Sri Lanka 2002

In 2002, Sri Lanka was a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean, with a population of approximately 19 million people. The economy was largely driven by agriculture and tourism and the country had recently emerged from a civil war that had lasted for nearly three decades.

The government of Sri Lanka was focused on rebuilding the country in the wake of the war, in addition to improving living standards and promoting economic growth. This included investing in infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, as well as providing access to healthcare services for all citizens.

In 2002, the government was also working towards strengthening its democracy through various reforms aimed at improving human rights and increasing transparency in government institutions. This included increased access to information for citizens through freedom of information laws as well as increased participation in elections through voter registration drives.

According to computerannals, the country also made progress towards improving inter-ethnic relations with initiatives such as peace talks between Tamil separatists and the government, as well as increased support for reconciliation efforts between different ethnic groups. In addition, it worked towards increasing foreign investment by providing incentives such as tax breaks, which helped to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Yearbook 2002

Sri Lanka. According to Countryaah website, national day of Sri Lanka is every February 4. The new government of the United National Party (United National Party, UNP) quickly tried to implement the electoral promise of peace with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Norwegian diplomats were allowed to continue the mediation efforts that have been going on for several years. As a mark of goodwill, the government facilitated trade embargo on guerrilla-controlled areas.

Sri Lanka Border Countries Map

At the end of February, a ceasefire was closed. A Nordic surveillance force checked that the agreement was respected. The main road through the guerrilla area up to the Jaffna Peninsula in the north was opened to traffic. The opposition felt that Norway was given too much freedom to interpret the terms of the ceasefire, but in the municipal elections in March, the UNP received overwhelming support for peace policy. LTTE’s leading ideologist Anton Balasingham was able to return from exile in the UK to lead the guerrilla negotiation delegation. In early September, the government lifted the formal ban on LTTE and shortly thereafter a first round of peace talks was held in Thailand.

The talks continued during the fall, although a court sentenced LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to 200 years in prison for an explosive attack on the Central Bank of Colombia in 1996, when at least 90 people were killed and 1,400 injured.

At a donor meeting in Oslo in November, Norway made international promises of more than SEK 600 million in reconstruction assistance to Sri Lanka, and at a third round of peace negotiations in Oslo in early December, the parties agreed to set up a federal system in Sri Lanka with autonomy for the Tamil provinces in the north and east.

LTTE had previously given up the requirement for an independent state. During the year, more than 100,000 people returned to areas in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern parts from where they had previously been displaced by the guerrillas.

At the January 2010 presidential election, Rajapaksa was re-elected as president with 57.9% of the vote. Major counterpart was General Fonseka, who received 40.2%. Election observers and observers pointed to widespread electoral fraud and Rajapaksa’s abuse of the state apparatus to secure his re-election. The state media reported the allegations to Rajapaksa alone and ignored the other candidates. Election Commission President Dayananda Dissanayake, after the announcement of the “election results”, asked to be exempted from his post in protest against the election fraud. The US and EU congratulated Rajapaksa on the election result.

The Freedom Alliance (United People’s Freedom Alliance) won the parliamentary elections in April 2010 with 60.3% of the vote. Significant progress from the 2004 election where it gained 45.6%. Sri Lanka’s Freedom Party Chairman, Disanayaka Mudiyanselage Jayaratne was subsequently deployed as prime minister. The Tamil National Alliance had to settle for 2.9%. The election was marked by violence and many irregularities.

In April 2011, the UN released a study showing that at least 40,000 were killed in the last weeks by the government’s offensive in 2009. The Sri Lankan government dismissed all charges and subsequently brought legal action against former Chief of Staff Sarath Fonseka, who in an interview to the Sunday Leader newspaper stated that LTTE partisans on direct order by Defense Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Fonseka was sentenced to 2 years in prison by a court martial and released in 2012.

