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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It lies just 30 kilometres south-east of India. It has mountains in the south-central region. Elsewhere it is mainly low lying with flat coastal plains. The country has many sandy beaches and lagoons. 

  • Region: Asia
  • Population: 22 million (2018) 
  • Area: 65,600 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Colombo (executive and judicial), Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative) 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1948, following independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 7 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Sri Lanka 

Countering violent extremism 

The Secretariat has helped Sri Lanka learn about tackling violent and extremist views and building strong communities. 

Human rights 

In 2018, the Secretariat worked with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to help it regain its ‘A’ status with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.

Youth 

The Secretariat helped the National Youth Services Council of Sri Lanka integrate youth worker training into its curriculum. It also helped the Open University of Sri Lanka gain professional recognition for its youth work programmes.  

Sport 

The Secretariat has worked with Sri Lanka to measure the contribution of sport and physical education to sustainable development. 

Trade 

The Secretariat has helped Sri Lanka develop a finance strategy to improve its exports. 

Blue Charter

Sri Lanka champions the Action Group on mangrove ecosystems and livelihoods. The Action Group held its first meeting in Negombo in October 2019. Since then, Sri Lanka demarcated 14,000 hectares of land which includes thousands of hectares to be allocated for mangroves.

The Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, celebrated new in-roads made by the country by planting a mangrove plant in the country’s famous Koggala Lagoon in November 2019.

The country made a voluntary commitment at the global ocean summit recently held in Oslo, Norway – the ‘Our Ocean’ conference – to identify all potential suitable areas for mangrove restoration and design a way to replant trees in these areas by 2030.

Sri Lanka also plans to expand its task force for mangrove restoration to engage all stakeholders from government, private sector and community based organisations.

Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth 

The 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference was held in Colombo in September 2012. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013 was also held in Colombo. 

Shehan Karunatilaka won the Commonwealth Writers’ Book Prize in 2012. 

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