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SAARC Quiz (Unpublished)

Research · July 2015

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5025.9042


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Sajid Iqbal
University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore


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South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Designated SAARC Years/Decades
SAARC Summits
SAARC Secretary Generals/SAARC Secretariat
SAARC Regional Institutions
SAARC Conventions/Agreements/NGOs
Q: Which South Asian leader wrote firstly promoted idea of regional cooperation?
A: President of Bangladesh Zia-ul-Rehman
Q: Where foreign secretaries of South Asian countries met in April 1981?
A: Colombo
Q: Where the Foreign Ministers adopted declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC)?
A: New Delhi in 1983
Q: When South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established?
A: It was established when its Charter was formally adopted on 8 December 1985 by the Member
Q: What is the name of SAARC magazine?
A: Spectrum
Q: Who designed SAARC logo?
A: Shailendra Kumar Maharjan from Nepal
Q: Describe the emblem design?
A: The design has a pair of hands carrying seven pigeons, which denotes seven nations. The symbol
also depicts image of Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace and an oil lamp. Each pigeon also makes an
English alphabet of ‘c’, which stands for cooperation.
Q: What is the official website address (URL) of SAARC Secretariat?
Designated SAARC Years/Decades
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 1989?
A: Year of Combating Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking
Q: What was 8 December 1989 observed against?
A: Drugs
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 1990?
A: Year of Girl Child
Q: Which year was declared as the SAARC Year of Shelter?
A: 1991
Q: What was the focus of SAARC Year 1992?
A: Year of Environment
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 1993?
A: Year of Disabled Persons
Q: Which year was declared as the SAARC Year of the Youth?
A: 1994
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 1995?
A: Year of Poverty Eradication
Q: Which year was observed as the SAARC Year of Literacy?
A: 1996
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 1997?
A: Year of Participatory Governance
Q: Which year was declared as the SAARC Year of Biodiversity?
A: 1999
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 2002-2003?
A: Year of Contribution of Youth to Environment
Q: What was the concept of SAARC Year 2004?
A: SAARC Awareness Year for TB and HIV/AIDS
Q: What was the theme of SAARC Year 2005?

A: South Asia Tourism Year

Q: Which decade was observed as the SAARC Decade of the Girl Child?
A: 1991-2000
Q: What is the theme of SAARC Decade 2001-2010?
A: The Rights of the Child
Q: On which date is SAARC Charter Day observed?
A: 8 December
SAARC Summits
Q: In which city the first SAARC summit was held?
A: Dhaka. 7-8 December 1985
Q: In which Indian city SAARC summit was held in 1986?
A: Bangalore. 16-17 November
Q: When was third SAARC Summit held?
A: 2-4 November 1987 in Katmandu
Q: Which country hosted 4th SAARC summit?
A: Pakistan (Islamabad). 29-31 December 1988
Q: When was 5th SAARC Summit held?
A: 21-23 November 1990 in Male.
Q: When did 6th SAARC summit take place?
A: 21 December 1991 in Colombo
Q: Which country hosted 7th SAARC summit?
A: Bangladesh. 10-11 April 1993
Q: Which city hosted 8th SAARC summit?
A: New Delhi in 2-4 May 1995
Q: Which country was the host of 9th SAARC summit?
A: Maldives. 12-14 May 1997
Q: Which city was the host of 10th SAARC Summit from 29 - 31 July 1998?
A: Colombo
Q: Which country hosted 11th SAARC summit?
A: Nepal from 4 - 6 January 2002
Q: Which city was second time the host of SAARC Summit?
A: Islamabad from 2 - 6 January 2004 host 12th SAARC Summit.
Q: Which country hosted SAARC Summit in city other than her capital?
A: India hosted SAARC Summit at Bangalore in 1986.
Q: Which SAARC capitals twice hosted SAARC Summits?
A: Dhaka, Katmandu, Islamabad, Male, Colombo.
SAARC Secretary Generals/SAARC Secretariat
Q: Who was first SAARC Secretary General?
A: Abul Ahsan from Bangladesh. 16 January -15 October 1989
Q: Which country second Secretary General belonged to?
A: India. Kant Kishore Bhargava. 17 October 1989 - 31 December 1991.
Q: From which country SAARC had Secretary General during 1 January 92- 31 December 93?
A: Ibrahim Hussain Zaki from Maldives.
Q: Which country 4th Secretary General Yadab Kant Silwal belonged to?
A: Nepal. 1 January 1994- 31 December 1995.
Q: Who was the 5th SAARC Secretary General?
A: Naeem U. Hasan from Pakistan. 1 January 1996 - 31 December 1998.
Q: Who was the 6th Secretary General of SAARC?
A: Nihal Rodrigo from Sri Lanka. 1 January 1999- 10 January 2002
Q: Name the 7th SAARC Secretary General?
A: Q.A.M.A Rahim Bangladesh from 11 January 2002 - 28 February 2005
Q: Who is the current and 8th SAARC Secretary General?
A: The first Secretary General Chenkyab Dorji from Bhutan. 1 March 2005 – present
Q: Is Chenkyab Dorji the second Secretary General from Bhutan?
A: No, Bhutan did not nominate a dignitary for the Secretary General position during the first cycle

Q: How a Secretary General is selected?

A: As per the SAARC Charter, he is appointed upon nomination from Member States in alphabetical
order for a period of three years.
Q: When was the SAARC Secretariat established in Kathmandu?
A: 16 January 1987
Q: Who did inaugurate SAARC Secretariat?
A: King Bir Bikram Shah Dev
Q: What is the composition of the SAARC Secretariat?
A: The Secretariat comprises the Secretary General, seven Directors and the General Services Staff.
Q: Which are the Working Divisions?
A: Agriculture and Rural Development Division. Environment and Science and Technology Division.
Trade, Economic and Transport Division. Social Affairs Division. Information and Publications
Division. Human Resources and Tourism Division. Legal, Administration and Finance Division.
Q: How the directors are appointed?
A: They are appointed by the Secretary General upon nomination from Member States for a period of
3 years.
SAARC Regional Institutions
Q: How many regional centers are working?
A: 5
Q: How many regional centers are in Bhutan?
A: None
Q: Which three new centers were approved in the 12th SAARC Summit?
A: SAARC Cultural Center, Sri Lanka. SAARC Coastal Zone Management Center Maldives. SAARC
Information Center, Nepal.
Q: What part of institutional cost of a regional center is borne by host government?
A: 40 %
Q: What does SAIC stand for?
A: SAARC Agriculture Information Center
Q: Which first regional institution of SAARC started functioning in Dhaka in January 1989?
A: SAARC Agricultural Information Centre (SAIC)
Q: What is the main purpose of SAIC?
A: Its main objective is sharing information mutually for the advancement of agriculture, livestock,
fisheries, forestry and allied disciplines.
Q: Where was SAARC Tuberculosis Center (STC) established in 1992?
A: Katmandu
Q: Who inaugurated SAARC Meteorological Research Center (SMRC) on 02 January 1995?
A: Prime Minister Khalida Zia in Dhaka
Q: Where was SAARC Documentation Center (SDC) established in May 1994?
A: New Delhi
Q: What is an abbreviation for SHRDC?
A: SAARC Human Resource Development Center established in 1999 Islamabad.
Q: Which SAARC capital has two SAARC regional centers?
A: Dhaka: SAIC and SMRC
SAARC Conventions/Agreements/NGOs
Q: What is SAARC Law?
A: SAARC LAW is an association of judges, lawyers, academicians, law teachers, public officers and
a host of other law-related persons.
Q: When was the first SAARC Law conference held in Colombo?
A: In Colombo on 24 October 1991. It was accorded recognition in July 1994. Its secretariat is in
Haryana, India.
Q: |Who are the patrons of SAARC Law?
A: Mr. Justice P.N. Bhagwati (Retd.) and Dr. Justice Nasim Hasan Shah (Retd.)
Q: Where was SAARC Youth Volunteers Programmes (SYVOP) launched?
A: Katmandu
Q: What does SAPTA stand for?

A: SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangements

Q: When did SAPTA come into operation?
A: December 1995
Q: What is the acronym for SCCI?
A: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It is located in Islamabad.
Q: When SCCI was granted status of first recognized regional apex body?
A: 1992
Q: Where was the first SAARC Trade Fair held in 1996?
A: India
Q: In which city the second SAARC Trade fair was held?
A: Colombo
Q: When was South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) formed?
A: August 1984 in Bangladesh
Q: What does SAFTA stand for?
A: South Asian Free Trade Area
Q: What is the acronym for SAVE?
A: SAARC Audio Visual Exchange
Q: What is SIPA?
A: SAARC Integrated Programme of Action
Q: Which country hosted the Drumming and Dance Festival in 1996?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: Where was the first SAARC conference on cooperation in Police matters held?
A: In 1996 at Colombo


National Symbols
• Ancient History
• British Rule
• Post Independence
1947 to 1971
After 1971
• Presidents / Prime Ministers
• Parliament / Constitution
• Judiciary
Political Parties
Administrative Units
• Literature
• Art / Architecture / Music
• Agriculture
• Tourism
• Industry / Trade / Commerce
• Radio / Television / Film
• Newspapers
Airports / Ports
Flora and Fauna
Famous Personalities
Q: What is the official name of Bangladesh?
A: People's Republic of Bangladesh
Q: Do you know the name of Bangladesh in Bangla?
A: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh
Q: What does ‘Bangladesh’ literally mean?
A: The country of Bengal
Q: What was the name of Bengal in ancient Hindu literature?
A: Vanga or Vangala
Q: What type form of government in Bangladesh?
A: Parliamentary. President is head of the State and Prime Minister is head of government.
Q: What is Bangladesh standard time?

A: GMT+6.00 hours
Q: What is the total area of Bangladesh?
A: 143,998 km²
Q: Do you know the length of coastline?
A: 580 km
Q: What is the location of Bangladesh?
A: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Myanmar and India
Q: How long are the land boundaries of Bangladesh?
A: Burma 193 km, India 4053 km. Total 4246 km
Q: Compare the area of Bangladesh with other countries or states?
A: Slightly smaller than Iowa (USA), 1.5 times larger than Tasmania (Australia)
Q: Which city is the capital of Bangladesh?
A: The administrative capital of Bangladesh since 1982 is Dhaka
Q: Which countries are the neighbours of Bangladesh?
A: India and Myanmar. Myanmar is on the west and India is on the east and north.
Q: What are the geographic coordinates of Bangladesh?
A: 24°00′ N 90°00′ E
Q: How much area of Bangladesh is flooded annually?
A: About 26,000 sq km, 18% of the country.
Q: Where is Plassey located?
A: In Nadia also called Navadwipa (the new island). Farraka Barrage is located here. It was founded by
Vallalasena (1160-1178)
Q: Which northeastern Indian state is bounded on the north, west, south and southeast by Bangladesh?
A: Tripura
Q: Which state of Myanmar is adjacent to Bangladesh on the Bay of Bengal?
A: Arakan
Q: What is the rank of Bangladesh area wise?
A: 91st
Q: Which is the only extensive hilly area in Bangladesh?
A: Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) that comprises Rangamati, Khagrachari, and Bandarban regions in
southeastern Bangladesh. Its area is 13184 sq. km that is approximately 10 % of the total area of
Q: During severe floods how much area is affected?
A: 55%
Q: What percentage of SAARC area is occupied by Bangladesh?
A: About 3.2 %.
Q: What is the terrain of Bangladesh?
A: Except the hilly southeast, mostly is a low-lying flat alluvial plain.
Q: What are the elevation extremes in Bangladesh?
A: Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point: Keokradong 1230 m (4036 ft)
Q: What is the forested area and arable land?
A: 15 %, 68 %
Q: What are the land and the water areas of Bangladesh ?
A: Land: 133910 km² water: 10090 km² respectively
Q: What is the area of Bay of Bengal?
A: It is an arm of the Indian Ocean, between India on the west and Myanmar and the Malay Peninsula on
the east. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are in the southeast. Its area is 839000 miles² (2172000 km²).
Q: What is the population and population growth rate of Bangladesh?

A: 141 million, 2 %
Q: What is the percentage of urban population?
A: 20 %
Q: Tell the population density?
A: 982 persons/ km². Besides Singapore and Bahrain, Bangladesh is the most densely populated country
in the world.
Q: What is the literacy rate and life expectancy?
A: 43 %, 62 years
Q: What is the ethnic distribution?
A: Bengali - 98%, Bihari - 1%, tribal - 1%
Q: When was first post-independence census conducted?
A: 1974
Q: What part of population is under 15 years?
A: About 33 %
Q: What is the rank of Bangladesh population wise?
A: 8th
Q: Which is the second largest ethnic minority group in Bangladesh?
A: The Marma. Most Marmas live in the hill districts of Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari.
Q: What portion of SAARC population lives in Bangladesh?
A: About 10 %,
Q: Which are major rivers of Bangladesh?
A: Padma, Brahmaputra, Meghna, Karnaphuli, Feni
Q: What is the total number of rivers?
A: About 700
Q: Which river is called Padma in Bangladesh?
A: Ganges
Q: Which river is known as Brahmaputra in Bangladesh?
A: Jamuna
Q: Where does Meghna join combined Padma and Brahmaputra?
A: Chandpur
Q: Which Barrage on Ganga is a bone of contention between India and Bangladesh?
A: Farraka Barrage
Q: What are trans-boundary rivers?
A: A total of 58 major rivers of Bangladesh that enter the country from India or from Myanmar e.g.,
Brahmaputra, Gumti, Feni etc
Q: When Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) established by India and Bangladesh?
A: On 19 March 1972 in Dhaka
Q: What is the climate of Bangladesh?
A: Bangladesh is located in the subtropical monsoon region and its climate is characterized by high
temperature, heavy rainfall and excessive humidity.
Q: Which major seasons can be recognized in Bangladesh?
A: Three - the cool dry season from November to February, the pre-monsoon hot season from March to
May, and the rainy monsoon season from June to October.
Q: Which are main natural calamities?
A: Floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores.
Q: Which cyclone was one of the worst natural disasters of the country in the 20th century?
A: The cyclone of November 1970, in which about 500,000 lives were lost.
Q: Which is the single most dominant element of the climate of Bangladesh?
A: The rainfall. Because of its location in the tropical monsoon region, the amount of rainfall is very high.

Q: Where the maximum amount of rainfall has been recorded?

A: In the Sylhet district, Cox's Bazar and Bandarban districts.
Q: When Nor'wester (Kal-Baishakhi) thunderstorm blows over Bangladesh?
A: In April-May from a northwesterly direction.
Q: How much rainfall occurs during the rainy season (June through October)?
A: 70 to 85% of the annual rainfall,
Q: How many are climatic zones of Bangladesh?
A: Seven
Q: Who is Bangladesh’s national poet?
A: Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976)
Q: What is the national flower of Bangladesh?
A: Water lily (Nymphaea pubescens) also known as Shapla.
Q: What is the national bird of Bangladesh?
A: Doel or Magpie Robin
Q: What is the national fish of Bangladesh?
A: Hilsa (Ilish)
Q: What is the national fruit of Bangladesh?
A: Jackfruit. ‘Kathal’ in Bengali.
Q: What is Bangladesh’s national game?
A: Kabaddi (Ha-Do-Do). It was adopted as the national game in 1972.
Q: Which is the national animal of Bangladesh?
A: Royal Bengal Tiger. In Bengali, it is called Bagh.
Q: What is the national anthem of Bangladesh?
A: Amar Sonar Bangla ‘My Golden Bengal’.
Q: Which is the largest edible fruit in commerce?
A: Jackfruit as it can grow to huge sizes hundreds of pounds in weight. It bears fruit three years after
Q: What is Bangladesh’s national emblem?
A: It is the national flower Shapla (Water Lily) surrounded by two sheaves of paddy and being
surmounted with three connected leaves of jute with two stars on each side of the leaves.
Q: What is described by the national emblem?
A: Bangladesh landscape and economy are characterized by water, paddy and jute. The aquatic blooming
flower Shapla embedded on these three things symbolizes promise, aesthetics and elegance. The stars
symbolize aims and loftiness.
Q: Describe the national flag of Bangladesh?
A: It is bottle green in color and rectangular in size with the length to width ratio of 10:6. The red circle
has a radius of one-fifth of the length of the flag. It bears a red circle on the background of green. The
green color represents the greenery of Bangladesh while the red circle symbolizes the rising sun and the
sacrifice of lives in our freedom fight.
Q: Who designed the national flag?
A: Qamrul Hasan
Q: When the national flag was first hoisted?
A: It was first hoisted on the 3 March 1971 by ASM Abdur Rab, the then Vice President of Dhaka
University Students´ Union, at the historic 'Bat tala' in Dhaka University campus.
Q: What was the original design of the national flag?
A: There was a golden colored map of Bangladesh in the red circle.
Q: Who did compose Amar Sonar Bangla?
A: Rabindranath Tagore. He composed it in Bangla in 1906. The first 10 lines of the song constitute the
national anthem. It was adopted in 1972.
Q: What is the national parliament?

A: Jatiya Sangsad
Q: Which is the national news agency?
A: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). It came into being in January 1972.
Q: What is Shaheed Minar?
A: Shaheed Minar ‘Martyrs Memorial’ has always been the source of our national inspiration. It was built
for the language martyrs of 1952.
Q: Why was the Bangladesh monument built?
A: It reminds of those who sacrificed their lives for the independence.
Q: Who laid the foundation of Bangladesh monument?
A: Sheikh Mujibur Rehman on 16 December 1972
Q: What is our war song?
A: Chol Chol Chol, Urdha Gogone Baje Madol. Written by Kazi Nazrul Islam
Q: Which is the national mosque?
A: The Baitul Mukarram
Q: Is Kabaddi a team game?
A: Yes it is a team pursuit sport, primarily played in South Asia. Kabaddi is derived from a Hindi word
meaning holding breadth. Kabaddi is used as the chant in the game.
Q: What is the national language of Bangladesh?
A: Bangla is the state language
Q: Where is Bangla also spoken?
A: It is the administrative language of the Indian states of Tripura and West Bengal and Kachar district
(Assam). Bangla speakers number about 210 million today. It is one of 18 languages listed in the Indian
Q: Which are the National Days of Bangladesh?
A: The Shaheed Dibash (Martyrs' Day), the Independence Day, Pahela Baishakh or Bangla Navabarsa
(New Year's Day) and the Bijoy Dibash (Victory Day).
Q: How many alphabets are in Bangla or Bengali?
A: 50. 11 characters are vowels called Soro Barna and 39 characters are consonants called Banjan Barna.
Q: What is significance of Pahela Baishakh?
A: It is first day of the Bangla year and is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West
Bengal. In Bangladesh it is a national holiday. Pahela Baisakh falls on April 14 or 15.
Q: When Martyrs' Day, Independence Day and Victory Day are observed?
A: 21 February, 26 March and 16 December respectively.
Q: Where is National Martyrs' Memorial situated?
A: At Savar, about 35 km north-west of Dhaka. It symbolizes the valour and sacrifice of the martyrs who
sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Bangladesh. It was designed by architect Syed Moinul Hussein.
Q: What is the faith of 87 % of the population (state religion)?
A: Islam
Q: Which are the other religious minorities?
A: Hindus 12 %, Buddhist 0.5% and others 0.3%
Q: Which are largest ethnic groups of Bangladesh?
A: The Chakmas or Changmas, the Marmas, the Tripuras
Q: How many tribes are in Bangladesh?
A: Over 30 tribes most of whom live in Rajshahi, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Mymensingh, Sylhet,
Patuakhali and Barguna.
Q: Which are well-known tribal languages?
A: Chakma, Garo, Khasia, Magh, Manipuri, Munda, Oraon, and Santali.
Q: Who are Biharis?

A: They are migrants from Bihar to East Bengal before and after the partition of India in 1947. They
declared their allegiance to Pakistan during the 1971 war.
Q: Who are Maghs?
A: Buddhist migrants from Arakan.
Q: What is the staple diet?
A: Rice and fish
Q: Who is the first important king of ancient Bengal?
A: Sasanka. It is generally believed that he ruled 600 - 625.
Q: Who was the first Chinese Buddhist pilgrim visited Bangladesh?
A: Fa-hien also spelled Faxian (c. 337 – c. 422)
Q: Which medieval city was the capital of Bengal from c. 1450 - 1565 AD?
A: Gaur
Q: What were the other names of Gaur?
A: Laksmanavati and Lakhnauti
Q: After Harsha Empire which dynasty ruled Bengal?
A: Pala Dynasty (750 - 1155). 18 Pala kings ruled Bengal.
Q: Who was the founder of the Pala Empire?
A: Gopala. He reigned from (750-770).The Palas were followers of Mahayana Buddhism.
Q: Which dynasty ruled Bengal from 606 - 647 AD?
A: Harsha Empire
Q: Which dynasty supplanted the Pala Dynasty?
A: Sena Dynasty (c. 1097-1245). The dynasty's founder was Hemantasena. The Senas were Hindus.
Q: Who was Raja Lakshmana Sena?
A: The last ruler of Sena Dynasty who ruled from Nadia till 1202.
Q: Who inaugurated Muslim rule in Bengal?
A: A Turk general Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji captured Bengal in 1202 with only 20 men.
Q: Who founded the independent sultanate of Bengal?
A: Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah (1338-1349). This sultanate lasted for 200 years.
Q: During which period the Hussein Shahi dynasty ruled Bengal?
A: 1494-1538
Q: Which was the last dynasty to rule independent Bengal?
A: Karrani dynasty (1563-1576) whose last ruler Daud Khan Karrani was defeated by Akbar.
Q: Who was the last independent sultan of Bengal?
A: Daud Khan Karrani (1573 - 1576)
Q: Which city was the capital of the Karranis?
A: Tanda (means high ground). It is nearly opposite to the famous city of Gaur (Lakhnauti).
Q: Who were Bara-Bhuiyans?
A: Literally twelve chiefs who resisted the Mughals in the late 16th century.
Q: Who promulgated Bangabda Bangla calendar, also known as 'Bangla Sal'?
A: Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1584 AD
Q: Which battle inaugurated the Mughal rule in Bengal?
A: The battle of Rajmahal. It brought the Afghan rule to an end and started the Mughal rule.
Q: What are the old names of Rajmahal?
A: Agmahl, Akbarnagar. It was twice capital of Bengal during Mughal rule.
Q: When the East India Company set its foot in Bengal?
A: In 1633 it established a factory at Hariharpur
Q: When the capital of the Subah-i-Bengal was shifted from Dhaka to Murshidabad?
A: In 1717
Q: What was the real name of Alivardi Khan (1740-1756) Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa?

A: Mirza Muhammad Ali

Q: What was the relationship of Alivardi Khan and Sirajuddaula?
A: Sirajuddaula was his grandson.
Q: Who changed name of Calcutta to Alinagar?
A: Nawab Sirajuddaula
Q: Name the parents of Nawab Sirajuddaula?
A: Amina Begum and Zainuddin Ahmad Khan.
Q: Who were principal conspirators against Nawab Sirajuddaula?
A: The British, Mir Jafar, Umichand, Rajballabh and Jagat Seth
Q: Who were parties to Alinagar Treaty?
A: It was concluded between the Sirajuddaula and the East India Company on 9 February 1757.
Q: Why Mir Jafar is a symbol of treason?
A: Nawab’s forces numbered of about 50000 and Clive’s 3000. The battle of Plassey was fought on 23
June 1757 and it lasted for about 8 hours and the Nawab was defeated by Clive because of the treachery
of his general Mir Jafar.
Q: What was Mir Jafar to Mir Qasim?
A: Mir Jafar was father-in-law to Mir Qasim
Q: What was the real name of Titu Mir (1782-1831)?
A: Syed Mir Nisar Ali
Q: When Santal Rebellion started?
A: 1855
Q: Who launched 19th century religious reform movement Faraizi Movement?
A: Haji Shariatullah (1781-1840)
Q: Who was Dudu Miyan (1819-1862)?
A: Son of Haji Shariatullah. His real name was Muhsinuddin Ahmad.
Q: Who started Taiyuni Movement?
A: Karamat Ali Jaunpuri
Q: Who was the architect of British rule in Bengal?
A: Robert Clive (1725-1774)
Q: When was the battle of Plassey fought?
A: It was fought between Nawab Sirajuddaula and the East India Company on 23 June 1757.
Q: Who joined forces to fight the English in the Battle of Buxar (1764)?
A: Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim, Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, Nawab of Oudh Shujauddoulah
Q: Who was the first Indian traveller to the West?
A: Mirza Sheikh Ihtishamuddin (c. 1730–c.1800). He wrote his travel-account ‘Shegurfnama-i-Vilayet’.
Q: Who was first Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1854-59)?
A: Sir Frederick James Halliday (1806-1901)
Q: What was Indigo Resistance Movement (1859-62)?
A: It was peasant agitation against indigo planters who forced cultivators to produce indigo.
Q: Who was the first Muslim graduate of Calcutta University?
A: Delawar Hussein (1840-1916)
Q: Who founded Mohammedan Literary Society in Calcutta in 1863?
A: Nawab Abdul Latif (1828-1893)
Q: Which political organization founded by Syed Ameer Ali in Calcutta in 1877?
A: Central National Mohammedan Association
Q: Where All India Muslim League was established?
A: On 30 December at Shahbag in Dhaka
Q: Who wrote The Spirit of Islam (1922)?
A: Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1928)
Q: To Whom Ahsan Manzil belonged to?

