, Tamil: இலங்கை Ilaṅkai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, historically called Ceylon, is an island country in South Asia.
Some shops and businesses are also closed on poya days while the New Year festival in mid-April and the two day long holiday for Vesak in May see a general pause in government, mercantile and banking sectors, when the country takes time off to celebrate or to catch a breath.Most modern Sri Lankan Tamils claim descent from residents of Jaffna Kingdom, a former kingdom in the north of the island and Vannimai chieftaincies from the east.They constitute a majority in the Northern Province, live in significant numbers in the Eastern Province, and are in the minority throughout the rest of the country.The Sri Lankan Tamils are mostly Hindus with a significant Christian population.Sri Lankan Tamil literature on topics including religion and the sciences flourished during the medieval period in the court of the Jaffna Kingdom.Since the beginning of the Sri Lankan Civil War in the 1980s, it is distinguished by an emphasis on themes relating to the conflict.
Sri Lankan Tamil dialects are noted for their archaism and retention of words not in everyday use in the Tamil Nadu state in India.
According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni ("copper-red hands" or "copper-red earth"), because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area.
The era spans the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and early Iron Ages.
The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.
Sri Lanka has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
The organizers of a recent Enrique Iglesias concert in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo should be “whipped with toxic stingray tails” as punishment for the “uncivilized behavior” of female fans, according to Maithripala Sirisena, the country's President.