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Sri Lanka: A Hot Education Destination For International Students In Asia

Are you looking towards Sri Lanka as Study Abroad Destination? Well, perhaps you might be interested in knowing Sri Lanka as a country, visa requirements, courses and colleges etc. Here is brief discussion about Sri Lanka as I know it from different sources like Internet Databases, Books and Periodicals etc to help students looking for admission in Sri Lanka.


Let's Know About Sri Lanka


The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia. The country is located 19.3 miles of the southern coast of India. The early people who came and settled in present days’ Sri Lanka around 6th century BC were the Indo European speaking settlers, the Sinhalese. Those people arrived here from northern India. Buddhism approached here around 240 BC, and in the cities like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the Sinhalese developed a great civilization. The civilization was immensely destroyed by civil wars and by the incursions of Hindu Dravidian-speakers from across the Palk Strait, these people established a Tamil Kingdom in the northern part of the island.



In 16th century Portuguese east India Company established here and the European ruler occupied almost whole of the island, the Sinhalese Kingdom in Kandy was exception. By mid of the 17th century Portuguese were driven out of Sri Lanka (and southern India) by the Dutch East India Company.

Dutch governed here for more than 100 years, introduced plantation and agriculture, developed trade and business, and left a heritage including Roman – Dutch law. But they found themselves displaced. British won with France over leadership in India and North America and claimed Sri Lanka, which they named Ceylon. In 1802, Ceylon was made a crown colony and by 1815, the whole island came under British control. The British introduced here efficient and enlightened administration. Crops like coffee, tea, coconut, and rubber was also effectively grown in the region. By 20th century nationalist movement was developed across the Palk Strait in India, and nationalist in Ceylon put demand for greater self rule which further led to democratic reforms in constitutions passed in 1910, 1920, 1924, 1931, and 1947; included in the 1931 ratification was limited self-rule under universal suffrage.

In 1948, with small struggle Ceylon became a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth. From 1948 through 1970 multiparty parliamentary system was evolved in Ceylon in which orderly and constitutional elections and changes in government took place. In the start of 1970, executive power started to be highly centralized under Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who ruled the country from 1971 – 77 with the use of unpopular emergency powers in support of her socialist, pro-Sinhalese policies.

Bandaranaike brought a new constitution in 1972, changing the authority of Ceylon to the republic of Sri Lanka, reaffirming a parliamentary system under a weak, ceremonial presidency, and making the protection of Buddhism a constitutional principle.

In July 1977 elections the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) defeated and Junius Richard Jayewardene of United National Party (UNP) brought into power. He became Sri Lanka's first elected executive president in February 1978, under a constitutional amendment of fall 1977 establishing a presidential form of government. After 7 months a new more liberal constitution brought into practice, the new constitution excluded many features of 1972 constitution and introduced proportional representation by defining the presidential executive system.  Ranadive Premadasa became the prime minister.

In October 1982, Jayewardene was chosen for new 6 years period and to avoid general election the tenure of sitting parliament was extended till 1989 through a constitutional amendment endorsed by popular referendum. Since 1978, growing anxieties and aggression among the majority (mostly Buddhist) Sinhalese and minority (mostly Hindu) Sri Lankan Tamil communities that have long shared the island have subjugated political life.

The Sinhalese dominated government made Sinhala the official language in 1956 and replaced English. Of late 1970s, moderate Sri Lankan Tamils looked to the leadership in the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and to negotiations with the new UNP government in 1978 to pursue changes aimed at protecting their cultural heritage by giving greater control to elected officials at the local level in Sri Lankan Tamil majority areas of the island. By the early 1980s, there efforts had failed. Fighting intensifies Sinhalese-dominated army and well-armed Sri Lankan Tamil separatists in 1986 and 1987.

The government started military offensive against Tamil forces in the spring of 1987. Through 1988 and 1989, the government was under trouble from militant Sinhalese nationalist political party. Premadasa became Sri Lankan president in 1988. In 1990, India’s Prime Minister VP Singh agreed to Sri Lanka that India pull out its forces out of the country. Tamil rebellions assassinated President Premadasa on May Day 1993 and Wijetunga came into power. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga became Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in August 1994. By late 1996, the government again seems to have upper hand against rebellion forces.  On 30 May 1996, the government chief general offered amnesty to 20,000 deserters and announced plans to recruit 10,000 additional soldiers to end the civil war once and for all. Still, the war went on through the end of 1996 with no cease-fire in sight.  Parliamentary elections were held on December 7, 2001, the United National Party (UNP) won in these elections and Ranil Wickremasinghe became the new president of the country.

The constitution of 1978 makes the President of Sri Lanka the head of the state, the head of the government and the commander in chief of the armed forces. The president is directly elected for a 6-year term. The president is responsible to parliament for the exercise of duties under the constitution and laws. The president may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of Parliament with the concurrence of the Supreme Court. The President appoints the parliamentary heads and cabinet ministers.

The prime minister is the leader of the ruling party and deputy to the president. A parliamentary no-confidence vote involves termination of the cabinet and the appointment of a new one by the president. The parliament of Sri Lanka is a unicameral body consisting of 225 members; these members are elected through universal suffrage for a 6 years term.  The president has full power to summon, suspend, or end a legislative session
and dissolve Parliament. The Parliament coffers the power to make all laws. The Judiciary system of Sri Lanka comprises of a Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, and numerous subordinate courts. The legal system of Sri Lanka echoes miscellaneous cultural powers. Criminal law is basically British. Basic civil law is Roman-Dutch. Laws pertaining to marriage, divorce, and inheritance are communal. The provincial councils in Sri Lanka are directly elected for a 5 years term.

