Lying off the southern tip of India, the tropical island of Sri Lanka has attracted visitors for centuries with its natural beauty.
It has, however, been scarred by a long and bitter civil war arising out of ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in the northeast, the BBC reports.
After more than 25 years of violence the conflict ended in May 2009. Despite being democratic, Sri Lanka has seen extensive misuse of power, corruption and political supression.
In recent years, Sri Lanka has seen economic growth.However, 1/4 of the population still live below the poverty limit.Compared to neighburing countries, Sri Lanka has a well functioning welfare system. There is a lot of discrimination, especially against women. The country's biggest problem is deforestation. This has led to erotion and destruction of natural habitats for animals, as well as an increased vulnerability to floods, the UN reports.