Sri Lanka

“A country radiant of beauty from where a royal light emanates”, this is the meaning of “Sri Lanka”. Already in the Middle Ages, spice merchants and great travellers were talking about the indescribable beauty of “Serendib” : these words attracted the explorers and conquerors, which valued this isle the nickname of “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

Located at the tip of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka is at the crossroads of India, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. The main cities are Colombo (economical capital, 690 000 inhabitants in 2003), Kandy and Galle. The most northern city, Jaffna (129 000 inhab.) is today in the zone disputed by the Tamil activists and the government. The political capital is Sri Jayawardenapura (Kotte), located to 15 km southeast of Colombo.

With 19.7 million inhabitants over 66,000 km2, the ethnic composition of the population is extremely diverse: 74% Sinhalese, 18% Tamils, 7% Moors (Sinhalese and Islamized Tamils) and 1% Burghers (descendants of Dutch and British settlers), Malay and Veddas. 70% of the population is Buddhist (Hinayana type), 15% Hindu, 8% Christian and 7% Muslim. The Sinhalese occupy the island’s interior as well as the arch formed by the western and southern coasts. The Tamils are located in the northern cone of the island as well as on the eastern coasts. Sinhalese, Buddhists and Tamils, Hindus both come from India. Sinhalese, of Indo-European origin (from northern India) and Tamils of Dravidian origin (from southern India) settled in Sri Lanka around the first millennium BC. Buddhism was adopted by the Sinhalese population in the 3rd century BC. Islam appeared on the island in the 15th century in contact with Arab trade and Christianity in the 16th century with the creation of Portuguese and then Dutch trading posts.

Since its independence on 4 February 1948, Sri Lanka has faced a growing ethnic conflict. It was between the Sinhalese, the vast majority of whom were in the territory, and the Tamils, who represented a visible minority.

Here is a few examples of prices in Sri Lanka :

Basic products Prices in Euros / Sri Lankan Rupee
1L of water (botel) 0,27 € / 44 LKR
1 meal (2 dishes) 1,53 € / 252 LKR
1 bus ticket 0,12 € / 19 LKR

Honestly, the best Sri Lankan meal is from far the “rice & curry”, which is often a delight and a beautiful originality! Of course, you can eat quite a few fish and seafood on the coasts.

Vaccine and specific advice :

Find out what vaccines are recommended for the country and what are the diseases preventive and/or treatment measures on site.

Checklist :

Vaccine renewal, country-specific vaccinations: 1-3 months before leaving

Visit your doctor or specialist for any health problem, repeat of medical prescriptions, contraception, to have a sufficient initial stock of drugs, adjustment of dosages. Moreover, you will need to send your coordinator a certificate from your doctor certifying that you are well able to participate in an international volunteer project.

Dentist: a dental check-up can be useful before you leave !

We recommend you to visit the mentioned below websites to consult the travel advice :

UK :


Canada :

With regard to obtaining a visa and entry requirements, we invite you to contact the embassy in question :

Embassy of Sri Lanka in the UK : 

13, Hyde Park Gardens
London W2 2LU
United Kingdom
TELEPHONE (+44) 207-262-1841
FAX (+44) 207-262 7970
[email protected]
[email protected]


Embassy of Sri Lanka in the USA : 

3025 Whitehaven Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
United States
TELEPHONE (+1) 202 483 4025 to 28
FAX (+1) 202 232 7181
EMAIL [email protected]

Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Canada :

333 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON K1P 1C1
TELEPHONE (+1) (613) 233-8449 / 1550
FAX (+1) (613) 238-8448
EMAIL [email protected]

List of projects available in Sri Lanka