The Sinhalese are believed to have come to Sri Lanka for the first time in the 6th century BC. Several centuries later, always from India, Tamils came to Sri Lanka and settled mainly on the northern part of the island. Today, Sinhalese make 75% of total Sri Lankan population. Their religion is Buddhism, which is considered to have been adopted as an official religion in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. Tamils make 24% of the total population. Their main religion is Hinduism but there is also minor Muslim community among Tamils (approx. 7% of total Sri Lankan population).
First European colonialists came from Portugal. They have built several fortresses along the island and also formed the city Colombo. In XVII century came the Dutch forces who fought with Portuguese for predominance. Even though the Dutch colonialists won this battle their rule lasted till the end of the 18th century. The British forces showed up as their kingdom was expanded onto the entire India. They occupied all Dutch colonies in Sri Lanka and proclaimed an island as part of the British empire. Sri Lanka was also known as Ceylon during the rule of the British colonialists. This name was the official name of the island till 1972.
Sri Lanka gained its independence in 1948. In 1975 an organization called Tamil tigers was formed in order to fight against the government forces. One side of the history tells that Tamils rebelled against the government because their rights as minority were highly jeopardized. There is also another historic data which testify that Tamil Tigers were terrorist organization, implemented in Sri Lanka by foreign governments who wanted to impose their politics and govern in Sri Lanka. The battle between the Tamil tigers and government lasted for a long 60 years and ended up with the victory of government forces. Ex-president who brought the victory to the Sri Lankan people is a highly respected personage on this island.
Sri Lanka is a part of international organizations such as United Nations and Non- Aligned Movement.
Because of its shape Sri Lanka is often called the tear of India. Sri Lanka has a significant geographic position, which is why it had a strategic significance from the ancient Silk Road till the Second World War.
According to the Hindu mythology this island used to be connected with India. One could cross the isthmus between the two states until 1480 when the cyclone deepened the channel.
Sri Lanka covers the surface of 65.610 km2 and has approx. 21 million inhabitants. The capital city is Colombo with 750.000 inhabitants.
Climate in Sri Lanka
Climate in Sri Lanka is tropical. The average temperatures are from 17°C in the mountain area up to 33 °C at the seaside. During the entire year it is quite hot in Sri Lanka. The difference between summer and winter is mainly reflected in the mountain where it can get to be rainy. The peak of the season is from November till March.
The economy of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the world’s biggest exporter of tea. Sri Lanka also exports dry coconut and it covers 30% of total world export of this fruit. Sri Lanka is also very famous for its spices such as cinnamon. Here visitors can also find Sri Lankan famous saphires.
It is important to mention Sri Lankan ayurvedic medicine, as part of cultural heritage and traditional medicine of this island. Visitors would be surprised how many illnesses or disorders can be cured with traditional medicine and that ayurvedic products achieve extraordinary results as beauty treatments.
Sri Lanka is a special place on earth that looks like no other. Picture perfect nature, incredibly polite and smiling people, rich cultural heritage and history and a string of fascinating jungles are the main characteristics of Sri Lanka.