Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and
known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon,
is an island country in South Asia near south-east India.
A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnic groups, and languages. In addition to the majority Sinhalese,
it is home to large groups of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, Moors, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda.
Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon,
dates back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. The country's recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively ended
when Sri Lankan military defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.