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Asian Studies: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Flag

Secondary Sources

Use these databases to find articles and/or essays in scholarly journals and books.


UofL Databases

Open Access

Department of Census and Statistics 

Census taking in Sri Lanka dates back to the late 19th century. Prior to 1871, estimates of population had been made from time to time on the basis of returns made by village headmen. The first scientific census in Sri Lanka was conducted on 27th March 1871 by the then Registrar General’s Office. In fact Sri Lanka has the longest history of Census takings among SAARC countries.


Encyclopedia Britannica - Sri Lanka

Information on the land, people, economy, administration and social conditions, cultural life, and history. 

The World Factbook - Sri Lanka 

Basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, environment, communications, transportation, military, terrorism, and transnational issues.

BBC Country Profiles - Sri Lanka

An instant guide to the history, politics, and economic background of countries and territories.

Sri Lanka : A Country Study

Offers a comprehensive description and analysis of the country or region's historical setting, geography, society, economy, political system, and foreign policy. 

UofL Government Resource Guide - Sri Lanka

Our Government Resources guide provides an extensive list of articles related to politics, culture, and society

Open Access Primary Sources

These databases and websites provide access to digital archival materials such as manuscripts, letters, photographs, moving image and sound materials, artwork, books, diaries, and other artifacts. You can also visit our main pages for Asia and South Asia to find additional databases and resources covering broader regions.

Open Access

Furniture and Decorative Arts of Sri Lanka

American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (Colombo, Sri Lanka), documents furniture and other decorative arts from the Portuguese, Dutch and British Periods (17th - 19th centuries) in the collections of the National Museums of Sri Lanka and in local private collections.

Women in Sri Lankan Sculpture and Painting (WSLSP)

This digital presentation of photographic slides shows a representative sample of women as depicted in early Sri Lankan sculpture and painting. 

Dissidents and Activists in Sri Lanka, 1960s to 1990s

This collection documents the activity of a generation of Sri Lankan radical activists who, in their different ways, attempted to escape the claims of rival ethno-nationalisms and build alternative political and development projects, drawing on Marxism, Christian socialism, and feminism, among other inspirations.

Sri Lankan Elections Web Archive

The Sri Lankan Elections Web Archive includes websites archived during the presidential and general elections in 2010, 2015, and 2019/2020.

South Asian Oral History Project

Interviews (videos and transcripts) with individuals from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka who immigrated to the Seattle region during key historical events such as the end of WWII, the partition of India and Pakistan, the opening of U.S. immigration laws in 1965 to people from South Asia, and the growth of key technology industries in the region that attracted South Asian students and workers. 


The History of Sri Lanka
Buddhist History in the Vernacular
Ethnic Attachments in Sri Lanka
Locations of Buddhism
Portuguese Encounters with Sri Lanka and the Maldives


Rewriting Buddhism
Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History
Poetics and Politics of Authenticity
Modernizing Composition


UofL Databases

Recommended Titles:

BBC: Sri Lanka

Colombo Times

Daily Mirror 

Daily News

Hiru News

Lanka Puvath 

Sunday Observer 

Sunday Times