-SRILANKA AND PEOPLE-
 
             

- GENERAL INTRODUCTION -

Sri Lanka , an island in the Indian Ocean and located south of the Indian subcontinent, is also known as the Island of Serendipity. Sri Lanka lies between 5° 55' and 9° 55' north of the equator and between the eastern longitudes 79° 42' and 81° 52'. From North to South it has a maximum length of 435 km (270 miles) and at its widest point it measures 225 km. (140 miles), giving it a land area of 65,600 sq.km. (25,000 sq.miles). This entire stretch encompasses beautiful tropical beaches, verdant vegetation, ancient monuments and a thousand delights to please all tastes

Sri Lanka has a population of 18.5 million of whom the majority are Sinhalese. Other ethnic groups are made up of Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Tamils, Moors, Malays, Burghers (of Portuguese & Dutch descent) and others .Although a multi-religious country, Buddhists constitute the majority. Other religious groups are Hindus, Muslims and Christians Sri Lanka's literacy rate of 88.6% is one of the highest in Asia.

Sinhala and Tamil are official languages in Sri Lanka. English is widely spoken and understood. Place names and sign-boards on buses and trains are usually in all three languages. Sri Lanka is a land of religious freedom and tolerance.
- UVA PROVINCE-WHERE OUR FOCUS IS -

largest of Sri Lanka's nine provinces,Uva is unparalleled in natural beauty.Covering the south eastern parts of the central mountains and surrounding plains, the Uva province offers a tempting variety of diverse attractions to the visitor.

These attractions include dramatic and beautiful scenery steep peaks,plunging chasms,high waterfalls,rolling downlands and lush plains.Impressive archaeological remains bear witness to a cultural heritage and history reaching back into pre-christian times. Colourful,unique festivals, arts and crafts, customs and flok-lore give fascinating insights into its ethnic and culturai diversity.

The Uva province has many unspoilt wildness areas rich in animal,bird and plant life.Predominantly(78%) agricultural,the province has a haunting rural charm; outside its few bustling towns,life styles are serene,unhurried and still traditional.
Uva is a major tea growing region and is famed for its fragrant,high grown tea large plantations cover over 40000 hectares.The higher elevations of Uva-Haputale,Bandarawela,Diyatalawa and Welimada are among Sri Lanka's top health resorts due to their cool,mild climate where temperatures average between 12-15 C and their scenic locations.The province's rich farmlands,fields,orchards,gradens,rivers and lakes yeild an abundance of fresh fruit,vegetables,fresh water fish,dairy and other produce to delight visitors.The province also grows and processes large quantities of cane sugar notably around Pelwatte in lower Uva.Rich gem deposits especially blue sapphires and granets occur in the downland areas of Lunugala and Okkampitiya.Good tourist accommondation is available in the province
 
- THE NEED FOR HELP -

In Uva Province where especially in Yala season, the extent of land cultivable is limited due to non-availability of irrigated water. Further, the non-existence of a proper management system and operation and maintenance practices of water are key issues in the agricultural sector of the Uva Province. The irrigation rehabilitation programmes in the past have focused only on construction aspect of the irrigation system and a very little attention has been paid of environmental conservation, watershed management, sustainable productivity etc.

     
Going to work in Garment Factories
A farmer's house
Tea plucking girl
 
- THE PEOPLE
The friendly people of Uva who are of diverse ethnic origins,share a common tradition of hospitality to visitors and will make a stay in the province an enjoyble and enriching experience.

But they are having many problems due to their low income level Some of the examples are as follows.
  • Tea state laborers who are having many problems with housing,water,education and many essential facilities.
  • Farmers - Having many problems especially with water facilities and many other socio economic problems
  • Most of the rural girls work for garment factories are having very low salaries.

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