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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, which is a pearl-shaped island situated in the Indian Ocean in between latitudes 5° to 10°N and longitudes 79° to 82°E., is well known for its natural beauty, for the inhabitance of remains of a great civilization, for harboring the Buddhist culture and for natural resources, such as gems, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world, naming the country as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
The country is surrounded by beautiful, sandy beaches with a sky-scraping, lusty range of mountains inhabiting the central region of the Island, giving birth to several rivers that radiate towards the sea. The tropical climate is a paradise for many rare species of fauna and flora, with Sri Lanka being one of the richest foci of bio-diversity in the world. The gradual elevation of the landscape towards the center has resulted in the high variety of ecological zones and systems found within this small country, with the tallest peak being 834m
Sri Lanka had been a political and an economical land mark since the Indian civilization was established. The country had been described in the great poems “Ramayanaya” and “Mahabharatha” and had been included in the map of the World drawn by Ptolemy as “Thaprobane”. Since then, this Island, rich in natural resources, had been visited by merchants from almost all the civilizations in the past. Thambapanni, Serendipity, Ceilan, Ceilam and Ceylon are some of the names, used in the past by different nations for this country.
The country had had many eminent rulers in the past, with the known records going back to the times of the great emperor “Ravana”. However, a properly documented history is available only since the era of King Vijaya, who is considered as the first King of Sri Lanka. The capital of the country has shifted from Thambapanni through Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya, Yapahuwa,
Kurunegala, Gampola, Kotte, Kandy and Colombo to Sri Jayawardanepura, the capital at the presence. One hundred and eighty three kings have ruled the country until 1815, after which, the country had become part of the United Kingdom. Since obtaining independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has become a democratic country and is known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka since 1972.
Sri Lanka is a multinational, multi-religious country with the Sinhala, Buddhists being the dominant nation. However, Tamils, Muslims and Burgers (including Dutch, Portuguese, English, Malay) live in harmony. Contributed by the highly organized school and university systems, despite being a country in the 3rd World, the literacy rate of Sri Lanka is above 92% and Sri Lanka has produced many pioneering academics, scientists, computer programmers and engineers who have excelled in their fields.
Since the Sri Lankan civilization goes back to the BC era, the country is rich in remains of the architecture, technology, art, traditions and customs. The ruins found in the ancient cities of Sri Lanka, takes the spectators back to the times of the great kingdoms, reflecting the technology the country had had during the period.
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Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya                                                                                                                                                                                              
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