Kalmunai is a city in the Ampara District of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. It had a total population of 106,780 as of 2011. It is the one of Muslim-majority municipality in the country. When Muslims in Colombo were expelled by Portuguese in the 17th century, they fled to Kandy and sought refuge with the king in Kandy. Then the king (Rajasinghe ii) resettled these Muslim refugees in Kalmunai (8000 refugees) and Kattankudy (4000). Kalmunai was the Royal farm of the king. Because of this settlement, it became a Muslim-majority area.
There were Sri Lankan Muslims, Sri Lankan Tamils, Sinhalese, and Burghers with the Moors forming a majority. It consists of four major regions namely Kalmunai city (Thalavatuvan Junction to Zahira College Road), Kalmunai North (Pandiruppu, Maruthamunai and Neelavanai), Kalmunai South (Sainthamaruthu) and Kalmunai West (Natpittimunai, Savalakkadai).
The devastating Sri Lankan civil war has adversely affected the area with number a forced disappearances, and civil unrest targeting the local civilians. It was also directly impacted by the 2004 Tsunami, leading to number of deaths and destruction of property worth of millions of rupees. It is bounded on the east by the Indian Ocean on the north by the Periyaneelavanai village and on the south by Karaitivu village which is considered to be a suburb of the city.