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(Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka)
Main cities: Colombo, Kandy
Other cities: Anuradhapura, Halle, Dzhaffna, Matara, Negombo, Ratnapura, Trincomalee
SRI LANKA described often as tropical paradise. Vegetation of a coastal belt magnificent and dramatic, and mountainous areas of an interior impress. Pleasant sea brizona soften tropical climate of the coast during the most part of year; hills and mountains in the center of the island are cool at night. The Arab dealers knew long ago the island as Serendib which is the word serendipity source reflecting unexpected pleasures of the earth.
Sri Lanka once known as the British colony on Ceylon, became independent in 1948 though it remained under the power. Its constitution of 1972 proclaimed it the independent republic and changed the name of the country. At last, in 1978 the new constitution officially announced the island the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Colombo, the capital, is on the flat coastal plain on southwest side of the island. He grew up around the harbor which was expanded a breakwater. The main part of business is near port in a so-called Fort (old walls of fortress don't remain any more). Buildings in this area typically British and Dutch colonial, and streets are, as a rule, overloaded. The parking - a problem. Peta, or a traditional market, adjoins the main business area. It consists of the narrow, crowded streets and small shops and booths.
The initial Sinhalese name, Kalantotla (that is the Kelani ferry), was hurt by the Arab dealers Columba and replaced by Portuguese with Colombo.
The main residential areas of the city are located in the South and the southeast from a business zone and are, as a rule, pleasant. The blossoming trees take to the streets, and old mansions with fine gardens create exotic tropical air. Cinnamon Gardens are a rich residential and recreational area.
The first free trade zone is in the country near the international airport of Colombo, to Katunayaka. Its success called creation of additional zones in Biyagam, in 15 miles from the capital, and near the southern port of Halle.
The port of Colombo is one of the world's largest artificial harbors. It is popular port of call for passenger ships and I became the large center of transfer of freights.
The population of the capital of Sri Lanka in 2000 was estimated at 645 000 people.
Colombo is known for the cutting of gemstones and a carving on ivory. Other industries include processing of food and tobacco products, production of metals, development and production of chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, products from skin, clothes, jewelry and furniture. Nearby there is an oil refinery.
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