Universal Declaration of Human Rights

PDF version for the language Sinhala *
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Source: Human Rights Centre of the Sri Lanka Foundation, Sri Lanka


Native Name

Total Speakers
13,218,000 (1993)

Usage By Country
Official Language: Sri Lanka Home Speakers: Thailand

It belongs to the Indo-European family, Indic group. Sinhala or Sinhalese is the official language of Sri Lanka. It is spoken by about 14 million people, living mainly in the southern and western two-thirds of the island. Sinhala descended from Sanskrit, and was brought to Sri Lanka by settlers from northern India in the 5th century B.C. The alphabet, however, with its generally rounded letters, more closely resembles those of the Dravidian languages of southern India. The English words "tourmaline" and "beriberi" are of Sinhalese origin.

Received 6/10/1998
Posted 11/16/1998
Checked 11/16/1998