Uva

Uva is located in South-East Sri Lanka. The province is composed of two landlocked districts: Badulla and Monaragala. Its capital is Badulla. Its official languages are Sinhalese, Tamil and English.

Demographics:

The Department for Census and Statistics estimated that in 2016, 854,000 (410,000 men and 444,000 women) people lived in Badulla, and 479,000 (238,000 men and 241,000 women) lived in Monaragala. The total population of the province was 1,333,000 people.

Monaragala has a low population density with 82 inhabitants per square kilometre, while Badulla is more densely populated, with 288 inhabitants per square kilometre.

The Census of Population and Housing conducted in 2012 provides detailed information on the Uva province and its districts:

Monaragala is a rural district, with no urban population, while Badulla’s urban population amounts to 8.6 percent.

The two districts have different ethnic compositions. 73 percent of Badulla’s population is of Sinhalese descent, 21 percent of Tamil descent, and 5.5 percent of Moor descent. In Moneragala, the Sinhalese majority forms 94 percent of the people living there, while 2.9 percent have Tamil origins and 2.1 percent with Moor origins.

The religious composition reflects these ethnic disparities. In Badulla, 72.6 percent of the people are Buddhists, 19.4 percent are Hindus, 5.8 percent are Muslims and 1.4 percent Roman Catholics. In Monaragala, 94.5 percent of the people are Buddhists, 2.8 percent are Hindus and 2.2 percent are Muslims.

The literacy rate is 92.2 percent and 17.6 percent of the population is computer literate.

Economy:

Uva is mainly an agricultural province, where farmers grow diversified crops.

Uva’s provincial GDP at current prices in 2013 was Rs 409,972 million contributing to 4.7 percent of Sri Lanka’s total GDP. The agriculture sector contributed to 27.5 percent of the provincial GDP, industries to 23.5 percent, and services to 49 percent.

The agricultural sector employs 55.9 percent of the working population, the industry sector 12.3 percent and services 31.8 percent.  

The mean household income per month is Rs 35,638 (compared to Sri Lanka’s average of Rs 45,878) and the mean per capita income per month is Rs 9,382 (compared to Rs 11,819 for Sri Lanka)

The unemployment rate in 2015 was 4.7 percent.   

The poverty rate in 2013 was 15.4 percent (12.3 percent for Badulla and 20.8 percent for Monaragala).

Politics:

M.P Jayasinghe has been the Governor since January 2015 and the Chief Secretary is Gamini Rajakaruna.

Chamara Sampath Dasanayake is Chief Minister since September 2015 with an affiliation to the United People’s Freedom Alliance. Dasanayake replaced Harin Fernando, from the United National Party. Fernando was sworn in after his party won the national elections, replacing Sashindra Rajapaksa, nephew of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Of the thirty-four members of the Provincial Council, eighteen are affiliated to the United People’s Freedom Alliance, fourteen are affiliated to the United National Party, and two are affiliated to the People’s Liberation Front.

Further readings:

Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka (2015) Peebles Patrick, Rowman & Littlefield

Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History of Contested Identities (2006) Wickramasinghe Nira, University of Hawaii Press