Sri Lanka: History
Portuguese explorers arrive in Colombo, marking the beginning of European interest in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.
Britain conquers previously established kingdoms and starts bringing Tamil laborers from southern India to work in tea, coffee, and coconut plantations.
Ceylon gains full independence.
Indian Tamil plantation workers are disenfranchised and many are deprived of citizenship.
Ceylon changes its name to Sri Lanka and Buddhism becomes the country's primary religion.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is formed to fight for an independent state for Tamil groups in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.
After years of on and off fighting, the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels sign a Norwegian-mediated ceasefire.
The European Union suspends Sri Lanka's preferential trade status because of concerns over its human rights record.