The leader of the council majority serves as Chief Minister of the province. The president appoints the governor for the province. The provincial councils have limited authority in the matters pertaining to education, health, rural development, social services, agriculture, security, and local taxation. Many of these powers are shared or subject to central government oversight. Predating the accord are municipal, urban, and rural councils with limited powers.

Geographically, Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean to the south of Democratic Republic of India. Its location is 5° 55' and 9° 55' north of the equator and between the eastern longitudes 79° 42' and 81° 52'. The total land area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 sq. km. and is surprisingly varied. A length of 445 km. and breadth of 225 km. encompasses beautiful tropical beaches, verdant vegetation, ancient monuments and a thousand delights to please all tastes. The south-central part of Sri Lanka is a rough plateau cut by a range of mountains whose highest peak is Pidurutalagala, 2,524 m (8,281 ft). Five-sixths of the land is less than 1,000 ft in elevation. No. Of rivers and streams flows towards sea in all directions from the central mountain area; the longest river, flowing northeastward, is the Mahaweli Ganga 206 miles long.

Climate in lowland is tropical, average temperature in Colombo records around 27 degrees Celsius. At higher elevations temperature stays low around 16 degrees Celsius. Bird life in Sri Lanka is abundant, 251 different species of birds are found here, of which 21 are endemic. Many of the endemic birds are restricted to the wet zone, e.g. the Ceylon Grackle or to the hill - country, e.g. the Ceylon Whistling Thrush, the Yellow eared Bulbul etc. 86 different species of mammals are found in Sri Lankan forests. A total of 107 species of fishes are found in Sri Lankan waters, 39 are endemic. Dolphins and whales are found in Kirinda , Bentota, Batticaloa , Weligama, Negambo and Chilaw.

Sri Lanka is famous for different fruit varieties- Pineapple, papaya, banana and mango are plentiful throughout the year. Between the months of July and October, mangoosteen, passion fruit, avocado, pear, durian, rambuttan and oranges are also available. Sri Lanka is also known for its spices, main export varieties of spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, pepper, etc.  The Spice Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya has the most complete collection of spice plants and high quality fresh packeted spices are freely available for sale, especially in Kandy. There are also many private spice gardens open to the public.

A large portion of population living in Sri Lanka follows Buddhism (approximately 70%) these people is ethnic Sinhalese. 15% are Hindus mainly Tamils, Muslims are 8%, Moor, Malay and Christians constitutes 7%. Majority of Christians living in Sri Lanka are Roman Catholics, there also lives Anglicans and Baptists in good numbers. The constitution of Sri Lanka make it a secular state, the constitution guarantees the freedom for religion.  Sinhala, Tamil and English are official languages in Sri Lanka. Sinhala, a language of Indo-Aryan origin and is the language of the majority. English is widely spoken and understood.

Sri Lanka is a developing country. The GDP of Sri Lanka is estimated to be $25.8 billion, which makes per capita income $1,355. The life expectancy in Sri Lanka is 72 years. Sri Lanka has opened its door to foreign investment in 1978. Industry accounts for 27% of GDP. The textile, apparel, and leather products sector is the largest, accounting for 39% of total industrial output. The second-largest industrial sector is manufacturing (food, beverages, and tobacco) accounting for 22% of output. The third-largest industrial sector is chemical, petroleum, rubber, and plastic products. The construction sector account for 7.2% of GDP. Mining and quarrying accounts of 1.9% of GDP. Agriculture employs 33% working population and made 16.8% of GDP. The plantation sector consists of tea, rubber, and coconut. In recent years, the tea crop has made significant contributions to export earnings.

International Students can visit, live and learn in Sri Lanka from different colleges and universities across the country. Given one pocess necessary qualification to pursue a course and he / she has applied and has obtained admission offer from an institution in Sri Lanka immigration is not a major cause of worry. To help international students about migrating to Sri Lanka folowing given Visa Requirements.

Visa Requiremets For Study In Sri Lanka


International students willing to pursue a course from a Srilankan College / University require obtaining a Visa for the intended period of stay in the country. Following given eligibility and documentatuon required to obtain a Visa for Sri Lanka


  • You should be enrolled to study a full time coure / pursue a program in a Shilankan College / University / Institution.
  • Minimum age 16 year. Students below 16 years of age require applying for parents visa.


Documentation Required


  • Proof of admission in a college / university / institution in Sri Lanka
  • Valid Passport for the intended period of stay.
  • Visa Fee:  Rs: 20,000.00 per year. For students enrolled in government Universities visa fee and tax is Rs: 10,000.00 per year


The Visa Procedure somewhat goes as follows:


  • You apply to a college / university in Sri Lanka
  • Upon acceptance the education provider apply to the Department of Immigration for entry visa approval.
  • Candidate contact to the nearest Sri Lanka Diplomatic Mission in the home country to obtains the Entry Visa endorsed on the passport.
  • Upon arrival, immigration may grant you entry for the intended period of stay.


For more details and latest updates you are advised to visit Official Immigration Website

List of Universities in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka @ A Glance


Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Capital : Colombo

Location: Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India

Geographic coordinates: 7 00 N, 81 00 E

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

TotalArea: 65,610 sq km

Climate: Tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); Southwest monsoon (June to October)

Independence: 4 February 1948 (from UK)

Constitution: Adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978

Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)

Time zone: SLST (UTC+5:30)

Drives on the: left

Calling code: +94

Internet TLD: .lk

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