One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An island country off the southeastern coast of India; population 20,700,000 (estimated 2015); languages, Sinhalese (official), Tamil; capital, Colombo.
The island was ruled by a strong native dynasty from the 12th century but was successively dominated by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British from the 16th century; it was finally annexed by the British in 1815. A Commonwealth of Nations state from 1948, the country became an independent republic in 1972. Civil war between the government and Tamil separatists began in the 1980s and ended with a government victory in 2009Former name (until 1972) Ceylon
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