Who are true tamils

History of Sri Lanka

In the 3rd century BC, Mahinda, the son of Ashoka, the Indian emperor who converted to Buddhism, comes to the island with some monks to make the Buddha's teachings known. Sangamitta, his sister, planted a section of “Ficus Religiosa”, the sacred tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment in India, upon arrival. It is this tree that is worshiped in Anuradhapura.

Capital of the Sinhalese kingdoms from the 4th century BC to the 10th century AD, the city was often undermined by the incessant conflicts with southern India. After the rivalries with the Tamils, Sinhalese supremacy finally prevails. Buddhist teaching begins to spread, monuments and temples are built, huge reservoirs dug for irrigation. With the collapse of Buddhism in India, Ceylon becomes one of the countries where this culture is preserved.

Given the continuing Tamil pressure, the Sinhala capitals are gradually migrating south of the country, first to Polonnaruwa in the 11th century and then to Kandy from the 13th century.

The European presence

The Portuguese landed in Sri Lanka in 1505, followed a century later by the Dutch. The British took control of the island from 1796 until independence in 1948. Under British occupation, the country entered a new era: the governors sent from London set up an administration, draw up roads and railways and cultivate tea, the most important economic Resource of the land will be. Tamil workers from southern India flock to the central regions of Sri Lanka to work on tea plantations.

From 1983 the country sank into inter-ethnic violence between Sinhalese and Tamils. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) movement lasted 25 years. The north and east of the country are the bloody theater of these clashes. President Rajapakse ended this civil war in 2009. In 2004 the country was struck by a devastating tsunami that killed more than 30,000 people.

Back to stability

Today, after a turbulent and difficult history, Sri Lanka has regained stability and is rapidly rebuilding. The country is experiencing a real economic boom and more and more tourism. It maintains privileged relations with China and India and occupies an important place in the regional economy. Sri Lanka is a fabulous travel destination with its 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, dream beaches and abundant wildlife.

A new president has been at the helm of Sri Lanka since January 2015: Maithripala Sirisena.