History of Sri Lanka
A lot speculations circulate about the origin's of the Sri Lankans. It is widely believed that the ancestors arrived from the Northern part of India during the 6th century BC , 300 years before Buddhism started spreading along the subcontinent. But some people believe that the Adam's peak in Sri Lankan is the place where Adam first set foot to the Earth and that the foot print at the peak actually belong's to Adam , but buddhists believe that the foot print's owner is the Buddha, hence the reason for pilgrimages up the Siripada. Even the Adam's bridge ( the bridge connecting the Southern Indian coast and the Northern peninsula of Sri Lanka ) , is said to be tred by Adam himself, whereas the other theories are that Rama with the help of Hanuman crossed the bridge in order to save Sita from the evil clutches of Ravana.
However according to the great chronicles , Sri Lankan history dates back to 543 BC. In which during this time Prince Vijaya sets foot on Sri Lanka. After about 300 years Arhat Mahinda introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka, significant changes took place culturally. According to chronicles , the arrival of Vijaya was preceded by Yakkha's, Naga's and Deva's. During the 15th century Sri Lanka was under colonial rule after invasion of Europeans such as the Portugese.
The Portugese Invasion
The Portugese were the first Europenas to visit Sri Lanka in 1505. The Portugese traders were the actual ones who found Sri Lanka during their trips to find spices like cinnamon. Later, they saw Sri Lanka as a land to be acquired in order to gain the upper hand in the world economy. Due to the invasion a lot of Sri Lankan's were forced to convert to Christianity, this is the pivotal point where Christianity was first introduced to Sri Lanka. Most of the people hated the Portugese invasion and hence during 1600's the King Of Kandy appealed for help from The Dutch Captian Joris Van Spilbergen, little did they know that their plan to chase the portugese out was going to backfire.
The Dutch Colonization
After King Rajasinghe II made a treaty with the Dutch in order to get rid of the Portugese whom the native's seem to dislike their invasion. By 1660 the Dutch was controlling the entire island except the kingdom of Kandy. However the Dutch was trying the peoples patience more than the Portugese did. A mixed Dutch-Singhalese people even survived to this day and are known as Burghers.
The British Rule
The Island was bought to the British attention after Robert Knox a fugitive from the Kingdom of Kandy wrote an account of Sri Lanka. Which in turn catalysed another war for acquisition between them and the Dutch. The British ruled the country for a very long time and major changes were made in the country such as the first democratic elements were introduced to Sri Lanka. Even the hill countries were converted to produce tea , coffee and rubber at a large scale. By the mid 19th century Sri Lanka was the driving force behind the British economy. However the Singhalese were able to free themselves of the British by gaining Independence during 1948.
End of the Civil War
This was the most recent war ended in Sri Lanka, which started during the early 1980's in order to have gain a greater autonomy for the tamils in the country. All this started when the Tamil Tigers ambushed and killed 13 Singhalese. Things didn't end there the Singhalese rioters retaliated by burning down shops and homes of Tamils. However the war never ended despite the numerous peace talks held by the government with the aid of the UN. Finally during April 2006 the Eelam war IV began and thus ending the 26 year by defeating the LTTE on May 2009.
SRI LANKAN HISTORY - YouTube Video's
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