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Transcript of SRI LANKA
and how it compares to Canada
Sri Lanka is an island country about the size of Tasmania in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of India. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3000 years.
Sri Lanka is a diverse country, home to many religions, ethnicities and languages. It is the land of the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage (69% of the country), and the first known Buddhist writings were composed on the island. The country's recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively but controversially ended in a military victory in 2009.
An important producer of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber, and the native cinnamon, Sri Lanka is known as "the Pearl of the Indian Ocean" because of its natural beauty. Sri Lanka has also been called "Pearl of Indian Ocean" because of its shape and location, and "the nation of smiling people". The island contains tropical forests and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity.
The country has had a long history of international engagement, being a founding member of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77 and the Non-Aligned Movement. It is also the only country in South Asia that is currently rated 'high' on the Human Development Index (Sri Lanka's Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2012 is 0.715-in the high human development category- positioning the country at 92 out of 187 countries and territories.).
With its 20,277,597 people Sri Lanka is the 58th largest country in the world by population. It is the 121st largest country by area with 65,610 square kilometers. With the population density of about 309/square kilometers it holds the 43rd position on the list of countries and dependencies ranked by human population density.
Although Canada has about 10 million more people with the population at 35,158,300, the population density is 3.9/square kilometer (far less dense than Sri Lanka) due to the 9,984,670 square kilometers that belong to the second largest country in the world .
The languages spoken on the island nation are deeply influenced by the languages of neighboring India, the Maldives and Malaysia. Arab settlers and the colonial powers of Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain have also influenced the development of modern languages in Sri Lanka.
The Sinhala language is spoken by the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 74% of the national population and total about 13 million. The Veddah peoples, totaling barely 2500, speak a distinct language, possibly a creolized form of an earlier indigenous language. The Tamil language is spoken by Sri Lankan Tamils, as well as by Tamil migrants from the neighboring Indian state of Tamil Nadu and by most Sri Lankan Moors. Tamil speakers number more than 3 million. There are more than 50,000 speakers of the Sri Lankan Creole Malay language, which is strongly influenced by the Malay language.
English is fluently spoken by approximately 10% of the population, and widely used for official and commercial purposes. It is the native language of approximately 74,000 people, mainly in urban areas. Sri Lankan peoples of Portuguese descent, numbering approximately 3,400, speak the Sri Lankan Indo-Portuguese language. The Muslim community in Sri Lanka widely uses Arabic for religious purposes. Until recently the Arwi language, a fusion of Arabic and Tamil, was widely used by the Sri Lankan Moors.
Sri Lankas national flag, The Lion Flag, is considered to be one of the oldest flags in the world.
The golden lion is an ancient symbol of the people and
is a symbol of authority. The bo tree leaves are a Buddhist symbol and come from the tree, under which Gautama is said to have received enlightenment and become Buddha. Individually the leaves represent love, compassion, sympathy and equanimity.
Due to the location of Sri Lanka within the tropics, it can be described as tropical, and quite hot.Though Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, temperatures vary throughout the country. The mean temperature ranges from a low of 16 °C (60.8 °F) in Nuwara Eliya in the Central Highlands (where frost may occur for several days in the winter) to a high of 32 °C (89.6 °F) in Trincomalee on the northeast coast (where temperatures may reach 38 °C or 100.4 °F). The average yearly temperature for the country as a whole ranges from 28 to 30 °C (82.4 to 86.0 °F). Day and night temperatures may vary by 4 to 7 °C (14 to 19 °F). January is the coolest month,
especially in the highlands, where overnight
temperatures may fall to 5 °C (41 °F). May, the hottest period, precedes the summer monsoon rains.
In comparison to Canada, it's safe to say that Sri Lanka is generally much warmer year round. Of course that's not to say that the two countries don't have similar weather at times, Sri Lanka definitley has its odd cold weather days just as Canada has its very hot summer days.
TOPOGRAPHY / BIO DIVERSITY
The Sri Lankan flag is the only one in the world to recognize different religious groups. The gold border and gold bo leaves symbolize Buddhism; while the green and saffron bands represent Muslim and Hindu communities.
This flag, sacred in its antiquity, is the nation's inspiration to strive incessantly for all that is good and noble.
