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Sri Lanka (/sriːˈlɑːŋkə, -ˈlæŋkə/ or i/ʃriː-/;[5][6] Sinhalese Śrī Laṃkāva, Tamil Ilaṅkai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon(/sɨˈlɒnˌ seɪ-ˌ siː-/), is an island country in South Asia near south-east India.

Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. Its documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.[7] Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road[8] through to World War II.[9]

A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnic groups, and languages.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12][13] The country's recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively ended when Sri Lankan military defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.[14]

Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state governed by a presidential system. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. An important producer of tea,coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber, and the native cinnamon,[15] the island contains tropical forests and diverse landscapes with much biodiversity.

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. It is the only country in South Asia that is currently rated "high" on the Human Development Index.[4]

All sources from Wikipedia.

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