Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind

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Sri Lanka

Global Sourcebook | Index | Properties


For supplementary information, see links to post office home pages here External, to postal code pages here External and to other personal name and addressing issues pages here External.

Table of Contents

Sri Lanka - Country information


Local short name form

Official name





International telephone access code


ISO 3166 country codes

Car nationality plate code


Internet country code


GRC Country Code


Sri Lanka - Languages


Language map External

The official languages are Sinhala External (13 190 000 speakers) and Tamil External (3 000 000 speakers). There are 5 other languages: English External (97 000 speakers); Indo-Portuguese External (2 250 speakers); Pali; Sri Lankan Creole Malay External (50 000 speakers) and Veddah External (300 speakers).

Sri Lanka - Personal names


Regardless of the ethnic community, family names are usually written last in a name string. Many people have an ancestral name which is written first but which is usually abbreviated. In the following example, the form is ancestral name + given name + family name:

   Presteruweliyanaralage Evans Corray

Sinhalese clan names end in -ge.

Women usually take their husband’s surname upon marriage but retain their ancestral name. Children typically take their father's ancestral- and surname.

Tamils traditionally have no family name and the father's name may be added as an initial before their own personal name.

Sri Lankans often have long strings of given names, often written as initials. For example:

   Uda Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanga Welegedara (Chanaka Welegedara, UWMBCA Welegedara)
   Denagamage Proboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene (Mahela Jayawardene, DPMS Jayawardene)
   Hewasandatchige Asiri Prasanna Wishvanath Jayawardene (Prasanna Jayawardene, HAPW Jayawardene)
   Hettige Don Rumesh Lahiru Thirimanne (Lehiru Thirimanne, HDRL Thirimanne)

Tables of names can be acquired: given names External, surnames/family names External, family name prefixes External, forms of address External, job titles External

Sri Lanka - Example address format


Address formats in Sri Lanka are flexible in terms of format. Here are some examples:




Addresses written in a non-native language will be written in English.

Colombo has 15 postal zones, and a sorting code number may be found written after the town name which indicates the postal district in this way:

   Colombo 12

However, this number is included as the 2nd and 3rd numbers of the postal code (e.g. 01200), and need therefore not be written after the city name if the postal code is used.

image Trilingual street name board in Kandy

A table containing information about the relevant position of elements within address blocks can be acquired External

Sri Lanka - Post office box


This is written PO Box.

Sri Lanka - Postal codes


Sri Lankan Postal Codes consist of a block of 5 digits. The first one indicates the province or the city of Colombo, the second the postal division and the rest the post office. It is written on its own on the last line of the address block.

Metadata containing postal code formatting rules, exceptions and regular expressions can be acquired External

Sri Lanka - Postal code format graphic


Sri Lanka - Postal code format

Sri Lanka - Postal code specifics


Sri Lanka - Postal code regular expression


Sri Lanka - Postal code level of coverage


Place names in Sri Lanka


Refer to Exonyms in Sri Lanka for full lists of place names in Sri Lanka in other languages.

Alternate place name forms/postal code tables can be acquired at External

Other language place name data can be acquired at External

Sri Lanka - Administrative districts


Administrative districts graphic

Telephone numbers in Sri Lanka


Sri Lankan numbers have area codes of 2 digits when called from abroad, and subscriber numbers of 7 digits. Mobile numbers have one of these area codes: 71-72, 75, 77-78.

Tables of telephone number information/formats can be acquired – see External

Every effort is made to keep this resource updated. If you find any errors, or have any questions or requests, please don't hesitate to contact the author.

All information copyright Graham Rhind 2017. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.