A: Ahsan Manzil situated at Kumartoli (Dhaka) on the bank of the Buriganga was the residential palace
and the kachari of the Nawabs of Dhaka.
Q: Who proposed an all-India political party called 'Muslim All India Confederacy'?
A: In 1906 Khwaja Salimullah Khan (1871-1915). He was the first president of All Bengal Muslim
Q: Where the All India Muslim Education Society Conference was held in 27-30 December 1906?
A: At Shahbag; the garden-house of the Nawabs of Dhaka. The delegates to the All India Muslim
Education Society Conference were welcomed in Ishrat Manzil at Shahbag.
Q: Who was the Viceroy of India when partition of Bengal was announced on 16 October 1905?
A: Lord Curzon (1859-1925) Governor General and Viceroy of India (1899-1905).
Q: Who was the Viceroy of India when partition of Bengal was annulled?
A: Charles Hardinge (1858-1944) Governor General and Viceroy of India (1910-1916).
Q: Which three important announcements were made at the Delhi Durbar 1911?
A: The annulment of the partition of Bengal; making Bengal a Governor's province and the transfer of the
capital of British India from Calcutta to Delhi.
Q: Who moved historic Pakistan Resolution on 23 March 1940?
A: Abul Qasim Fazlul Huq popularly known as Sher-e-Bangla ‘Lion of Bengal’.
Q: Which Subdivisions voted in Sylhet Referendum 1947?
A: Karimganj, Habiganj, Maulvi Bazar, Sunamganj, Sylhet (North)
Q: What was the election manifesto of the United Front in 1954 Legislative Assembly elections?
A: Twenty-one Points
Q: Which parties joined United Front alliance?
A: 4 parties; Awami League, Krishak Sramik Party, Nizam-e-Islam and Ganatantri Dal.
1947 TO 1971
Q: Who was elected the Speaker of the National Assembly 1963-1966?
A: Fazlul Quader Chaudhury (1919-1973)
Q: Who presented Six-points in 1966?
A: Mujibur presented Six-points; a charter of demands for removing disparity between the two wings of
Q: When Agartala Conspiracy Case was lodged against Mujibur and others?
A: 1968
Q: Who was the first Deputy President of the 1947 Pakistan Constituent Assembly?
A: Tamizuddin Khan (1889-1963)
Q: Who was second Prime Minister of Pakistan?
A: Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894-1964). A member of the Nawab of Dhaka family.
Q: Who was the last speaker of the National Assembly 1966-1969?
A: Abdul Jabbar Khan (1902-1984)
Q: Who was the commander-in-chief of Mukti Bahini?
A: (General) Mohammad Ataul Ghani Osmany (1918-1984)
Q: What was Mukti Bahini?
A: Literally means freedom force. The forces of the war of liberation.
AFTER 1971
Q: Who is known as Bangabandhu (Friend of the Bengalis)?
A: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975)
Q: When Proclamation of Independence formally announced by the Bangladesh government-in-exile?
A: On 17 April 1971 from Mujibnagar.
Q: Where Mujibnagar is located?
A: Village Baidyanathtala was renamed Mujibnagar (in present Meherpur district).
Q: When India-Bangladesh Friendship Treaty was signed?

A: 19 March 1972 for a term of 25 years. The Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Prime Minister
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman signed the treaty.
Q: Which four Awami League leaders were killed on 3 November 1975?
A: Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Abul Hasnat Mohammad Qamaruzzaman and Captain M.
Mansur Ali.
Q: Where is Bangabandhu Jadughar (museum) located?
A: The house of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman in Road No. 32 Dhanmondi
Q: Who introduced Gram Sarkar?
A: Gram Sarkar: a village government scheme was introduced by President Zia.
Q: Who is the constitutional head of the state?
A: President who is elected for a five year term. But a person can not become President for more than two
terms, whether or not the terms are consecutive. He is the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Q: Who is constitutionally executive chief of government?
A: Prime Minister
Q: Who was the first President of Bangladesh from 10 April 1971 to 10 January 1972?
A: Syed Nazrul Islam (1925-1975) (acting President) at Mujibnagar.
Q: Who was the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh?
A: Tajuddin Ahmed (1925-1975)
Q: Which is the official residence of the President?
A: Bangabhaban
Q: Who remained president for only 83 days?
A: Khondakar Mushtaq Ahmad (1919-1996)
Q: What is the official residence of the Prime Minister?
A: Gana Bhavan
Q: Who is current President of Bangladesh (2002- )?
A: Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed (1931- )
Q: Who is current Prime Minister of Bangladesh (October 2001 - )?
A: Begum Khaleda Zia (1945- )
Q: Who is placed third in the latest warrant of precedence?
A: Speaker of Jatiya Sangsad after President of the Republic and Prime Minister of the Republic
Q: Name the national parliament?
A: Unicameral Jatiya Sangsad. It consists of 300 members elected by direct election.
Q: What is the women representation in parliament?
A: 6 (2.00%)
Q: Who designed the national Assembly Building ‘Sangsad Bhavan’?
A: American architect Louis Kahn
Q: Who presided over the first session of the Jatiya Sangsad in 1972?
A: Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish (1900-1986)
Q: How many parliamentary elections have been held in Bangladesh?
A: 8. 1973, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, February 1996, June 1996, 2001
Q: Which Jatiya Sangsad completed its 5-year term?
A: 7th (14 July 1996 – 13 July 2001)
Q: Who is the speaker of current 8th Jatiya Sangsad?
A: Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar
Q: When the constitution of Bangladesh was adopted by the Constituent Assembly?
A: 4 November 1972 and came into force on 16 December of the same year.
Q: How many articles are in the Constitution?
A: The Constitution has 153 Articles arranged under 11 parts and 4 schedules.

Q: When was the First Constitutional Amendment passed?

A: 15 July 1973
Q: Who insert Bismiliah-ir-Rahmanir Rahim (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful) in the
Preamble of the Constitution?
A: After assuming office as head of the state Ziaur Rahman issued a proclamation order.
Q: Which is the latest constitutional amendment?
A: 13th amendment that was passed on 26 March 1996 that provided for a non-party caretaker government
Q: What is the judicial system of Bangladesh?
A: The Supreme Court is the apex court with high courts and district courts.
Q: Who was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the High Court of Bangladesh on 12 January 1972?
A: Justice Mohammad Abusadat Sayem (1916-1997). He assumed the office of President and Chief
Martial Law Administrator on 6 November 1975.
Q: Who is present Chief Justice of Bangladesh?
A: Justice J. R Mudasser Ahmed
Q: Who founded Awami League in 1949?
A: Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892 - 1963). He was Prime Minister of Pakistan
Q: Who is the present leader of Awami League?
A: Sheikh Hasina (1947 - ). The daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Q: Who founded Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 1978?
A: President Ziaur Rahman (1936-1981)
Q: Who is the current leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)?
A: Khalida Zia (1945- ). The wife of Ziaur Rahman.
Q: Name the leader of Jatiya Party (Ershad)?
A: Hussain Muhammad Ershad (1930-)
Q: Which is the largest and most influential Islamic party in Bangladesh?
A: Jamaat-e-Islami.
Q: When Communist Party of Bangladesh was founded?
A: 1968
Q: When Islamic Oikyo Jote was established?
A: 1990
Q: How many divisions were there in 1947?
A: 3 namely Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi
Q: Which is the largest and smallest division?
A: Rajshahi Division (34,513 km2) is the largest while Sylhet Division (12, 595.95 km2) is the smallest.
Q: What are current administrative units?
A: Division 6; district 64; upazila and thana 507, union 4484, mouza 59,990, village 87,319.
Q: Name present divisions?
A: Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet
Q: Which is the largest city of Bangladesh?
A: Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh is on the Buriganga (Budiganga) river.
Q: When Dhaka became capital of the Mughal’s Bengal province?
A: 1608 and it was named Jahangirnagar. (N.B in some books 1610)
Q: What is the area and population?
A: Area: 360sq. km. Population: Over 9 million (2001)
Q: What is the current name of Ramna Racecourse Dhaka?
A: Suhrawardy Uddyan
Q: Name major places of Dhaka?

A: Lalbagh fort or Fort Aurangabad (1678), tomb of Bibi Pari, the Bara Katra (great caravansary; 1664);
the Chhota Katra (1663); Hussani Dalan (1642). Dhakeswari temple and Tejgaon Church.
Q: Which city is known as City of Mosques?
A: Dhaka due to its more than 700 mosques.
Q: What is jamdani?
A: Fine cotton muslin cloth traditional product of Dhaka.
Q: Which city is called the commercial capital of Bangladesh?
A: Chittagong; the second largest city. The main seaport is located at the Karnafuli River.
Q: What are the old names of Chittagong city?
A: Chittagram, Chatgaon and Chitgana
Q: Which are major Places of interest in Chittagong?
A: Zia Smrti Jadughar (Zia Memorial Museum) formerly Chittagong Circuit house, Andar Killa fort,
Hazrat Bayazid Bastami’s shrine, Hazrat Shah Amanat’s shrine.
Q: Which main river port lies along the Bhairab River?
A: Khulna
Q: What is Rajshahi city located?
A: It stands on the bank of the river Padma. Rajshahi means ‘Royal Territory’. Varendra Research
Museum is located here.
Q: What is the ancient name of Rajshahi city?
A: Rampur Boalia
Q: Which city is also called the City of Silk?
A: Rajshahi because of its flourishing silk industry.
Q: What is the ancient name of Barisal city?
A: Chandradvipa. It is famous for mysterious sounds as of distant cannon ‘Barisal Guns’.
Q: When Barisal district was established?
A: Bakerganj disrict was established in 1797. Later on it was renamed as Barisal district.
Q: What are the old names of Sylhet city?
A: Jalalabad and Srihatta (enriched market place). It is on the Surma River. Hazrat Shah Jalal Mujjarrad
led the Muslim occupation in 1303. It is a major center of natural gas production.
Q: What is the old name of Mymensingh?
A: Nasirabad
Q: Where was the biggest railway workshop of the Assam-Bengal railways established?
A: At Saidpur town in 1870
Q: Where is Bangladesh Air Force Academy located?
A: Jessore
Q: Who is known as magician of football in Bengal?
A: Syed Abdus Samad (1895-1964)
Q: Who was the first South Asian to swim across the English Channel?
A: Brojen Das (1927-1998)
Q: Which record Brojen Das made in 1961?
A: He crossed across the English Channel in 10 hours 30 minutes. He swam across it six times from 1958
to 1961.
Q: When Bangladesh Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed?
A: 1973
Q: When Bangladesh first played Kabaddi test with a visiting Indian team?
A: 1974
Q: Which countries joined the Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation in 1978?
A: Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Q: Which country was the runners-up of The Asian Kabaddi Championship 1980?
A: Bangladesh

Q: When Kabaddi was included for the first time in Asian Games?
A: In Beijing in 1990. Bangladesh took part in it and won silver medal.
Q: Which chess player became the first Grandmaster to emerge from South Asia?
A: Niaz Morshed
Q: What is the name of hockey stadium in Dhaka?
A: Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.
Q: When Bangladesh Hockey Federation was formed?
A: 1972
Q: Which is one of the most popular indoor games of Bangladesh?
A: Carom
Q: When Bangladesh first appeared in the ICC trophy?
A: 1979
Q: When Bangladesh attained the status of a test playing country?
A: 26 June 2000
Q: Which country became the 4th non-Test playing nation to beat a major side in World Cup cricket?
A: Bangladesh. She beat Pakistan in 1999 World Cup
Q: What is the current name of National Stadium Dhaka?
A: Bangabandhu National Stadium Dhaka
Q: Which is the only venue in the world to have hosted an inaugural home fixture for two Test nations?
A: Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka
Q: Who is called the 'Panditkavi'?
A: Alaol (c 1607-1680)
Q: Who is generally regarded as the father of the Bangla short story?
A: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941).
Q: Who wrote popular Bangla novel Pather Panchali?
A: Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (1787-1848). Satyajit Ray made a film on it, winning considerable
Q: When Kazi Nazrul Islam lost his voice and memory?
A: For 34 years (1942 to 1976), the poet suffered this unbearable life of silence.
Q: Who wrote Novel Lajja (Shame) that was banned by government in 1994?
A: Taslima Nasrin (1962- ). She is a physician.
Q: Who produced the first translation of the Bible into Bengali?
A: William Carey (1761-1833)
Q: Who compiled Siyar-ul-Mutakhkherin; a voluminous historical work?
A: Sayyid Ghulam Husain Tabatabai in 1781.
Q: Whose first and famous novel Lalsalu (1948) was translated as Tree Without Roots (1967)?
A: Syed Waliullah (1922-1971). Syed Waliullah died in Paris and was buried there.
Q: Who did write Varna Parichay; primer of the Bangla language written for children?
A: Pundit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891) wrote it in 1855.
Q: Who wrote the first Bangla biography of Prophet Muhammad (SM)?
A: Sheikh Abdur Rahim
Q: Whose first novel ‘Sankhanila Karagara’ published in 1972?
A: Humayun Ahmed (1948 - )
Q: Who wrote novels Aina (1936-1937) and Food Conference (1944)?
A: Ahmed, Abul Mansur (1898-1979)
Q: Who wrote “Riyaz-us-Salatin”the first complete history of the Muslim rule in Bengal?
A: Ghulam Husain Salim Zaidpuri wrote it in Persian language.
Q: Who made the first full translation of the holy Quran into Bangla?
A: Girish Chandra Sen (1835-1910).

Q: Who wrote Baharistan-i-Ghaibi: the history of Bengal in the reign of Jahangir (1605-1627)?
A: Alauddin Isfahan alias Mirza Nathan
Q: Which first Bengali poet wrote sonnets?
A: Michael Madhusudan Dutt (1824-1873)
Q: Who wrote Mahashmashan (The Great Crematorium), based on the 3rd Panipat War?
A: Kaikobad (1857-1951), whose real name was Muhammad Kazem Ali Qureshi
Art / Architecture / Music
Q: Who was titled a National Professor of the Arts?
A: Zainul Abedin (1914-1976)
Q: Who was the first Bengali Muslim to take admission in Santiniketan in 1938?
A: Abdul Ahad (1920-1994)
Q: Who is the pioneer of Bangla theatre?
A: The first Bangla theatre was founded by Steppanovich Lebedeff (1749-1817)
Q: What was the real name of dancer and writer Bulbul Chowdhury (1919-1954)?
A: Rashid Ahmed Chowdhury
Q: Who are Patuyas?
A: The traditional folk painters who are adept in drawing images serving folk beliefs. Their drawings are
generally known as Pata painting. They draw figures of Hindu gods or Muslim saints on a piece of cloth.
Q: What is Gambhira Gan?
A: It is a type of folk song popular in the northwestern Bangladesh.
Q: What is Sari Gan?
A: It is a kind of folk song, sung especially by boatmen. It is often known as workmen's song as well.
Q: What is Jatra?
A: Jatra (literally 'going' or 'journey') is folk drama combining acting, songs, music, and dance.
Q: What is Ghani?
A: It is a traditional device to extract oil from mustard, sesame, ricinus and meat of ripe coconut etc.
Q: Where is Zainul Abedin Museum of Art located?
A: Mymensingh
Q: Who is Runa Laila?
A: She is a popular singer. She was born Sultana Chaudhry on November 17, 1952, in Sylhet,
Q: Which is the oldest university in Bangladesh?
A: University of Dhaka was established in 1921
Q: Which is the second largest university of Bangladesh?
A: University of Rajshahi - 1953
Q: When Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) was established?
A: 1961
Q: When Jahangirnagar University was established?
A: At Savar near Dhaka in 1970
Q: Which is the only public technical and engineering university in the country?
A: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka
Q: Who was the first vice chancellor of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology?
A: MA Rashid (1919-1981)
Q: Who was appointed the first Director of the Islamic Academy?
A: In 1960, Abul Hashim (1905-1974)
Q: Who founded Comilla Victoria College in 1899?
A: Roy Bahadur Ananda Chandra
Q: Which major Sufi saint of Bengal is buried at Sylhet?
A: Shah Jalal Mujjarrad (1271-1346). Shahjalal University of Science and Technology established at
Kumargaon, Sylhet in 1987.
Q: Where Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College was established in 1992?

A: Bogra town
Q: Name some new universities established in the public sector?
A: Islamic University-1985, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology-1990, Khulna University-
1990, Bangladesh National University-1992 and Bangladesh Open University-1993, Sher-e-Bangla
Agricultural University-2001.
Q: Which is the largest jute mill of the world?
A: Adamjee Jute Mill established at Narayanganj near Dhaka in 1950.
Q: Which is the second largest agricultural export of Bangladesh?
A: Tea
Q: What are major agricultural products of Bangladesh?
A: Wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, timber, bamboo, rice, jute, tea and sugarcane.
Q: What part of the population of Bangladesh are rice eaters?
A: 90 %
Q: What is known as the golden fiber of Bangladesh?
A: Jute as it is the most important cash crop. It is the second natural fiber widely cultivated in the world
after cotton.
Q: Which major sector of Bangladesh agriculture accounted for 4.7 % of GDP (1995-96)?
A: Fisheries sector
Q: Which is the country's only coral island?
A: St. Martin's Island situated in the Bay of Bengal.
Q: Which is the largest man-made freshwater body in Bangladesh?
A: Kaptai Lake with an area of about 68,800 ha of water surface.
Q: Which is the largest mangrove forest in the world?
A: Sundarbans. It lies in southern Bangladesh on the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta. It is the home of the
world famous Royal Bengal Tiger.
Q: What is the toot of word ‘Sundarbans’?
A: The name Sundarbans is supposed to be derived from the name of the plant, Sundari. This species is
distributed up to about 70 % of the forest.
Q: Which is the world's longest natural beach (120 km)?
A: Cox's Bazar that attracts the maximum number of tourists. Lieutenant Cox established it in 1798
Q: Who was Jagat Seth?
A: Jagat Seth meaning the 'Banker of the World’ was a title conferred on Fatehchand by emperor
Muhammmad Shah in 1723.
Q: Name the central bank and monetary authority of the country?
A: Bangladesh Bank
Q: When Agrani Bank a nationalized commercial bank (NCB) of Bangladesh?
A: 26 March 1972
Q: Who is founder of the Grameen Bank?
A: Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a former professor of Economics at the University of Chittagong.
Q: When was the Grameen Bank established?
A: It established in October 1983 for extending credit exclusively to the landless men and women of rural
areas of the country. The Bangla word ‘grameen’ means rural.
Q: Which are main natural resources?
A: Natural gas, arable land, timber, coal.
Q: Which are chief import commodities?
A: Machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
Q: Which are main exports?

A: Garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood.
Q: Which are principal industries?
A: Jute, textiles, garments, tea, newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar.
Q: What is the currency of Bangladesh?
A: Taka = 100 Poisha
Radio / Television / Film
Q: When Dhaka station was opened by Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq?
A: 16 December 1939
Q: Which is the national radio of Bangladesh?
A: Bangladesh Betar
Q: When Radio Bangladesh was named Bangladesh Betar?
A: Firstly In 1972 and again in 1996.
Q: When first TV transmission in Bangladesh began?
A: On 25 December 1964 with a 300-Watt transmitter from the DIT (now Rajuk) building in Dhaka.
Q: Which was the first TV play telecasted on 27 February 1965?
A: A comedy titled Ektala-O-Dotala (ground floor and first floor) written by Munir Chowdhury and
directed by Monirul Alam.
Q: When Bangladesh Television started transmission in colour?
A: 1980
Q: Which is the national Television Corporation of Bangladesh?
A: Bangladesh Television (BTV)
Q: Which was the first film made in Dhaka?
A: The Last Kiss in 1931. Ambuj Gupta directed it.
Q: Which was the first Bangla feature film?
A: Mukh-O-Mukhosh (Face to Face) that was released on 3 August 1956. its cost was 64 thousand rupees
Q: Who directed Mukh-O-Mukhosh?
A: Abdul Jabbar Khan. Abdul Jabbar himself was the lead actor of the film.
Q: What was original name of actress and filmmaker Sumita Devi (1936-2004)?
A: Hena Bhattacharya, later changed to Nilufar Begum alias Sumita Devi after she converted to Islam.
Q: When the first international film festival was held in Bangladesh?
A: March-April 1981 (Dhaka)
Q: Which was the first Bangla weekly?
A: The Bengal Gazette - May/June 1818.
Q: When the first newspaper of East Bengal, Rangapur Bartabaha, was published from Rangpur?
A: 1847
Q: Which first English newspaper started publishing from Dhaka in 1856?
A: Dhaka News
Q: Which first poetry magazine published from Dhaka in 1860?
A: Kavitakusumavali
Q: Who is founding editor of the daily Ittefaq?
A: Tofazzal Hossain (1911-1969)
Q: Which was the first airport to operate civil aviation in Bangladesh?
A: Tejgaon airport Dhaka
Q: Which was the first civil and private airline?
A: Orient Airways
Q: How many international airports are in Bangladesh?
A: At present there are three international ones - the Zia International Airport - Kurmitola, Dhaka,
Osmany International Airport - Sylhet and Amanat Shah Airport – Chittagong.

Q: Which is the national flag carrier?

A: Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Q: Which are major ports?
A: Chittagong, Mongla, Dhaka , Narayanganj
Q: Why Bengal Tigers are the most feared of all tiger species?
A: Because they have been known to eat human flesh. In fact, the record for the most people killed by any
large animal goes to one of these tigers, called the Champawat Tiger who alone devoured 436 people in
the Kumaon (India). Jim Corbett (1875-1955) gave the account of how he shot the feline in his book
"Maneaters of Kumaon".
Q: In which areas the elephant lives?
A: Only in the forests of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar areas.
Q: How many species of fishes and birds are in Bangladesh?
A: 442 species of marine fishes and 628 species of birds
Q: Who was the first Vice President of Pakistan from December 1972 to August 1973?
A: Nurul Amin (1893-1974)
Q: Which leaders are buried in the mausoleum known as the “Mazar of Three National Leaders'?
A: Fazlul Huq and Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy and Khwaja Nazimuddin.
Q: Who was with Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas on T-33 on 20 August 1971?
A: Matiur Rahman (1941-1971) (Bir Srestha)
Q: Which is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh?
A: Mahasthangarh on the western bank of river Karatoya, about 12 km north of Bogra town.
Q: Which is the only hydropower plant in the country?
A: Karnafuli Hydro Power Station located at Kaptai, 50 km from Chittagong. It was constructed in 1962.
Q: Which is the highest military award of Bangladesh?
A: Bir Srestho
Q: When UNESCO firstly observed International Mother Language Day?
A: 21 February 2000
Q: Where major fields of natural gas are located?
A: It is largely available in the eastern part of the country extending from Sylhet down to Comilla,
Noakhali and Chittagong. It has also been discovered offshore in the Bay of Bengal.
Q: Where the first 3000 kW nuclear reactor of Bangladesh was installed?
A: At Savar about 40 km away from Dhaka city.
Q: How many petroleum refineries are in Bangladesh?
A: Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) is the only petroleum refinery plant in Bangladesh.
Q: Where is Panam Bridge located?
A: It is located to the east of Habibpur between Companyganj and Bari-Majlis, in Sonargaon.
Q: What is the abbreviation of SPARRSO?
A: Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization
Q: Which are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh?
A: Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat (1985), Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur (1985), The
Sundarbans (1997)
Q: What is the principal means of transport in the urban areas of Bangladesh?
A: Rickshaw
Q: When the flag of Bangladesh was first hoisted in the United Nations (UN)?
A: 17 September 1974 when Bangladesh became member of UN.


National Symbols
• Kings / Prime Ministers / Institutions
• Parliament / Constitution
• Judiciary
Political Parties
Administrative Units
• Agriculture
• Industry / Trade / Commerce / Tourism
• Radio / Television / Film
• Newspapers
Airports / Ports
Flora and Fauna
Q: What is the official name of Bhutan?
A: Kingdom of Bhutan
Q: What is the root of word ‘Bhutan’?
A: The name Bhutan, is believed to have derived from Sanskrit: Bhot-ant meaning ‘the end of
Tibet’ or from Bhu-uttan meaning ‘the high lands’.
Q: What is the local name of Bhutan?
A: To the Bhutanese themselves, their country is known as Druk Yul means ‘Land of the
Dragon’ and its inhabitants as ‘Drukpa’. It is also called Druk Tsendhen, ‘Land of the
Thunder Dragon’.
Q: What type form of government in Bhutan?
A: Hereditary limited monarchy in which the king, assisted by a royal advisory council,
works in consultation with a council of ministers, an elected national assembly and the
monastic head of Bhutan’s Buddhist priesthood.
Q: What is Bhutan standard time?
A: GMT +6.00 hours
Q: Which SAARC country was never colonized?
A: Despite many wars with Tibet and the British, Bhutan always managed to remain
Q: What is the total area of Bhutan?
A: 46,500 km² (18,160 miles2)
Q: Do you know the length of coastline?
A: 0 km
Q: Is Bhutan geographically landlocked or doubly landlocked country?

A: Landlocked
Q: What is the location of Bhutan?
A: Southern Asia, between China and India.
Q: How long are the land boundaries of Bhutan?
A: China 470 km, India 605 km. Total 1,075 km
Q: Which Indian states encompass Bhutan?
A: Bhutan is bounded on three sides by India. From east to west, the Indian states of Sikkim,
West Bengal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh (formerly the North-East Frontier Agency)
border Bhutan.
Q: Compare the area of Bhutan with other countries or states?
A: About the same size as Switzerland
Q: Which city is the capital of Bhutan?
A: Thimphu is the largest city and capital of Bhutan.
Q: Which countries are the neighbours of Bhutan?
A: India and China. She is bounded by China in the north and on all other sides by India.
Q: What are the geographic coordinates of Bhutan?
A: 27 30 N, 90 30 E
Q: What is the rank of Bhutan area wise in the world?
A: 128th
Q: What are the greatest length and width of Bhutan?
A: The maximum latitudinal distance is 170 km and the maximum longitudinal distance is
300 km.
Q: What percentage of SAARC area is occupied by Bhutan?
A: About %.
Q: What is the terrain of Bhutan?
A: Mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna
Q: What are the elevation extremes in Bhutan?
A: Lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m and highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m (22,780 ft)
Q: What is the forested area and arable land?
A: 66 %, 3 %
Q: What are the land and the water areas of Bhutan?
A: Land: 46,500 km² water: 0 km² respectively
Q: Which are major landform features?
A: The southern foothills, the inner Himalayas and the higher Himalayas.
Q: Which is the second highest peak?
A: Ghomo Lhari, in the Chumbi Valley is 7314 m above sea level. Nineteen other peaks
exceed 7000 m.
Q: What part of land is covered by glaciers?
A: Glaciers in northern Bhutan cover about 10 % of the total area.
Q: What is the population and population growth rate of Bhutan?
A: The official estimate of population was about 734,340 (2003) but other sources estimate
the population was about 2 million. The people of Nepali origin have been excluded from the
official census since 1990 which results in such a discrepancy in population numbers. 2 %
Q: What is the percentage of rural population?
A: 90 %
Q: Tell the population density?
A: 45 / km²
Q: What is the literacy rate and life expectancy?
A: 42 %, 66 years
Q: What is the ethnic distribution?
A: Bhote 50%, Nepalese 35% (Lhotsampas; one of Nepalese ethnic groups), tribes 15%
Q: When was first national census conducted?
A: 1969. The population officially stood at 9, 30,614 persons.

