Truly Sri Lankan History

History of Sri Lanka

As one of the most historically, spiritually and culturally diverse countries in the world, Sri Lanka has a rich and storied past which spans a number of kingdoms and many centuries.

When Prince Vijaya (who was the son of King Sinhabahu and Queen Sinhasivali) set foot in Taprobane, it marked a turning point Sri Lankan history. The newly arrived prince made relations with the native inhabitants and eventually married the local Queen Kuveni. This set-in motion the events that would shape the history of this country. This event has been documented in the Pali chronicles of Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Thupavamsa and the Chulavamsa. With the diverse and colourful history that followed, many battles and kingdoms have risen and fallen. These include the dynasties of Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Jaffna. Following the arrival of the Portuguese, an era of colonialism arrived. From the early 16th century to as recent as 1948, when Sri Lanka – then named Ceylon – attained its independence, the Portuguese, Dutch and British ruled over the land.

After almost five centuries of colonial rule, Sri Lanka was granted independence on February 4th, 1948. Under the guidance of Don Stephen Senanayake, who was appointed as Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister, Sri Lanka was finally free from rule and governance of the British Commonwealth. Following the liberation of Sri Lanka, the population has faced many setbacks and victories. United as a country, this paradise island hopes to keep its history alive and strong for many more centuries to come.