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Sri Lanka

Population

The current population of Sri Lanka is 21,128,773.

Local Time

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. (Allowance should be made for summer-time changes in Europe.)

Language

Sinhala (official and national language)74%, Tamil (national language)18%, other 8%. Note: English is used in government and spoken competently by about 10% of the population

Visa Requirements

A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of non-Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.

A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period of time and the conditions of stay.

Tourist Visit Visa

A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time.

General eligibility requirements for Sri Lankan Visas:

  • Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration may grant or issue a visa to you if Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you are suitable to enter Sri Lanka.
  • Immigration & Emigration approves the purpose for which you are entering Sri Lanka.
  • You hold a passport valid for a minimum period of six months from the date you arrive in Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you have adequate funds for your maintenance whilst in Sri Lanka and for the payment of your return passage to the country which issued your passport.
  • You are in possession of a written assurance (ticket) to return to the country domicile or a visa to the next country of destination if you are a visit visa holder.

Conditions of a Visit Visa

  • You should not engage in any form of employment, paid or unpaid, or in any trade or business other than that specified in the visa during the period of your stay in Sri Lanka.
  • Your visa must be utilized before the date of expiry noted on the visa.
  • Validity of your visa is subject to entry into Sri Lanka during the indicated entry period.
  • Applications for the extension of all visas should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Currency

Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) is the National Currency. The Sri Lankan currency is the rupee (Rs), divided into 100 cents; pricing in cents is rare. Rupee coins come in denominations of one, two, five and 10 rupees. Notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 rupees. You can easily convert Dollars and Euros to local Currency with money Exchangers and Hotels. For example, 1.00 USD=133.050 LKR (approximate).

Electrical Current

230-240 volts, 50 cycles AC. It is important to carry a converter, although most hotels will be able to provide this.

Sri Lanka

Weather

Website: http://www.meteo.gov.lk

May to August is Monsoon season and there is heavy rain throughout the country. December to March are dry months and considered the best time to visit.

Alcohol

Alcohol is served in private restaurants and Bars. Public consumption of Alcohol is a punishable act.

Water

It is advised to drink bottled water in Sri Lanka

Cultural Considerations

Golden Rules Of Sensitive Travel

  • DO NOT LITTER
  • Keep a ‘shopping bag’ with you and put ALL your litter (including bio-degradable garbage) in it. At the end of the day, dispose of it in your guest house or Hotel.
  • Be Respectful, Be Civilized
  • In a place of worship, in a forest, in a village, in an ancient place…behave with respect. Be sensitive to others in terms of noise, words, behavior, and dress.
  • Don’t smoke or consume liquor in PUBLIC SPACES
  • If you cannot do without alcohol and smoking, do it privately in your guest house or room. NOT in public places. CONSUMING ALCOHOL AND SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

In the Forest and Nature Reserves

  • Take only memories and photos. Do not pluck flowers or fruits.
  • Do not speed in vehicles, do not drive off the trail.all this destroys fragile nature

At a Wewa or Stream

  • Be respectful towards villagers that use the water.
  • Be mindful of animals that use the water.

At Archaeological Sites

  • Do not scratch your name on anything except your own note book
  • Avoid standing on ancient walls, pushing and moving ancient stones and bricks
  • Be respectful if photographing people near shrines and statues, even if they are ruins

Religion

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country. Other religions are practiced in moderate numbers. Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, unspecified 10%.

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