Q: What was the infant mortality rate in 1990?

A: 137 deaths per 1000 live births. It was the highest in South Asia.
Q: What portion of SAARC population lives in Bhutan?
A: About %,
Q: Which are Bhutan’s four major rivers?
A: The Drangme Chhu; the Puna Tsang Chhu, also called the Sankosh; the Wang Chhu; and
the Amo Chhu. Each flows swiftly out of the Himalayas, southerly through the Duars to join
the Brahmaputra River in India, and hence through Bangladesh to flow into the Bay of Bengal.
Q: Which river is navigable?
A: None of the rivers is navigable.
Q: Which is the largest river?
A: The Drangme Chhu, flows southwesterly from India's state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Q: What is the climate of Bhutan?
A: It is humid and subtropical in the southern plains and foothills, temperate in the inner
Himalayan valleys of the southern and central regions, and cold in the north, with year-round
snow on the main Himalayan summits.
Q: What part of the land is under perpetual snow?
A: 20 %
Q: Which are main natural calamities?
A: Violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name; frequent
landslides during the rainy season.
Q: Which major seasons of Bhutan?
A: Four; Spring (March-May), Summer (June-August), Autumn (September-November),
Winter (December-February)
Q: How many are climatic zones of Bhutan?
A: Three
Q: What is the national anthem of Bhutan?
A: Druk Tsendhen ‘The Thunder Dragon Kingdom’. It was first composed in 1953 and
became official in 1966.
Q: Who are composer and writer of national anthem?
A: Words by: Gyaldun Dasho Thinley Dorji and music by: Aku Tongmi
Q: What is the national flower of Bhutan?
A: The national flower is the blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis), which grows at high altitudes.
It is locally known as 'Euitgel Metog Hoem'.
Q: Who is Bhutan’s national tree?
A: Cypress (Cupressus torolusa) that is often associated with religious places. The Bhutanese
identify with it because it is straight and strong and can grow in inhospitable soil.
Q: What is the national bird of Bhutan?
A: Raven (Corvus corax) because it adorns the royal hat. It represents the deity Gonpo
Jarodonchen (Mahakala with a raven's head), one of the most important guardian deities.
Q: Which is the national animal of Bhutan?
A: The 'Dong Gyem Tsey' or takin (Burdorcas taxicolor) is the national animal for its
uniqueness and association with the religion. It is an extremely rare bovid mammal of the
ovine-caprine family. It lives in flocks in places 4000 m (13,125 ft) high, and eats bamboo. It
can weigh as much as 250 kgs (550 lbs).
Q: Who designed the national flag?
A: Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji created it in 1947. It was modified in 1956 .
Q: Describe the national flag of Bhutan?
A: The Bhutanese flag is divided diagonally and depicts a white dragon across the middle.
The upper part of the flag is golden yellow, representing the secular power of the king, while
the lower part is orange, symbolizing the Buddhist religion. The dragon, whose white colour

is associated with purity, represents Bhutan. The jewels held in its claws stand for the wealth
and perfection of the country.
Q: What is Bhutan’s national emblem?
A: The national emblem is contained in a circle with two dragons framing a double diamond -
thunderbolt (dorji) placed above a lotus, surmounted by a jewel.
Q: What is described by the national emblem?
A: The thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power; the lotus
symbolizes purity; the jewel expresses sovereign power; and the two dragons, male and
female, stand for the name of the country which they proclaim with their great voice, the
Q: What is Bhutan’s national game?
A: Archery
Q: Which are the National Days?
A: 17 December is celebrated throughout the country as ‘Gyal Yung Duechhen’ or National
Day. This commemorates the ascension to the throne of Ugyen Wangchuck, the first
hereditary king of Bhutan, at Punakha Dzong on 17 December 1907. 21 October is declared
as a national holiday on the occasion of the formal accession of His Royal Highness the
Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck as Chhoetse Penlop.
Q: What is the national language of Bhutan?
A: Dzongkha. The word kha means ‘language’ that is spoken in the dzongs ‘fortresses.
Q: Where is Dzongkha spoken?
A: It is also used as the lingua franca throughout the country, and as the medium of
instruction in all schools (alongside English), and for government and administration.
Q: What is the national parliament?
A: Tshogdu
Q: What is the national dress of Bhutan?
A: It is called the 'Gho' for men and 'Kira' for women. It was introduced during the 17th
century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to give the Bhutanese a unique identity.
Q: Describe the Royal Crest?
A: The sacred jewel at the top of the royal crest signifies the Buddhist Sovereign is raised
supreme above all heads, in the compassionate form of the triple gem. The crossed Vajras
(diamond scepters) in the center represent the harmony between the ancient customs and
modern authority. The male and female turquoise thunder symbolize the name of the
Kingdom: Druk Yul, Druk means thunder dragon, yul mans land. The thunder of summer
storms like a dragon’s roar reverberates across mountains and valley speaking of the
country’s glory.
Q: In which script Dzongkha is written?
A: Ucan script. It is used to write the Tibetan language too.
Q: Which is referred to as the Bhutanese New Year?
A: Losar is the Bhutanese New Year (in February). It is a lunisolar calendar whose date
indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year.
Q: How years are named in Bhutanese calendar?
A: Years are named by combining the 12 animals of the zodiac with the five elements of life,
earth, iron, water and wood to produce a 60-year cycle e.g., 2006 is male fire dog.
Q: What was the religion of Bhutanese before Buddhism?
A: Bon religion (animistic worship)
Q: What is state religion?
A: Mahayana Buddhism - 75 %
Q: Which are the other religious minorities?
A: Hindus - 25 %
Q: When Buddhism was introduced?
A: Saint Padmasambhava meaning ‘the Lotus-born Buddha’ brought Buddhism to Bhutan in
the 8th century. He is known as Guru Ripoche meaning ‘the precious master’.
Q: Who introduced the Drukpa Kagyupa school of Buddhism?

A: Phajo Drukgom Shingpo (1184-1251)

Q: Who was Drukpa Kunle (1455-1529)?
A: Also called the "divine madman", he is a folk hero, famous for the unorthodox and
outrageous ways in which he taught religion.
Q: Who was the first Bhutanese-born figure to gain fame in the Tibetan Buddhist world?
A: Pema Lingpa (1450-1521).
Q: What is Dratshang Lhentshog (Central Monastic Body)?
A: It is the sole arbiter on religion. It engages in religious practices and also participates in all
important state institutions. It has 5000 registered monks and is financed by the Government.
Q: Who is His Holiness ‘Je Khenpo’?
A: Formerly called the Dharma Raj by orientalists, Je Khenpo is the title given to the highest
religious official. He leads the Dratshang Lhentshog and arbitrates on matters of doctrine.
Unlike reincarnation lineages such as the Dalai Lama, he is chosen on merit.
Q: Who are allowed to wear the honorific saffron scarf?
A: Only the Druk Gyalpo and the Je Khenpo were allowed to wear the honorific saffron scarf.
Q: Who is the most recent Je Khenpo?
A: The 70th Je Khenpo, Ngawang Thinley Lhundup died on 10 June 2005.
Q: Which are main ethnic groups of Bhutan?
A: The Ngalops, the Sharchops, the Lhotshampas and tribes.
Q: Who are the Ngalops?
A: The Ngalops (means the earliest risen or first converted) are Tibetans who migrated and
imported Buddhism into Bhutan in the 9th century. For this reason, they are often referred to
in foreign literature as Bhotes (people of Bhotia or Tibet).
Q: What do you know about the Sharchops?
A: The Sharchops (means easterner), an Indo-Mongoloid people who are have migrated from
Assam or Burma, comprise most of the population of eastern Bhutan.
Q: Which are main tribes?
A: The Drokpa, Lepcha, and Doya tribes.
Q: Who are the Lhotshampas?
A: The Lhotshampas are of Nepalese origin.
Q: How many castes are in Bhutan?
A: Except among the Hindu Nepalese in southern Bhutan, there was no caste system.
Q: Which are common Bhutanese surnames?
A: Except for the royal family and other noble families, Bhutanese do not have surnames.
Individuals normally have two names, but neither is considered a family name or a surname.
Q: With which colours officials are distinguished?
A: Orange for ministers and deputy ministers, blue for National Assembly and Royal
Advisory Council members, and red or maroon for high religious and civil officials, district
officers, and judges (anyone holding the title of dasho). Stripes on scarves of the same base
color denoted greater or lesser ranks.
Q: Who use the honorific title ‘Dasho’?
A: It is used by the royal family, deputy ministers, senior government officials, and others in
positions of authority.
Q: Who are Layap people?
A: They are aboriginal people inhabiting the high mountains of northwest Bhutan in the Laya
village in the Gasa district.
Q: What is Bhutan‘s family system; patriarchal or matriarchal?
A: Patriarchal, but family estates are divided equally between sons and daughters.
Q: What is offered as a customary greeting?
A: Doma (betel nut). The most common alcoholic beverages available are Arra and Chang.
Q: Who was Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594 - 1651)?

A: He is the founder of Bhutan. He arrived in Bhutan in 1616 from Tibet and unified the
warring valley kingdoms under a single rule. He is the first ruler and his successors ruled until
Q: What does Shabdrung mean?
A: It literally means ‘at whose feet one submits’ or in many Western sources, ‘Dharma Raja’.
Q: Who established the distinctive dual system of government?
A: The Shabdrung established this system by which control was shared between a spiritual
leader (Je Khempo) and an administrative leader (Druk Desi; also known as Deb Raja in
Western sources), a policy that exists in modified form to this day.
Q: Which first European visited Bhutan in 1627?
A: The Portuguese Jesuits Esteva Cacella and João Cabral
Q: For how many years the news of Shabdrung Ngawang’s death was hidden?
A: 54 years until 1705 it was pretended that he was still live and in spiritual retreat.
Q: When East India Company attacked Bhutan?
A: In 1774 it joined with the Beharis and attacked Bhutan.
Q: When Britain and Bhutan signed the ‘Treaty of Sinchula’?
A: In 1865, after the Duar War (1864 - 1865)
Q: Who ended the civil war in 1885?
A: Ugyen Wangchuck, the penlop (governor) of Tongsa, aided by support from the British,
gained control of the country and ended the civil war
Q: When was Bhutanese-British pact the Treaty of Punakha signed?
A: 8 January 1910
Q: Who was the last officially Shabdrung?
A: Jigme Dorji (1905 - 1931)
Q: When India and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Friendship?
A: 8 August 1949
Q: Which dynasty is ruling Bhutan?
A: Wangchuk dynasty
Q: Who was the first hereditary king?
A: Ugyen Wangchuk (1862 - 1926) from 1907 to 1926.
Q: Who was the second king?
A: Jigme Wangchuk (1902/1906 - 1952) was king of Bhutan from 1926 until his death.
Q: Tell the name of third king?
A: Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1929 - 1972) ruled from 1952 to 1972. He is the main architect
of modern Bhutan. He died in Nairobi (Kenya) in 1972 where he was receiving medical
Q: Who is the present king?
A: Jigme Singye Wangchuck (pronunced Jimi Singge Wangchu). He was born 11 November
1955 and succeeded to the throne at the age of 17, in 1972.
Q: What is the title of king?
A: Druk Gyalpo, meaning ‘Dragon King’ and ‘Precious Ruler of the Dragon People’.
Q: Who is the Crown Prince?
A: Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck
Q: Who is the queen of Bhutan?
A: In 1979 King Jime Singye Wangchuck married four sisters; Ashi Dorji Wangmo
Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck and Ashi
Sangay Choden Wangchuck as queens.
Q: Who was the fifty-fourth and last Druk Desi?
A: Choley Yeshe Ngodub (1851-1917) from 1903 to 1905.
Q: Who is the current Prime Minister (i.e., chairman of the Council of Ministers)?
A: Dasho Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba (20 August 2004 - to present). ‘Lyonpo’ is a title meaning
‘minister’. In Bhutan each minister takes turns holding the chairmanship for one year.
Q: During which period post of Prime Minister was abolished?

A: From 1964 to 1998

Q: When was the Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde) established?
A: 1965. In 1989 the council's membership included a representative of the government, two
monks, six regional representatives, and a chairperson, all for 5-year terms.
Q: What is Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog)?
A: It is the cabinet that consists of eight ministers. It is nominated by the monarch, approved
by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, 5-year terms.
Q: Name the national parliament?
A: The unicameral 152-member Tshogdu. It was established in 1953. It meets twice a year
Q: What is the composition of Tshogdu?
A: It has three categories of members: 106 representatives of the people elected by indirect
vote every three years; 10 monastic representatives, also appointed for three-year terms and
36 government officials nominated by the Druk Gyalpo.
Q: Can parliament replace the king?
A: Yes, it has the power to replace the monarch and it is required to pass a vote of confidence
in the king by a two-thirds majority every three years.
Q: When women were allowed to vote?
A: 1953
Q: What is the women’s representation in the legislature?
A: 14 seats (9.21%) are occupied by women in the Tshogdu (2001-IPU records).
Q: Who was the first Speaker?
A: Dasho Kesang Dawa
Q: Who is now the speaker of Tshogdu?
A: Dasho Ugen Dorje
Q: When the draft constitution was presented in Tshogdu?
A: 2005. It has only 34 articles
Q: When were Thrimshung Chenmo (Supreme Laws) legislated by Tshogdu?
A: 1957
Q: What is the age limit for becoming member of Tshogdu?
A: 25 years
Q: Which is the Supreme Court of Appeal of appeal in Bhutan?
A: King. A High Court was established in 1968. It comprises of one chief justice and eight
Q: Who is the Chief Justice High Court?
A: Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay
Q: How many political parties are in Bhutan?
A: According to a long standing law, political parties are banned. Elections are held on non
party basis.
Q: Which are the administrative units?
A: Bhutan is divided into 20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural). These are: Bumthang,
Chukha (Chhukha), Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Lhuntse (Lhuntshi), Mongar, Paro, Pemagatshel
(Pemagatsel), Punakha, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse (Samchi), Sarpang, Thimphu, Trashigang
(Tashigang), Trashiyangste, Trongsa (Tongsa), Tsirang (Chirang), Wangdue Phodrang
(Wangdi Phodrang), Zhemgang (Shemgang).
Q: Who is the civil administrator of dzongkhag?
A: Dzongda
Q: What does ‘gewog’ mean?
A: A gewog (mean block) refers to a group of villages in Bhutan and forms an administrative
unit between village and dzongkhag. The country is comprised of 201 gewogs.
Q: Who is ‘gup’?

A: In 1991 the gewogs became official administrative units, each headed by a gup (headman).
The first-ever elections in Bhutan were held at that time, with a representative from each
household voting to select their local gup.
Q: What does Bumthang mean?
A: Bumthang means ‘beautiful field’
Q: Which are major cultural and historic sites in the Bumthang dzongkhag?
A: 1) Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake) where sacred scriptures hidden by Guru Rimpoche were
later recovered by Pema Lingpa. 2) Kurje Monastery. 3) Jambay Lhakhang, one of the two
most ancient temples of Bhutan, built in the 7th century. 4) Tamshing Lhakhang, the most
important Nyingmapa temple in Bhutan.
Q: Which is the chief town of Chukha dzongkhag?
A: Phuentsholing. It is the gateway city along the sole road which connects India to western
Q: What is the importance of Paro district?
A: Paro has the closest cultural connection with Tibet than of any other Bhutanese district. It
contains the only active airport in Bhutan.
Q: Which are important historical sites in Paro district?
A: 1) Taktshang (Dragon's Nest) the most famous monastery. 2) Kyichu Lhakhang that along
with Jambay Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Bhutan. 3) Drukgyel Dzong built to protect
against invading Tibetans. 4) Paro Town, the market town in the dzonghag which is booming
due to tourist influx. 5) Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, the massive fortress /
monastery which is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. 6) The National Museum
of Bhutan.
Q: When was the winter capital at Punakha established?
A: 1527
Q: What is the altitude of Punakha valley?
A: 1310 m (4300 ft)
Q: When Thimphu was made the year-round capital?
A: 1966
Q: Name the administrative and religious center of the Punakha district?
A: Punakha Dzong that is the winter home of Central Monk Body. Since the 1680's the body
of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal lies in a chamber in the dzong.
Q: What is the area of Samste district?
A: 1500 sq. km. It is home to the Lhopu people.
Q: Which is the only national capital that does not have traffic lights?
A: Thimphu. When local authorities installed traffic lights, people complained that they were
too impersonal and so the authorities had to withdraw them.
Q: What is the official residence of the King?
A: Dechenchoeling Palace (Thimphu).
Q: What is the population of Thimphu?
A: With a population of 50,000 (2003), is the largest population center. It is located at 2200 m
(7200 ft) above sea level in west-central Bhutan.
Q: Which fortress monastery is the seat of Bhutan's government since 1952?
A: Tashichoedzong built in the 13th century.
Q: Which is Bhutan's easternmost district?
A: Trashigang or Tashigang that has the densest population in Bhutan. It is a primary route
for Bhutanese trade with India.
Q: Which dzongkhag (district) means ‘new village’ in Dzongkha?
A: Trongsa or Tongsa. Built in 1644, it is the seat of power of the Wangchuck dynasty since
1907. Traditionally the King of Bhutan first becomes the Penlop (governor) of Trongsa before
being named Crown Prince and eventually King.
Q: Who did give name Wangdue Phodrang or Wangdi Phodrang?
A: Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal named this dzongkhag (district) of central Bhutan.
Q: Which are major urban centers?
A: Thimphu, Phuntsholing, Paro, Punakha, Tongsa, Mongar, and Chirang.

Q: Which is the national sport?
A: Datse (Archery). Since time immemorial Bhutanese have been passionate about their
national sport. Competitions are a riot of colour and excitement, with two teams in traditional
dress shooting at small wooden targets placed 120-140m apart (Olympic standard is 50m).
Q: When Bhutan participated in Olympic Games?
A: 1984 Olympics
Q: In which games Bhutan generally takes part?
A: Archery is the only Olympic sport in which Bhutan participates. In the 2004 Athens
Olympics Bhutan’s two archers made it to the second qualifying round. This is due to the fact
that traditional Bhutanese archery is different in both equipment and style from Olympic
Q: Which are other traditional sports?
A: Degor - a kind of shot put, darts and wrestling.
Q: Which are the largest annual festivals in Bhutan?
A: Tshechus for honoring Guru Rimpoche through dances.
Q: Who began his career with hit song ‘Nga khatsa jo si lam kha lu’ in 1981?
A: Shera Lhendup, the first major music star.
Q: What is a ‘Chorten’?
A: These are stupas that are small shrines built to house sacred relics.
Q: Which is the national university of Bhutan?
A: The Royal University of Bhutan, founded on June 3, 2003.
Q: What are major agricultural products?
A: Rice, corn, root crops, citrus, food grains; dairy products.
Q: What is the mainstay of the economy?
A: Agriculture and livestock. It is about 45% of the Gross National Product (GNP).
Q: What percent of the population is involved in agriculture?
A: About 88 % and its share in GDP is 45 %
Q: What is Bhutan's unit of currency?
A: Ngultrum = 100 Chetrum. It was adopted in 1974.
Q: Name the central bank and monetary authority of the country?
A: Bhutan Bank. It was established in 1968.
Q: What is GDP per capita?
A: US$ 835 (Nu. 40,598)
Q: When Bhutan started first development plan?
A: 1961
Q: Which are main natural resources?
A: Hydropower, timber, gypsum, calcium carbide.
Q: Which are chief import commodities?
A: Fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice
Q: Which are main exports?
A: Electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, cement, fruit, gems, spices.
Q: Which are principal industries?
A: Cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide.
Q: When Bhutan opened international borders to tourists?
A: 1974
Q: What is now the largest source of foreign exchange?
A: Tourism
Q: What part of national revenue is provided by electricity exports?
A: 40 %

Radio / Television / Film
Q: What is Bhutan Broadcasting Service?
A: It is the government owned radio and television station which broadcasts news in English,
Dzongkha and Nepalese.
Q: When Radio Broadcasting was started?
A: In November 1973 by a group of volunteers, known as the National Youth Association of
Bhutan (NYAB)
Q: When Radio NYAB was renamed as Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS)?
A: 1986
Q: When the BBS launched national television service?
A: On 2 June 1999 the BBS launched national television service to commemorate the Silver
Jubilee reign of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
Q: Which is the only newspaper in the country?
A: Kuensel. Currently it is published in Dzongkha, English and Nepalese on a weekly basis.
Q: Which is the national flag carrier?
A: Druk Air. It was established on 5 April 1981.
Q: How many international airports are in Bhutan?
A: Paro, Bhutan’s only airport is located in a deep valley, some 2190m (7300ft) above sea
level, surrounded by hills and high mountains. Operating conditions are difficult and the
approach into Paro airport is entirely by visual flight rules.
Q: Which are major ports?
A: None
Q: Which bird has habitats in Phobjikha and Bomdeling?
A: Black Necked Cranes
Q: Which Himalayan Kingdom is included in the 10 biodiversity hot spots in the world?
A: Bhutan
Q: Who is the world’s longest serving foreign minister from 1972-1998?
A: Lyonpo Dawa Tsering
Q: In which urban townships 15% of the population dwells?
A: Thimphu and Phuentsholing
Q: What is Chosum?
A: Almost every home in Bhutan has a prayer room called a ‘Chosum’.
Q: When did Bhutan join United Nations (UN)?
A: 21 September 1971
Q: What is length of railway line?
A: No railway system exists currently.
Q: Who propounded the concept of maximizing Gross National Happiness?
A: King Jigme Singye Wangchuk
Q: When was the cellular mobile service started?
A: 11November 2003
Q: Which two countries have embassies in Bhutan?
A: India and Bangladesh
Q: When was the Royal Civil Service Commission established?
A: 1982
Q: Which country issued a stamp with its national anthem on a playable record?
A: Bhutan
Q: When was the first regular post office opened at Phuntsholing?
A: 10 October 1962
Q: Which is the largest hydroelectric project?
A: Chukha hydroelectric project (located in Chukha)

Q: When Bhutan and India signed a Treaty of Peace and Friendship?

