The navigational hub of the Orient in the ancient world is located in the Indian Ocean between 5°55′ N latitude and 81° 52′ E longitude close to the southern tip of the Indian sub – continent. It measures 447 km at its longest point from north to south and 219 km at the widest point from east to west with a total land area of 66,610 sq. km. The island enjoys a pleasant tropical climate relatively hot in the low lying areas and pleasantly cool in the central highlands. The majority of the population is Sinhalese who speak an Indo-Aryan language called Sinhala. Other ethnic groups are Tamils, Moors and Burghers of Dutch origin. The religion of the majority is Buddhism with Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, practiced as other religions in the country.Sri Lanka’s proud recorded history written in the 4th century AD is more than one thousand five hundred years old and the country is among the very few in the world possessing such a long recorded history. Artifacts carved in stone and left behind by the master craftsmen of yore seen among the archaeological remains of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya are ample testimony to the dexterity of its ancient craftsmen. Those ancient skills are carried down to the present day preserved as family inheritance and practiced with the same adept ship and displayed not only in stone but in several other media such as metal, wood and plaster and even in modern technology.
Sri Lanka enjoys an adult literacy rate of 92.5% and ranks very high among the developing countries. The general education policies of the country have been formulated to develop general competencies such as thinking skills, decision making, creativity, problem solving, communication, social skills and coping skills which are essential in modern society beside the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes. These skills are imparted through the adoption of curricular as well as co-curricular activities. The school leavers are therefore ready to face any challenging situation in the employment market.
There are several universities in this little island offering graduate and postgraduate courses in the academic field’s inter-alia of engineering, medicine, science, law, agriculture, commerce and management studies. They all receive considerable training in the use of computers irrespective of their area of study. School and University curricula are expanded regularly in keeping with the universal development trend.
Sri Lanka is therefore in the unenviable position of having skilled and semiskilled people to satisfy the demands for professional skills in any field from any country in the world. Sri Lankan workers are trained to do their job with professionalism and a high degree of accuracy and precision. They can adapt easily to any working condition and apply themselves with dedication to any task given to them.
Visitors to Sri Lanka are greeted with palms held together and placed across the chest with the traditional greeting ‘Ayubowan’ (May you be blessed with long life) reflecting the sincere hospitality extended to all visitors to this emerald isle.