In May 2011, Israeli agriculture minister visited Sri Lanka at the head of an agro-industrial delegation to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

In July 2012, the editor of the Sunday Leader reported, Frederica Jansz, that she had been threatened with life by Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa following a series of articles about the minister. The newspaper fired Jansz, who then went into exile abroad, and the newspaper withdrew the articles. The previous editor of the newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunge, was killed in full daylight near a police station in 2009. The killing was never investigated. During 2012, the authorities closed 5 Web-based news media that were critical of the government and introduced stricter rules on registering new Web sites. In 2012, international human rights organizations criticized the government-set Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) for not adequately investigating well-documented war crimes during the 26-year civil war, but even the limited recommendations LLRC made were rejected by the government. Terrorism laws remain in force and are applied to human rights activists, journalists and political opponents.

In 2010-12, the Danish Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims (RCT) carried out a project in Sri Lanka with the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and local partner organizations to document the torture in the country, support the victims and work on the settlement of the torture.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay visited Sri Lanka in May 2013. She was shocked by the human rights situation in the country and declared: “The war may have ended in Sri Lanka, but democracy and legal security have since been undermined.” She was also concerned about the military’s increasing interference with civil society and reports of the military’s theft of land. Pillay stated that no obstacles had been placed in the way of her visits around the country, but that the persons she met with had subsequently been harassed and intimidated by the security forces.

Sri Lanka remained close allies with the EU and the United States, and, unlike Syria, had not been subject to sanctions threats by the UN Security Council. At the same time, China was making closer contacts with the regime, while India was pressing for investigations into the war crimes committed during the civil war.

In December 2014, northern and eastern Sri Lanka were hit by the worst floods since 1956. The devastation was due to the combination of high tide and an exceptionally heavy monsoon. 39 were killed and 50,000 evacuated.

Sri Lanka Country Overview

Finnish citizens need a tourist visa to Sri Lanka, which can be applied for no earlier than three months before entering the country. The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is applied for at and costs $ 35.

If necessary, the visa is also available on arrival, at a cost of 40USD / person. However, we recommend applying for a visa in advance, as the process at the airport can be very slow.

The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after leaving the country. Note! The price of the visa is subject to change without notice due to local authorities.

Every person participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.

Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Vaccinations For
The trip, check that the necessary vaccinations are valid. Malaria, and especially dengue fever, is quite common on the island of Sri Lanka. You can protect yourself against malaria with medication and protective clothing. There is no cure for dengue. It is important to protect yourself from mosquitoes with clothing and mosquito repellents.

Further information on vaccinations and other healthcare-related matters can be found, for example, on the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare: and at

The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). 1 € = about 150 LKR. Money exchange from the most common currencies is easy at currency exchange points, banks and hotels. It is worth asking for small (less than 500 rupees) banknotes to bring, as most merchants rarely find enough change. Dirty or torn may not be accepted. Sri Lankan rupees are also available in Finland (pre-order, for example,

Time difference to Finland
+ 3.5 h, in summer + 2.5 h

Electric current
230 V, 50 Hz

Sri Lanka has a three-pronged old-fashioned British plug / Indian plug, which, however, may be compatible with European devices without an adapter.

Mobile phones
Check with your network operator for the coverage of your mobile phone. The country code for Sri Lanka is +94.

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, characterized by two seasons: dry and rainy. From May to August, the southeastern monsoon Yala blows, bringing rainfall to the southwestern part of the island. The dry season in these parts of the island lasts from December to March. The northeast monsoon Maha blows from October to January, bringing rainfall to the northern and eastern parts of the island, where the dry season lasts from May to September. In October-November there is a so-called. the intervening season, when rains occur all over Sri Lanka. The lowlands of the coast are hot all year round, while the interior of the country is cooler due to the altitude.

Travel Seasons
January is a good travel month for a beach holiday in southern Sri Lanka. Otherwise, the best time to travel to the country is between November and April.

Religion: About 70% of Sri Lankans are Buddhist Sinhalese. The Tamil population is divided into 7.6% Muslims and 7.1% Hindus. In addition, 6.2% are Christians. The remaining 10% represent other religions.

Several accommodations and restaurants add a tip to the final bill, which often ends up in the owner’s pocket. Therefore, it is good to remember the person who provided the service separately. As a general rule, a 10% tip on the price of the service can be considered. Drivers and tourist guides are also waiting for tips.