National Geographic : 1979 Jan
SRI Arab mariners knew this teardrop off India as Serendip; an 18th-century English author equated it to "unexpected delights" and coined the word "serendipity." In Hindu epic it was Sri Lanka Resplendent Land-a name the republic adopted in 1972. AREA: 25,332 sq mi (65,610 sq km). POPULATION: 14,000,000. GOVT: Democratic Socialist Republic. ETHNIC GROUPS: Symbolized in the flag by the legendary lion forebear of the Sinhalese (72 percent), the saffron of the Tamils (20 percent), and the green of the Muslims (7 percent). ECONOMY: Agriculture predominates. MAJOR CITIES: Colombo, capital (607,000); S Jaffna (117,000); Kandy (101,000). ;ticaloa 1P. < Duwa c" Wattala Ambalar "ranamadu . Tank Bay of Bengal tank .... reservoir 0 KILOMETERS 50 I1 1 I . I 0 STATUTE MILES DRAWNBYISKANDARBADAY COMPILEDBYPATRICIAJ.HARRISON NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC ARTDIVISION "-DondraHead 50 .~ ~ bdu?