 1911-03-10 1921-03-18 1931-02-26 1946-03-19 1953-03-20 1963-07-08 1971-10-09 1981-03-17 1996 2012-03-20
Central 622,800 672,300 717,739 953,395 1,135,290 1,366,685 1,698,000 1,953,044 2,005,956 2,311,000 2,556,774
Eastern 173,600 183,700 192,821 213,980 279,112 354,410 547,000 717,571 976,475 1,310,000 1,547,377
North Central 79,100 86,300 96,525 97,365 139,534 229,282 394,000 552,423 850,575 1,110,000 1,259,421
Northern 341,000 369,600 374,829 399,094 479,572 570,650 742,000 874,626 1,111,468 1,383,000 1,060,023
North Western 353,600 434,100 492,181 546,988 667,889 855,228 1,156,000 1,404,063 1,706,099 2,148,000 2,372,185
Sabaragamuwa 321,800 408,500 471,814 578,368 745,382 893,160 1,125,000 1,316,096 1,478,879 1,765,000 1,919,478
Southern 566,800 628,800 671,234 771,283 961,418 1,129,308 1,430,000 1,661,870 1,882,912 2,366,000 2,465,626
Uva 186,700 216,700 233,864 303,419 372,238 466,896 654,000 808,425 922,636 1,128,000 1,259,419
Western 920,700 1,106,300 1,246,847 1,448,648 1,876,904 2,232,276 2,838,000 3,401,779 3,915,001 4,687,000 5,837,294
Totals 3,565,954 4,106,350 4,497,854 5,312,548 6,657,339 8,097,895 10,582,064 12,689,897 14,850,001 18,208,000 20,277,597

 

All figures are from censuses except 1996. Totals for 1901, 1911, 1953, 1963, and 2012, and provincial populations for 2012 are from source [6]. Provincial populations for 1901 and 1911 are from source [1]; 1963, from source [10]. All 1931 data are from source [8]; 1953, source [9]; 1971, source [7]; 1983, source [11].

District 1971-10-09 1981-03-17 2001-07-17 2012-03-20
Ampara 272,605 388,786 589,344 649,402
Anuradhapura 388,770 587,822 746,466 860,575
Badulla 615,405 642,893 774,555 815,405
Batticaloa 256,721 330,899 526,567
Colombo 2,672,265 1,698,322 2,234,289 2,324,349
Galle 735,173 814,579 990,539 1,063,334
Gampaha 1,389,490 2,066,096 2,304,833
Hambantota 340,254 424,102 525,370 599,903
Jaffna 701,603 739,356 583,882
Kalutara 729,514 827,189 1,060,800 1,221,948
Kandy 1,187,925 1,126,296 1,272,463 1,375,382
Kegalle 654,752 682,411 779,774 840,648
Kilinochchi 91,756 113,510
Kurunegala 1,025,633 1,212,755 1,452,369 1,618,465
Mannar 77,780 106,940 99,570
Matale 314,841 357,441 442,427 484,531
Matara 586,443 644,231 761,236 814,048
Moneragala 193,020 279,743 396,173 451,058
Mullaitivu 77,512 92,238
Nuwara Eliya 450,278 522,219 700,083 711,644
Polonnaruwa 163,653 262,753 359,197 406,088
Puttalam 378,430 493,344 705,342 762,396
Ratnapura 661,344 796,468 1,008,164 1,088,007
Trincomalee 188,245 256,790 379,541
Vavuniya 95,243 95,904 172,115
Total 12,689,897 14,850,001 18,797,257 20,359,439

 

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