Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and known as Ceylon (/sɪˈlɒn/) before 1972, is an island country in South Asia, located about 31 km (19.3 mi) off the southern coast of India. Its culture and language are unique in the region, even though both Sinhala and Hindi are Indo-Aryan.
Although Sri Lanka wasn't hit with any nuclear weapons, it was cut off from the rest of the world on September 26, 1983.
After Doomsday, the Sri Lankans found themselves in a civil war with absolutely no help, not even from their neighbor, India (which had collapsed). The sides were much more even now that India didn't help the Sri Lankans, and the Tamil started having more and more victories each passing day. By the end of 1985, the totality of Tamil Eelam was in the Tamil Tigers' hands, and the Sri Lankans were suing for peace. Tamil Eelam was given independence and was recognized by the Sri Lankans.
However, Ranasinghe Premadasa rose to power in late 1989, and revoked the Sri Lankan recognition toward Tamil Eelam. This started the Second Tamil War. However, the Sri Lankans didn't expect the help of a power at the other side of the Palk Strait: Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu was a breakaway Indian republic and a great ally of Tamil Eelam, and therefore, helped them. The war ended in a Sri Lankan defeat and Sri Lanka was forced to pay a burdening tribute toward both Tamil nations. Ranasinghe Premadasa was deposed and killed in a coup d'etat led by Percy Mahendra "Mahinda" Rajapaksa, the actual President of Sri Lanka. After the Second Tamil War, Sri Lanka remained isolated from the rest outside world until around 2005, when regular trade with the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand resumed. However, politically Sri Lanka had opened a few years before, in 2001.
The Constitution of Sri Lanka establishes a democratic, socialist republic in Sri Lanka, which is also a unitary state. The government is a mixture of the presidential system and the parliamentary system. The President of Sri Lanka is the head of state, the commander in chief of the armed forces, as well as head of government, and is popularly elected for a six-year term.
In the exercise of duties, the President is responsible to the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which is a unicameral 225-member legislature. The President appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers composed of elected members of parliament. The President's deputy is the Prime Minister, who leads the ruling party in parliament and shares many executive responsibilities, mainly in domestic affairs.
Members of parliament are elected by universal (adult) suffrage based on a modified proportional representation system by district to a six-year term. The primary modification is the party that receives the largest number of valid votes in each constituency gains a unique "bonus seat." The president may summon, suspend, or end a legislative session and dissolve Parliament any time after it has served for one year. The parliament reserves the power to make all laws.
MilitaryThe Sri Lanka Armed Forces, comprising the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force, comes under the preview of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The total strength of the three services is around 230,000 active personnel. Sri Lanka does not use a military draft.
In support of the armed forces there are two paramilitary units functioning under purview of the Ministry of Defence, which are the Special Task Force and the Civil Defence Force. Sri Lanka did not have a Coast Guard service until Aug 10, 2009 and its Navy carried out such duties. Discussions were underway with respect to establishing a coast guard service. On Aug 10, 2009 director-general of Sri Lanka Department of Coast Guard Daya Dharmapriya officially announced the on behalf of the government the launching of the service.
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. The development of modern ports under British rule raised the strategic importance of the island as a centre of trade. During World War II, the island hosted important military installations and Allied forces. However, the plantation economy aggravated poverty and economic inequality.
From 1948 to 1977 socialism strongly influenced the government's economic policies. Colonial plantations were dismantled, industries were nationalised and a welfare state established. While the standard of living and literacy improved significantly, the nation's economy suffered from inefficiency, slow growth and lack of foreign investment.
After Doomsday, when Sri Lanka was cut from the outside world, and until 2005, Sri Lanka remained isolationist until trade with surrounding nations, especially Tamil Eelam and the ANZC, was established.
Sri Lanka is a member of the League of Nations. The Sri Lankans had close relations with the Indian break-away state of Tamil Nadu, but ever since 1985, the relations have been damaged, because of the Second Tamil War. However, there is a movement in that nation to bring their nation into a union with Tamil Eelam, and since the Union Interim Parliament has accelerated their process of reabsorbing the break-away nations back into the country, the Sri Lankans have started to support the idea.