Extensive faulting and erosion over time have produced a wide range of topographic features, making Sri Lanka one of the most scenic places in the world.
The island consists mostly of flat to rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. The highest point is Pidurutalagala, reaching 2,524 metres (8,281 ft) above sea level. Most of the island's surface consists of plains between 30 and 200 meters above sea level. In the southwest, ridges and valleys rise gradually to merge with the Central Highlands, giving a dissected appearance to the plain. Extensive erosion in this area has worn down the ridges and deposited rich soil for agriculture downstream. In the southeast, a red, lateritic soil covers relatively level ground that is studded with bare, monolithic hills. The transition from the plain to the Central Highlands is abrupt in the southeast, and the mountains appear to rise up like a wall. In the east and the north, the plain is flat, dissected by long, narrow ridges of granite running from the Central Highlands.
The sheer variety of topography, ecology and cultural diversity that is found in Sri Lanka sets the island apart from many other places in the world. Indeed, the country can boast of every conceivable landscape other than snow-capped habitats. From golden beaches caressed by the Indian Ocean, the island's multitudinous layers slope upwards for form plains, paddy fields and dense forests. Streams cascade into waterfalls and rapids to become sedate rivers before they flow into the open expanses of the sea.
For a country with one of the highest population densities in the world, Sri Lanka is also remarkable in that 13 percent of its land area is designated for wildlife and nature conservation. In the annals of time, the world's first recorded wildlife sanctuary was declared in 3BC at Mihintale. UNESCO has declared seven World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka, one of which - the Dutch fortification at Galle - is a living World Heritage Site. With 242 known species of butterflies, 435 recorded birds, 92 species of mammals, 107 species of fish, 54 species of amphibia, 74 species of tetrapod reptiles and 81 species of snakes, Sri Lanka is set apart as one of the most bio diverse eco-travel destinations in the world.
Canada's topography is dominated by the Canadian Shield, an ice-scoured area of Precambrian rocks surrounding Hudson Bay and covering half the country. Much like many landforms in Sri Lanka, it has over its long history, worn down by erosion, and now is nearly flat, with rounded hills of rock. Much unlike Sri Lanka, where its erosion has deposited rich soil, The Shield is not well suited for farming, as the soil is thin on top of the rock, from glacial erosion. As well, water does not drain well as the Shield is rock, and impervious to water. Farther into the lowland regions surrounding the shield are much better situated for agriculture.
TRADE / ECONOMY
Sri Lanka is signatory to a number of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Sri Lanka is a member of the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The former includes imports from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with the latter including imports from SAARC(South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), SAPTA(SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement), SAFTA(South Asian Free Trade Area) and GSP. These openings are sought to be extended further through a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy, famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export.While the production and export of tea, rubber, coffee, sugar and other commodities remain important, industrialization has increased the importance of food processing, textiles, telecommunications and finance. The country's main economic sectors are tourism, tea export, clothing, rice production and other agricultural products. In addition to these economic sectors, overseas employment, especially in the Middle East, contributes substantially in foreign exchange. India is Sri Lanka's largest trading partner.
Sri Lanka's most widely known export, Ceylon tea, which is considered the "cleanest" tea in the world. Sri Lanka is also the world's 2nd largest exporter of tea
Imports/ Exports Between
Canada and Sri Lanka
ENERGY / ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES IN SRI LANKA
Due to the geo-climatic conditions, Sri Lanka is blessed with several forms of energy resources. Some of these RE resources are widely used and developed to supply the energy requirements of the country. Others have the potential for development when the technologies become mature and economically feasible for use. Following are the main RE resources available in Sri Lanka.
- Biomass (Biomass is the most common source of energy supply in the country, with the majority usage coming from the domestic sector for cooking purposes.)
- Hydro Power
- Solar (Sri Lanka is situated close to the equator, therefore receives an abundant supply solar radiation year around.)
- Wind (It is estimated that there is nearly 5000 km2 of windy areas with good-to-excellent wind resource potential in Sri Lanka. About 4100 km2 of the total windy area is on land.)
