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Asia, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)

Sri Lanka, island republic in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of India, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Sri Lanka is separated from India by the Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar. Lying between the two nations is a chain of tiny islands known as Adam's Bridge. Sri Lanka is somewhat pear-shaped, with its apex in the north. The greatest length from north to south is 440 km (270 mi); the greatest width is 220 km (about 140 mi). The total area of Sri Lanka is 65,610 sq km (25,332 sq mi). The administrative capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura (Kotte), and Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city.

Sri Lanka's coast, particularly the west, south, and southeast, is palm-fringed and indented by lagoons and inlets. The more rugged northeastern coast contains Trincomalee Harbor, considered one of the best natural harbors in the world. On the southwestern coast other harbors include the largely artificial one at Colombo and one at Galle.

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