A: 1949

Sri Lanka
Introduction 1
Geography 2
Topography 2
Waterways 3
Demography 3
Climate 4
National Symbols 4
Religion 6
Society 7
History 8
• Ancient Sinhala 8
• Portuguese & Dutch Period 9
• British Rule 10
• Post Independence 11
• Presidents / Prime Ministers 13
• Parliament / Constitution 14
• Judiciary 17
Political Parties 17
Provinces 18
1. Westren Province 18
2. Central Province 20
3. Southern Province 21
4. North Western Province 21
5. Uva Province 22
6. North Central Province 22
7. Sabaragamuwa Province 23
8. Eastern Province 23
9. Northern Province 24
Sports 25
Ethnic Conflict 27
Flora and Fauna 27
Airports / Ports 28
Media 29
Newspapers 29
Films 29
Radio 30
T.V 30
Culture 30
Literature 30
Art / Handicrafts / Architecture 32
Music and Dance 32
Heritage 33
Economy 33
Agriculture 33
Industry / Tourism / Trade 34
Education / Science 34
Famous Personalities 34
Miscellaneous 35

Q: Which country is called the ‘Pearl of Indian Ocean’?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: Which famous traveller has given these remarks about Sri Lanka, “it is undoubtedly the finest
island of it size
in all the world”?
A: Venetain traveller, Marco Polo (1254-1324)
Q: Which famous traveller visited Sri Lanka in 14th century?
A: Moroccan traveller, Ibn-i-Battuta (1304-1369)
Q: What is the Sinhala name of Sri Lanka?
A: Lanka
Q: Do you know the Tamil name of Sri Lanka?
A: Ilankai
Q: Why this country is called ‘Sinhaladvipa’?
A: In Sanskrit literature, it was called ‘Sinhaladvipa’ (the Island of the Sinhalas).
Q: Which people named it ‘Tambapanni’?
A: The Aryan settlers
Q: Which was the name given by the Romans to this island?
A: Roman sailors called it ‘Taprobane’ or ‘Simoundou’.
Q: Which name was given by the Arabs to this country?
A: Arab traders knew it as ‘Serendib’, from which the word ‘Serendipity’ was derived. It means the
ability to make pleasant and unexpected discoveries by chance.
Q: Can you tell the Portuguese name of Sri Lanka?
A: The Portuguese called it ‘Ceilao’ - originally a Portuguese transcription for the old Pali name
Q: What was the Dutch name of Sri Lanka?
A: The Dutch changed the Portuguese name Ceilao to ‘Ceylan’.
Q: Which name was given by the British to this country?
A: Ceylon
Q: In 1972 the original ‘Lanka’ was restored with the addition of ‘Sri’. Tell its meanings?
A: Sri means auspicious or resplendent in the Sinhala language. So Sri Lanka means - Lanka the
Q: What is the full name of Sri Lanka?
A: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Q: Do you know the name of Sri Lanka in Sinhala?
A: Sri Lanka Prajathanthrika Samajavadi Janarajaya
Q: What is the Tamil name of Sri Lanka?
A: Illankai Chananaayaka Chosalisa Kudiyarasu
Q: What is the total area of Sri Lanka?
A: 65,610 sq. km (25,332 sq. miles)
Q: Do you know the length of coastline?
A: 1340 km (883 miles)
Q: What is the location of Sri Lanka?
A: Southern Asia. Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of the South
Indian peninsula.
This island country lies within the Indian Ocean, with the Bay of Bengal to the northeast. It is
from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.
Q: How long are the land boundaries of Sri Lanka?
A: 0 km
Q: Describe the shape of this island country?
A: Sri Lanka has the shape of a pear with its apex in the north. It can also be described like a
teardrop falling from
the southern end of India.
Q: What are the greatest length and width of Sri Lanka?
A: The greatest length from north to south is 440 km/270 miles (Devundara to Point Peduru) and
the greatest width from east to west is 225 km/140 miles (Colombo – Sangamankanda).
Q: Compare the area of Sri Lanka with other countries or states?
A: Its area s about the same as that of Ireland or Tasmania or West Virginia.
Q: Which city is the capital of Sri Lanka?
A: The administrative capital of Sri Lanka since 1982 is Sri Jawardenepura Kotte and Colombo is
the commercial
capital and the largest city now.
Q: Which countries are the neighbours of Sri Lanka?
A: India and Maldives. Maldives is on the west and India is on the east and north.
Q: What are the geographic coordinates of Sri Lanka?
A: 7 00 N, 81 00 E
Q: Which strait and gulf are between India and Sri Lanka?
A: Sri Lanka is separated from India by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.
Q: What is Adam’s Bridge?
A: It is a chain of tiny islands lying between India and Sri Lanka. Actually Adam's Bridge (or
Rama's Bridge) is a chain of limestone shoals, between the islands of Mannar, near northwestern Sri
Lanka, and Rameswaram, off the southeastern coast of India. The bridge is 30 miles (48 km) long
and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some sandbanks are
dry, and nowhere are the shoals deeper than 4 feet; thus they hinder navigation. So it is mostly
submerged, with only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level.
Q: Is Sri Lanka an island, peninsula or an archipelago?
A: Island
Q: What percentage of SAARC area is occupied by Sri Lanka?
A: About 1.5 %.
Q: Describe the terrain of Sri Lanka?
A: Mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in the south central part of the country.
Q: Which are the two plateaus in the upland area?
A: Nuwara Elyia and Horton plains that are major centers of commercial tea plantations.
Q: What is the lowest point in Sri Lanka?
A: Indian Ocean (0m)
Q: Which is the highest peak of Sri Lanka?
A: Pidurutalagala also called Mt. Pedro. Its height is 2524 m (8281 ft)
Q: How much area of Sri Lanka is covered by forests?
A: 30 %
Q: What is the land area of Sri Lanka?
A: 64,740 sq. km
Q: What is the water area of Sri Lanka?
A: 870 sq. km
Q: What is the height of Adam’s Peak?
A: 2243 m (7360 ft)
Q: What are the other names of Adam’s Peak?
A: ‘Sri Pada’ (Sacred Footprint) and ‘Samanala Kanda’ (Butterfly Mountain; where butterflies go to
die). It lies in the Sabaragamuwa province (Ratnapura District).
Q: What is the height of Haputhale mountain?
A: 2351 m
Q: Which is the longest river of Sri Lanka?
A: It is the Mahaweli Ganga (335 km) that starts near Adam’s Peak and empties into the Indian
Ocean south of Trincomalee. It covers about 16 % of the island's total area. It is the only perennial
river to cross the dry zone.
Q: Define Ganga, Oya and Aru?
A: Sri Lanka’s all perennial rivers are called ‘Ganga’, while seasonal streams are called ‘Oya’ in
Sinhala or ‘Aru’ in Tamil.
Q: Which project on Mahavali Ganga is considered one of the largest in Asia?
A: The victoria project
Q: Which is the highest waterfall?
A: Bambarakanda (241 meters)
Q: Name the other important rivers of Sri Lanka?
A: There are 16 principal rivers longer than 100 km in length, with 12 of them carrying about 75 %
of the mean river discharge in the entire country. Most of the rivers are short. The longest rivers are
the Mahaweli Ganga (208miles) and the Aruvi Aru (170-km). The Aruvi Aru flows northwest to a
point near Mannar. Other major rivers are the Kelani, the mouth of which is near Colombo, the
Kalu, which reaches the sea near Kalutara, the Walawe Ganga is another important river.
Q: Which are Sri Lanka's second and third highest mountains?
A: Kirigalpotta 2387m (Central Province) and Totapola 2361m.
Q: Which are the main zones of the land in Sri Lanka?
A: There are three main zones of the land in Sri Lanka. The Central Highlands, the plains, and the
coastal belt. The Central Highlands are located in the south-central part of Sri Lanka. Most of this
area is a high plateau. This area includes some of Sri Lanka’s highest mountains.
In the southwest there are ridges and valleys that gradually rise to merge with the Central
Highlands. This gives a dissected appearance to the plain.
A coastal belt that is about 30 meters above sea level surrounds the island. Most of the coast is
scenic sandy beaches that are indented by coastal lagoons.
Q: What is World's End?
A: One of the attraction of Horton plains is the precipice known as World's End - a sheer drop of
1050 m (3444 ft). There are in fact two of them. ‘The small world’s end’ and ‘The big world’s end’,
they are 0.8km (0.5 mile) apart from each other.
Q: Which is the widest waterfall in Sri Lanka?
A: St. Claire

