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Where in the World is . . . Sri Lanka

March 22nd, 2020

Where in the World is . . .

Sri Lanka (4S)

CQ Zone 22 IT Zone 41

IOTA AS-003

Sri Lanka, the name connotes a tropical isle with warm breezes and a life of ease.   

Officially, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The island nation is located off the Southeastern tip of India in between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. During WW II it was part of the British Empire but achieved independence in 1946. Formerly, known as Ceylon it changed the name in 1972 to reflect the dominance of the ethnic Sinhalese population.

Its strategic location between East and West made Ceylon (Sri Lanka) a busy trading place along the Maritime Silk Road that flourished between Europe, India and Asia during the 2nd Century BCE and the 15th Century CE. After the death of Mao Zedong, the Chinese government made itself an important partner in East-West trade. It obtained long term leases over port facilities along the route including in Sri Lanka. But – I digress.

Figure 1Colombo

The country’s largest city and its commercial capital is Colombo; a name I can at least pronounce, while the legislative seat of government is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which I cannot.

The country’s trade in luxury goods and spices attracted traders of many nations to the island, creating the diverse population in Sri Lanka there is now. The Portuguese, whose arrival in Sri Lanka was largely accidental, would intrude into the country’s internal affairs by seeking to establish control over the maritime regions of the island in order to control its lucrative external trade.

The Portuguese possessions would later be taken over by the Dutch, and the Dutch by the British who would later extend their control over the whole island, colonizing it from 1815 to 1948. Resistance to the British was immediate. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century for political independence, which was granted in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972. Sri Lanka’s recent history has been marred by a 26-year civil war, which ended decisively when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.

Figure 2 Ceylon Tea

In addition to the trade benefits between east and west, Sri Lanka is the world’s number two exporter of tea. Ceylon tea has been recognized as the cleanest tea in the world regarding pesticide residue.

Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated “high” on the Human Development Index (HDI), with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations. The Sri Lankan constitution accords Buddhism the “foremost place”, although it does not identify it as a state religion. Buddhism is given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution.

Sri Lanka is the 57th most populated nation in the world with roughly 21,670,000 people. The densest areas are in and around the capital. Sinhalese constitute the largest ethnic group in the country, with 75% of the total population. Sri Lankan Tamils are the second major ethnic group in the island, with a percentage of 11%.

According to QRZ, there are 320 licensed hams in the country. Sri Lanka stands at. number 183 on Club Log’s Most wanted DXCC most Wanted List,

There are several radio clubs sponsored by universities, along with The Amateur Radio Society of Sri Lanka (RSSL). which is the official representative to the IARU.

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron, K5HM

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