Gothard 1Daniel Wesley GothardAGBE 2010-500Dr. FosterJanuary 29, 2018Assignment 1: Sri LankaSri Lanka is an island located in the Indian Ocean off the south-east corner of India. According to United Nations Statistics Division, the Island has a land area of 65,610 square kilometers. The landscape is very diverse for an island including the main highlands which consist of a range of peaks (the highest having an elevation of 2,527 meters), plateaus, valleys, and ridges. The rest of the island is mostly flat with the exception of some small rolling hills. The position of the Island allows for a tropical climate with an average temperature of twenty-seven degrees Celsius. Seasonal monsoons bring large amounts of rain at certain times during the year creating distinctive wet and dry periods. The varying seasons affect the islands crop and livestock production. Rice which is their primary food crop can only be grown during two seasons during the year and livestock only make up about one percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Recently Sri Lanka has been trying to recover widespread flooding and mudslides. These disasters killed well over 150 people and displaced an estimated half a million people from their homes in 2017.Sri Lanka is home to about twenty-one million people as of 2016. The people have an average lifespan of about 77 years and a median age of 32.8 years. The official language is Sinhalese which is spoken by more than seventy percent of the population. Family size averages about four people per household and mothers have an average of 2.07 children. These families mainly work in agriculture or industry sectors. Persons of age ten or older are employed (30.4 and 43.4 percent respectively) in these areas as of 2014. Seventy-six percent of the male population participates in the labor force while comparatively only thirty percent of the female population participate. The culture is changing some towards women. People are starting to stick up for women and their rights. Just this month a gym has been under fire for body shaming women. And even though it has been unsuccessful the government is attempting to give women the right to buy alcohol. The country is divided into nine provinces and is officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Their government system is made up of a parliament that is made up of 225 seats and a president who is head of state and government. Both offices are elected by popular vote and have five or six-year terms. Although, it did not become an independent nation until 1948 and it was 1972 before it got the title of a republic. Historically Sri Lanka has been plagued by civil wars and feuds. These issues stem mostly from minority groups like the Indian descendant Tamils and the Muslim Moors fighting the Sinhalese for more language and state rights. The religion is somewhat aligned with the people groups and so is very diverse. The main religion is Buddhism about 70 percent, but Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism, and Christianity are also present (mainly in the minority groups). The recent peace talks have brought some balance to all the violence and in 2015 Sri Lanka pledged to undertake human right reforms. The Human Rights Council has started visiting and monitoring prisons and has put forth directives to prevent police torture and other violations. Sri Lanka is struggling in some ways economically. They have very high debt (about 48 billion) and are trying to find stability. Their Exports totaled almost 11 billion dollars in 2017 but their imports were close to double at 21.2 billion dollars. The majority of these imports come from India and China. Due to the small amount of food they are able to produce during the growing seasons one of their main imports is wheat grain and in 2016 they imported an estimated 948,000 metric tons. Textiles, petroleum, animal feed, corn, cotton and building materials are a few other necessary commodities they have to get from other countries. As for exports Sri Lanka frequently deals with the United States, United Kingdom, and India. These export commodities include rubber, textiles, precious stones, coconut products, fish, tea, and spices. In December of 2017, Sri Lanka turned over Hambantota, a major port, to China. Attempting to keep up with paying its debts to China the deal consisted of a 99-year lease valued at 1.1 billion dollars. Even with the deal the country still owes about 7 billion dollars.Sri Lanka general health seems to be improving. The main health issues were results of the civil wars but since the beginning of peace talks, the wellness statics have been trending upwards. Infant and small children mortality rates are someone the lowest in the south-east Asia region and they are working on eradicating diseases like smallpox and polio. Accessibility to doctors does still remain a problem for rural families being about 1 physician for 1370 people as of 2010. Also, the nutrition status of children has not improved very much only decreasing from 29 percent of children under the age of 5 that were underweight to 26 percent from 2000 to 2012. Altogether, the country as looks to be improving the healthcare and wellness with slow progress. Some of this progress has been forced upon the country. One example of this occurred last year in April when a massive garbage dump collapsed and killed at least 28 people. The people had been protesting for years about the dump being so close to people’s homes. But since the collapse, the government has finally stopped depositing garbage there and are working on petitions to get it moved.

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