Q: What is the population of Sri Lanka?
A: 19 million
Q: What is the population growth rate?
A: 1.4 %
Q: What is the percentage of urban population?
A: 23 %
Q: Tell the population density?
A: 304 persons/sq. km
Q: What is the life expectancy?
A: 73 years
Q: What is the life expectancy for males and females?
A: Males (64 years) and females (74 years)
Q: What is the literacy rate?
A: 92 %
Q: Which is the largest ethnic group?
A: Sinhalese - 74%
Q: Which are the other major ethnic groups?
A: Tamils -18%, Moors - 7%, Burghers, Malay and Veddahs - 1 %
Q: Who are ‘Veddahs’?
A: The Veddahs are believed to be Sri Lanka’s aboriginal inhabitants prior to the arrival of the
Sinhalese. They are
still struggling on in isolated pockets. Veddah is a Sinhala word that implies uncivilized or
Population estimates range from several hundred to a few thousand.
Q: Why the Veddahs are called ‘Wanniyala-Aetto’?
A: The Wanniyala-Aetto, or ‘forest beings’ (This is the name they call themselves; the commonly
known name is "Veddahs" in Sinhalese) are indigenous people of Sri Lanka. They are hunter-
gatherers and have lived in their tropical forest environment for the past 18,000 years. They are
disappearing rapidly, due to assimilation and the loss of their forest home.
Q: Who are original inhabitants of Lanka?
A: The Yakkas (demon-worshippers), Rakshasas and Nagas (snake-worshippers) before the arrival
of Vijaya and his men who colonized the island.
Q: What does ‘Burgher’ mean?
A: Sri Lankan Eurasian descendents from Portuguese Sinhalese or Dutch Sinhalese intermarriage.
Q: Who are ‘Moors’?
A: Some Sri Lankan Muslims are called Moors.
Q: Which people are called ‘Veddahs’?
A: Veddahs are the primitive people of the island.
Q: Who are ‘Malays’?
A: A group of Sri Lankan Muslims is called Malays. Many of whose ancestors came with the Dutch
from Java and other islands of Malays archipelago. They speak Malay language.
Q: What part of SAARC population does live in Sri Lanka?
Q: What part of population is under 15 years?
A: About 25 %
Q: What was the population of Sri Lanka in 1948?
A: 7 million
Q: What was the population of SL in 1981census?
A: 1,48,50,000
Q: Mention the two main differences between Tamils and Sinhalese?
A: Religion and language
Q: Which are the two distinct groups of Tamils?
A: Sri Lankan or Ceylon Tamils and Hill country or Plantation Tamils.
Q: What is the origin of Sri Lankan Tamils?
A: Sri Lankan Tamils came from southern India. These are concentrated in the north and east coast.
Q: Who are Plantation Tamils?
A: The British brought their ancestors to work on the tea plantations in the 19th century.
Q: When the first systematic and scientific population census was taken?
A: 1871 and it showed a population of 2.4 million.
Q: How many censuses were conducted since then
A: Twelve. The last Census (13th) was taken during the year 2001.
Q: Which important operation started on 17 March 1981?
A: Population census
Q: What is the “Population per physician”?
A: 3579 (1996)
Q: What is the climate of Sri Lanka?
A: Sri Lanka is generally a warm country. It is a tropical country with distinct dry and wet seasons
plus monsoons. The climate is hot and humid. Bright, sunny warm days are the rule and are
common even during the height of the monsoon - climatically Sri Lanka has no off season.
Q: What is the annual average temperature of Colombo?
A: 27 ºC (81 ºF)
Q: Does this island has one monsoon?
A: No, it has two monsoons. It has an equatorial environment (as it is situated near the equator)
Q: What is meant by ‘Maha’?
A: Maha is the northeast monsoon that blows from November to February, which brings rain to the
north and east
of the island.
Q: What does ‘Yala’ mean?
A: Yala means the southwest monsoon season from May to August that brings rain to the southern
and western
coastal regions and the central hill country.
Q: Describe the ‘Dry Zone’?
A: North of the mountains, and extending south, is an arid and gently rolling plain known as the dry
zone. Nearby three-quarters of Sri Lanka lies in the dry zone.
Q: Define the ‘Wet Zone’?
A: Wet zone encompasses the hills and the lowlands of the southwestern part of the island. It
receives ample rainfall (an annual average of 250 cm). Normally it has some rainfall throughout the
Q: What are the mean annual temperatures in Sri Lanka?
A: These are as: 32 ºC (90 ºF) in the lowlands and 21 ºC (70 ºF) in the mountainous regions
Q: What are the current environmental issues of Sri Lanka?
A: The present environmental issues are: Deforestation, Soil erosion, Wild life habitats threatened
by urbanization
and poaching, Water pollution by industrial wastes and sewage runoff, Air pollution in Colombo.
Q: When was the Central Environmetal Authority (CEA) established?
A: August 1981
Q: When was the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA)
A: 1981
Q: What is the national bird of Sri Lanka?
A: Ceylon Jungle fowl. ‘Wali Kukula’ is its Sinhala name. It is commonest in the national parks and
Q: What is the national anthem of Sri Lanka?
A: ‘Sri Lanka Matha’ (Mother Sri Lanka)
Q: What is the national and official language of Sri Lanka?
A: Sinhala. 74 % people speak Sinhala
Q: What is the other national language?
A: Tamil and 18 % people speak Tamil.
The two official languages are Sinhala & Tamil. Sinhala is the language of the majority of the population. Tamil is
widely used in the northern & eastern parts of the country. English is widely spoken & understood in the urban
centres. It is the language of business & commerce.
Q: Do you know the national flower of Sri Lanka?
A: Blue water lily. Its botanical name is ‘Nymphaea Stellata’. In Sinhala it is called ‘Nil Mahanel’.
The Nil Mahanel plant grows in shallow, warm water and is found in all parts of the country.
Q: When blue water lily was declared national flower of Sri Lanka?
A: 26 February 1986
Q: What is the national colour of Sri Lanka?
A: Red
Q: Which is the national tree of Sri Lanka?
A: Iron wood tree. It is called ‘Na’ tree in Sinhala. Its botanical name is ‘Mesua Nagassarium’.
Q: When iron wood tree was declared national flower of Sri Lanka?
A: 26 February 1986
Q: Who wrote the national anthem "Namo Namo Matha" (salutation to the mother)?
A: Ananda Samarkoon
Q: Who is composer the national anthem?
A: Ananda Samarkoon
Q: When was Ananda Samarkoon’s composition ‘Namo Namo Matha’ chosen as the national anthem?
A: 22 November 1951
Q: What were opening lyrics changed from ‘Namo Namo Matha’ to?
A: ‘Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka’ (Our Sri Lanka Mother).
Q: What are Sinhala and Tamil versions of national anthem?
A: Tamil version is ‘Sri Lanka Thaaya, Nam Sri Lanka’ and Sinhala version is ‘Sri Lanka Matha,
Apa Sr Lanka’.
Q: On which date the first rendering of the national anthem was made?
A: The national anthem was broadcast on radio for the first time on Independence Day 4 February
1952 by a group
of students from Musaeus College, Colombo.
Q: Which flag was unfurled during the Independence Day 1948 celebrations by the Prime Minister D.
S. Senanayake?
A: The Lion flag of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe that was taken to Great Britain in 1815.
Q: Describe the national flag of Sri Lanka?
A: National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. It depicts a heraldic lion holding a sword in its right-
fore paw. The lion is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves
pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the mast end
represent the minority ethnic groups.
Q: When was the flag amended?
A: 22 May 1972. The amended flag was first unfurled at the Republic day celebrations.
Q: Mention the amendment, which was made in the flag?
A: The current flag is the same Lion flag recommended by the National Flag Committee on 2 March
except for the new Bo leaves. When Sri Lanka was made a Republic in 1972. The stylized Bo
depicted n the flag were changed to resemble natural Bo leaves.
Q: Describe the national emblem of Sri Lanka?
A: The sate emblem carries a heraldic lion with a sword in its right-fore paw, with in a circle of
palapethi (lotus
border). The emblem is embellished at the lower left and right respectively with traditional
representations of
the moon and sun. Two overarching sheaves of paddy emerge from a part of plenty (Punkalasa).
Dhrammachakkra or wheel of the Buddhist doctrine crowns the emblem.
Q: When was the new state emblem chosen?
A: 22 May 1972 when Sri Lanka was declared a republic.
Q: Is cricket the national game of Sri Lanka?
A: No, volleyball is the national game.
Q: In which section of constitution national anthem is incorporated?
A: Section 7 third schedule.
Q: What is the national dress of Sri Lanka?
A: There is no approved national dress as three major communities called Sinhalese, Tamils,
Muslims are living together. But mostly long sleeved shirt without collars up to the knee and a
white Sarong (Dhoti) is worn. Females wear Sari (like India), Osari (Kandyan dress) or frock.
Q: Which politician suggested the Lion flag as national flag?
A: Mr. A. Sinnalebbe Member of Parliament for Batticaloa tabled this motion in the State Council on
16 January
1948 suggesting that the Lion flag of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe should be made the national
Q: Who were the members of Advisory Committee for the formulation of a national flag?
A: Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake named this Advisory Committee:
S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (Chairman)
Dr. Senararth Paranavithana (Secretary)
Sir John Kotalawela (Member)
Mr. J. R. Jayewardene (Member)
Mr. T. B. Jayah (Member)
Dr. L. A. Rajapakse (Member)
Mr. G. G. Ponnambalam (Member)
Senator S. Nadesan (Member)
Q: When the national flag was made a part of the constitution of Sri Lanka ?
A: The national flag was incorporated in section 6-second schedule of constitution on 9 September
Q: What is the significance of different symbols of the national flag?
A: The national flag of Sri Lanka has been designed with great care and purpose. The significance of
each symbol of the national flag is as follows:
The lion in the flag represents the Sinhala race. The sword of the lion represents the sovereignty of
the county . The noble eight-fold path of Buddhism is signified by the lion’s tail . Curly hair on the
lion’s head indicates wisdom and meditation . The beard denotes purity of words .The handle of the
sword highlights the elements of water , fire , air and earth . The nose indicates intelligence . The
two front paws purport to purity in handling wealth . The vertical strips of orange represents
minority Tamil race and green the minority Muslim race.
Q: When was the national flag adopted?
A: 2 March 1951
Q: When the national flag was hoisted for the first time?
A: It was hoisted for the first time on 3 March 1950.
Q: Which is official news agency of Sri Lanka?
A: Lankapuvath
Q: When does the Sinhala New Year start?
A: In April Sri Lankans observe their New Year – ‘Aluth Avurudu in Sinhala and ‘Puththandu’ in Tamil. It
begins when the sun enters the sign of Aries for the sign of Pisces in April, around the 13th or 14th
depending upon astrological calculations.
Q: What is Sri Lanka’s standard time?
A: GMT + 6 hours
Q: What is the staple food in Sri Lanka?
A: Rice and Curry
Q: With which Buddhist holiday Christian Sunday was replaced as a public holiday?
A: The Poya day (Full Moon)
Q: What is the state religion of Sri Lanka?
A: Buddhism. In 1972 the constitution formally made Buddhism the state's primary religion.
Q: When Buddhism was introduced in Sri Lanka?
A: 3rd century BC
Q: Which is the oldest continually Buddhist country?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: What is the percentage of Buddhists in Sri Lanka?
A: 70 %
Q: Which is the second largest religious group?
A: Hindus - 15%
Q: What do you know about other religious groups of Sri Lanka?
A: Christians - 8%, Muslims - 7%
Q: Which are the three main sections of the Muslim community?
A: The Sri Lankan Moors, the Indian Moors, and the Malays. The Sri Lankan Moors make up 93 %
of the Muslim population and 7 % of the total population of the country.
Q: Who became the first Buddhist monarch of Sri Lanka?
A: King Tissa (247-207 BC) ruled Anuradhapura for forty years. He is considered to be the first
consecrated King of Sri Lanka who was also a close friend of the contemporary Indian Emperor
Asoka. The King Tissa took the epithet Devanampiya meaning 'beloved of the Gods' that Asoka
himself used, thus becoming Devanampiyatissa.
Q: Which of the two branches of Buddhism is followed in Sri Lanka?
A: Theravada Buddhism. Theravada means, ‘School of elders’
Q: Is Theravada tradition practiced only in Sri Lanka?
A: No, it is widespread in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Q: What is other name of Theravada School?
A: Hinayana (Sanskrit for ‘Lesser Vehicle’).
Q: Which are main sects of Theravada Buddhism?
A: Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka itself can be divided into three different sects - Siyam Nikaya
(the Siamese order), Amarapura Nikaya and Ramanna Nikaya
Q: Name religious games of Sri Lanka?
A: Breaking of coconuts, An keliya (hook tugging) and Anga Adima
Q: Which are the two most important relics of the Buddha in Sri Lanka?
A: The two most important are the “Bo tree” and the “tooth relic of the Buddha”. Buddhists believe
worshiping Buddha’s relics or the things Buddha associated is like worshipping Buddha himself
alive. The ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’ tree at Anuradhapura is believed to be a sapling from the Bo tree under
which the Buddha himself attained enlightenment at Buddha Gaya (India). The tooth of the Buddha
now enshrined at the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ in Kandy is the most honored relic of Buddha venerated by
Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
Q: What does ‘Sri Pada’ (7360 feet) mean?
A: It is believed that Lord Buddha during his third visit to Sri Lanka placed his footprint on the
summit of this sacred mountain. So, the name Sri Pada means the sacred footprint, it is the 5th
highest mountain in the country.
Q: What is the religious significance of Adam’s Peak?
A: Adam's Peak (Sinhala ‘Sri Pada’, Tamil ‘Sivanolipatha Malai’, Arabic ‘Al-Rohun’) is a 2,243 m (7,360 ft) tall
conical mountain in modern-day Sri Lanka, revered as a holy site by Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. It
is the most important pilgrimage center. Its summit contains depression about 1.5 m (5 ft) long by 76 cm (30
in) wide that is shaped like a human footprint.
Q: What is the origin of footprint on Adam’s Peak?
A: The only mountains in the world where four major religions get together and worship. Its origin
is claimed in different ways depending upon religious and cultural belief. According to Muslim
tradition it is the place where Adam first set foot on earth after being cast out of the heaven. To
Buddhists the foot like depression is the sacred footmark of Buddha. The Hindus claim it is the
footprint of the god Shiva. To the Christians, it is the footprint of St. Thomas.
Q: When Hindu pilgrims visit Adam’s Peak?
A: The peak pilgrimage season is in April, and the goal is to be on top of the mountain at sunrise,
when the distinctive shape of the mountain casts a triangular shadow on the surrounding plain and
can be seen to move quickly downward as the sun rises. A shrine to saman (a Buddhist deity
charged with protecting the mountain top) is near the footprint.
Q: Which is the famous pilgrimage site in Anuradhapura?
A: Bo tree, believed to have sprung from the branch of the sacred Bo tree under which the Buddha
attained enlightenment. The branch was supposedly brought from India to Sri Lanka by Arahat
Mahinda Thera and his sister Princes Sangamitta. This sacred Bo tree (Sri Maha Bodhi) is the
oldest historically authenticated tree in the world.
Q: What is the religious importance of blue water lily?
A: This flower has a prominent significance in the Buddhist literature and mythology. It is said the
Nil Mahanel
Flower was among the 108 ceremonial designs found on the footprint of Prince Siddhartha.
Q: Why Adam's Bridge is also called Rama's Bridge?
A: According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, the bridge was constructed at Rama's request by his
subjects. The alternate name Adam's Bridge derives from the Christian mythological notion that the
biblical Garden of Eden was Sri Lanka.
Q: When Buddhists worship?
A: In ordinary daily life many Buddhist visit temples at least once a week and on poya days (full
moon - poya day of the month) gather in temples for special offerings.
Q: Describe the Muslim community of Sri Lanka?
A: The Muslim community is divided into three main sections--the Sri Lankan Moors, the Indian
Moors, and the Malays, each with its own history and traditions. The Sri Lankan Moors make up
93 % of the Muslim population. In the 1980s, the Malays comprised about 5 % of the Muslim
The Malays originated in Southeast Asia. Their ancestors came to the country when both Sri Lanka
and Indonesia were colonies of the Dutch. The main source of a continuing Malay identity is their
common Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) that includes numerous words absorbed from Sinhalese
and Tamil.
Q: When Buddha's sacred tooth arrived in Sri Lanka?
A: It arrived in Sri Lanka in the 4th century AD.
Q: When the 2500th anniversary of the death of the Buddha was observed?
A: 1956
Q: What does 'Pali Canon’ mean?
A: The Pali Canon is one the earliest existing scripture collections of the Buddhist tradition. They
were recited orally from the time of the Buddha and were put into writing in Sri Lanka in about 30
BCE. Written in the Pali language, these texts form the scripture of the Theravada school of
Q: Which animal has a prominent place in Buddhism?
A: Elephant has a main place in Buddhism. It is the only animal possessed of grace to carry the
sacred reliquary containing the 'Danta-dhatu' (tooth-relic) of the Buddha, in the annual Esala
Perahera in Kandy.
Q: What is ‘Pali’?
A: Pali is the language of the Theravada Buddhist sacred scriptures. A Prakrit or a language
derived from Sanskrit.
Q: Which nation introduced Calvinism (Christian theology of the French church reformer John
Calvin) in Sri Lanka?
A: The Dutch
Q: What percentage of Christian population are Roman Catholics?
A: 90 %
Q: Which SAARC country has the largest Christian group (in terms of percentage of population)?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: Which European nation is identifies from these surnames ‘de Silva, de Sousa, Fernando, Perara
and de Mal’?
A: The Portuguese
Q: Do Sinhalese has a caste system like Hindus, Yes or No?
A: Yes the society possesses a caste system similar to that of India's.
Q: Which is the highest caste?
A: The highest caste is the Govigama (cultivators) and the lowest is the Chandala (untouchables).
Q: Which are the major casts of Sinhalese?
A: The Govigama (cultivator), the Karava (fishermen), the Durava (toddy tappers), and the
Salagama (cinnamon peelers).
Q: Which is the dominant Sinhalese caste?
A: All Sri Lankan heads of state have, since independence, belonged to the Radala (a sub-group of
the Goyigama caste) as do about half of all Sinhalese.
Q: Which is the lowest ranking caste in Sinhalese society?
A: The Rodi that are the only 'untouchables' in traditional Sinhalese society. During Kandyan times both Rodi men
and women were compelled to go bare-bodied and forced to reside in separate hamlets known as kuppayam.
Q: What is the importance of caste in politics?
A: Caste is politically important for two reasons. First, members of the political elite tend to be
members of the higher status castes. Since independence the majority of the prime ministers and
the one president have been members of the Goyigama caste. Secondly voters support people of their
own caste.
Q: Which are the main castes of Tamils?
A: The Vellala (cultivator), Karaiya (fishermen), and the Chetti (merchants)
Q: Which is the dominant caste among the Hindu Tamils?
A: The importance of cultivation on the island is also reflected in the caste structure of the Hindu
Tamils, among whom the Vellala is the highest caste. They constitute about 50 % of the Tamils.
Q: What is naming conventions of Sinhalese?
A: They usually have two names. The first is called the ‘ge’ (Sinhalese for House or Tribe,
pronounced "gay") name while the second is the actual name of the individual. The ‘ge’ name may
indicate the place from which their family originated or the title or profession of the family head.
Hence a person may be called "Muhandiramlage Simon" which indicates that he hails from the
"House of Muhandiram" and his name is Simon.
Q: How the Tamils names are given?
A: They usually, use two names, the first representing their father's name and the second
representing their own. e.g., Ponnambalam Ramanathan indicates that the individuals name is
Ramanathan and he is the son of Ponnambalam.
Q: What is ‘Dipavamsa’?
A: The Dipavamsa (Island Genealogy or Dynasty) is the oldest known Pali Chronicle produced in
Ceylon. It deals with the history of the island from earliest times up to the reign of Mahasena (334-
362) AD. It was compiled to glorify Buddhism and is not a comprehensive narrative of events.
Q: What do you know about ‘Mahavamsa’?
A: The written history of Sri Lanka begins with the chronicle called Mahavamsa (Genealogy of the
Great Dynasty).
It was compiled by a succession of Buddhist monks. This work was commenced in the 6th century
AD and
provides and virtually unbroken narrative up to 1815. This relates the rise and fall of successive
Buddhist kingdoms beginning with Vijaya, the legendary colonizer of Sri Lanka and primogenitor of
the Sinhalese.
Q: Who wrote Culavamsa?
A: The chronicle Culavamsa (Genealogy of the Lesser Dynasty) is a continuation of the Mahavamsa.
13th century poet-monk, Dhammakitti. The Culavamsa was later expanded by another monk the
following century and, concluded by a third monk in the late 18th century.
Q: Which Hindu god conquered Lanka?
A: The first major legendary reference to the island is found in the great Indian epic, the ‘Ramayana’
thought to have been written around 500 BC. The 2000 year old Hindu epic, the Ramayana (Sacred
Lake of the Deeds of Rama) tells of Rama’s beautiful wife ‘Sita’ being carried away by Rawana the
evil king of the Lanka (Sri Lanka) in 3000 BC. Rama, aided by his faithful ally the monkey god
‘Hanuman’ rescued Sita from the clutches of Rawana.
Q: Who were the invaders of Sri Lanka?
A: According to Mahavamsa a Hindu Prince ‘Vijaya’ from northeast India conquered the island in
504 BC. He
subjugated the Veddahs.
Q: What is the root of word ‘Sinhala’?
A: The Kingdom of Vijaya was called Sinhala (Lion). Sinhala was his patrimonial name.
Q: When for the first time Sri Lanka was ruled by Tamils?
A: Around 237 BC when two adventurers from southern India, Sena and Guttika, usurped the
Sinhalese throne at Anuradhapura. Their combined 22-year rule marked the first time Sri Lanka
was ruled by Tamils.
Q: When did Buddhism reach Sri Lanka?
A: In 3rd century BC Indian Buddhist emperor Ashoka the great sent his son Prince Mahinda to
this island with a
retinue of monks to spread Buddhism.
Q: Who was ‘Mahinda’?
A: He was the son of Emperor Ashoka, , who was ruler of the Magadha empire in India. He became a
monk at the age of 20 and joined the effort to spread Buddhism. Mahinda together with four other
monks were sent to Sri Lanka to spread Buddhism.
Q: What do you know about ‘Duttugemunu’?
A: In 145 BC a Tamil general named Elara, of the Chola dynasty, took over kingdom of
Anuradhapura and ruled for 44 years. A Sinhalese king of Rohana, Dutthagamani (or
Duttugemunu), waged a 15-year campaign against the Tamil monarch and finally deposed him.
Dutugemunu ruled Sinhala from 161- 137 BC.
Q: Name major ancient belligerent Hindu states of South India?
A: The Cholas, the Pandyas and the Pallavas.
Q: Who was ‘Dhatusena’?
A: In the 5th century AD, king Dhatusena (459-77) liberated Anuradhapura from a quarter - century
of Pandyan rule. He was also honored as a patron of Buddhism and as a builder of water storage
tanks. King Dhatusena was killed by his son, Kasyapa (477-95), who is regarded as a great villain.
In fear of retribution from his exiled brother, Moggallana the parricide moved the capital from
Anuradhapura to Sigiriya, a fortress and palace perched on a monolithic rock 180 m high.
Q: When the Cholas occupied Sinhala?
A: Under Rajaraja the Great (985-1018 AD) the Cholas sacked Anuradhapura in 993 AD and
annexed Sinhalese kingdom to the Chola Empire. For seventy-five years this region was a ruled as a
province of the Chola Empire.
Q: Who drove the Cholas off Sinhala?
A: The Sinhalaese King Vijayabahu I drove the Cholas off the island in 1070 AD.
Q: Who was Parakramabahu I?
A: King Parakramabahu I, known as the Great (1153-86 AD) ruled Polonnaruwa and unified Sri
Q: Who was Nissankamalla (1187-1196 AD)?
A: King Nissankamalla regulate the Sinhalese caste system.
Q: Who was last king of Polonnaruwa?
A: The last king to rule from Polonnaruwa was Parakramabahu III (1278- 1293). His migration is
one of the great-unsolved puzzles of South Asian history and is of considerable interest to academics.
Q: Who was the last Sinhalese ruler to bring whole island under his rule?
A: Parakramabahu VI (1412–1467), was the last native sovereign to unify all of Sri Lanka under one
rule. By 1450, Parakramabahu VI, with his conquest of the kingdom of Jaffna, unified all of Sri
Q: Mention two of the most famous Sinhalaese heroes?
A: One was King Dutugemunu (2nd century BC) and the other was King Vijayabahu I (2nd century
AD), who
arose to repel the invaders.
Q: Who founded Anuradhapura?
A: According to Mahavamsa a minister of Vijaya, Anuradha, founded the village of Anuradhagamma
which later becomes Anuradhapura
Q: What was the main interest of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka?
A: They wanted to monopolize the spices trade, specially Cinnamon.
Q: Which were main kingdoms in Sri Lanka in 16th century?
A: At the onset of the European period in Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century, there were three
native centers of political power: the two Sinhalese kingdoms of Kotte (southwest) and Kandy
(center) and the Tamil kingdom at Jaffna (north). Kotte was the principal seat of Sinhalese power.
None of the three kingdoms, however, had the strength to assert itself over the other two and
reunify the island.
Q: Which European power firstly arrived in Sri Lanka?
A: In November 1505, the Portuguese Don Lourenço de Almeida arrived in Colombo, established
friendly relations with the King Parakramabahu VIII of Kotte (1484-1508) and gained for Portugal
monopoly on the spices and cinnamon trade. In 1517, the Portuguese established a fort ‘Nossa
Senhora das Virtudes’ or ‘Santa Barbara’ at Colombo.
Q: Which nation introduced Catholicism in the island?
A: The Portuguese
Q: What was ‘Estado da India’?
A: The Portuguese possessions in Sri Lanka were a part of their Estado da India. Sri Lanka was
divided into four dissavanies (provinces) each headed by a dissava. Other territorial subdivisions
were retained. Portuguese held the highest offices, though local officials came from the Sinhalese
nobility loyal to the Portuguese.
Q: Who was the last Portuguese Governor in Ceylon?
A: Antonio de Sousa Coutinho (1655 – 1656)
Q: Which is the first recorded earthquake in Sri Lanka?
A: 14 April 1615
Q: Who is considered the last empress of Lanka?
A: Kusumasena Devi who was baptized as Dona Catherina.
Q: When the Dutch East India Company was set up?
A: The Dutch East India Company ‘Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie’ (VOC) was granted a
monopoly on the trade in the East Indies on 20 March 1602.
Q: Who was the first Dutch Governor of Ceylon?
A: Willem Jacobsz Coster (1640)
Q: Who was the last Dutch Governor of Ceylon?
A: Johan Gerard van Angelbeek (1794 – 1796)
Q: After the Portuguese, which European power captured the island?
A: By 1658, the Dutch had taken control over the coastal areas of the island, although the
Sinhalaese Kingdom of
Kandy remained an independent entity.
Q: Who was the first Englishman to visit Sri Lanka?
A: Ralph Fitch (in early 17th century)
Q: Who wrote ‘Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon’?
A: An English explorer Sir Samuel White Baker (1821-1893). He wrote it in 1855.
Q: Who is the writer of ‘A Visit to Ceylon'?
A: Ernst Haeckel full name Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel. Clara Bell translated it in 1883.
Q: Who wrote a popular book entitled ‘An Historical Relation of the Island of Ceylon’?
A: Robert Knox, an English sailor, was captured when his ship docked for repairs near Trincomalee.
Q: When did the British seize Sri Lanka?
A: France occupied the Netherlands in 1795 and in 1796 the Dutch were easily supplanted by the
British. In 1798,
the British made all the island (except the Kingdom of Kandy) a Crown colony.
Q: Who was the first British governor of Ceylon?
A: Earl of Guilford, Frederick George Augustus North (1766-1827)
Q: When King Sri Wickrema Rajasingha died?
On 18 February 1815 Sri Wickrema Rajasingha, the last King of Kandy was captured by Eknaligoda
one of his chieftains and handed over to the British. He was banished aboard HMS Cornwallis to
Fort Vellore, Madras on 24 January 1816 Together with his four wives, mother, brother-in-law,
other dependants and attendants, the king lived in exile in the fort for 16 years until his death in
1832 at the age of fifty-two.
Q: Which nation conquered the whole island - the British, the Portuguese or the Dutch?
A: The British
Q: Which was the first British colony in the SAARC region.
A: Sri Lanka.
Q: Who was last King of Kandy?
A: Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815)
Q: Who was last queen of Kandy?
A: Queen Rengamma
Q: Who was the British King in 1815?
A: King George III
Q: What is the importance of ‘Kandyan Convention’?
A: On 2 March 1815 English governor, along with the Kandyan Sinhala Chiefs, assembled in the
Magul Maduwa (Royal Assembly Hall) at Senkadagala and signed a treaty known as the ‘Kandyan
Convention’ where by the Kandyan Kingdom was handed over to King George III of England; with
that the whole country became a dependency of the British Crown. The treaty decreed that the
Kandyan provinces be brought under British sovereignty and that all the traditional privileges of
the chiefs be maintained.
Q: Who was ‘Ehelapola the Great’?
A: Ehelapola Maha Adigar or Ehelapola the Great was the leader of the successful coup against the
despot King Sri Wickrema Rajasingha. He planned to overthrow the king because he ruled as a
despot and he was a cruel tyrant. Although the people hated him they were powerless as the king
was well guarded by foreign mercenaries.
Q: For how long Sri Lanka enjoyed the sovereign rule?
A: About 2357 years.
Q: When the Kingdom of Kandy was occupied?
A: In 1815, finally the British managed to win the control of the Kingdom of Kandy. It resisted
European takeover
for over 300 years after the coastal regions had succumbed.
Q: When did whole Sri Lanka become the Crown colony?
A: Until 1802, the British administered Sri Lanka from Presidency of Madras. But in 1815 the
whole Sri Lanka
became a Crown colony (when the Kingdom of Kandy was annexed).
Q: What does a ‘Crown Colony’ mean?
A: Crown colony status meant that the island's affairs were administered by the Colonial Office in
London, rather than by the East India Company that governed India until 1857. Even after the
Indian Empire--ruled by a viceroy appointed by the British monarch--was established following the
Indian Mutiny of 1857, Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then called) was not included within its authority.
Q: When did the people of Sri Lanka revolt against the British rule?
A: The British period of rule was marked by native rebellions in 1817, 1843 and 1848.
Q: Why Uva rebellion was started?
A: The 1817 rebellion described as the Uva rebellion by historians is the culmination of the peoples
anger and dissatisfaction over the British rule which promised to uphold and foster the Buddhist
religion and observe the traditions and norms that hitherto prevailed in the Kandyan Kingdom up
to the signing of the convention of 2 March 1815.
Q: Who made the last attempt to liberate the country from the British?
A: Gongalegoda Banda (1809-1849) was the leader and pretender of the 1848 Rebellion, which aimed
at liberating the country from the British. His name was Peliyagoda David alias Aludeniya Banda,
Gongalegoda Tikiri Banda.
Q: When Kandy Mail Coach commenced?
A: The first Mail Coach in Asia Kandy Mail Coach was started On 01 February 1832.
Q: What do you know about ‘Colebrooke Cameron Commission’?
A: In April 1827, King George IV appointed a Royal Commission of Eastern Inquiry - the Colebrooke
Cameron Commission - to assess the administration of the island. The legal and economic proposals
made by the commission in 1833 were innovative and radical.
Q: Name the major changes proposed by William G. M. Colebrooke and Charles Hay Cameron?
A: The administrative unification of the country i.e., the creation of one government with one
centralized, unitary form of administration under a governor in Colombo. The Royal Commission
recommended the setting up of two separate Councils, one called the Executive Council and the
other called the Legislative Council.
Q: When the first Sri Lankan entered by competitive examination?