Sri Lanka’s power sector is heavily dependent on hydro power. They have been developing hydro power for a long time now, since the commissioning of the first hydroelectric power plant in 1950. All these hydro schemes were major power generation projects and they are also known as ‘conventional’ power generation schemes since they have been around for quite a long time. Now however, the capacity of such large schemes is nearing their end. Therefore they have to resort to other means of generating power, among which the grid connection of small hydro's, wind power generation schemes and solar projects are receiving much attention. Such technologies are termed non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) technologies, because they were not used in the past in conventional grid power generation.
Environmental concerns include deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo.
This site is a comparison tool to compare living conditions in one country to that of another. In a comparison between Canada and Sri Lanka this was one of the many results given:
If Sri Lanka were your home instead of Canada you would...
use 97.54% less electricity
INTERNATIONAL LINKAGES/ FOREIGN AID
The end of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009 has impacted significantly on the traditional aid landscape. For many years, the focus was on responding to development needs in the context of violent conflict. However, in the past four years, the critical need has been to support economic recovery and rehabilitation of conflict-affected areas, along with a wider focus on economic growth as means to spur reconciliation.The post-war political economy of Sri Lanka is defined by the three-decade long conflict. The influence of government remains central to the economy, and is increasingly driven by a new bureaucratic class that encompasses the well connected social, political and economic elite.
The major donors are ADB, Japan, the World Bank and India, with China playing an increasingly important role. The contribution of aid from traditional development partners has decreased since 2009, and a strong government-led development policy has determined their engagement. In contrast, non-traditional donors have significantly increased their presence and support, while international development banks and multilateral agencies have increased their commitments.
Australia has good bilateral relations with Sri Lanka, underpinned by trade and investment flows, education, immigration, strong people-to-people links and development co-operation. Australia's Sri Lankan community is estimated at 110,000 people. Australia is committed to assisting the economic and social development of Sri Lanka. As the situation in the country improves, Australia has shifted focus from short-term humanitarian support in conflict-affected areas to long-term development assistance.In 2011-12, Australia provided $43.5 million in development assistance to Sri Lanka for mining, reconstruction of schools and houses damaged during the civil conflict, and to help disadvantaged people find work, start a business or restart sustainable farming or fishing activities. Since 2009, the Australian Government has supported the clearance of land mines and unexploded ordnance from 74 square kilometers of land and the reconstruction of around 4,600 homes and 20 schools in northern Sri Lanka. Two-way trade between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2011 was valued at $362 million, with exports to Sri Lanka totalling $244 million. Vegetables, dairy products and wheat were the main merchandise exports. Tea, clothing and rubber tires were Australia's main imports from Sri Lanka. Among the largest Australian investments is Ansell's Ansell Lanka rubber products plant in Biyagama, which is one of the largest foreign investments in an industrial plant in Sri Lanka.
Canada and Sri Lanka have strong bilateral relations based upon shared participation in the Commonwealth, and development assistance through the Colombo Plan, in addition to the presence of a vibrant community of Canadians of Sri Lankan origin. Canadian interest in Sri Lanka is also driven by a foreign policy commitment to the principles of freedom of expression, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. With the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year conflict in May 2009, Canada now looks to the Sri Lankan government to present a viable political solution in order to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankan citizens, regardless of language, religion, or ethnicity.
In response to the tsunami of December 2004, the Canadian government and individual Canadians pledged an unprecedented amount of assistance for relief, recovery and reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka. Annual bilateral assistance is approximately $6 million, and in 2009, Canada announced up to $22.5 million in humanitarian assistance. Canada also contributed $130,000 to the Commonwealth Expert Team, which monitored the January 2010 presidential elections.
Canada and Sri Lanka Relations
Total merchandise trade between Canada and Sri Lanka stood at CAD510,977 in 2012 with Canadian merchandise imports at CAD18,.219 million, 58.25 percent of which consisted of woven and knit apparel. Canadian merchandise exports to Sri Lanka for 2012 stood at CAD321,778 million. Canada has established an important share of the Sri Lankan merchandise import market for wheat and other agriculture commodities. Almost 84.5 percent of Canadian merchandise exports to Sri Lanka in 2012 were in wheat. Wheat exports remain the single most valuable item exported by Canada to Sri Lanka.
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