The Democratic Socialist of Sri Lanka known formerly as Ceylon is an archipelago situated about 31 kilometers off the southern coast of India. The island nation is home to approximately around 21 million people with 9 provinces and 25 districts. The country is multi-religion with Buddhism as the predominant religion followed by Hinduism, Islam and Christianity respectively. It has a diverse culture because of the presence of multi-ethnic groups among which the Sinhalese comprise the largest then followed by Tamils and then the Moors and then the Burghers. Center of power is in Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte and the largest city is Colombo. Sri Lanka's economy depends mostly on exportation of tea, gems, rubber, coconuts, clothing and textiles. In 2007, Sri Lanka registered US $1,540 per capita income. Sri Lankan rupee is the preferred medium of exchange and currently is pegged at 114.122 against the U.S. dollar. Sinhalese and Tamil are the languages commonly spoken by the majority while English is spoken fluently by 10% of the population. Weather is scorching hot throughout the year but thick rains can be felt from October to January.
Before attaining independence, Sri Lanka was under European powers specifically the Portuguese, the Dutch and British, it was the British who unified the country when the Kingdom of Kandy collapsed around 1815. It was the British who left lasting influences to Sri Lanka as evidenced by the people's love of tea and adoption of left-hand driving. Since 1931, Sri Lanka has adopted a mix of democracy and parliamentary form of government headed by a President. However, due to civil unrests that has ensued since 1983, led by the Tamil Tigers, a separatist group who want an independent country in the North. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank consider Sri Lanka as one of the world's most politically unstable countries.