Sri Lanka: Changing Culture

How the Economy, Political System, and Society Shape Culture


Sri Lanka's population is constantly changing just like any other country. The estimated total population is 20,926,315 people. This is a 0.982% population growth. The main area of growth is the Southwestern area and the Northeastern part.

Cultural Traits

In Sri Lanka, Sinhala is the official language. The primary ethnic group, making up nearly three-quarters of the population, is Sinhalese. Other ethnicities include Tamil, Moor, and smaller groups of Burgher, Vedda, and Malay. The majority of people follow Buddhism and Hinduism, while there are small groups of Christians and Muslims.

The Effect of Economics and Politics

One of the biggest problems is the civil war between Buddhist Sinhalese-dominated government and the Hindu Tamil Separatists led by the Libertarian Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE is fighting for a Tamil homeland separate from Sri Lanka. Over 70,000 fighters and normal civilians died during the war. Even after the defeat of LTTE, the government continues to mistreat Hindu Tamils.

The civil war also took a major toll on the economy.Considering the government had to borrow over $180,000 worth of defense loans, it has definitely been a rough time for the people and government. In 2008 the Sinhalese designated $1.5 billion to defense. With all this money going into the war, it is very difficult to imagine that the government has taken care of all the other economic priorities.

This war affected people socially by creating more prejudices and the government's overspending definitely makes it more difficult for the population to survive peacefully.