SriLankan Airlines is the national airline. Founded in 1979 as Air Lanka, the airline changed its name when it received partial foreign ownership in 1998. It operates to Asia and Europe from its base at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo; the airline’s main office is in the Airline Centre at the airport. The airline was scheduled to join the Oneworld alliance in 2013. SriLankan flies to 62 destinations in 34 countries.
Bandaranaike International Airport which is in Katunayake, north of Colombo is the first international airport which was opened by Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1967 and renamed in 1995. Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is in Mattala, north of Hambantota was the second international airport opened to the public in March 2013 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Jaffna International Airport became Sri Lanka’s third international airport on 17 October 2019 when it was opened to public by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe.
Flights connect the airport in Ratmalana to domestic destinations. Domestic operators are Deccan Aviation Lanka, Deccan Helicopters, FitsAir, Senok, Helitours and Cinnamon Air. Sri Lanka has 19 airports. Cinnamon Air actually flies from the main Katunayake Airport and from a lake near Colombo city center, not from Ratmalana.
Flag of Sri Lanka:
The flag of Sri Lanka, also called the Sinha Flag or Lion Flag, consists of a golden lion holding a kastane sword in its right fore-paw in a maroon background with four gold bo leaves, one in each corner. This is bordered by gold, and to its left are two vertical stripes of equal size in green and orange, with the orange stripe closest to the lion. The lion and the maroon background represent the Sinhalese, while the saffron border and four bo leaves represent concepts of mettā, karuṇā, muditā and upekshā respectively. The stripes represent the country’s two largest minorities, with the orange representing the Tamils living in Sri Lanka – both the native Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka – and the green representing the Muslims of Sri Lanka.
It was officially adopted in 1972.
The national flag of Sri Lanka represents the country and its heritage as a rallying device. Most symbols in the flag have been given distinctive meanings.
|The Lion||The Sinhala ethnicity and the strength of the nation|
|The bo leaves||The four Buddhist virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity|
|The sword of the lion||The sovereignty of the nation|
|The curly hair on the lion’s head||Religious observance, wisdom and meditation|
|The eight hairs on lion’s tail||The Noble Eightfold Path|
|The beard of the lion||Purity of words|
|The handle of the sword||The elements of water, fire, air and earth|
|The nose of the lion||Intelligence|
|The two front paws of the lion||Purity in handling wealth|
|Orange stripe||The Tamil ethnicity (including the Hill Country Tamils of Indian ancestry)|
|Green stripe||The Moor ethnicity|
|Saffron border||Buddhism and unity among the people|
|The maroon background||The Sinhala ethnicity|
|The golden yellow border||Other minority communities of Sri Lanka, such as the Malays, the Burghers, the Indigenous Veddas, the Kaffirs and, the Sri Lankan Chinese, who migrated to Sri Lanka during the 17th–19th centuries.|