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: 21.6 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Sinhalese (73.8%), Sri Lankan Moors (7.2%), Indian Tamil (4.6%), Sri Lankan Tamil (3.9%), other (0.5%), unspecified (10%)
Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) (74%), Tamil (national language) (18%), other (8%)
Religions: Buddhist (official) (69.1%), Muslim (7.6%), Hindu (7.1%), Christian (6.2%), unspecified (10%)
SRI LANKANS IN TORONTO
Sri Lankan Population:
In Canada: 103,625
In the GTA: 80,610
In the City of Toronto: 38,800
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
City of Toronto (Scarborough Community), Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga, 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.
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