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The current constitution stipulates the political system as a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system.It has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-Aligned Movement.Among other structures, large reservoirs, important for conserving water in a climate with rainy and dry seasons, and elaborate aqueducts, some with a slope as finely calibrated as one inch to the mile, are most notable.Biso Kotuwa, a peculiar construction inside a dam, is a technological marvel based on precise mathematics that allows water to flow outside the dam, keeping pressure on the dam to a minimum.A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, which was granted in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972.
Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.).
In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names.
According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni ("copper-red hands" or "copper-red earth"), because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area.
The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils have also played an influential role in the island's history.
Moors, Burghers, Malays, Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda are also established groups on the island.