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Lecture 35

GEOG 3RW3 Lecture 35: Geography 3RW3 - Lecture 35 - Sri Lanka

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McMaster University
Segei Basik

Lecture 35 – Wednesday April 1 Sri Lanka General Information • Area – more than 65,000 square km • Population – more than 21 million • Example Canada has 35 million • Strategic geographical location (the vital southernmost point of South Asia near the major Indian Ocean trading lanes) and physiographical conditions • Capital: Colombo • The legislative capital: Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (Colombo suburb) • Official name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka • Government system: republic • Insurgent State (1980 th – 2000 )h • Highest GDP growth in South Asia Historical Geography Facts • Names: ancient Greeks – Taprobana (Ptolemy); Arabs – Sirindib (from Sanskrit – Sinhaladvipa “the Island of Sinhalese”); Ceylon (Portuguese, Dutch, British) • 5th century BC – Indo-Aryan migrants from northern India settle on the island; the Sinhalese emerge as the most powerful clan • 3rd century BC – Beginning of Tamil migration from South India • Medieval Kingdoms (Chola, Jaffna, etc.) • Europeans: Portuguese – 16 century, Dutch – 17 century, British – late 18th century • Independence – 1948 • 1972 – Ceylon changed the name – Sri Lanka • Ethnic Groups: o Sinhalese – about 75% o Tamil (Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%) o Sri Lankan Moor about 9% • Religions: o Buddhism 70.2% o Hinduism 12.6% o Islam 9.7% o Christianity 7.4% Ethnic Conflict • Tamils seek political autonomy (or independence) based on their “right” to their territorial homeland (Eelam) in the north and east of the island (as a relative autonomy enjoyed prior to British rule) • This claim is rejected by Sinhalese who claim that it is their “religious-ethnic destiny” to control the entire island and the Tamils are “invaders” • More than 25 years of war (1983-2009) • IDPs: 460,000 both Tamils and non-Tamils, displaced • More than 100,000 killed in the war • The total economic cost of the 26-year war is es
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