A: 1840.
Q: When the first coffee plantation was opened in the Kandyan hill region?
A: 1827
Q: When the Ceylon National Bank of India was inaugurated?
A: June 1841. It was opened to finance the rapid expansion of coffee plantations.
Q: Who was the first British Military governor from 1795 - 1796?
A: Patrick Alexander Agnew (1765 - 1813)
Q: Who was the British Resident from 1796 - 1798?
A: Robert Andrews
Q: Who was the first British civil governor from 1798 - 1799?
A: Earl of Guilford Frederick George Augustus North (1766 - 1827)
Q: Which British governor removed because of the factors that led to the rebellion in 1848?
A: Viscount Torrington (1812 - 1884)
Q: Who was the first British governor general Sep 1944 - Feb 1948?
A: Sir Henry Monck Mason Moore (1887 - 1964)
Q: Which disease struck the coffee plantations in 1869?
A: A devastating leaf disease--hemleia vastratrix spread quickly throughout the plantations and
destroyed the coffee industry within fifteen years.
Q: Which crop was introduced after the decline of coffee?
A: Tea
Q: When the first population census was accomplished?
A: 1871
Q: When the first election for the Colombo Municipal Council were held?
A: 12 January 1866
Q: Who founded Colombo Buddhist Theosophical Society in 1880?
A: Colonel Henry Steele Olcott
Q: When the Donoughmore Commission visited Ceylon?
A: The Commission left England on October 27 and arrived in Ceylon on November 13, where it
remained until 18 January 1928.
Q: Name members of Donoughmore Commission?
A: Earl of Donoughmore, Sir Mathew Nathan, Sir Geoffrey Butler and Sir Drummond Shiels.
Q: When the Donoughmore report was published?
A: 16 July 1928
Q: When the Soulbury Constitutional Commission was formed?
A: It arrived in Ceylon in December 1944. It submitted report on 11 July 1945. The British cabinet
decided that it would accept the Soulbury Commission Report as the basis on which the island's
constitution would be framed.
Q: Mention the period of British Rule in Sri Lanka?
A: 1796-1948
Q: When did Sri Lanka get independence from UK?
A: 4 February 1948
Q: When the British parliament enacted the Ceylon Independence Act?
A: 13 November 1947
Q: On which date the Ceylon Independence Act received the Royal Assent?
A: 10 December 1947
Q: Who is called the "Father of the Nation" of Sri Lanka?
A: D.S. Senanayake.
Q: Who was the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka?
A: Don Stephen Senanayake. His party United National Party (UNP) formed the first government of
independent Sri Lanka which gained highest number of seats at the 1947 general elections.
Q: When the Cabinet of D.S. Senanayake was sworn in?
A: The Cabinet was sworn in at Queens House, on September 26, 1947. The same Cabinet was
sworn in again on February 4, 1948, when Ceylon obtained Independence.
Q: Who was the leader of the State Council, during World War II?
A: D.S. Senanayake. He was also Minister of Agriculture and vice chairman of the Board of
Q: Who was the first British Governor General of Sri Lanka?
A: Sir Henry Monck Mason Moore (1948-1949)
Q: Who was the last British Governor General of Sri Lanka?
A: Viscount Soulbury (1949-1954)
Q: Do you know the first Sri Lankan Governor General?
A: Sir Oliver Goonetilleke (1954-1962)
Q: Who was the last Sri Lankan Governor General?
A: William Gopallawa (1962-1972)
Q: There were how many the Governor-Generals of independent Sri Lanka?
A: 4. Sir Henry Monck Mason Moore (1948 - 1949), Viscount Soulbury (1949-1954), Sir Oliver
Goonetilleke (1954-1962) and William Gopallawa (1962-1972)
Q: Name the first Sri Lankan cabinet?
A: The cabinet of D S Senanayake was sworn in at King's House (the official residence of the
Governor-General), on September 26, 1947. The newly sworn in Ministers were:
• D. S. Senanayake - Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and External Affairs.
• S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike - Minister of Health and Local Government and Leader of the House.
• George. E. de Silva - Minister of Industries, Industrial Research and Fisheries.
• Senator Sir Oliver Goonetilleke - Minister of Home Affairs and Rural Development.
• T. B. Jayah - Minister of Labor and Social Services.
• Senator Dr (later Sir) Lalita Rajapakse - Minister of Justice.
• J. R. Jayewardene - Minister of Finance.
• Sir John Kotelawala - Minister of Transport and Works.
• E A Nugawela - Minister of Education.
• Ratnayake – Minister of Food and Cooperative undertakings.
• Dudley Senanayake - Minister of Agriculture and Lands.
• Sittampalam - Minister Posts and Telecommunication
• Suntheralinhgam - Minister of Trade and Commerce.
• R. S. S. Gunawardene - Minister without Portfolio.
Q: Who was the British monarch in 1972?
A: Queen Elizabeth II
Q: When the government declared a state of emergency?
A: March 1971
Q: Which Maoist party tried to take over "within 24 hours" on 4 April 1971?
A: People's Liberation Front (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna - JVP),
Q: In history this insurgency is known as---?
A: April Uprising
Q: Name the agenda of JVP?
A: The JVP followed a program known as the “Five Lectures”
Q: What is the from of government of Sri Lanka?
A: Republic
Q: When the Republic was proclaimed?
A: 22 May 1972
Q: Who drafted the 1972 Constitution?
A: Dr. Colvin de Silva (Bandaranaike's minister of constitutional affairs), had drafted the
Q: When the current constitution was adopted?
A: 16 August 1978
Q: Who is the head of government in Sri Lanka?
A: The president of the republic, who is directly elected for a 6-year term, serves as head of state,
head of government and commander in chief of the armed forces and exercises all executive powers.
The president is accountable to parliament. The incumbent may be removed from office by a two-
thirds vote of parliament, with the concurrence of the Supreme Court. The president appoints and
heads a cabinet of ministers responsible to parliament. He can appoint or dismiss the Prime
Minister and the cabinet and assume any portfolio. He can also dismiss the Parliament and can call
Presidential elections before the expiry of his term to seek fresh mandate of the people. He must
secure 50 % of the vote.
Q: Does the legislature elect the President?
A: No he is directly elected by the people.
Q: Is the President eligible for reelection?
A: Yes his term is renewable once (like USA)
Q: Who is the current president of Sri Lanka?
A: Chandrika Bandaranaike Kamaratunga (1994- to date)
Q: Who is the present Prime Minister of Sri Lanka?
A: Marinade Rajapakse (April 1994- to date)
Q: What is official residence of the Prime Minister?
A: Temple Trees
Q: Who was Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister?
A: Don Stephen Senanayake (1884-1952) was the Prime Minister from 24 September 1947 to 22
March 1952.
Q: Name the first President of Republic of Sri Lanka?
A: William Gopallawa (1972-1978)
Q: Do you know the first executive president of Sri Lanka?
A: Junius Richard Jayawardena (1978-1989)
Q: Which President of Sri Lanka was assassinated in Colombo on 1 May1993?
A: Ranasinghe Premadasa (1989-1993)
Q: Do you know the executive President elected by the Parliament?
A: Dingiri Banda Wijetunga (1993-1994)
Q: Who was the second Prime Minister of Sri Lanka?
A: Dudley Senanayake (Son of D. S. Senanayake)
Q: Who did become the third Prime Minister?
A: Sir John Kotelawala (1953-1956)
Q: Who was the fourth Prime Minister?
A: Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranike (1956-1959)
Q: Which Sri Lankan lady became the world’s first elected woman Prime Minister?
A: Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranike in 1960
Q: How many times did Sirimavo Bandaranike manage to become Prime Minister?
A: Three times. 1960-1965, 1970-1977 and 1994-2000
Q: Who was the Prime Minister during 1965-1970?
A: Dudley Senanayake
Q: How many times Dudley Senanayake became Prime Minister?
A: Three times. 1952-1953, March 1960-July1960 and 1965-1970
Q: Who became Prime Minister after winning 1977 elections?
A: Junius Richard Jayawardena (1977-1978)
Q: During 1978-1989, who was Prime Minister?
A: Ranasinghe Premadasa
Q: Can you name any person who became Prime Minister and President?
A: Junius Richard Jayawardena, Ranasinghe Premadasa and Chandrika Bandaranike
Q: Who was the Prime Minister during 1993-1994?
A: Ranil Wickremesinghe
Q: When for the second term Ranil Wickremesinghe served as Prime Minister?
A: From 9 December 2001 to 6 April 2004
Q: During 1989-1993, who was the Premier?
A: Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
Q: Who was the Premier during August 2000-December 2001?
A: Ratnasiri Wickremesinghe
Q: Who is the first female President of Sri Lanka?
A: Chandrika Bandaranike Kumaratunga
Q: How Prime Minister D S Senanayake died?
A: He died in a horse riding accident.
Q: When Mrs Bandaranaike was deprived of her civic rights and expelled from parliament?
A: 16 October 1980
Q: When President Jayewardene restored the civic rights of Mrs. Bandaranaike?
A: 1 January 1986
Q: Did S.W.R.D Bandaranike die of heart attack?
A: No, a Buddhist monk murdered him in September 1959.
Q: Name all the five Presidents of Sri Lanka?
A: William Gopallawa (1972-1978), J. R. Jayawardena (1978-1989), Ranasinghe Premadasa (1989-
1993), Dingiri B. Wijetunga (1993-1994) and Chandrika B Kamaratunga (1994- to date)
Q: Do you know all thirteen people who became Prime Minister?
A: The list is:
1. D. S. Senanayake (1948-1952)
2. Dudley Senanayake (1952-1953, Mar 1960-July 1960, 1965-1970)
3. Sir John Kotelawala (1953-1956)
4. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (1956-1959)
5. W. Dahanayake (1959-1960)
6. Sirimavo R. D. Bandaranaike (1960-1965, 1970-1977, 1994-2000)
7. J. R. Jayewardene (1977-1978)
8. Ranasinghe Premadasa (1978-1989)
9. Dingiri B. Wijetunga (1989-1993)
10. Ranil Wickremasinghe (1993-1994, 2001-2004)
11. Chandrika Kumaratunga (August 1994-November 1994)
12. Ratnasiri Wickremesinghe (200-2001)
13. Mahinda Rajapakse (April 1994- to date)
Q: Which two SAARC summits were attended by Prime Minister Primadasa?
A: 6th and 7th
Q: President Jayawardena attended how many SAARC summits?
A: 4
Q: What is the name of Sri Lankan legislature?
A: Parliament. It is unicameral.
Q: What is the number of seats of Parliament?
A: 225 members: 196 are elected through the district Proportional Representation, the balance 29
seats are from the ‘National List’ which is allocated to the political parties and the independent
groups contesting the General Election in proportion to the votes polled by them at national level. To
qualify for a seat a party must secure five per cent of the vote.
Q: From 1947 to 1977,how many general elections were held in Sri Lanka?
A: Eight – 1947, 1952, 1956, March 1960, July 1960, 1965, 1970, 1977
Q: How many constituencies are in Sri Lanka?
A: There are 22 constituencies, 20 of which correspond to 20 of the country’s 25 administrative
districts and two of which are formed by the merger of two and three of the remaining five districts.
Q: What is the term of Parliament?
A: Parliament is elected for a period of six years, but may be dissolved earlier by the President.
Q: Are the members of Parliament directly elected?
A: No they are elected by a system of proportional representation.
Q: What form of government is in Sri Lanka?
A: Unitary, multiparty republic with one legislative arm (the Parliament).
Q: When the first legislative bodies of the colonial Ceylon were introduced?
A: Thus, on 19 March 1833 in accordance with the recommendations of Colebrooke-Cameron
Commission, the Executive council and the Legislative council - were set up by the then Governor
Sri Robert Horton. The State Council consisted of 5 main government officers to advise the governor
about the affairs of the king's budget. The Legislative Council consisted of 9 official members and 6
non-official members who were nominated by the Governor consisting of 3 Europeans as well as 1
each form the Sinhala, Tamil and Burger communities. The Governor is the President of the
Legislative Council.
Q: What was the strength of Legislative Council (1833-1931)?
A: 49 members
Q: When did the British promulgate Donoughmore constitution for Sri Lanka?
A: In 1931, Britain constitutionally granted Sri Lankans semiautonomous control over national
Q: When the first general elections in UK were held under universal suffrage?
A: 1929
Q: When ‘Universal Adult Suffrage’ was introduced in Sri Lanka?
A: In 1931 (under the Donoughmore Constitution). Sri Lanka was the first colony (other than the
White settlement colonies) to enjoy this privilege.
Q: When the elections to the first State Council through universal franchise held?
A: June 1931.
Q: Is voting compulsory in elections?
A: Voting is not compulsory. There is universal adult suffrage at age 18.
Q: Which is the first Asian nation to recognize women's suffrage?
A: In 1932 Sri Lanka became the first nation in Asia to recognize women's suffrage.
Q: What is the voting age now?
A: In 1959, the age of voting was reduced from 21 years to 18 years.
Q: What was the name of parliament in the Donoughmore constitution (1931-1946)?
A: State Council
Q: What was the strength of State Council?
A: 61 Members
Q: When the first State Council came into existence?
A: 7 July 1931
Q: What are new traits of the 1931 constitution?
A: A notable feature of this Constitution was that the State Council had several Executive
Committees. Each Committee elected a Chairman who acted as the Minister. The Executive
Committee members collectively took decisions. The seven Ministers and three Officers of state
formed the Board of Ministers.
Q: What was the name of legislature in the 1972 constitution?
A: The legislature was unicameral ‘National State Assembly’. It consisted of 168 elected
Q: When the King promulgated the Soulbury constitution?
A: 15 May 1946
Q: Which constitution was adopted in 1948?
A: The Constitution which came into effect was none other than the Soulbury Constitution of 1946
with consequential changes. This Constitution was in existence until 1972, with two major changes:
the Senate was abolished in 1971 and the right of appeal to the Privy Council scrapped in the same
Q: When the first-ever parliamentary general election in Ceylon was held?
A: 1947
Q: What was the strength of the 1947 House of Representatives (The First Chamber)?
A: 101 members. 95 members shall be elected and 6 nominated by the governor-general.
Q: What was the strength of the 1947 Senate (The Second Chamber)?
A: 30 members. 15 were appointed by the House of Representatives and the rest by the Governor
General on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Q: When the first meeting of the House of Representatives was held?
A: 14 October 1947
Q: Who was appointed as the constitutional advisor by D. S. Senanayake to draft a constitution?
A: Sir Ivor Jennings (1903-1965). He served as the vice-chancellor of the University of Ceylon.
Q: Who inaugurated the first parliament?
A: The formal opening of parliament held on 10 February 1948, where the Duke of Gloucester, the
brother of King George VI, and Duchess of Gloucester, formally opened the first session.
Q: When Second parliamentary elections were held?
A: 24 May 1952
Q: What was parliament called from 1947 to 1972?
A: House of Representatives
Q: When the first Republican Constitution was introduced?
A: 22 May 1972
Q: Where is the Parliament house located?
A: Sri Jaywardenepura Kotte
Q: When the second Republican Constitution was introduced?
A: 7 September 1978
Q: Which are new concepts the 1978 Constitution?
A: It introduced new concepts like the Executive Presidency, the anti-defection law and the
Q: When it was ceremonially declared open?
A: 29 April 1982 at the auspicious hour of 10:28 AM
Q: Who inaugurated the Parliament house?
A: Junius Richard Jayawardena
Q: Which Parliament gifted the Mace (symbol of authority) and the Speaker's Chair?
A: House of Commons on 3 January 1949
Q: How many referendums have been held in Sri Lanka?
A: Only one Referendum was held in 1982, to extend the life span of the existing Parliament.
Q: When a Referendum was held to extend the term of eighth parliament till 1989?
A: 22 December 1982
Q: What are the main functions of Parliament?
A: The main functions of Parliament are enactment of legislation, supervision of the Executive, and
control of public finance. Apart from this, it has quasi-judicial functions in relation to matters like
privilege and impeachment.
Q: What are the working schedule of Parliament?
A: On an average, Parliament meets eight days a month except in the months of November and
December when it meets continuously for six weeks to debate and pass the annual budget.
Q: What are the different duties of Secretary-General?
A: The Secretary-General is the head of the permanent official staff of Parliament, is appointed by
the President. It is a constitutionally protected post and a unique one. He is the adviser to the
Speaker in the matter of exercise of all the powers and functions that belong to the Speaker, and to
the House through the Speaker. He has to be present in the Chamber during the sittings of the
House. He occupies a seat just below the desk of the Speaker and is constantly available for
Q: Which are the major departments of Parliament Secretariat?
A: The Secretariat functions mainly under six departments. The Department of the Serjeant-at-
Arms, The Administration Department, The Hansard Department, The Co-ordinating Engineer's
Department, The Catering & Housekeeping Department, The Finance and Supplies Department
Q: What is the ‘Hansard’?
A: It is the official printed verbatim record of the parliamentary proceedings including Messages
from the President, the Speaker's Announcements, Questions, etc. Hansard records the proceedings
in the language in which the respective speeches are made. The proceedings may be in the Sinhala,
Tamil or English language, and simultaneous interpretation is available. All laws and subordinate
legislation are enacted and published in both Sinhala and Tamil with a translation in English.
Q: What is the age limit for a qualified to be an elected member?
A: The minimum age requirement is 18 years.
Q: What was the location for the executive councils and the legislative councils?
A: They met in the building opposite the picturesque Gordon Gardens, now occupied by the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs.
Q: Who inaugurated the old Parliamentary Building?
A: This building declared open on 29 January 1930 by then Governor Sri Herbert Stanley housed
the legislature till April 1982. The old Parliamentary Building is in Colombo (the previous capital)
fronting the Indian ocean at Galle Face.
Q: Who designed the new Parliamentary complex?
A: Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa
Q: When parliamentary sanction was given for the construction?
A: On 4 July 1979. Mr. Geoffrey Bawa of Edward Reid and Begg was accepted as the architect.
Q: Where the new Parliamentary complex is located?
A: At Sri Jayewardenapura, Kotte on the blue waters of the ‘Diyawanna Oya’ (waterway) Sri
Lanka’s four storeyed Parliament Building.
Q: Who painted the lobby walls of the Parliament?
A: The lobby walls are decked with murals painted by Dr. L.T.P. Manjusri.
Q: Who made door of the main Chamber?
A: This embellished door (measuring 12 feet by 12 feet) is the work of metal sculptor D. Wimal
Q: What kind of Committees are present in Parliament?
A: According to the Standing Orders, the Sri Lanka Parliament, apart from the Committee of whole
Parliament, has four types of Committees: Select Committees, Consultative Committees, Standing
Committees; and Committees for special purposes.
Q: What had been the different names of Parliament?
A: The Legislative Council (1833-1931), The State council (1931-1972), The House of Representative
(1947-1972), The National State Assembly (1972-1978), Parliament (1978- up to now)
Q: What is the women representation in government?
A: The current women members are: 11 (4.89 %). Less than 2 % of all councilors are women.
Q: What do you know about the status of speaker?
A: It is as follows:
• ranks third in the hierarchy of the State
• in the absence of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister the Speaker may be
called upon as acting Head of State
• represents the Parliament in international bodies
• is president ex officio of different committees
• in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions, in the
absence of both of them, the Deputy Chairman of Committee can do it, if none of them is present,
a Member elected by the Parliament presides over the sitting
Q: How many times constitution has been amended?
A: This constitution has so far had seventeen amendments.
Q: When the First Amendment to the Constitution was made?
A: 20 November 1978
Q: On which date the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was done?
A: 3 October 2001
Q: When Sri Lankan Parliament was affiliated to Inter-Parliamenary Union (IPU)?
A: 1949
Q: Who was the first Speaker of the House?
A: Sir Francis Molamure, who was the first Speaker of the State Council, was elected as the Speaker
of the House. Sir Francis served as Speaker of the first parliament from 14 October 1947, until his
death in 25 January 1951.
Q: Who was the speaker 8th of Parliament?
A: Mr. M.A. Bakir Markar (21 September. 1978 - 30 August. 1983)
Q: Who was the speaker 9th of Parliament?
A: Mr. M.H. Mohamed (9 March 1989 - 24 June 1994)
Q: Who was the speaker 11th of Parliament?
A: Anura Bandaranaike (son of Solomon Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike)
Q: Who is the current speaker of Parliament?
A: W. J. M. Lokkubandara (M)
Q: When the last Parliament elections were held in Sri Lanka?
A: 2 April 2004.
Q: Who is the leader of the house the 13th Parliament of Sri Lanka
A: Mahinda Rajapakse
Q: Which is the highest court of Appeal in Sri Lanka?
A: The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court and the final arbiter in constitutional disputes. It is headed by a
chief justice and between six and ten associate justices. It is also the final court of appeal for all criminal or civil
Q: Who is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka?
A: Hon. Sarath Nanda Silva was appointed as Chief Justice on 16 September 1999.
Q: Who appoints Supreme and High Court justices?
A: The President
Q: What is the Age of retirement for Supreme Court judges?
A: 65 years
Q: Which are the lower courts of law in Sri Lanka?
A: The Court of Appeal, High Court, District Courts, Magistrate's Courts and Primary Courts.
Q: When The Law Commission of Sri Lanka was established?
A: 1969
Q: How Ceylon National Congress was instituted?
A: In December 1919 Sinhalese and Tamil political organizations united to form the Ceylon National
Q: Who founded Sinhala Maha Sabha (The Great Council of the Sinhalese) in 1935?
A: S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike formed Sinhala Maha Sabha ,the first organized political party.
Q: When A.E. Goonesimha founded the ‘Labour Party’?
A: 1931
Q: Which leftist party was founded in 1935?
A: Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP)
Q: When Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) was inaugurated?
A: 1939
Q: When Communist Party of Sri Lanka was founded?
A: 1939
Q: When All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) was set up?
A: 1944 (1943 in some books)
Q: Who founded All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) in 1944?
A: G.G. Ponnambalam
Q: When United National Party (UNP - Ekshat Jathika Pakshaya ) was instituted?
A: 6 September 1946
Q: Who is presently leading United National Party (UNP)?
A: Ranil Wickremasinghe while D. S. Senanayake was its founder.
Q: Who is currently leading Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)?
A: Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. It was set up in 1951.
Q: When People's Liberation Front (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna - JVP) was established?
A: 14 May 1965.
Q: Who is the founder of the JVP?
A: Rohana Wijeweera
Q: Which major leader of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) died in 1977?
A: S.J.V. Chelvanayakam
Q: When Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) was established?
A: 1986
Q: Which is the largest political group in Parliament?
A: United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA)
Q: Which parties have formed United People's Freedom Alliance?
A: The UPFA is formed by - Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Communist Party of Sri Lanka,
Democratic United National Front, Lanka Equal Society Party and Sri Lanka People's Party in 1993.
Q: Which is the second largest party in Parliament?
A: United National Party (UNP)
Q: When Tamil United Left Front (TULF) was instituted?
A: 1973
Q: Who is recognised as one of the most outstanding Muslim leaders of Sri Lanka?
A: T. B. Jayah (1890-1976)
Q: Which is the most densely populated province?
A: Western province (5 million)
Q: Which is the largest province of Sri Lanka area-wise?
A: North central province (10723.6 sq. km)
Q: Name the smallest province area-wise?
A: Western province (3708.6 sq. km)
Q: Which province has the lowest population?
A: North Central
Q: Which are the administrative units of Sri Lanka?
A: There are 9 Provinces, 25 Districts, 287 AGA Divisions and 160 Electorates.
Q: Who heads the Provincial Council?
A: The chief minister
Q: Describe the system of Sri Lankan local governemnt?
A: There are three types of local authority. These include 37 urban councils and 18 municipal
councils in the urban areas, and 256 pradeshiya sabhas in the rural areas. These in most cases, are
coterminous with the 256 divisional secretariats. The capital, Colombo, has its own municipal
Q: Name the nine provinces?
A: Western, Central, North central, Northern, Eastern, Northwestern, Uva, Southern and
Q: Which are the largest and the smallest municipal councils?
A: The largest municipal council is Colombo with a population of 642,163 and the smallest Newara
Eliya with 25,049.
Q: Which are the largest and the smallest rural councils?
A: The largest pradeshiya sabha (rural councils) is Panadura with 265,000, and the smallest
Laggala at 14,202.
Q: Which are the largest and the smallest urban councils?
A: Maharagama is the largest of the urban councils with a population of 180,112, the smallest being
Kadugannawa with 1,215.
Q: Which constitutional amendment is related to power devolution?
A: Under the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987 and the resulting 13th Amendment to the
constitution, significant authority has been devolved by central government to provincial councils.
The provinces are both political and administrative.
Q: What is the importance of 13th Amendment?
A: The 13th Amendment (1987) provided for the establishment of the provincial councils, the
appointment and powers of the governor and a board of ministers, the membership, tenure and
legislative competence of the councils, and alternative arrangements in the event of a failure in the
administrative machinery. It also established a finance commission at the national level and a high
court in each province.
Q: What type of provincial government exists in Sri Lanka?
A: Each province has a governor appointed by the president for a 5-year term, responsible for
executing the policies of the council through a board of ministers headed by a chief minister and no
more than four other ministers. The governor also appoints a chief minister, and the other ministers
on the advice of the chief minister. In addition each provincial council has a chairman and a vice-
chairman elected from among its members by majority vote. The chief secretary, appointed by the
president, is the most senior public official.
Q: Which districts are not situated the island of Sri Lanka?
A: All districts are situated mostly on the island of Sri Lanka, except Jaffna and Mannar. Jaffna is
located on the Jaffna peninsula, which is nearly separated from the rest of Sri Lanka. It also
contains some islands in Palk Strait, such as Delft, Velanai, Karaitivu, and Punkudutivu. While
Mannar includes Mannar Island, part of the chain of islands and peninsulas called Adam's Bridge.
Q: Which are the major cities of Sri Lanka?
A: Colombo and Kandy are the largest and the second largest cities respectively. Other major cities
are Jaffna, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia.
Q: Number the functioning provincial councils?
A: Although Sri Lanka has nine provinces there are only seven functioning provincial councils. The Northern and
Eastern provinces were merged on a temporary basis because of the ongoing war in these predominantly Tamil
areas. The council in this province ceased to function in 1989 and its administration was taken over by central
Q: What is the land area of Western Province?
A: 3708.6 sq. Km
Q: What is its population?
A: 53,61,185
Q: Which are the districts of Westren Province and their population?
A: Colombo (2,234,289), Gampaha (2,066,096) and Kalutara (1,060,800)
Q: What is Sinhala name of Westren Province?
A: Basnahira
Q: Where Colombo is located?
A: Colombo is the biggest city (one million-plus population) in the country and the commercial
capital of Sri Lanka. It is in Western Province and a major a port on the Indian Ocean near the
mouth of the Kelani River. Beira Lake, administratively part of the port of Colombo, is connected
with the harbor by a canal and locks. Colombo handles most of the foreign trade of Sri Lanka and is
an important fueling station. Manufactures of the city include metal goods, textiles, clothing, and
chemicals. Population (est.) 1.3 million
Q: What is the origin of name ‘Colombo’?
A: The original Sinhalese name, Kalantotta “Kelani ferry” derived from a nearby river ferry point,
was corrupted to ‘Kolambu’ by Arab traders and was changed to Colombo in 1517 by the Portuguese
in honor of Christopher Columbus. Some people say it was derived from Sinhalese name ‘Kola-
amba-thota’ that means ‘mango harbour’. The city was taken by the Dutch in 1656 and by the
British in 1796.
Q: Do you know the administrative capital of Sri Lanka?
A: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is approximately 7 km away from the city of Colombo. The administrative
capital of Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenepura is located in a low-lying, formerly marshy area. From
1415 until replaced by Colombo in 1565, Sri Jayawardenepura was the capital of a Sinhalese
kingdom. Population (est) 134,114.
Q: What is the commercial center of Colombo?
A: Originally a fort during the Portuguese and Dutch periods but now simply the commercial center
of the country and the site of most major offices, big hotels, some of the better shops, airline offices,
banks, main post office, immigration office, travel agents and restaurants. The colonial buildings
include the Presidential Secretariat, previously the parliament house, the Grand Oriental Hotel,
built in the mid 19th century as barracks for soldiers, the Lighthouse Clock Tower etc.
Q: Who founded Sri Jayewardanapura Kotte?
A: It was founded in the 3rd quarter of the 14th century by King Vikramabahu III’s powerful Prime Minister
Nissaka Alakesvara, also known as Nissanka Alagakonara. Sri Jayewadenepura Kotte was in the 1st century the
capital of the most powerful of the several kingdoms.
Q: What is the the Pettah?
A: Adjacent to Fort and quite in contrast to it, Colombo’s leading bazaar district is probably its most
fascinating area. ‘The Pettah’ (from the Tamil word pettai, meaning “the town outside the fort”).
Each criss-crossed lane of Pettah leads to the main street and each has developed its own specialized
characteristic e.g., house hold goods are found on Keyzer Street. Prince Street is famous for glass,
mirrors and electrical items. Malwatte Avenue sells English, Sinhala and Tamil music cassettes. At
Gabo’s Lane Ayurvedic doctors buy their medicinal herbs and Sea Street is lined with goldsmiths’
Q: Which are Colombo's important buildings?
A: Colombo's important buildings include the Secretariat, the Town Hall, the Clock Tower, St.
Lucia's Cathedral, and the Galle Face Hotel. Other distinctive buildings in the city are the
Wolvendahl Church, built by the Dutch in 1749; a complex of hospitals; the University of Colombo
(1921); several Buddhist and Hindu temples; and the residences of the president (Queen’s House)
and of the prime minister (Temple Trees).
Q: Where Cinnamon Gardens are located?
A: A century ago what is now Colombo’s equivalent to Sunset Boulevard was covered with cinnamon
plantations. Today, on its elegant tree lined streets nestle palatial residences of Sri Lanka’s
powerful elite. Called ‘Victoria Park’ during British times but renamed in 1950s the
‘Viharamahadevi Park’ (after the mother of Duttugemunu) the city’s largest and oldest park in
Colombo 7 is a riot of color with flowering trees from March to May.
Q: Who built the Galle Face Green?
A: This promenade on the sea face stretching one and a half kilometers was laid out in 1859 by the
British Governor Sir Henry Ward.
Q: What are major features of Dehiwala Zoo?
A: 11 km south of Fort the zoo has a wide collection of fauna from all over the world. The Mini
Medura or aquarium displays over 500 varieties of aquatic life A reptile house has collection of
cobras, tortoises and crocodiles. There is also a well-stocked Aviary, a Nocturnal House and a
Butterfly Park. The highlight is the elephant show in the evening where the lumbering beasts
perform a range of antics for spectators.
