By Patrick Peebles

Sri Lanka—an island state positioned within the Indian Ocean— has a inhabitants of roughly 19 million. regardless of its diminuative measurement, in spite of the fact that, Sri Lanka has a protracted and intricate heritage. the variety of its humans has ended in ethnic, non secular, and political conflicts that survive. Peebles describes the reports of the rustic, from its earliest settlers, to civil warfare, to its present nation, permitting readers to higher comprehend this usually misunderstood country.With an emphasis at the twentieth century, chapters speak about the economic climate, faith, tradition, and govt of Sri Lanka. A timeline outlines key occasions in Sri Lankan historical past, in addition to biographies of striking humans, and a bibliographic essay.

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They enabled a larger population to live more productive lives, and they were also a form of monumental architecture for the kings who built them. The demonstrated a high level of technological expertise and the ability to mobilize massive labor forces. Canals were engineered with only slight gradients over long distances—a skill beyond the capacity of the British engineers who attempted to restore them in the nineteenth century. A device known as a valve pit (biso¯kot. uwa) controlled the flow from increasingly large reservoirs with great precision.

Although the Cu¯lavamsa, a continuation of the Maha¯vamsa, claims unbroken victories in south India, it is clear from south Indian records that the war ended in defeat and a Pan. d. yan invasion of Sri Lanka. Para¯kramaba¯hu I also raided the coasts of Burma. as. The kingdom survived until about 1293, when it was abandoned after a series of foreign invasions and malaria epidemics. The Sinhalese capitals by then had shifted further south to the Wet Zone and abandoned the Dry Zone in the thirteenth century.

The Lohapa¯sa¯da at Anura¯dhapura was originally a nine-story building, of which only the large number of stone pillars that supported the upper floors survives. The most impressive monuments are the great da¯ga¨bas. Many small da¯ga¨bas were also built, often surrounded by concentric rows of stone pillars, which originally supported domed roofs. From the eighth century, temples displayed Buddha images in a large rectangular 26 The History of Sri Lanka hall called a ged. onnaruva built by Para¯kramaba¯hu I in the twelfth century.

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