The country of Sri Lanka is an island near the southern tip of India. It was under European control for 450 years until it won its independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 and in 1972 it changed its name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. 
For nearly two decades a civil war has raged between the minority Tamils in the north who are Hindus and the majority Sinhalese in the south who are Buddhist.
- Media outlets are divided along linguistic and ethnic lines, with state-run and private operators offering services in the main languages. Many of the main broadcasters and publications are state-owned, including two major TV stations, radio networks operated by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), and newspapers in Sinhala, Tamil and English.
- As violence escalated in 2006, the media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders said "murders, arrests, threats and bombings" had become "the daily lot" for many reporters.
Tobacco industry information
In Sri Lanka, the British American Tobacco subsidiary Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) uses discos, music shows, free giveaways, powerboat races, attractive employment packages, and other measures to draw smokers to their products. Promotions typically exude the essence of "the good life" and target the country's most vulnerable groups, including a vast, untapped younger female population, despite the fact that Sri Lankan women conform to a strict cultural nonsmoking norm.
- Sri Lanka, National Geographic, accessed January 2008.
- Country profile: Sri Lanka, BBC, accessed January 2008.
- Seimon Tamsyn, Garrett L. Mehl Strategic Marketing of Cigarettes to Young People in Sri Lanka: "Go Ahead - I Want to See You Smoke it Now", Fax of Tobacco Control Journal article. March 25, 1999. 5 pp. British American Tobacco Bates No. 321334575/4579
- "Sri Lanka: Stories from conflict zones", BBC, August 30, 2006.
- Timeline: Sri Lanka BBC, accessed January 2008.