The Vedda are stated as the oldest inhabitants of Sri Lanka . Around 600 BC, the country was colonized by the Sinhalese . They came by sea from the north of the Indian subcontinent , and spoke an Indo Germanic language . They established a thriving civilization on the island. Their capital was Anuradhapura . The Sinhalese were Buddhists. After the 10th century, a stream of Tamils started. They crossed over Palk Strait , the narrow currents between India and Sri Lanka . With the Tamils came to Sri Lanka within Hinduism . The Tamils and the conflict in the country is Sinhalese kingdom became very weak. Several times had the Sinhalese moved their capital. In the 14th century it came so far that arose in the north a separate Tamil Kingdom .
As early as the Middle Ages, Arab merchants came to Sri Lanka to . They were particularly interested in the spices , such as cinnamon , pepper , nutmeg , ginger and cardamom . After 1505 the Arabs were competition of Portuguese explorers . Quickly got the Portuguese power over the coastal areas of Sri Lanka . In 1658, the site of the Portuguese was captured by the Dutch . In 1796 the power of the Dutch was taken over by the British. The English put beautiful plantations in Sri Lanka . In 1810 they brought workers from southern India. These were mostly Tamils . In the beginning it was mainly coffee grown on the plantations , but after 1870 they went on to making tea. This tea made Ceylon ( as the country was then called , it was only in 1972 the name of Sri Lanka ) quickly famous. Since 1975 , these plantations were nationalized.
In 1948, Sri Lanka became independent . After independence were really the contradictions between the various groups on the surface . Under the British Tamils had many important roles , although they were still very much in the minority. In 1972 the country was renamed Sri Lanka and Buddhism was declared the state religion . Since that time, demands the Sinhalese majority , which for the most part are Buddhist , the important functions in the government and in the economy .
As of 1983, there was a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka between government forces and a group of Tamils , called the Tamil Tigers (Full name : Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eetam ) . This war lasted about 20 years . The immediate cause of the war was the rape of a Tamil girl by Sinhalese soldiers . As a response, a group of Tamils killed 13 soldiers . For a long time , the war had mainly confined to the east and north of the country , but in 1994 there were nationwide suicide bombers , and seemed to get into public life . Established political violence
In February 1995 , the parties appeared something to come closer together with the lifting of an economic blockade of the Jaffna peninsula ( the " home " of the Tamil Tigers ) , but that was not true. The Sri Lankan governments are caught between the interests of disparate groups . In late 2000, a Norwegian delegation arrived on the island to get the warring parties to the negotiating after little success in the beginning , reached the new government led by Prime Minister Wickremasinghe a ceasefire as a first step towards peace