Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

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From 'Living in Sri Lanka' by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell (Thames & Hudson, 2006)

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Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (changed from Ceylon in 1972).

Population: 20 million.

Climate: Tropical.

Area: 66,000 sq km.

Highest Point: Pidurutalagala (2524m), Adam’s Peak (2224m).

Religion: Sinhalese Buddhist (70%), Tamil Hindu (18%), Muslim (7.5%), Christian,

Language: Tamil, Singhalese, English, Dutch, Wanniyala-aetto, Chinese.

Provinces: Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern Uva and Western.

Major Cities: Colombo (capital), Kandy, Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Trincomalee, Batticaloa. Matara, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa.

Legal System: English Common Law mixed with Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, Tamil and customary law.

Economy: Garments, tea, coconuts, fishing, tourism, gems.

Public Holidays: Sri Lanka apparently has more public holidays than any other country in the world. Many of the 26 public holidays are based on the lunar calendar so dates vary from year to year depending on the Gregorian calendar. The full moon (poya) holidays are the most frequent but there are also festivals for Hindus, Christians and Muslims.

Principal Sports: Cricket, football, tennis.

Click here to view James Fennell's Sri Lanka photographs.