The island nation of Sri Lanka possesses a rich and sometimes troubled history that stretches back over 2,500 years. According to the nation's "origin myth," it was first settled by a band of 700 young men led by a Bengal prince who was banished from his homeland by his father, the king in 483 B.C. The civilization grew upon the economic prosperity of rice and tea cultivation that inspired the creation of one of the most sophisticated hydraulic systems in the ancient world. Sri Lanka's history has not been entirely idyllic, however. The cultural and technological advances enriched lives, but also created a weakness that outside invaders could exploit. As a result, the Singhalese have been ruled by Southern Indian invaders, as well as the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka provides a one-stop resource for the history of this intriguing country. Dictionary entries cover the people, places, and events that have shaped this country and are further supplemented by a detailed chronology, statistical tables, graphs and appendices. Includes bibliography.