Q: When the Bandaranaike Memorial International Convention Hall was completed?
A: This imposing octagonal building was a gift from the China in memory of S.W.R.D Bandaranaike.
It was completed in 1975 and can accommodate up to 1500 people. Near it is a replica of the Aukana
Buddha statue and the Independence Commemoration Hall in Kandyan architecture where in 1948
Sri Lanka formally gained independence.
Q: How long Mount Lavinia is far from Colombo?
A: Mount Lavinia a sandy beach, is only 8 miles from Colombo.
Q: What do you know about Slave Island?
A: South of Fort, on a long narrow island, was where the slaves had their night quarters; the land
was thus called Slave Island. Slavery was abolished in 1845.
Q: Name units of Colombo district?
A: Colombo North, Colombo West, Colombo East, Colombo Central, Borella, Kotte, Kesbewa,
Ratmalana, Moratuwa, Homagama. Awissawella, Kaduwela. Kolonnawa, Maharagama, Dehiwala.
Q: Whcih are units of Kalutara district?
A: Panadura, Bandaragama, Horana, Bulathsinhala, Kalutara, Beruwala, Agalawatta, Matugama
Q: Whcih are units of Gampaha district?
A: Wattala, Negombo, Katana, Divulapitiya, Kelaniya, Mirigama, Minuwangoda, Attanagalla,
Gampaha, Ja-Ela. Mahara. Dompe, Biyagama
Q: Where Kalutara is located?
A: Kalutara is a coastal town some 35 km south of Colombo. Renowned for its mangosteens and
basketwear, Kalutara got its name from 'Kalu Ganga' or 'Black River' and was once a busy spice port.
South of Kalu Ganga bridge the Buddhist temple, Gangatilaka Vehera was built in the 1960s. It is
the only hollow dagaba in the world and the interior painting is fascinating.
Q: Which are the districts of Central Province?
A: Kandy, Mathale, Nuwara Eliya. Provincial capital is Kandy. This province consists primarily of
mountainous terrain. Both the Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are located within it as well as Adam's
Q: Tell the other name of Central Province?
A: Madhyama (Sinhala)
Q: What is the land area of Central Province?
A: 5583.5 sq. Km
Q: What is its population?
A: 24,14,973
Q: Describe the significance of Kandy?
A: Kandy known as Maha Nuwara (Great City) or just Nuwara (City)is hill capital. It is in the central highlands at
an elevation of 1,640 feet (500 m). It lies on the Mahaweli River on the shore of an artificial lake that was
constructed (1807) by the last Kandyan king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe. It was the capital of a Sinhalese kingdom
from 1592 to 1815. It is still very much a focal point of Sri Lankan culture. King Wickramabahu III established it.
Due to it’s geographical location Kandy was not an easy target for the foreign invaders who could gain the control
of coastal area of the island.
Q: Tell the old name of Kandy?
A: Kandy was originally known as ‘Senkadagalapura’ after a hermit named Senkada who lived
there.. The present name Kandy is only an anglicized version of ‘Kanda Uda Rata’ (meaning the
land of mountains) originated in the colonial era. Another name was ‘Katubulu Nuwara’.
Q: Where Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic) is located?
A: Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) in Kandy is the most venerated place of worship for Buddhists
throughout the world. Built in the 16th century this temple houses the 'Danta Dhatu' (Tooth Relic of the Buddha)
brought to Sri Lanka from the Kalinga province (India) in the 371 AD.
Q: Explain the festival ‘Kandy Esala Perahera’ (Festival of the August Moon)?
A: For ten successive nights ending on the full moon day of the month of Esala (July/August) a spectacular
procession with hundreds of gaily caparisoned elephants, Kandyan dancers, drummers, trumpeters,
whip crackers, torch bearers with all the pomp and glory of the past parade the streets of Kandy. On
the back of a majestic tusker the sacred relic casket is carried in procession. Esala festivities signify
the victories of the mythical Hindu God Indra over the demon Vritra who prevented the burst of rain
clouds. In fact Esala Perahara was originally a ritual invoking the blessings of the Gods to cause
rainfall in the dry month. Later the Sinahla kings who possessed the sacred Tooth Relic coupled
that event with the procession in honour of the sacred Tooth Relic.
Q: Who built Kandy Lake?
A: Kandy Lake or the ‘Kiri Muhuda’ (Milky Ocean) is the work of the last King of Kandy.
Q: Which is the largest Botanical Garden in Sri Lanka?
A: The Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya (109 km. from Colombo) near Kandy was laid out in
1821 by the British colonial rulers. Prior to that it was the Royal Pleasure Garden of the Kandyan
Kings. It is located in a beautiful setting with the longest river of Sri Lanka, Mahaveli bordering on
one side.
Q: Where Magul Maduwa (Royal Assembly Hall) is located?
A: Near to Dalada Maligawa is the Palace of the last King of Kandy. In it called the ‘Magul Maduwa’
was the Audience Hall of the Kandyan King where he met his Ministers. It was here that the
famous ‘Kandyan Convention’ was signed on the 2 March 1815 between the Adigars of the Kandyan
Court and the Representatives of the King of England handing over to the British the right to
govern the country.
Q: What do you know about Nuwara Eliya?
A: Nuwara Eliya (City of Light) was a favourite hill station used by the British from 1830. It lies at
an elevation of 6199 feet (1889 m) above sea level, immediately south of Pidurutalagala and 25 miles
(40 km) southeast of Kandy. This city with an elevation of 6200 meters is the highest in Sri Lanka.
It is Hemmed in by three of the highest mountains in the country; Pidurutalagala, the Great
Western and Hakgala. The Nuwara Eliya golf links, is said to be one of the finest golf courses in the
asia pacific region. Other recreation activities include horse riding, fishing, camping and of course
Q: Where Hakgala Botanical Garden is located?
A: It is near to Nuwara Eliya City. It is as an essential part of a journey in the famous hill resort of
Nuwara Eliya.
Q: Name the districts of Southern Province?
A: Galle, Matara, Hambantota. The provincial capital is Galle.
Q: What is the Sinhala name of Southern Province?
A: Dakunu
Q: What is the land area of Southern Province?
A: 5559.15 sq. Km
Q: What is its population?
A: 22,77,145
Q: What are the old names of Galle?
A: Galle, formerly called Gimhathiththa and ‘Point de Galle’ is a city in southwest. A seaport
bordering a tea-growing region, Galle exports rubber, tea, rope, coconut oil, and coir (coconut fiber).
It was an important commercial port in the 16th century. It is Sri Lanka's fourth biggest town.
Rumassala Kenda is a large mound-like hill near Galle. In legend, this hill is associated with some
events of the Ramayana.
Q: Who named this city ‘Galle’?
A: The legend is that on hearing a cock (galo in Portuguese) crowing on their arrival, the Portuguese
gave the town its name. Another story is the name was derived from the Sinhala ‘gala’ meaning a
rock, of which the harbour has plenty. Nevertheless, until the construction of breakwaters at the
Colombo port was completed in 1875, Galle remained the island’s major port.
Q: Which World Heritage Site is in Galle?
A: The Fort called 'Santa Cruz' that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
It was built by the Portuguese in 1619 and subsequently expanded by the Dutch and the British
Q: Describe the Old Gate of Fort?
A: The British coat of arms tops the exterior of the Old Gate, while the interior has the letters VOC -
‘Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie’ (Dutch East India Company). These letters are flanked by
two lions and topped by a cock, and bear the date 1669. Just beyond the gate is the ‘Zwart Bastion’
or Black Fort, which is believed to be oldest of the fortifications and site of the original Portuguese
Q: Which is the first Protestant church to be established in Sri Lanka?
A: The Dutch Groote Kerk (Great Church) that was originally built in 1640. However, the present
church dates from 1755.
Q: Why Weligama is famous?
A: Weligama - means 'Sandy Village' - is situated in Matara district with its sandy sweep bay. Very
close to the shore there is an off shore islet known as Taprobane where a dream house of French
Count de Maunay was built on. It's famous for it's beautiful sun drenched beaches and its unusual
history of stilt fishing. The famous german scientist philosopher Ernst Haekel set up a marine
zoological lab there in the 19th century and called Weligama place "the lovely gem and the pearl of
Q: What is Stilt fishing?
A: The stretch of shoreline from Koggala through Ahangama to Weligama is famous for its ‘stilt’
fishermen. In fact, these anglers do not perch on stilts at all. They sit on crossbars tied athwart
forked branches of trees, planted in the sea bed. Fishers wade out to poles embedded in the seabed
which are handed down from father to son. Nobody knows how or where this strange technique
originated from but it works as the stilts are jealously carved.
Q: Where Matara is located?
A: It lies at the mouth of the Nilwala River on the island's southern coast. Its name, meaning ‘Great
Ford’, arose from its location at a river crossing. It is an agricultural trade centre. The star shaped
star fort at Matara is an unusual and a unique structure. It was built by the Dutch around 1640.
The old Dutch church is an interesting and one of the oldest structures in the Fort. Another
attraction is a 25m high colourful Buddha statue built at Veherahena Temple.
Q: Which is the furthermost destination down the South West coast?
A: Hambantota – it is the gateway to the Yala National Park. Its major industry is the salt
production from sea water.
Q: What is the land area of North Western Province?
A: 7825.2 sq. Km
Q: What is its population?
A: 21,57,711
Q: ‘Wayamba’ is the Sinhala name of which province?
A: North Western
Q: Which are two districts of North Western Province?
A: Puttalam, Kurunegala. Its boundaries are from North Moderagam Aru and the Anuradhapura
district East Matale district and Kandy district, Southern Mahaoya that empties into the sea at
Wennappuwa. Kurunegala is the capital.
Q: What is the coast line area of North Western Province?
A: 1,770 km. The main rivers Deduru Oya, Ratambala Oya, Mee Oya, Maha Oya, and Kala Oya.
Q: What is the significance of Kurunegala?
A: It is the center of coconut, rice, and rubber plantations. Overlooking the town is Elephant Hill. It
was the capital of a Sinhalese kingdom in the 14th century.
Q: Where Puttalam is located?
A: Situated at the apex of the coconut triangle, Puttalam is the second largest coconut producer of
the country. And Tabbowa, a fertile land for agriculture records highest paddy production per acre.
Holland fort at Kalpitiya, St. Anne's Church in Thalawila and Munneshwaram Kovil in Chillaw
underline the historical importance of this region.
Q: Which are two districts of Uva Province?
A: Badulla, Moneragala (or Monaragala). The capital of Uva is Badulla.
Q: Tell the land area of Uva Province?
A: 8487.91 sq. Km
Q: What is its population of uva Province?
A: 11,70,728. Uva, one of the least populated provinces was created in 1896.
Q: Where Badulla is loctaed?
A: It is southeast of Kandy, on the Badulu Oya (river). It is surrounded by mountains and is the site
of two large temples. Badulla is also a marketplace for the agricultural products, terraced rice
paddies, and tea.
Q: Where Gal Oya rises?
A: It rises in the hill country east of Badulla and flows north and east past Inginiyagala to the
Indian Ocean 10 miles south of Lalmunai.
Q: Which gigantic water fall is situated close to Badulla
A: Dunhinda Falls. It is about 63m (208ft), fed by Baduluoya, a tributary of Mahawali Ganga.
Q: Which is the second tallest waterfall in the island.
A: Diyaluma Falls. Located in the dry zone but fed from the Punagala oya, a tributary of Kirindi
Ganga that flows to the sea at Thissamaharamaya, a famous southern capital. It is 220m (570ft) in
Q: Which masterpiece is located near Wellawaya?
A: The tallest among the rock-cut Buddha statues is the one at Buduruvagala near Wellawaya. It is 51 feet in height
and is unique in that it stands in between images of ‘bodhisatvas’, each of which is 40 feet tall and smaller than the
Q: Which are the districts of North Central Province?
A: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa. Anuradhapura is capital of North Central Province.
Q: What is the area of this Province?
A: 10723.6 sq. km
Q: What is its population?
A: 11,05,663
Q: Tell the Sinhala name of North Central Province?
A: Uturumeda
Q: Do you know the history of Kingdom of Anuradhapura?
A: The Sinhalese kingdom of Anuradhapura was established in the 4th century BC and it survived
till 10th century AD. It was repeatedly taken over by South Indian kingdoms. Anuradhapura was
finally abandoned as the Sinhalese capital in favour of the city of Polonnaruva. The most prominent
Anuradhapuran dynasties were the Vijayan (3rd century BC–1st century AD) and the Lamakanna
(1st –4th century AD and 7th–10th century). During the more than 1000 years, the kingdom of
Anuradhapura developed a high degree of culture, especially manifest in its art and architecture.
Because of its geographic situation in the northern dry zone of Ceylon, it developed a remarkably
complex system of irrigation, considered by many scholars to be its major achievement.
Q: How this city was named Anuradhapura?
A: The word ‘Anuradhapura’ is derived from Anuradha, which is the name of one Pandukabhaya's
chief ministers, and ‘pura’ that means city or town in Sinhalese. It is the first capital of Sri Lanka.
Q: Where Anuradhapura is situated?
A:The largest and oldest of all Sri Lanka's ancient cities, is situated along the Aruvi Aru River. The
old Anuradhapura, now preserved as an archaeological park, is the best known of Sri Lanka's
ancient ruined cities. In vicinity are huge bell-shaped dagobas (Buddhist commemorative shrines, or
stupas) built of small sun-dried bricks, as well as temples, sculptures, palaces, and ancient water
reservoirs. The city also contains an ancient pipal tree that is believed to have originally been a
branch of the Bo tree at Buddh Gaya, under the shade of which Gautama attained to Buddhahood.
The headquarters of the Archaeological Survey of Sri Lanka is in Anuradhapura.
Q: What is a ‘Dagoba’?
A: A Dagoba is a dome enshrining sacred relics or the bodily remains of the Buddha, or articles used
by Him like the alms bowl and other objects of veneration. It is built in different sizes on a pedestal
with a spire on top crowned with a pinnacle. It is known as Pagoda, Stupa or Chedi too.
Q: Which is the oldest ‘dagoba’?
A: Thuparama is the first dagoba to be built in Anuradhapura during the reign of King
Devanmpiyatissa (3rd century BC) enshrining the right collarbone of the Buddha.
Q: When The Brazen Palace was constructed?
A: The Brazen Palace (Loha Pasada) was founded in the 2nd century BC as a chapter house. In its
original glory it had been nine stories high with a roof of copper tiles, hence the name Brazen Palace.
The original building was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt and renovated several times by different
Q: Explain the history of ancient Polonnaruwa?
A: It was the south Indian Chola dynasty that first made its capital at Polonnaruwa. In the late
10th century AD King Vijayabahu I abandoned Anuradhapura and made Polonnaruwa his capital.
Polonnaruwa survived as a Sinhalaese capital for over two centuries and finally like Anuradhapura,
before it was abandoned.
Q: Which are the important kings of Polannaruwa period?
A: King Wijayabahu the first, King Maha Parakramabahu the first and King Nissankamalla.
Q: What is ‘Parakrama Samudra’?
A: The Topa Wewa Lake, or Parakrama Samudra that means ‘Sea of Parakramabahu’, is a man
made irrigation tank to the southwest of the ancient city covering an area of over 23 sq. km. The
tank bund is about 13 km. long and 12 m high. It was created by King Parakramabahu I (1153-86),
whose reign was Polonnaruwa's golden age.
Q: What is Gal Vihara?
A: Also known as the ‘Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge’, this is one of the most important Buddhist shrines. It
takes the form of three colossal Buddha images carved out of a granite cliff. Most prominent is the standing image,
7m (23ft) tall. Next to it is an enormous 14m (46ft) reclining Buddha. Two smaller, less skillfully carved Buddha
images occupy niches in the rock nearby.
Q: What is ‘Nelum Pokuna’?
A: Lotus Pond (Nelum Pokuna) is a small bathing pool with five concentric circles of eight petals
which form the steps down in to the water
Q: Who built the Polannaruwa Royal Palace?
A: In the center of the complex stood the Royal Palace, built by Parakramabahu I and originally a
massive wood and stone structure seven storeys in height, with a floor plan of 31m by 13m (100ft by
Q: What do you know about Sigiriya?
A: The rock fortress of Sigiriya 19 km northeast of Dambulla is a major attraction. The ruins of the
capital lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 370 m high (the
'Lion's Rock', which dominates the jungle from all sides). Visitors began the final ascent through the
open jaws and throat ‘giriya’ of a monumental lion ‘sinha’, thus Sigiriya. The clifftop citadel (palace)
were built in around 473-480 AD by Kasyapa, a patricidal of the throne of Anuradhapura, as a
bulwark against attack by his half-brother Mogallana, the rightful heir to the throne. Instead of
staying behind his walls when Mogallana finally launched his bid for the throne in 491 AD, however,
Kasyapa went out to fight, was defeated and committed suicide. Mogallana was crowned king in 495
AD and returned the throne to Anuradhapura, where he reigned for the next 18 years. It was
gradually abandoned and it was not rediscovered until the 19th century.
Q: Why Dambulla is famous?
A: Due to Dambulla’s sacred temple - the Golden Temple. It is the centre point of the cultural
triangle too.
Q: What is the land area of Sabaragamuwa Province?
A: 4901.86 sq. Km
Q: What is its population?
A: 17,97,938
Q: Which are two districts of Sabaragamuwa Province?
A: Ratnapura and Kegalle
Q: What are the charms of Sabaragamuwa Province?
A: It is very rich in gems and national resources everywhere. There are hills and mountains,
waterfalls and fantastic rivers flowing down from the hill country towards the sea.
Q: What are the attractions of Kegalle?
A: Kegalle (Kegalla) lies at the bottom of a steep rock face and is the site of a junior technical college.
The surrounding region produces graphite, precious stones, rubber, and agricultural products,
including rice. Nearby is the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage that was established to raise
abandoned or orphaned elephants.
Q: Name the attractions of Ratnapura?
A: It is situated southeast of Colombo, on the Kalu Ganga (river). It means ‘City of Gems’. It is Sri
Lanka's chief source of precious and semiprecious stones (including ruby, sapphire, topaz, cats eye,
garnet and amethese etc) that are found in its valleys. Dominating the town is a hill on which the
Portuguese built a fort. Graphite is also mined in the area.
Q: Where Adam’s Peak is located?
A: It is 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Ratnapura.
Q: What is the land area of Eastern Province?
A: 9951.3 sq. Km
Q: Which are two districts of North Western Province?
A: Ampara (Amparai), Batticaloa and Trincomalee. Trincomalee is the capital.
Q: Where Batticaloa is located?
A: Batticaloa lies on an island off the eastern coast. It is linked to the mainland by causeway, bridge,
and ferry and by road and railway connections. It is the trading centre for rice and coconuts. It was
captured by the Portuguese in 1622, by the Dutch in 1638, and by the British in 1796.
Q: Name major attractions of Batticaloa?
A: Pottuvil and Arugam Bay, Lahugala National Park and Gal Oya National Park.
Q: Where Trincomalee is located?
A: Trincomalee or Trinco as it is often called - is a port town on the northeastern coast. It is situated
on a peninsula in Trincomalee Bay (formerly known as Koddiyar [meaning “fort by the river”] Bay),
one of the world's finest natural harbours. It was in early times a major settlement of Indo-Aryan
immigrants, who built at the extremity of the peninsula the Temple of a Thousand Columns. It is
the chief port of the Sri Lanka navy. One of the first Tamil settlements in Sri Lanka, it was
successively under Portuguese, Dutch, and French control until captured by the British in 1795. It's
importance as a major British base was heightened after the fall of Singapore in World War II; in
1942 the town was bombed by the Japanese. The harbor served as a major British naval base during
World War II; it was held by the British until 1957.
Q: Where the Mahaweli Ganga enters sea?
A: The Mahaweli Ganga, Sri Lanka’s largest river that starts in the vicinity of Adam’s Peak (Sri
Pada) and flows through Kandy, reaches the sea on the south side of Koddiyar Bay near Muttur,
about 7 miles (12 km) south of Trinco.
Q: Which was the first British possession in Sri Lanka?
A: Trinco
Q: What are the former names of Trinco?
A: Gokanna
Q: What is the name of the fort in Trinco?
A: Originally constructed by the Portuguese it was named ‘Fort Frederick’ after Frederick the Great.
Q: When Iron Duke of Waterloo fame stayed in Trinco?
A: Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington), who recuperated from fever here in 1799
after taking on Sultan Tipu in southern India.
Q: Who commanded allied forces from Trinco from 1941-45?
A: It was the headquarters of the Allied Southeast Asia commander. Lord Louis Mountbatten
Q: Why Swami Rock is called Lover’s Leap?
A: There is a memorial commemorating the legend behind the name. Legend says a Dutch officer's
daughter had leapt after a broken affair.
Q: What is the land area of Northern Province?
A: 8882.2 sq. Km
Q: Which are two districts of North Western Province?
A: Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu (or Mulativu) and Vavuniya. The capital is Jaffna.
Q: Which city was the second biggest town of Sri Lanka before civil war?
A: Jaffna. In all it covers 2560 sq. km (999 sq. miles). The district of Jaffna is one of the most
densely populated areas of Sri Lanka, second only to Colombo.
Q: Which colonial nation firstly captured Kingdom of Jaffna?
A: Well established by the 14th century, it survived as an independent entity until its subjugation
by the Portuguese in the 17th century.
Q: Where Jaffna is located?
A: Jaffna, city and seaport in northern island, is on a peninsula. It is the trading center for coconuts,
rice, and tobacco. Jaffna fell under Portuguese rule in 1619 and was their last possession here before
its capture by the Dutch in 1658. The name Jaffna is a Portuguese adaptation of the Tamil for “port
of the lyre.” A fort and a church remain from the Dutch period, and near the fort is a Hindu temple,
Kandaswamy Kovil. The British held Jaffna after 1795.
Q: Which English writer and civil servant mentioned Jaffna in his autobiography Growing?
A: Leonard Sidney Woolf (1880-1969); husband of Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).
Q: For how long Leonard Sidney Woolf stayed Sri Lanka?
A: In Jaffna 1905to 1907 and in Sri Lanka from 1904 to 1911.
Q: What is ‘Elephant Pass’?
A: The Jaffna peninsula is actually almost an island; only the narrow causeway known as ‘Elephant
Pass’; for once elephants did wade across the shallow lagoon here connects Jaffna with the rest of Sri
Q: Where Mannar is located?
A: Mannar District is located in northwestern side. It is one of five administrative districts of the
Northern Province. The district covers 2002 sq. km, approximately 3 % of the total land area of Sri
Lanka. The primary economic activities in Mannar are crop cultivation (mainly paddy), fisheries
and animal husbandry. Employment opportunities in the district are highly seasonal, and there are
no institutional facilities for tertiary education.
Q: When Mannar was occupied?
A: An inlet of the Indian Ocean between southern India and Sri Lanka, In 1560, the Portugese
conquered Jaffna, proceeding afterwards to the island of Mannar where they built a fort. This was
surrendered to the Dutch in 1658 and by the Dutch to the British in 1795.The fort has four bastions.
Q: What is the popualtion of Mannar district?
A: 97101 (March 2003)
Q: When Volleyball was introduced to Sri Lanka?
A: 1916.
Q: Who did introduce Volleyball?
A: Mr. R. W. Camack, Director of Physical Education at the Colombo Young Men's Christian
Association (YMCA: introduced it in 1916.
Q: Who was the first Minister of sports of Sri Lanka?
A: Mr. V. A. Sugathadasa.
Q: When the Ceylon Volleyball Federation was established?
A: 4 September 1951
Q: When did Sri Lanka win the Cricket world Cup?
A: 1996.
Q: Was it the 5th cricket world cup?
A: No, 6th
Q: Who was the captain of 1996 World Cup team?
A: Arjuna Ranatunga
Q: Where is Asgiriya International Stadium located?
A: Hill-country Kandy.
Q: Who did invent Volleyball?
A: The game was invented in 1895 by American William G. Morgen, the director of Young Men's
Christian Association (YMCA: chapter in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Q: What was the first name of volleyball?
A: Mintonette
Q: Where the headquarter of International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is located?
A: Lausanne (Switzerland)
Q: When Volleyball was introduced in the Olympic Games?
A: 1964 Olympics in Tokyo
Q: Which Sri Lankan cricketer has the honour of the longest serving captain of his side?
A: Arjuna Ranatunga
Q: When did International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) arrange the world volleyball championship?
A: 1949
Q: Which Sri Lanka opening pair revolutionized the one-day approach within the first 15 overs in
1996 World Cup?
A: Sanath Jayasuria and Romesh Kaluwitharna
Q: Who was the ‘Man of the Match’ in the final of 1996 World Cup?
A: Aravinda de Silva (3 wickets and an unbeaten century)?
Q: Do you remember the ‘Man of the Series’ of this World Cup?
A: Sanath Jayasuria
Q: How many matches were played during 1996 World Cup?
A: 36
Q: Which teams refused to play in Sri Lanka 1996 World Cup?
A: West Indies and Australia.
Q: Which two teams played the final of 1996 World Cup?
A: The final was played between Australia and Sri Lanka on 17 March 1996 at Lahore.
Q: What was the result of the final of 1996 World Cup?
A: Sri Lanka won by seven wickets. Australia 241 for seven (50 overs), Sri Lanka 224 for three (46.2
Q: Against which team Sri Lanka scored 398 for 5 in 1996 World Cup?
A: Kenya (It was new record, highest team score).
Q: What was the result of first semifinal in Eden Gardens, Calcutta in 1996 World Cup?
A: On 13 March 1996, Sri Lanka faced India and was awarded victory by default after crowd trouble
by ICC match referee Clive Lloyd. It was an unprecedented move.
Q: Which was the first host nation who managed to win World Cup?
A: Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan were hosts).
Q: Which was the first team that won World Cup while batting second?
A: Sri Lanka in 1996 World Cup.
Q: Which Sri Lanka team qualified for the quarterfinals of 1996 World Cup without playing a single
A: Australia and West Indies refused to play in Sri Lanka due to terrorist central Bank bombing in
January 1996.
Q: When Muttiah Muralitharan was born?
A: On 17 April 1972 in Kandy.
Q: What is ‘doosra’ delivery?
A: Murlitharan bowls this controversial delivery doosra, which is his version of a leg-break that
turns away form a batsman and the stumps.
Q: Where 14th Asian Track and Field championships was held?
A: At Colombo in 2002
Q: Which is the first Sri Lanka woman to win an Olympic medal?
A: Susanthika Jayasinghe. She clocked 22.28 seconds in the woman's 200-meter finals at Sydney
Olympics 2000 to win the bronze medal. She missed the silver by only 0.01 seconds.
Q: How is the first Sri Lanka to win a major medal since 1948?
A: Susanthika Jayasinghe. She won 200m silver medal in the IAAF world Championships 1997.
Q: Which are the indigenous cultural games of Sri Lanka?
A: Bung, Kattu, Gudu, and Paddima.
Q: Who was the first Sri Lanka to win an Olympic medal?
A: Mr. Duncan white won a silver medal in 1948 London Olympics in the 400m hurdles.
Q: When Sri Lanka Archery Association was established?
A: 1999
Q: When Sri Lanka Badminton Association was founded?
A: September 1950.
Q: Who introduced Basketball in Sri Lanka?
A: Mr. Walter Cammak, director of the central YMCA introduced it in Colombo in 1917.
Q: When Ceylon Basketball Association was formed?
A: November 1950
Q: Against which team Sri Lanka staged her first international contest?
A: In September 1959 against Pakistan.
Q: When was Ceylon Basketball Federation inaugurated?
A: 1958
Q: Who won the first Mr. Sri Lanka contest in 1948?
A: Mr. K. C. Karunaratna.
Q: Who is considered the ‘Father of Boxing’ in Sri Lanka?
A: Mr. Donald Obeysekara. He learnt modern boxing at Cambridge University in 1898.
Q: When was Bridge Federation of Sri Lanka founded?
A: 1972
Q: Who was the first president of Carom federation of Sri Lanka?
A: Mr. S. M. H. Mashoor
Q: When was Carom federation of Sri Lanka established?
A: 1958
Q: When Sri Lanka Cycling Federation was formed?
A: 1955
Q: When was Throwball federation of Sri Lanka founded?
A: 1998
Q: When Netball Association of Sri Lanka formed?
A: 1961
Q: Which country will host the 10th SAF Games?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: What is the highest total in test cricket by Sri Lanka?
A: 952 for 6 against India at Colombo in 1997-98. It is a world record.
Q: Which player scored 340 runs in that historic Colombo test?
A: Sanath T. Jayasuria
Q: Which two players made the record for highest second wicket partnership in the aforementioned
A: Sanath Jayasuria (340) and Roshan Mahanama (225) their partnership was 576 runs.
Q: What was the score of first innings of India?
A: 537 for 8 declared
Q: How many players scored centuries in this test?
A: 6 players- 3 Indians Navajot Sindhu (111), Sachen Tendulkar (143) and Muhammad Azhar uddin
(126) and 3 Sri Lankans Sanath Jayasuriya (340), Roshan Mahnama (225) and Arvinda de Silva
Q: Which Indian bowler did claim the historic wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya in this high scoring test?
A: Rajesh Chauahan
Q: What is the name Colombo Cricket stadium?
A: Premadasa stadium
Q: When Women's cricket in Sri Lanka started?
A: 1978
Q: Who was first President of the Women's Cricket Association of Sri Lanka?
A: Gwen Heart became the first President of the Women's Cricket Association. It was formed in
January 1997.
Q: Which were the olden day Sinhalese sports?
A: Anganpora (Human Combat), Porapol Gahima (Coconut Fighting)
Q: What is the name of cricket stadium in Galle?
A: Galle International Stadium
Q: When Sri Lanka were accorded Full Member status of the International Cricket Conference?
A: 21 July 1981, and the first-ever Test, against England, was played at the P. Saravanamuttu stadium, in February
1982. The Sri Lankans were led by Bandula Warnapura,
Q: Which bill deprived the Indian plantation workers of their citizenship rights?
A: Ceylon Citizenship Act No. 18, 1948 (passed on 15 November 1948)
Q: When Kotelawala-Nehru agreement on Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka was signed?
A: 18 January 1954
Q: Which important language bill was passed on 15 June 1956?
A: Official Language Act, popularly known as the ‘Sinhala Only’ bill.
Q: When Sinhala was made the official language of Sri Lanka?
A: 1 January 1963
Q: Who founded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1972?
A: Velupillai Prabhakaran
Q: When ‘Sirima-Gandhi Pact’ was signed?
A: 28 June 1974
Q: Who was the first Tamil woman MP since independence?
A: Mrs Ranaganayaky Pathmanathan who took oath on 26 November 1980.
Q: What ‘Eelam’ means?
A: Elam means ‘the eternal country’. Elam represents a proposed independent Tamil state
comprising Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.
Q: When the most savage communal riots in Sri Lanka's history erupted?
A: In July 1983
Q: Which ethnic group started civil war in 1983?
A: Tamils
Q: Which party was expelled from Parlaiment in August 1983?
A: Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) following amendment outlawing the advocacy of
separatism was done. Against a background of escalating communal violence, it deprived Sri
Lankan Tamils of political representation. Q: When Indo-Sri Lankan Accord was signed and India
deployed peacekeeping force?
A: 27 July 1987.
Q: When withdrawal of the Indian peacekeeping forces (IPKF) was completed?
A: March 1990
Q: Where Rajiv Ghandi was murdered?
A: He was killed on 21 May 1991 by an alleged LTTE bomb explosion in Madras (India).
Q: Where the world's first sanctuary for wildlife was established historically?
A: Sri Lanka. King Tissa created it in 3rd century BC.
Q: Which king banned killing of all animals within seven gau (28 miles) from the city (Anuradhapura)?
A: King Kirthi Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa (2nd century AD)
Q: Briefly explain fauna of Sri Lanka?
• The sloth bear is the only species of bear found in island.
• Of the 4 species of wild cats found in Sri Lanka, the leopard is the largest.
• Of the 5 species of deer found in island, the spotted deer and its cousin, the Sambar, have the
largest distribution.
• It has more than 400 species of birds consisting of residents, visitors and migrants. Of this 26
species are endemic to the island.
• The inland waters have more than 60 species of fresh water fish of which over 24 species
