Ceylonese coinage - for later issues, see Sri Lanka. The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is a country within the Indian Ocean. It remains a strategic naval location today as it has been throughout history. It is also a center of the Buddhist religion. Capital city: Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. Largest city: Colombo. Official languages: Sinhala and Tamil. Independence from the United Kingdom: Dominion February 4, 1948; Republic May 22, 1972. Monetary system: 1 Rupee = 100 Cents (c.1830 to date).