Sri Lanka is an island in the South Indian Ocean and is found south of India. The two countries are separated by the Palk Strait, which is 23 kilometres wide. The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, is on the west coast line.
Population: 22.2 million
Ethnic Groups: Sinhalese (74.9%), Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2%), Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%), Indian Tamil (4.2%), Other (0.5%)
Languages: Sinhala (Official and National Language) (74%), Tamil (National Language) (18%), Other (8%)
Religions: Buddhist (Official) (70.2%), Hindu (12.6%), Muslim (9.7%), Roman Catholic (6.1%), Other Christian (1.3%), Other (0.05%)
CIA: The World Factbook - Last Updated July 11, 2017
Sri Lankan Population:
In Canada: 152,590
In the GTA: 114,400
In Toronto: 58,185
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
The City of Toronto (Scarborough Community), Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga, and Brampton.
Sri Lanka became independent in 1948. A civil war fought over ethnic and religious divides raged on and off from 1983 to 2009. The reason for the war was that the Tamil minority was unhappy with discrimination and with attempts to push Sinhalese cultural norms and customs onto the entire population. While peace and freedom of movement now prevail, a political solution to the issue is still needed. Almost all Sri Lankans say that religion plays an important role in their lives - which is unsurprising, given the civil war. Buddhism is the national religion and freedom of religion is guaranteed by the law. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for extremists to attack or persecute Christians.