Sri Lanka (UK: , US: (listen); Sinhala: ශ්රී ලංකා Śrī Laṃkā; Tamil: இலங்கை Ilaṅkai), officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.
Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road.
Muttiah Muralitharan (Tamil: முத்தையா முரளிதரன், born 17 April 1972 in Kandy, Sri Lanka), often referred to as Murali, is a Sri Lankan cricketer who was rated the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2002.
Muralitharan is the highest wicket-taker in both Test cricket and in One Day Internationals (ODIs). He took the wicket of Gautham Gambhir on 5 February 2009 in Colombo, to surpass Wasim Akram's ODI record of 502 wickets. Muralitharan became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when overtook the previous record-holder Shane Warne on 3 December 2007 in longer version of the game. Muralitharan had previously held the record when he surpassed Courtney Walsh's 519 wickets in 2004. But he suffered a shoulder injury later that year and was then overtaken by Warne.
Averaging over six wickets per Test, Muralitharan is one of the most successful bowlers in the game and the greatest player for Sri Lanka. He plays domestic cricket for the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, and county cricket for Lancashire as an overseas player.
Muralitharan's career has been beset with controversy; his bowling action called into question on a number of occasions by umpires and sections of the cricket community. After biomechanical analysis in non-match conditions, Muralitharan's action was cleared by the International Cricket Council, first in 1996 and again in 1999. The legality of his doosra was first called into question in 2004. This delivery was found to exceed the ICC elbow extension limit by nine degrees, five degrees being the limit for spinners at that time. Based on official studies into bowling actions, the International Cricket Council revised the elbow flexion limits applying to all bowlers in 2005. Muralitharan's doosra falls within the revised limits.
Muralitharan was left out of the one-day touring squad to West Indies in early 2008, leading to speculation that he may be focusing on Test cricket in the future whilst Sri Lanka built a younger squad for One Day Internationals.
Gilded bronze statue of the Bodhisattva Tara, from the Anuradhapura period, 8th century
A Low Country drummer playing the traditional Yak Béra
The formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament at Independence Square
A 17th-century engraving of Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen meeting with King Vimaladharmasuriya in 1602
An aerial view of Southern Province.
Tea plantation near Kandy
Topographic map of Sri Lanka
The distribution of languages and religious groups in Sri Lanka, 1981
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Colombo
Traditional Sri Lankan harvesting dance
Sri Lankan rice and curry
Esala Perehera festival, around 1885
Sri Lanka's most widely known export, Ceylon tea, which ISO considers the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues. Sri Lanka is also the world's 2nd largest exporter of tea.
Sri Lanka aborigines vedda at work
Sri Lanka's population, (1871–2001)
Kandy women performing the Peacock Dance
A Buddhist statue in the ancient capital city of Polonnaruwa, 12th century
British appointed Kandyan chiefs, 1905
Sri Lanka map of Köppen climate classification
Sri Lankabhimanya Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE (16 December 1917–19 March 2008) was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, most famous for the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, written in collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick. This collaboration also produced the film of the same name. Clark also was a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World.
From 1941-1946 Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician and proposed satellite communication systems in 1945 which won him the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Gold Medal in 1963.
From 1947-1950 and again in 1953, he was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society. Later, he helped fight for the preservation of lowland gorillas. In 1961 he won the UNESCO-Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science.
Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956 largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving, and lived there until his death. He was knighted by the United Kingdom in 1998, and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.
He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994.
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