Country and People
Sri Lanka is an ethnically very heterogeneous country with a population of approx. 22 million inhabitants. With about 74,9% the Singhalese constitute the majority, Tamils form the biggest minority in the country with 15,4%. Approx. 8% are descendants of Arabian and Malay Muslims. Furthermore there are still the Veddahs, the former natives of Sri Lanka who are estimated to be only a few Thousand. The Burghers, formerly an extremely influential group of Eurasians of mixed Dutch or Portuguese and Sri Lankan descent, now mostly live abroad; in Sri Lanka they make up less than 1% of the population.
Religions are as multifaceted as the ethnic groups. The population majority of the Singhalese confesses to Buddhism (70.2%). A large part of the Tamils are Hindus (12.6%), Muslims are represented with 9.7%, Christians with 7.4%.
Singhalese, Tamil and English are equally official languages.