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Geography: Mountainous Lesotho, the size of Maryland, is surrounded by the Republic of South Africa.

Government: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy.

History: Lesotho (formerly Basutoland) was constituted as a native state under British protection by a treaty signed with the native chief Moshoeshoe in 1843. It was annexed to Cape Colony in 1871, but in 1884 it was restored to direct control by the Crown. The colony of Basutoland became the independent nation of Lesotho on Oct. 4, 1966, with King Moshoeshoe II as sovereign. In the 1970 elections, Ntsu Mokhehle, head of the Basutoland Congress Party, claimed a victory, but Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution, and arrested Mokhehle. King Moshoeshoe II was briefly exiled. After the king refused to approve the replacement in Feb. 1990 of individuals dismissed by Justin Metsino Lekhanya, the chairman of the military council, the latter stripped the king of his executive power. Then in early March, Lekhanya sent the king into exile. In November, the king was dethroned, and his son was sworn in as King Letsie III. Lekhanya was himself forced to resign in April 1991, and Col. Ramaema became the new chairman in May. In Jan. 1995, he abdicated in favor of his father , Moshoeshoe II. Letsie again became crown prince. In 1996, however, King Moshoeshoe died in an automobile accident, and Letsie again assumed the throne. In fall 1998, hundreds of demonstrators protested for weeks in front of the king's palace, claiming voting fraud in the May elections that put Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili in power. They demanded that the government step down and hold new elections. Troops from South Africa and Botswana entered the country to stop the riots and put down an army mutiny. In 2002, Mosisili was reelected under a revised political system that gave opposition parties a larger role in Parliament. Lesotho faces one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world.

Capital: Maseru,Languages: English, Sesotho (both official); Zulu, Xhosa Ethnicity/race: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3% Religions: Christian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20% National Holiday: Independence Day, October 4 Literacy rate: 89.6% (2010 est.) Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $4.265 billion; per capita $2,200. Real growth rate: 4.1%. Inflation:5.0%. Unemployment: 25% (2008). Arable land: 10.14%. Agriculture: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock. Labor force: 874,200 (2013); 86% of resident population engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa; industry and services 14%. Industries: food, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts, construction, tourism. Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay, building stone. Exports: $941.2 million (2013 est.): manufactures 75% (clothing, footwear, road vehicles), wool and mohair, food and live animals. Imports: $2.148 billion (2013 est.): food; building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products. Major trading partners: U.S., Canada, UK, Hong Kong, China, India, South Korea, Germany (2004). Member of Commonwealth of Nations Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 43,100 (2012); mobile cellular: 1.312 million (2011). Broadcast media: 1 state-owned TV station and 2 state-owned radio stations; government controls most private broadcast media; satellite TV subscription service available; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters obtainable (2008). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 11,030 (2012). Internet users: 76,800 (2009). Transportation: Railways: none. Highways: total: 5,940 km; paved: 1,069 km; unpaved: 4,871 km (2011). Ports and harbors: none. Airports: 24 (2013). International disputes: South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration.

राजधानी: मासेरु,

लिसूतू या लेसोथो (Lesotho, उच्चारण: लिसूतू) (आधिकारिक तौर पर 'लिसूतू किंगडम') एक लैंडलॉक और दक्षिण अफ्रीका गणतंत्र से चारों तरफ से घिरा हुआ देश है। महज 30,000 वर्ग किमी क्षेत्रफल वाले इस देस की अनुमानित जनसंख्या 1,800,000 है। देश की राजधानी और सबसे बड़ा शहर मासेरु है। यह राष्ट्रमंडल का सदस्य है। लेसोथो का अर्थ मोटे तौर पर 'सेसोथो बोलने वाले लोगों का देश" है। देश की 40% जनसंख्या अंतर्राष्ट्रीय गरीबी रेखा से नीचे 1.25 अमेरिकी डॉलर प्रतिदिन से कम आमदनी में गुजारा करती है।

इसके पश्चिम और उत्तर में ऑरेंज फ्री स्टेट, पूर्व में नेटाल तथा पूर्वी ग्रीक्वालैंड तथा दक्षिण में केप प्रॉविंस हैं। यहाँ का औसत ताप लगभ १५.५ डिग्री सेल्सियस तथा जलवायु शुष्क है। लगभग ३० इंच वर्षा हाती हे। यहाँ बाँटू जाति के बासूतो लोग रहते हैं। इसकी पूर्वी सीमा पर १०,००० फुट ऊँचा 'द्राखेन्सबर्ग' नामक पठार है। ऑरेंज प्रमुख नदी है। मुख्यत: गेहूँ, मक्का, सोरघम, जौ, जई, फलियों (बीन), मटर एवं सब्जियों की उपज है। घोड़े, बंदर, भेड़, बकरे, खच्चर आदि प्रमुख पशु हैं। मसेरू यहाँ की राजधानी तथा रेलवे स्टेशन है।




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