The official name of the nation is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. In 1972, the national constitution discarded the name Ceylon and adopted the name of Sri Lanka. In Sinhala, the language of the majority, Sri means “blessed” and Lanka is the name of the island.
About 70% of the population follows Buddhism. Buddhism came to Sri Lanka from India during the reign of Ashoka in third century BC and played a significant role in the establishment of Sinhalese kingdoms since the early times, dating back to over two thousand years. Buddhism was regarded the highest ethical and philosophical expression of Sinhalese culture and civilization.
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