Southern Province, Sri Lanka

The Southern Province (Sinhala: දකුණු පළාත Dakuṇu Paḷāta, Tamil: தென் மாகாணம் Theṉ Mākāṇam) of Sri Lanka is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils.[3][4] It is the 7th largest province by area and is home to 2.5 million people, the 3rd most populated province. The province is bordered by Sabaragamuwa Province and Uva Province to the North, Eastern Province to the Northeast, Western Province to the Northwest and the Indian Ocean to the South, West and East. The Province's capital is Galle.

Southern Province
දකුණු පළාත
தென் மாகாணம்
Location within Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 6°10′N 80°45′E
CountrySri Lanka
Admitted14 November 1987
Largest CityGalle
  GovernorWilly Gamage
  Chief Ministernone
  Total5,544 km2 (2,141 sq mi)
  Rank7th (8.46% of total area)
 (2011 census)
  Rank3rd (12.18% of total pop.)
Gross Regional Product
  TotalRs 492 billion
  Rank3rd (10.2% of total)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (Sri Lanka)
ISO 3166 codeLK-3
Vehicle registrationSP
Official LanguagesSinhala, Tamil

The Southern Province is a geographic area consisting of the districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Subsistence farming and fishing is the main source of income for the vast majority of the people of this region. Government School education is primarily handled by the Southern Provincial Education Department.

Administrative divisions

Southern Province is divided into 3 districts and 47 divisional secretariats.

District Capital Area Population
Galle District Galle 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi) 1,075,000
Hambantota District Hambantota 2,609 km2 (1,007 sq mi) 596,617
Matara District Matara 1,283 km2 (495 sq mi) 831,000

Divisional Secretariats

The districts of the Sri Lanka are divided into administrative sub-units known as divisional secretariats. These were originally based on the feudal counties, the korales and ratas. They were formerly known as 'D.R.O. Divisions' after the 'Divisional Revenue Officer'. Later the D.R.O.s became 'Assistant Government Agents' and the divisions were known as 'A.G.A. Divisions'. Currently, the divisions are administered by a 'Divisional Secretary', and are known as a 'D.S. Divisions'.

There are 47 divisional secretariats in the Southern Province, with 19 in Galle District, 12 in Hambantota District and 16 in Matara District.

Major population centres

Cities of Southern Province by Population
Rank Name District Population
Galle, a major city in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka
Aerial view of the Hambantota District


Important landmarks of the Southern Province include the wildlife sanctuaries of the Yala and Udawalawe National Parks. Ussangoda in Ambalantota is a panoramic view of the beach and the sea, and the holy city of Kataragama, and the ancient cities of Tissamaharama, Kirinda and Galle. (Although Galle is an ancient city, almost nothing survives from before the Portuguese invasion.) During the Portuguese period there were two famous Sinhalese poets called Andare who was from Dickwella and Gajaman Nona who was from Denipitiya in Matara District, composing poems on common man.

The Southern Province was seriously affected by the tsunami in 2004. The province is going through a rebuilding process.

See also


  1. "Population by Province, 2012" (PDF). Department of Census & Statistics. 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  2. :.News Line : North, East record highest GDP growth rate Archived 20 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Provinces of Sri Lanka". Statoids.
  4. "Provincial Councils". Government of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 7 July 2009.
  5. "Population by ethnicity and district according to Divisional Secretary's Division" (pdf). Department of Census & Statistics. 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
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