endemic. About 1,000 species of fish are found in the coastal waters.
• Five species of sea turtles and 25 species of whales and dolphins inhabit its coastal waters.
• It has over 250 species of frogs, a density of 3.7 species per sq. km. This is well ahead of the
former record of Costa Rica's 2.8 species per sq. km.
• There are over 240 species of butterflies, of which 14 species are endemic.
Q: What are the reasons for choosing Na tree as national tree?
A: It was chosen as the National Tree for 7 reasons:
1. It is a tree that originated in Sri Lanka 2. Its utility 3.Historic and cultural
4. Exterior posture 5. Wide distribution 6. Colour and nature and
7. Ability to draw and sketch it easily
Q: What are the cardinal features of a Na tree?
A: Its timber is very hard and durable and used to make bridges and temples in the early times. But
now not
allowed for timber due to it’s religious value.
Q: What is the average height of Ceylon ironwood tree?
A: The slow-growing rain forest tree reaches about 18 m (60 feet) and has shining green, willowy
foliage that is
scarlet when young. The fragrant, yellow-centered, white flowers are 7 or 8 cm (3 inches) wide
and have four
Q: Which are the main national parks of Sri Lanka?
A: There are 12 national parks e.g., Horton Plains National Park, Kumana (Yala East) National
Park, Uda Walawe National Park, Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Bundala National
Park, Gal Oya National Park etc.
Q: What are the major features of Horton Plains National Park?
A: It lies at a height of more than 2000m in the central highlands, and its altitude means that its
mean annual temperature is 16°C rather than the 26°C of the coasts. The park covers 3,159.8
hectares, and is a mixture of highland forest and wet grassland. It can be accessed by travelling from
Nuwara Eliya. This is a key wildlife area. Species found here include Leopard, Sambar and the
endemic Purple-faced Langur. All 6 highland endemic birds are found here, including Dull-blue
Flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, and Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. Yellow-
eared Bulbul and Dark-throated Munia are widespread throughout the highlands. The park also has
a well-visited tourist attraction at World's End, a sheer precipice with a 1050 m drop. The return
walk passes the scenic Baker Falls.
Q: Where Sinharaja Forest Reserve is located?
A: Sinharaja forest reserve is one of the least disturbed and biologically unique lowland rain forest
in Sri lanka. Its name translates as Lion King. This forest covers an extent of about 11187 hectares
from east to west .The length of the forest is about 21km and width from North to South is about 3.7
km. It was declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) in 1978, as representative of tropical
humid evergreen forest Eco system in Sri Lanka. It was declared a National wilderness area in 1988.
It is situated in the southwest lowland wet zone of the country in the districts of Ratnapura, Galle
and Matara.
Q: When Sinharaja Forest Reserve was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO?
A: 1989
Q: When Uda Walawe National Park was established?
A: It is an important national park in the south. The reserve covers 306 sq. km and was established
in 1972 to protect the catchment of the Uda Walawe reservoir. The habitat is open parkland.
Q: What do you know about Yala (Ruhuna) National Park?
A: It is among the oldest and best known national parks. The reserve covers 103,882.9 hectares It is
famous for its elephants.
Q: Which is the biggest national park in Sri Lanka?
A: Wilpattu National Park is the biggest national park in this country covering around 131,693.9
hectares. In 1905 it was declared a sanctuary. Thereafter it was upgraded to national park status on
25 February 1938. The park is located 30km west of Anuradhapura and spans the border between the North
Central and North Western Province. It is bordered by the Modaragam aru in the south the Kala Oya in the north
and is bordered by the Indian Ocean in the west. There are many ‘Villus’ (small seasonal lakelets) and lakes at
Q: Which park is famous for flamingos?
A: Bundala National Park (6,216.0 hectares) that is the end of the line for migratory birds.
Q: Which SAARC country is rated ‘One of 25 World's Biodiversity Hot Spots’?
A: Sri Lanka due to the remarkable high proportion of endemic species among its flora and fauna:
23% of the flowering plants and 16% of the mammals in the island are endemic.
Q: What do you know about Namal Uyana sanctuary?
A: Namal Uyana - The sanctuary at Ulpothagama, Madatugama famous for its pink quartz
mountain could be the home of one of the world's largest beds of fossilized plants.
Q: Which is the only animal possessed of grace to carry the sacred Tooth-relic of the Buddha?
A: Elephant
Q: Who are living in Pinnawela orphanage?
A: There are now 53 residents at the Pinnawela elephants orphanage, which opened its doors on 17
February 1975, with only six beasts. The Wildlife Department managed the orphanage until 1982
when the Zoological Department took over.
Q: What is the name of Colombo airport?
A: The Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake is 30 km north of Colombo and Colombo
Ratmalana airport currently handles domestic flights.
Q: Where Amparai airport is located?
A: Gal Oya
Q: What is the name of Trincomalee airport?
A: China Bay airport
Q: What is the name of Jaffna airport?
A: Kankesanturai airport
Q: Where Wirawila airport is located?
A: Hambantota
Q: Where Digana airport is located?
A: Monaragala
Q: What is the name of Jaffna airport?
A: Palali airport
Q: Which are major ports and harbors of Sri Lanka?
A: Colombo, Galle, Jaffna, Trincomalee
Q: Which of the following is the fifth largest natural harbour in world?
A: Trincomalee (Trinco), located on the northern tip of the vast Koddiyar Bay, boasts the fifth
largest natural harbour in the world that occupies a strategic position in the Bay of Bengal.
Q: Which is the airline of Sri Lanka?
A: Sri Lankan Airlines
Q: When the first newspaper ‘Colombo Journal’ (English) was published?
A: 1 January 1832
Q: Which English newspaper started publishing on 4 February 1834?
A: Observer
Q: Which first Sinhala newspaper was inaugurated in September 1862?
A: Lakmini Pahana
Q: Which Sinhala newspaper was instituted in 1909?
A: Dinamina
Q: When ‘Daily News’ (English) daily newspaper was founded?
A: 1918
Q: Which Tamil newspapers were inaugurated in 1931?
A: Virakesari and Virakesari Vaarveliyeedu (Sunday Only)
Q: Which was the first Tamil newspaper?
A: ‘Uthaya Tharakai’ (Jaffna)
Q: When ‘The Island’ (English) daily newspaper was founded?
A: 1981
Q: Who launched ‘Dawasa’ (Sinhala) in 1961?
A: M. D. Gunasena
Q: When the Sun (English) was founded?
A: 1964
Q: When the first film was screened in Sri Lanka?
A: The first film to be screened in Sri Lanka was a silent newsreel shown to Boer prisoners of war in
Q: When the first cinema hall was opened?
A: In Colombo in 1903.
Q: When the Colombo Cinema Society was formed?
A: The Colombo Cinema Society, thought to be the first Film Society in Asia, was started in 1945.
There was no ‘silent era’ as such in the history of Sri Lankan film making
Q: Which was the first Sri Lankan film?
A: ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ (Broken Promise), made in 1947 with Sinhalese language dialogue, is
accepted as the first Sri Lankan film. It was produced by S. M. Nayagam for Chitrakala Movietone
in South India.
Q: Name the major commercial production and distribution companies of 1940s?
A: Ceylon Theatres, Ceylon Studios and Ceylon Entertainments
Q: Who was the producer of ‘Podi Putha’ (Younger Son)?
A: Sirisena Wimalaweera, who opened his Navajeevana Film Studios in 1951 and produced a film
‘Podi Putha’ in 1955 - is credited with giving birth to the indigenous cinema of Sri Lanka.
Q: Why the Government Film Unit (GFU) was established?
A: It was established in 1948 to produce films to educate the people on their newly won
Q: Who made ‘Rekawa’ (Line of Destiny) in 1956?
A: It was first feature film of Lester James Peries’ that changed the face of Sinhala cinema forever.
He used amateur actors and moved outside the confines of the studio, shooting on location in natural
Q: Which film won the Grand Prix (Golden Peacock) Award at the 3rd International Film Festival
A: James Peries’ film ‘Gamperaliya’ (The Changing Village) made in 1963, became both a
commercial and critical success. It won the Grand Prix (Golden Peacock) Award at the 3rd
International Film Festival of India in New Delhi in 1965.
Q: Who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Film Festival of India in
January 2000?
A: Lester James Peries
Q: Which film is regarded the film of the 1980s?
A: Tissa Abeysekera’s Viragaya (1987)
Q: Who produced award winning films ‘Pavuru Wallalu’ (Walls Within) and ‘Purahanda Kaluwara’
(Death on a Full Moon Day)?
A: Prasanna Vithanage
Q: Name present famous film directors of Sri Lanka?
A: Prasanna Vithanage, Sudath Devapriya, Boodie Keerthisena, Jackson Anthony, Mohan Niyaz,
Linton Semage, Asoka Handagama, Udayakantha Warnasuiya and Somaratne Dissanayake.
Q: Who won the Best Actress Award (the Silver Peacock) at the 1987 International Film Festival
(IFF) of India for Maldeniye Simeon (D. B. Nihalsinghe / 1986)?
A: Anoja Weerasinghe
Q: Who received the Best Actor Award at the 1999 Singapore IFF for Prasanna Vithanage’s
Purahanda Kaluwara (Death on a Full Moon Day / 1997)?
A: Joe Abeywickreme
Q: Which is the State Television Sri Lanka?
A: Sri Lanka Rupavahini (TV) Corporation (SLRC). ‘Rupavahini’ is the Sinhalese word for TV.
Q: When Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) was originate?
A: It was created by an Act of Parliament on the 23 January 1982, established on the 14 February
1982 and commissioned transmission on the 15 February 1982.
Q: In which languages SLRC telecasts programs?
A: In Sinhala, Tamil and English languages with bi-lingual/stereo (NICAM) technology.
Q: When Colombo Radio was started?
A: It was launched on 16 December 1925 using a Medium Wave radio transmitter of one kilowatt of
output power from Colombo (Welikada).
Q: Which is the oldest radio station in South Asia?
A: Commenced just 3 years after the launch of BBC, Colombo radio (later Radio Ceylon) was the
first ever radio station in Asia.
Q: Which Chief Engineer of the Telegraph Office in 1921 first promoted broadcasting in Ceylon?
A: Edward Harper
Q: Who was the first head of Radio Ceylon?
A: On 1 October 1949, the subject of radio broadcasting happened to be organized under a
government department and came to be known as Radio Ceylon. A BBC officer John Lampson was
first head.
Q: When the Radio Ceylon became a public corporation?
A: January 5, 1967, Radio Ceylon became a public corporation. Prime Minster Dudley Senanayake ceremonially
opened the newly established Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation and appointed Mr. Neville Jayaweera as the
Chairman of the corporation.
Q: Which broadcaster is known as The Golden Voice of Radio Ceylon?
A: Vernon Corea (1927-2002)
Q: When Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation was changed to Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC)?
A: The organization acquired its present name, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, with the transition of the state
into the status of “Republic of Sri Lanka” on 22 May 1972.
Q: Who was the first Tamil Announcer on the Commercial Service?
A: S.P. Mylvaganam
Q: Which are SLBC’s regular programs national channels?
A: At present SLBC’s domestic FM network broadcasts six regular program channels. The six channels are,
1.Sinhala Swadeshiya Sevaya (Sinhala National Service) 2.Tamil National Service
3.English Service 4.City FM (Sinhala)
5.Velenda Sevaya (Sinhala Commercial Service) and 6.Thendral (Tamil Commercial
Q: Which art historian wrote these treatises - Mediaeval Sinhalese Art (1908) and Elements of
Buddhist Iconography (1935)?
A: Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877-1954)
Q: Who is the writer of novel Grass for my Feet (1935)?
A: Jinadasa Vijayatunga
Q: Who was the founder-editor of ‘Poetry London’?
A: M. J. Tambimuttu
Q: Which book of Leonard Woolf (1880-1969) is regarded as a Sri Lankan classic?
A: The Village in the Jungle (1913)
Q: Who authored The Waiting Earth (1966) and Giraya (1971)?
A: Punyakante Wijnaike (1933-)
Q: Name the writer of ‘A Quiet Place’ (1969)?
A: James Goonewardene
Q: Name any work of Sinhala playwright Ediriwira Sarachchandra?
A: Curfew and a full Moon 1978
Q: Who wrote The Tamil Lady and the Sinhala Lawyer (1982)?
A: Hubert Weerasooriya
Q: Who is the writer of The House to Let (1982)?
A: R. B. Tamita
Q: Who authored Pale Hands (1983)?
A: Dagmar Jaywardene
Q: When M. Chandrasoma’s Out Out Brief Candle was published?
A: 1981
Q: When Raja Proctor’s Waiting for Surabiel was published?
A: 1981
Q: Who compiled Stories from Sri Lanka (1979)?
A: Yasmine Goonaratne
Q: Which farce of E. F. C. Ludowyek is still popular on stage?
A: He Comes from Jaffna
Q: Who created Fortress’s in the Sky (1956)?
A: Lucien de Zoyza
Q: Which literary masterpiece of Ernest MarcIntyre deals with political upheaval?
A: The Education of Miss Asia (1971)
Q: Which classical poet produced Kustantinu Hatana and Kusadakava (Kusa and his wife
A: Mohottala Alagiyavanna
Q: Who is regarded the undoubted founder of modern Sinhala literature?
A: Martin Wickramasinghe (1891-1976)
Q: Who created famous short story Soma?
A: Gunadassa Amarasekara (1929-). It was published in the collection of World Prize Stories in 1952.
Q: Who first introduced free verse in Sinhala poetry?
A: G. B. Senanayake in 1948
Q: Who published free verse collections Mas Le Neti Eta (Bones Without Flesh/Blood) and
Abinikmana (Departure)?
A: Siri Gunasinghe (1931-)
Q: Which scholar writer turned politician has been conferred the title of Kalakeerthi?
A: A.V. Suraweera (1930-)
Q: Name the author of short story collection Karattaya?
A: Somaratna Balasooriya (1943-). It won him the Sri Lanka State Literary Award in 1992 and the
Janatha Literary Award in 1993.
Q: Name the English translation of Karattaya?
A: The Cart
Q: Name the author of award-winning novel Caritha thunak (1963)?
A: K. Jayatilake (1926-)
Q: Which Tamil writer won the State Literary Award for his first novel Noyil Iruthal (1999)?
A: Murugesu Ponnambalam (1939-) better known by his pen name Mu. Ponnambalam
Q: Whose first collection of poems And the Sun That Sucks The Earth to Dry was published in 1971?
A: Anne Ranasinghe (1925-) as Anneliese Katz in Essen (Germany)
Q: Whose novel Reef was short-listed for the 1994 Booker Prize?
A: Romesh Gunesekera (1954-)
Q: Which Sri Lankan wrote science fiction novel The Fountains of Paradise (1978)?
A: Arthur C. Clarke (UK writer resident since 1956 in Sri Lanka). Adam’s Peak played a role in this novel.
Q: Who authored novels Funny Boy and Cinnamon Gardens?
A: Shyam Selvadurai (1965-)
Q: Who did write poems Selalihini Sandesa and Paravi Sandesa?
A: Totagamuwe Sri Rahula Maha Thera
Q: Which is the oldest in Sri Lanka?
A: The Department of National Archives (Colombo) that contains the records since the Dutch period
Q: Which is the largest in Sri Lanka?
A: The Colombo National Museum Library (1870), incorporating the collection of the Government
Oriental Library.
Q: Which ancient cities make ‘Cultural Triangle’?
A: The cultural triangle is formed by the old Sinhalese capitals of Kandy, Anuradhapura and
Q: Which are the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka?
A: Cultural: Ancient City of Polonnaruwa (1982), Ancient City of Sigiriya (1982), Golden Temple of
Dambulla (1991), Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications (1988), Sacred City of Anuradhapura
(1982), Sacred City of Kandy (1988) Natural: Sinharaja Forest Reserve (1988)
Q: What is the histroy of ancient city of Polonnaruwa?
A: Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993.
It comprises, besides the Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas, the monumental ruins of the
fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.
Q:Why Polonnaruwa is famous?
A: This site is known for its large rock cut images that have been preserved perfectly over the many centuries.
Q: Why ancient city of Sigiriya?
A: The ruins of the capital built by the parricidal King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on the steep slopes
and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 370 m high (the 'Lion's Rock', which dominates
the jungle from all sides). A series of galleries and staircases emerging from the mouth of a gigantic
lion constructed of bricks and plaster provide access to the site.
Q: Why Golden Temple of Dambulla is famous?
A: A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the
largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering
an area of 2100 sq. m) are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues.
Q: Why Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications are known worldwide?
A: Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle reached the height of its development in the
18th century, before the arrival of the British. It is the best example of a fortified city built by
Europeans in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural
styles and South Asian traditions.
Q: Why city of Anuradhapura sacred?
A: This sacred city was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', the Buddha's
fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century BC by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist
nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1300 years, was
abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years it is now accessible
once again.
Q: Why city of Kandy is revered?
A: This sacred Buddhist site, known as the city of Senkadagalapura, was the last capital of the
Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2500 years
until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth
Relic that is a famous pilgrimage site.
Q: Why Sinharaja Forest Reserve included in World Heritage Sites list?
A: Located in southwest Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical
rainforest. More than 60 % of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is
much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50 % of Sri Lanka's
endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare
Q: Who mooted the idea that Sigiriya qualifies to be the 8th wonder of the world?
A: Sir Arthur C. Clark
Q: Which Sri Lanka’s most distinguished and renowned modern painter stemmed from Indo-Dutch origin?
A: George Keyt (1901 – 1993)
Q: Why masks are used?
A: Mask is an ornamental facial decorative wear used in entertainment and dancing. Early man used masks in
rituals, dramas, curing of sickness. It is believed that mask provide curative benefits for physiological problems.
Use of mask in Sri Lanka as old as Sinhala nation.
Q: Which is the merriest and by far the most popular of the Hindu festivals?
A: Thaipongal (January)
Q: When the first recorded music ‘Nurthi’ came out of Sri Lanka?
A: 1903
Q: When was Sri Lankan music maestro Dr. W.D. Amaradeva awarded Padma Sri by the President
of India
A: 28 Jan 2002
Q: When W. D. Amaradeva was born in Koralawella (Moratuwa)?
A: 1927
Q: Name the group formed by the singers Annesley Malewana and Clarence Wijewardene?
A: Moonstones
Q: When Ananda Samarakone (1911-1962) changed his name?
A: Samarakone was born George Wilfred Alwis to a Christian family in 1911. In 1936, Samarakone
left for Shantinikethan in India to study art. He studied music only as a secondary subject, and in
six months he abandoned his studies and returned to Sri Lanka. In 1937, he changed his name to
Ananda Samarakone and embraced Buddhism.
Q: Which singer introduced Sinhala ‘sarala songs’?
A: Sunil Santha
Q: Which first song of Gunadasa Kapuge (1945 - 2003) became an instant hit in 1973?
A: "Daesa Nilupul Thema"
Q: When the group The Gypsies was formed?
A: The group was formed in 1970 by Anton Perera, comprising of his four sons and three nephews,
all older than 18 just out of school. Since then, many changes in the lineup have led to the current
lineup of eight.
Q: Who are the present members of The Gypsies?
A: The Gypsies is a Sri Lankan band that performs English and Sinhala songs that has been around
since the early 1970s. It currently consists of Sunil Perera on vocals and percussion, Piyal Perera on
vocals and percussion, Niresh Perera on drums, Cumar Peiris on Keyboards, Derek Hepponstall on
bass, and Dileepa Managala on keyboards. Also, on their tours other artists perform with them and
they have two regular female vocalists.
Q: Which are major classical dances of Sri Lanka?
A: Ves dance, Naiyandi dance, Uddekki dance, Pantheru dance, Vannams.
Q: Which are major folk dances of Sri Lanka?
A: Mayura Natuma (Peacock Dance), Raksha Natuma (Devil Dance), Magul Bera (Ceremonial
Drums), Kulu Natuma (Harvest Dance), Gini Sisila (Fire Dance), Pantheru Natuma.
Q: Which are the famous folk dramas of Sri Lanka?
A: Kolam, Sokari and Nadagam.
Q: Name the most acclaimed lady singer of Sri Lanka?
A: Nanda Malani
Q: Who is known as the ‘Nightingale of Sri Lanka’?
A: Rukmani Devi (1923-1978)
Q: Which city is the "Tarshish" referred to in the Bible as the port where ships trading with King
A: According to Sir James Emerson Tennant Galle was the "Tarshish" referred to in the Bible as the
port where ships trading with King Soloman obtained their Elephants, Peacocks and Gemstones.
Q: When was National Maritime Museum established in Galle?
A: 1992
Q: Why do Buddhists pilgrimage visit Mihintale?
A: Eight miles east of Anuradhapura, close to the Anuradhapura - Trincomalee Road is situated the
"Missaka Pabbata" which is 1000 ft in height and is one of the peaks of a mountainous range. this
was called Cetiyagiri, Sagiri and Mihintale (the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka). Thera Mahinda
came to Ceylon from India on the Fullmoon Day of the month, a of Poson (June) and met King
Devanampiyatissa and the people, and preached the doctrine. This traditional spot where this
meeting took place is revered by the Buddhists of SriLanka.
Q: Which is the highest mountain, in the north-central plain of Sri Lanka?
A: Ritigala (2,513 feet)
Q: Where did Sir Thomas Villiers (1869-1959) build Adisham Bungalow?
A: He built a dream home at Haputale
Q: Which is believed to be the oldest house in Sri Lanka?
A: This ancient house by the Bulankulame Wewa is the oldest house in Sri Lanka dating back
almost 400 years.
Q: Where the Bogoda bridge is located?
A: The Bogoda bridge in Badulla is over 400 years old and made entirely out of wooden planks which
are said to have come from one tree. The Bogoda Oya (Gallenda stream) gently flows beneath it
adding to the beauty of the lush greenery surrounding it. This bridge is 50 ft. in length and 5 ft.
Q: What does Ayurveda mean?
A: It originated from the Sanskrit, ‘ayur’ meaning life and ‘veda’ meaning science, therefore, ‘science
of life’. The origins of Ayurveda are shrouded in Indian mythology ‘Mahabrahma’.
Q: What is the most popular breakfast dish?
A: The hoppers (appa). These wafer thin, cup-shaped pancakes or muffins are made from a
fermented batter of rice flour, coconut milk and a dash of palm toddy.
Q: What is ‘coconut triangle’?
A: The total land area under coconut is about 400,000 ha and 70 % of the coconut area is within the districts
Kurunegala, Puttalam, Gampaha and Colombo that are popularly known as the ‘coconut triangle’.
Q: Which are the major agriculture products?
A: Tea, rubber, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, grains, maize, pulses, oilseed, onions and spices.
Q: Is Sri Lanka an industrial country?
A: Agrarian. Agriculture is the mainstay of Sri Lankans.
Q: What part of land area is under cultivation?
A: 16 %
Q: What is the part of arable land?
A: 14 %
Q: What part of labor force depends on agriculture?
A: 38 %
Q: What is the share of agriculture in GDP?
A: 22 %
Q: What is the percentage of arable land that is being irrigated?
A: 35 %
Q: Name the island’s principal crop (that is the basic food of the people)?
A: Rice. It is the staple food of Sri Lankans.
Q: Which are the dominant crops of Sri Lanka?
A: Tea, rubber, paddy and coconut
Q: When were tea, rubber and coconut estates nationalized?
A: 1975
Q: Which agriculture sector is largest employer providing employment to over one million people?
A: Tea sector
Q: When was a tea plant brought to Ceylon by the British from China?
A: In 1824 it was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya.
Q: When was the first commercial tea plantations established?
A: In 1867 James Taylor planted the first 19 acres of tea in Loolecondra Estate (Kandy) and this
marked the birth tea industry in Sri Lanka.
Q: Where the Tea Research Institute commenced work in 1938?
A: St. Coombs Estate, Talawakele
Q: When Sri Lanka became the World's largest tea exporter for the first time?
A: 1965
Q: When was the First International Tea Convention held to celebrate 100 years of Tea Industry?
A: 1966
Q: When Sri Lanka overtook India as the world’s largest tea exporter?
A: 1990
Q: Which is the Sri Lanka's largest cash crop?
A: Tea. Currently Sri Lanka is the 3rd biggest tea producing country (only China and India produce more tea)
globally, has a production share of 9 % in the international sphere, and one of the world's leading exporters with a
share of around 19 % of the global demand.
Q: Which country is the largest exporter of black tea, accounting for 25% of total world tea exports?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: Which crop accounts for 25% of the export earnings?
A: Tea
Q: When was the Centennial year of the Colombo Tea Auctions observed?
A: 1993. The first public Colombo Auction was held at the premises of Somerville & Co. on 30 July
1883, under the auspices of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
Q: Where a Tea Museum was established in 2001?
A: Kandy
Q: Which is world’s largest tea auction center?
A: The Colombo tea auction center. Around 90% of teas produced in Sri Lanka are marketed through
Q: When the National Fertilizer Secretariat was established?
A: In February 1979, as a division of the Ministry of Plan Implementation Sri Lanka
Q: Name the first Ceylonese to be appointed as Chairman of the Planters' Association in 1915?
A: Thomas Amarasuriya
Q: Which country is the world's 7th largest producer and the 5th largest exporter of natural rubber?
A: Sri Lanka. It is also the major supplier of high quality latex crepe to the world market and the
world's largest manufacturer and exporter of solid tyres for off-road-vehicles.
Q: Which is the single most important crop occupying 34 % of the total cultivated area in Sri Lanka?
A: Rice occupies 0.77 million ha.
Q: Which country is the 2nd largest exporter of desiccated coconut?
A: Sri Lanka which accounts of 30% of world exports
Q: How much coir (coconut fiber) SL produces?
A: She is the largest export of brown coir and accounts for 1/3 of world production.
Q: When was the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce established?
A: 25 March 1839
Q: Which are the major industries?
A: Cement, textiles, tobacco, rubber processing, petroleum refining, tea, coconuts, sugar, paper,
chemicals, ceramics, plywood, leather etc.
Q: How much labor force is involved in industry?
A: 38 %
Q: What is the share of industry in GDP?
A: 17 %
Q: Which are the chief minerals mined and exported?
A: The most valuable products are gemstones e.g., sapphires, rubies, cats' eyes, topaz, garnets, and
Q: Which are the major export commodities?
A: textiles and apparel, tea, diamonds, coconut products, petroleum
Q: Which are the major import commodities?
A: Cotton yarn, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment.
Q: What is the major export item of Sri Lanka besides tea and rubber?
A: Presently Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest producer of coconuts.
Q: What is the share of garments exports?
A: 54 % of total exports in 2000.
Q: Why is Sri Lanka an important tourist center?
A: Its main attractions are the beach resorts of the southwestern coastal region, but many tourists
also visit the ancient cities of the dry zone, the historic city of Kandy, and the mountainous region
dominated by tea plantations.
Q: Which are the major spices exported?
A: Cinnamon, Pepper, Cardamoms, Cloves, Nutmeg and Mace.
Q: Which natioin is the largest producer of cinnamon accounting for 90% of total world exports?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: Which country is known as ‘Pearl of the Orient’ and the ‘Isle of Spices’?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: What is the currency?
A: Sri Lankan rupee. It consists of 100 cents.
Q: What is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita?
A: US$ 841 (2002)
Q: Which sector has suffered due to ethnic conflict?
A: Tourism
Q: Which SAARC country is known as ‘Ratna Deepa’ (The Island of Gems)?
A: Sri Lanka
Q: When was The Colombo Stock Exchange (C.S.E.) established?
A: 1984
Q: Which is the apex institution in the financial sector in Sri Lanka?
A: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Q: Which are the currency notes / coins currently in circulation by denomination?
A: Currency notes: Rs. 1000,500,200,100,50,20,10. Coins: Rs. 10,5,2,1 and Cts.25, .10, .05.02, .50, .01
Q: When was education in government schools made free of charge?
A: 1938
Q: Why Sri Lanka has high literacy rate?
A: Education is free and compulsory for children from 5 to 14 years of age, and it is free at all levels.
Q: Which is the oldest university in Sri Lanka?
A: University of Colombo (1942)
Q: Which is the only Distance Educational Tertiary Institution in Sri Lanka?
A: Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL). It completed 25 years of its existence on 22 July 2005.
Q: When was the University of Peradeniya established?
A: Founded on 1 July 1942 it is the heir to the oldest university tradition in Sri Lanka as the successor to the
University of Ceylon, the first institution of its kind in the country.
Q: When was the University of Moratuwa established?
A: It was established by an Order under the University Act, No. 16 of 1978, but has its origins in the
Ceylon Technical College of Maradana, which was established in 1893.
Q: When was the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Colombo founded?
A: It was founded as the University of Ceylon on 1July 1942 and renamed in 1978.
Q: When was the University Grants Commission (UGC) established?
A: Established in 1979, University Grants Commission (UGC) is the apex body of the university
Q: What is the total number of schools in SL?
A: 10,983 (1997)
Q: Who is known as the "farther of free education" in Sri Lanka?
A: C.W.W.Kannangara (1884-1969)
Q: Which scientist was nominated to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences?
A: Professor Cyril Ponnamperuma (1923-1994)
Q: Which patriotic chieftain was executed in 1811?
A: Pilimatalavuva Maha Adikaram
Q: What was the full name of Pilimatalavuva Maha Adikaram?
A: Pilimatalavuva Vijesundera Rajakaruna Senaviratne Abhayakoon Panditha Mudiyanse alias
Urulevatta Agra Senadhipathi alias Arave Pallegampaha Maha Adikaram III.
Q: Who was the Founder of the London Buddhist Vihara and Maha Bodhi Society?
A: Don David who became famous as Anagarika Dharmapala
Q: Who said these last words ‘Let me be reborn. I would like to be born again twenty-five times to
spread Lord Buddha's Dhamma?
A: Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933)
Q: Which famous archaeologist and epigraphist was born on 26 December 1896 at Metaramba
A: Prof. Sir Senarath Paranivitana (1896-1972)
Q: Which philanthropist died by the bite of a rabid dog?
A: Charles Henry de Soysa (1836-1890)
Q: Who was unanimously elected President of the Ceylon National Congress on 21 December 1923?
A: Sir Baron Jayatilaka
Q: Which philosopher and theologian has been described as a ‘kala-yogi’ (fine arts yoga exemplar)?
A: Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877 - 1954)
Q: Which Muslim politian was foreign minister of Sri Lanka from 1978 to 1989?
A: Abdul Cader Shahul Hameed (10 April 1928 – 3 September 1999)
Q: Which former Defense Minister was assassinated on 23 April 1993?
A: Lalith Athulathmudali
Q: Who was elected the President of 31st session of the General Assembly in 1976?
A: Hamilton Shirely Amerasinghe (1913 - 1980)
Q: Which film star served as Deputy Speaker and Governor?
A: Gamini Fonseka
Q: When did Sri Lanka join Commonwealth?
A: 1948
Q: Where is the secretariat of Colombo plan located?
A: Colombo
Q: When Sri Lanka became member of United Nations (UN)?
A: 14 December 1955
Q: Who was the first Surveyor General of SL?
A: J. John Wil (1800-1805)
Q: Which is the oldest Government department in Sri Lanka established on 2 August 1800?
A: The Survey Department
Q: When was the National Museum established?
A: It was established in 1877 on a proposal by the Royal Asiatic Society to the then Governor Sir William Henry
Gregory and is housed in a imposing two storied building designed by the architect of the Public Works Department
James G Smither.
Q: When was the National Planning Council established?
A: 1956
Q: When the National Planning Council started first ten-year plan?
A: 1959
Q: How much power is production by hydroelectric sources?
A: 49 %
Q: Which is the highest order award for combat acts of bravery and gallantry?
A: Parama Veera Vibushanya

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